Classmates (2016) – Falling in Love

I’m glad I know this movie in the first place. It’s one of the most beautiful romance anime, not because of the theme, but because you feel such a heartwarming tale. Based on a manga by Asumiko Nakamura, this recommendation comes from one of the articles on MyAnimeList. The article discusses the best modern movie anime films during this decade. One thing it also makes me curious is this is a Shounen Ai, a genre where the community has never paid much attention. Not getting much attention, finally, A-1 Pictures showed this beautiful romance movie. Two guys fall in love unconsciously, not aware they are in the same class, but their closeness arises raw.

“Classmates” is just a romance movie, a slice of life movie with a subtle character but can be a punch when you experience it. It starts with a loud atmosphere in Manabu Hara’s class, occurring because this is only a school for boys. They must show a choir for a school festival. They had to perform a song titled “Moyuru Wakaba” in two different voices. It started when one of the band members, Hikaru Kusakabe, saw Rihito Sajou, the most intelligent student in his class, practiced singing. Realizing that Sajou was a nerd, he was unable to sing in his class.

Kusakabe’s cynicism arose because Sajou was acting away just not caring about the choir’s performance. Sajou couldn’t sing so that Kusakabe, unconsciously, offered himself to teach before the day. Practicing from day to day, Kusakabe has a feeling he never thought. The feeling of love difficult to accept by Kusakabe. One night, Kusakabe accidentally made the first step to Sajou but still couldn’t accept what that feeling was.

There is one thing I like about this anime. The first is the artwork. Every art in Yaoi and Shounen Ai anime, for some reason, is so exaggerated. Of course, I’m quite biassed in this. But, Yuri and Shoujo Ai also have the same problem. The tropes, the character, everything in this term is just very slippery. The second is the story. The story takes a typical romance story but it tackles its theme beautifully. Not trying to present something complex yet ambiguous, it’s just romance. It’s a romance same as a romance movie and anime.

Everyone has their tastes and definitions in terms of anime and film. Yet, “Classmates” is a one-hour movie about the story of two men falls in love with each other. There is conflict, climax, and even the typical Shounen Ai scene still exists. It’s charming but still can be witnessed. Kusakabe and Sajou only filled the entire movie without any side characters. Yeah, there is a little bit of minor character so that the main character can take action and think quickly. Dynamic between the two of them is there. How when they are going to undergo a long-distance relationship. There would be two different injuries if people know about their relationship. What if this is just a close relationship.

Kusakabe is a bit strange about his love relationship with Sajou. Aside from being rather anecdotal, he is a bit cynical but also very active and an energetic guy who is very, very longing for one-second togetherness with Sajou. Sajou is a shy guy, very difficult to be honest but very difficult to hide his deepest feelings. Their time appears simultaneously, the way they solve problems is always outside the scene. The movie kinds of “wild” but with such a fast-paced, the movie only passes for a few minutes. However, it fulfilled with the romance of the flowers of warmth but calm. There is also a comedy in this movie.

The artwork is great. With not-too-high contrast, they can balance it with a cup of tea. Also, the animation is soft, doesn’t show the excessive side of the genre, and supported by a great original soundtrack. Hiroshi Kamiya is just amazing. He shows an honest emotion between his character and himself. Kenji Nojima is like a wedding dream, especially you fujoshi, like a soft voice who is still afraid to vent his emotions.

“Classmates” is a story about a boy meets boy, falling in love with the blush of youth, simplicity makes it a beautiful romance movie. They can maintain it well, maintain it so that it still seems fresh, sweet, calm, and without making it cheap. This is a movie I recommend to you. It doesn’t matter you like the genre or just looking for a romance movie. This is for everyone. Not too complex, the experience is still there.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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