Is it in the moments we live, in the here and now that we are our true self? Or is our true self, locked away in the memory of our past and if that is true once those memories are lost, be it time and age or trauma and manipulation will we ever be our true selves once again? It is a difficult question for even an adult to ponder and an even more confusing one for a child who is on the cusp of beginning their journey into adulthood. Ritsuka Aoyagi is a very troubled child.
Loveless is an anime series that many have called pretentious because of the themes it chooses to explore but beneath this world of cat-eared youth, you will find a beautiful anime that will give you many questions and some very roundabout answers that you will at times find yourself second guessing as much as it’s the main character. There is so much I would love to write about Loveless but I will save that for another time because this is just a review of the anime series.
Loveless is a 2005 boys love anime that quickly gained popularity amongst the fujoshi fandom for its cute cat boys and almost whimsical art style that still looks gorgeous over ten years later. It is based on the still going manga series by the same name written by and illustrated by manga artist Yun Kouga who is the same artist behind another boys love classic manga that got an anime adaptation from 1989 to 1996, that of course being Earthian, but that anime I will write about another time. Loveless tells the story of Ritsuka Aoyagi, a young boy who has gone through a lot in his short life and now he has just transferred to a new school, where a young pink haired girl wants to be his new best friend. At the same time a strange adult comes into his life, a man named Soubi who had a connection with Ritsuka’s recently deceased older brother and possibly answers as to what happened to his brother. One of the biggest complaints this series gets is the implied relationship between Ritsuka a child, and Soubi a young adult. In a normal world, many of the things that happen between the two would be inappropriate, but there is something different about the world of Loveless. Strange battles take place that we the viewer only begin to understand as Ritsuka does.
Loveless throughout its 12 episode run goes through many different themes, trust vs doubt, memories, finding oneself, destiny vs choice and even homosexuality and the last one does not mean the main couple exactly. There is a line blurring in between Ritsuka and Soubi but I do not believe at any time it is completely crossed though I also know there are other viewers who do not see it this way. To that, I say as I always do, this is fiction and fantasy and not real life. In fiction we delve deeper into taboos we can not explore elsewhere.
The biggest complaint many have with Loveless other than the ‘relationship’ between the two main characters of the anime is it’s ending and final episode. The last episode is a fever dream of answers and more questions and has a very 90’s anime ending that tries to entice the watcher to go and read the manga to understand more of this world. It worked for me and many others who went out and bought and continue to read the manga but to others, this ending can be very confusing and frustrating.
If you are looking for an interesting boys love anime to watch that will keep your mind questioning and enjoy a good mystery I can only recommend this anime if you also intend to dive deeper into the world that Yun Kouga has created and read the manga afterwards because the anime alone is sad though a fun ride has a disappointing end.
I would really love to delve more into the world of Loveless sometime in the future here on Yaoi Playground exploring the more spoilery parts of the story and eventually also do a review of the manga. It really is a cool series to dive into if you have the time and if you guys would like to see me write more about the series let me know down below. Also if you would like to support the continuation of this blog please consider clicking the link below, till next time I am your Mistress of Yaoi