Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu, or The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi, recently finished airing. As the anime centers around a fudanshi, which translates to ‘rotten boy’ and refers to a boy who likes to read yaoi, it caught my eye pretty quickly. There aren’t many anime on this subject and for that reason I decided to watch and review the series.
Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu has a total of 12 episodes which are all three minutes long, pretty short. EMT² is the studios behind the anime, a studios which is also known for Ame-iro Cocoa and Kuma Miko. This anime is based on the eponymous manga by mangaka Atami Michinoku who has only worked on yaoi manga before this one. Among these manga are Hajimari wa Naka kara and Kocchi Muite, Ai.
A fudanshi, a fujoshi, a gay guy, an errand boy and a ‘normal’ student!
Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu follows the daily life of fudanshi Ryou Sakaguchi, called Gucchi by his friend Toshiaki Nakamura. At first glance Ryou seems like a normal student, but it doesn’t take long for people around him to be surprised by his fudanshi ways. He seems to see BL, boy love, scenes everywhere he goes. Maybe all men are gay? No, more likely: Ryou sees intentions that aren’t there. Ryou spends most of his time hanging out with his friends, his ‘normal’ friend Toshiaki Nakamura, a fujoshi named Rumi Nishihara, his gay friend Yuujirou Shiratori and Akira Ueda who is Yuujirou’s errand boy.
Ryou is a boy who is focused on finding BL situations, but is also a bit oblivious and naïve at times. His design is simple, his looks are pretty average and his hair very boyish, but fits well with the high school setting. He does have a mole under his left eye which makes him stand out a bit more. He seems unable to understand why his friend Toshiaki isn’t a fudanshi and sometimes doesn’t get what should be private and public information. He sometimes takes his time to ‘determine’ whether his friends would be seme or uke in a gay relationship.
Just as Ryou doesn’t understand why Toshiaki isn’t a fudanshi, he doesn’t understand why Ryou is one. BL doesn’t interest Toshiaki at all and until recently he figured Ryou was gay and therefore interested in BL manga. Toshiaki has long hair and looks a bit more like a ‘pretty character’ with a somewhat effeminate look to him, which is confirmed by him discussing with Ryou that he got groped in the train. He wishes Ryou could be a bit more normal at times and Toshiaki himself seems like a pretty sober character.
Rumi Nishihara is a fujoshi, which translates to ‘rotten girl’ and describes a girl who likes yaoi. Ryou finds out she’s a fujoshi by coincidence and from there on they become good friends. Rumi sees being an otaku as something that takes a lot of commitment and she is very dedicated to being a fujoshi. She and Ryou have discussions that can get pretty heated, but do always get along. Her design isn’t very elaborate, she looks like a sweet but pretty standard high school girl, which fits her character and the setting.
Yuujirou is the only actual gay character in the series, it seems. He is president of the cooking club. Yuujirou comes across as perverted and occasionally sexually assaults someone, he also cross-dresses from time to time. His main focus seems to be kissing, groping and such things. His design is very typical pretty boy, with a light eye color and blonde hair, and he is described by Akira as someone who has the strength of both a man and a woman ‘which means he’s twice as strong’.
His errand boy, Akira Ueda, let’s Yuujirou get away with a lot. He does almost anything for Yuujirou because he looks up to him. Although Akira Ueda loves him, he’s not in love with him and doesn’t seem to be gay. Akira’s design is pretty average, with short brown hair and green eyes, but is still pretty recognizable as a character, just like all of the main characters.
Toshiaki’s lack of understanding towards Rumi’s and Ryou’s hobby, Yuujirou’s lack of caring towards his errand boy Akira. These relationships and interactions between the many characters make for some fun situations. Their backgrounds aren’t very worked out though, the information you get on them is very basic. For an anime with episodes of three minutes it’s not that weird that all the information is on a ‘need to know’ basis.
The main genre of this anime is comedy, but it’s also part of the school, shoujo and slice of life genres. Comedy is a very clear focus in this series as there are a lot of funny moments in the series, not all of which might have been intended to be funny. For instance: I find it laughable that a lot of manga and anime focus on uke and seme, speaking of it like that’s how gay relationships always work. Although the anime follows a fudanshi and a fujoshi, there is no actual shounen ai in this anime. There is a tiny bit of suggestive content when Yuujirou gropes someone, but other than that it’s mainly Rumi or Ryou fantasizing.
When it comes to drawing style and animation it looks well done, I didn’t find any real flaws myself and it seems pretty consistent. The style itself is a pretty standard shoujo drawing style and differs slightly from the drawing style in the manga, but is pretty similar to it.
The intro of the anime is just an image with the title and two characters in chibi form, these characters also say the title. It’s understandable that an anime with such short episodes wouldn’t have a long intro. The outro song ‘SEKAI wa Boy Meets Boy’ is by Ryou Sakaguchi (Wataru Hatano) and fits well with the animations show. These animations focus on the main characters and their personalities, which fits with the anime.
Fudanshi, fujoshi but no shounen ai?
Personally I liked watching this anime, it certainly has a lot of funny moments. Because of the fact that the episodes are very short, it’s an easy anime to watch in between or even all at once. Even if you would watch all episodes after one another it’d only keep you busy for 36 minutes in total. This is one of the downsides to this series: I would’ve liked to have seen a lot more of the characters and I think some romance would’ve fitted in nicely as well. Although I haven’t read the entire manga, from the parts I did read it was clear that some scenes and characters were left out of the anime. These could’ve helped with lengthening the episodes a little.
Although Yuujirou had a lot of fun interactions with other characters, I disliked that he was the only gay character. Since it is a comedy anime I didn’t think the slightly offensive stereotype of the perverted gay guy was out of place. It would’ve been nice it there had been some more gay characters in the series. If there had been more gay guys in this anime the possibility of actual shounen ai moments would’ve increased and I believe those kind of moments would’ve added to this series. It would’ve given Ryou and Rumi a lot of opportunities to fantasize and would’ve added even more comedy to this series.
Overall it was a fun anime to watch and didn’t take up a lot of time either. I definitely recommend this anime to anyone who likes shounen ai or comedy anime. For those of you who want to read more about Ryou and his friend, the manga is still ongoing!
Started airing: 5th of July 2016
Number of episodes: 12