Everybody knows I love Junjou Romantica. Well at least you should know if you’ve been keeping up with my blog since the beginning I mean I’ve made a few posts related to Junjou Romantica. So why am I putting it in the same review as Sekaiichi Hatsukoi? Well both series were created by Shungiku Nakamura and both series are constantly compared to each other. Fans of both series continue to debate which series is better and I’ve heard both sides. You’d think I’d be on Junjou Romantica’s side but my side of the argument is actually the reason for this review.
Story & Characters
Junjou Romantica follows the story of three couples (well actually four), but our main pair is Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko Usami. Misaki is an eighteen year old who makes it his ambition to enrol into M University but his grades are below average. His brother, Takahiro gets his best friend who is a rich and well-known novelist, Usagi (Akihiko Usami if you couldn’t tell) to tutor Misaki. Misaki walks in on Usagi clinging onto Takahiro. Misaki later discovers a BL novel written by Usagi which is actually based on his fantasies of him and Takahiro causing Misaki to flip, and afterwards discovers Usagi is in love with Takahiro. Misaki and Usagi don’t get along clearly but after Misaki gets his test results and visits Takahiro along with Usagi, Takahiro announces his engagement. Misaki gets angry at his brother and drags Usagi outside and cries for him. Usagi feels deeply touched and realizes his in love with Misaki and doesn’t want to lose him. After Takahiro gets married, Misaki has to live with Usagi and basically their relationship builds up from that point on with Misaki falling in love for the first time and Usagi trying to keep Misaki and avoid losing him.
In Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, the story also follows three couples (technically four), but our main pair is Ritsu Onodera and Masamune Takano. Onodera is an editor for literature but instead was put into editing shoujo manga department since it was the only available department. Onodera meets his boss Takano who works everybody to the ground but if it weren’t for him, the department wouldn’t be what it is. As Onodera is getting use to everything, Takano can’t help but feel as if his met Onodera before. Takano later realizes Onodera is the boy he dated in high school. After the two realize that their breakup was based on a misunderstanding, Takano vows to make Onodera admit that he loves him.
Both anime stories have pros and cons. With Junjou Romantica the pro is that it is quite refreshing with it’s plot. The series always has something happening and it makes you root for the main couple because they have so much threatening their relationship but through it all they grow stronger. The problem is that Junjou Romantica has a lack of focus considering it has no real goal unlike Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi has a focus, you find yourself getting excited through each episode since the goal is for Onodera to say “I love you” to Takano. However the one thing Sekaiichi Hatsukoi lacks that Junjou Romantica has is that Sekaiichi Hatsukoi just eventually becomes repetitive. The series drags out a little bit that it feels a little bit tedious at some points. Both of the main couples are incredibly and equally wonderful. That’s saying a lot considering Misaki and Usagi are one of my favorite couples in anime, but Onodera and Takano managed to be on the same level. Both couples have this beautiful bond that you continue to cheer on. What about our other couples? Both animes had another couple I adored and another couple I don’t like as much. I love Hiroki and Nowaki and I also love Kisa and Yukina, both of these couples were interesting. However I’m not a huge fan of Miyagi and Shinobu and Chiaki and Hatori.
Junjou Romantica Grade (Story): B
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Grade (Story): B
Junjou Romantica Grade (Characters): B-
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Grade (Characters): B-
Animations & Sound
I’m not going to go into detail about the animations. Both animes were made by the same Studio so it only makes sense they’re equal. However some will argue Sekaiichi Hatsukoi’s animations are better but lets not forget that season one and two was made in 2008 whereas Sekaiichi Hatsukoi was made in 2011, heck we see the animations improve for Junjou Romantica in season 3 so obviously it’s a matter of the time the series were made. I like the animations, they looked good. My only problem for both series is how they design the chins.
There is only one song in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi that I liked and stood out was its second opening, I’ve grown fond of the opening to season 2 and I kind of regret not mentioning it when I didn’t watch the anime in my top 40 list to openings to animes I haven’t seen yet. However with Junjou Romantica, most of the music really stood out to me especially the first season’s opening, when I first heard it I immediately became addicted. I also want to give huge credit to season three’s ending, I adore it. With the voice acting… I liked all the voice actors to both animes. The only voice actor I had a tiny problem with was Shinnosuke Tachibana as Chiaki in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, his voice got a little bit annoying at some points. My favorite performances were by Takahiro Sakurai as Misaki from Junjou Romantica and Katsuyuki Konishi as Takano from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, both were very solid performances.
Grade (Animations): C+ (This is for both animes)
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Grade (Music): C
Junjou Romantica Grade (Music): B
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Grade (Voice Acting): B
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Grade (Voice Acting): B
So which anime did I personally find better. To be completely honest, both were equally as good. Both had their flaws and some minor differences, but to me they felt like the same anime. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is more mature than Junjou Romantica but Junjou Romantica has more happening even when it’s taking a more slice-of-life turn, but even so they still felt like the same anime. If you like one, you’re most likely going to like the other so I highly recommend both animes. If you like yaoi and haven’t seen one or both of these animes then I definitely recommend them. If you want to check out a yaoi anime, both of these animes are a great place to start considering my first yaoi anime is Junjou Romantica. Both Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and Junjou Romantica get graded with a B though through my personal enjoyment for both of these animes, it deserves a B+ but it’s getting a B through a more critical perspective.
Thank you for reading my review. What do you think of both of these animes? Which is better Sekaiichi Hatsukoi or Junjou Romantica? Tell me in the comments. Also recommend me to any anime or manga to review. Finally be sure you recommend me a yaoi anime to watch or yaoi manga to read. Till next time 🙂