Guest Writer: Sanjo-chan
Exposed to animated and hand-drawn of a certain sub-genre in Anime and Manga fandom, we often look down on live-action adaptations as they should have been/should stay animated (or drawn) for the sake of originality (Dragonball Evolution, guys?). But there are movies that appeared like it was originally based on a manga, but after watching it, it turns out it was original after all.
I had a similar reaction after watching Schoolboy Crush. Unlike Battle Royale, which is aimed towards a PG-13 crowd and based on a manga, Schoolboy Crush is not. It’s an R-rated “Boys Love” (BL; “Shounen-Ai” or “Yaoi”) movie with mature themes that younger viewers may not be suitable for their young eyes.
The movie is about a teacher, Aoi, who recently broke up with his boyfriend. He is comforted by a male prostitute whom he hoped to see only once. The next day, the prostitute appears, introducing himself as Sora at the All-Male Segal Academy where Aoi is employed. On the way to class, Aoi questions why Sora returned in his presence. He promised that he would make Aoi “forget about his boyfriend”– as he has plans in store during his stay at the academy.
Sora ends up being the popular kid with fellow classmates. He becomes close friends with his geeky roommate, Ichiyo. Sora is also a very skilled rugby player, where his rival* is sick to his stomach of seeing him hog all the glory. Attending an exclusive school, students are not allowed outside beyond the school grounds, except on holidays. But Sora sneaks out once in a while to attend to “business”.
(*Fun fact: The name of Sora’s school rival is Riku. Both of the names remind of the characters from a popular video game series…)
Sora’s behavior worries Aoi, and for a reason: students are not allowed to contact teachers directly. Not because of school policy, but because of Sora. Period. The first part of the movie shows Aoi putting up with Sora after being called on his cell phone numerous times, even to a point of losing his job after making a scene in class. When Aoi understands Sora’s intentions: he has other plans in mind other than becoming a couple. Sora really didn’t want to become a prostitute, but it’s the easiest way to earn money for his plan. Sora quits the prostitution business, and with Aoi’s financial help, after the purchase was made, Sora made a promise that he will never contact him again and leave the school.
With Schoolboy Crush being a live-action BL movie, those who are looking for a lot more will be disappointed. The movie lacks explicit scenes, but only brief skin in the shower scenes makes up for it. Although it lives up to being a Shounen-Ai story: there is bound to be romance between the characters at some point.
There are twists and turns that make you say: “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!” But the movie as a whole is a bit lighthearted. There are a few scenes that made it a point to be an R-rated movie. A word of warning: Schoolboy Crush is not for everyone: not for younger audiences, not for anti-Yaoi fans, not for the dirty Yaoi fans. But it warrants at least one full viewing for those out there who are open to the subject of Boys Love and the curious Yaoi anime and manga fan.
Score: 3.5 out of 5