Alongside titles like Gravitation and Zetsuai/Bronze when I first came into the yaoi genre this OVA right here was one of the big boys love anime you needed to watch if you were a true fan of the genre. It seems however that in recent years this anime once highly recommended throughout the community has become unknown to newer fans of the genre and this is a real shame. Though far from a perfect story what is found within the two episode OVA is a rarity within the yaoi genre. Male characters that even gay men can relate to. This is Haru Wo Daiteita.
Released in 2005 and based on the popular manga by Youka Nitta this two episode OVA series with each episode running roughly thirty minutes tells the story of AV actors (Adult Video aka Porn Actors) Kyousuke Iwaki and Youji Katou as they work on a new television series in their debut into mainstream acting, Katou the younger of the two actors sees no shame in his past as an AV actor, but Iwaki lacks his co-stars confidence in his past. As the two play lovers in the show feelings begin to develop between the two of them, will this love be as fleeting as Iwaki believes it to be or is there something more there like Katou is hoping?
Art imitates life it seems for these actors in this story as their feelings for each other deepen the more they work with each other and this is one of the biggest draws for this series, the characters throughout both episodes discuss sexual orientation and how society would see such a relationship in society and the second episode even goes into discussion how times are slowly changing to being more accepting and how such a scandal for an actor years ago would have been career ending. It is these discussions on the subject that make the story of this anime that most likely brings the broader appeal of this series to more than just a fujoshi audience. These are real issues that gay men working in entertainment have and sadly for some will deal with, this brings a sense of maturity to the story that is lacking in a lot of modern yaoi and boys love anime. All too often when the subject of sexual orientation is brought up in boys love stories it is often met with statements like “I’m not gay! I just love him!” see Close the Last Door for a perfect example of this trope and this overused trope can get very tiring to a veteran yaoi watcher and reader such as myself.
This is an OVA series that is a must watch for any yaoi fan and the good news is it is one of the few to have an official western release under the title Embracing Love Cherished Spring on DVD through Kitty Media and can be picked up for a bargain bin price online through Amazon as well as the tie-in pseudo-sequel Fuyu no Semi aka A Cicada in the Winter which will be next weeks review here on Yaoi Playground, till next time I’m your Mistress of Yaoi.