Doukyuusei (Classmates) // Japanese Animation Movie Review

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk. Today we’re going to talk about Doukyuusei.

Doukyuusei or Classmates is a Japanese Boys Love animation film based off of a manga by Asumiko Nakamura. The offical sinopsis goes:

Licht Sajou is an honor student with perfect scores in every subject on his high school entrance exam. Hikaru Kusakabe plays guitar in his band that performs at live events and is popular among the girls. These boys would have never crossed paths. But one day Hikaru offers to help Licht prepare for their upcoming chorus festival and the two begin to talk. As the two meet after school, they bond through songs and begin to harmonize as their hearts beat together.

It starts out slowly but soon their feelings for one another grow and suddenly they both realize that they are in love. Hikaru’s emotions are frivolous, pure and direct causing Licht to hesitate at first, but he gradually opens his heart. The boys learn about each other, as well as themselves, as they support one another during this difficult time in their youth.

As the time to start thinking about their futures approaches, what do these young men find as they try to move forward…

The film was first released in Japan, but in addition it had a (very) limited release in America a few months back.

My Thoughts Before Watching:

I’ve actually never seen this series before either in manga form or the movie. It’s always been on my radar, but I’ve never looked into it. I did want to see the movie when it had a limited showing in America, but sadly it wasn’t released anywhere near me.

Honestly, I’m ready to just sit back and enjoy the movie.

Where to Buy:

Doukyuuseimovie.com

*Officially, this movie will be released on DVD on the 20th of this month (Sept 2016). But it’s for $60 (with some extra stuff)!!!! Once again, this is the only official place to see the film.

The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):

Immediately, I loved the feel and look of this movie. It really has a unique feel to it. I’m no animation expert, but even I can tell that there was a definite artistic vision behind its creation. You can see that from the movie’s use of panels and scrolling alone.

Summer

Doukyuusei First Kiss

As for the feel of the show it felt so welcoming. From the noisy students to the empty classroom with cicadas in the background. All if it felt so much like a Japanese school life story that it was comforting in it’s familiarity.

I wonder though, exactly how many chapters and volumes of the manga are covered in this move? I’m wondering because this movie moves pretty fast. We skipped over the chorus practice, which was actually appreciated, but then we jumped right into a kiss scene after 9 minutes. It just seemed so fast.

I thought that would be the majority of the story, but turns out that’s only the start of it.

Autumn

Doukyuusei in the rain

The Autumn sequence for Doukyuusei was full of all kinds of emotions. It seems that the way this relationship works, Kusakabe is the more honest one about his feelings while Sajou is the one who’s conflicted.

This season also brought in the whole conversation of, “Are we straight or gay? Is this just because we go to an all boys school?” If done right that conversation can feel fresh and new as opposed to feeling overdone and cliché. I think this movie was on the better side of that.

Also, that Hara-Sensei scene had me going crazy. I didn’t see it coming. They better watch out for him. He shifts between being a mentor and being predator. This made him an interesting and slighting horrifying character to watch.

Transcending Art and the Two Fools

Doukyuusei Hug

At this point I found Doukyuusei and the two characters absolutely adorable. This movie just has a lot going for it. First it has two cute and dumb main characters. Then it goes even farther than that to have a clear artistic style which makes it seem so much more professional in my eyes. While the story isn’t anything too knew to BL regulars, the quality of the film seems pretty high in my eyes.

This high quality yet art style and direction gives the movie a sort of newness to it. The movie is mixed between a stylized art piece and being the quirky anime story that we all know and love. I can see why this story and film is so popular in Japan.

The Second Summer and In Conclusion

Doukyuusei Motorcylce

Literally, when the credits started rolling I just softly whispered, “No.” This was an absolutely enjoyable film. It was artistic, it was adorable, and it wasn’t too sad. I enjoyed all of it. I feel like this movie is at the top of what BL stories should be. While it’s good to get variety, I wish for more BL stories to be like this one.

In fact, now that I’ve finished this movie I HAVE to look into the manga. Hell, I might even consider buying the DVD (once the price goes down). If you have not seen this film yet, please go look it up. It is a MUST WATCH.

My rating for Doukyuusei is 5 stars out of 5 and a QF star. What’s yours?