You know what my problem with this first episode was? Basically everything.
Okay, I realize that sounds a little overboard, and maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace, but you guys, this was pretty bad – and if I, a long-time fan of the boys love genre, is saying that, you can probably be sure something’s gone pretty wrong somewhere along the line.
Alright, let’s get to some specifics of Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru (otherwise known as The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window). My biggest gripe here is that Hiyakawa is, frankly, an enormous creep. I’m sure people will defend this show, or at least his character, by saying that this is done intentionally – after all, that last scene of him appearing to sneakily eat what I think (?) was a body part points to some deviousness. I haven’t read the manga so for all I know, he could turn out to be the primary antagonist of the series.
Even so, this episode was so choc-full of non-consensual touching, hugging, and biting/licking it felt like I was watching a boys love title from the early 2000s. I guess the genre hasn’t progressed as much as I thought/hoped. And look, even if Hiyakawa is supposed to come across as gross and predatory for some kind of villain reveal later on, that doesn’t make the show any more palatable to watch – especially since I get the distinct feeling that the show thinks it’s being terribly clever and/or funny with all the sexual innuendo. We get it, touching the soul of another person is analogous to sex. Believe me, there’s zero subtlety about any of the wordplay.
While nowhere near as important to me, I also want to mention the show in terms of its technical qualities, because unfortunately, I really don’t like it production-wise either. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but things just somehow seem… off. Again, it’s possible, even probable, that this is a deliberate artistic choice – after all, this is a supernatural mystery/horror piece, and given the gory subject matter, it’d be weird if things looked too nice. Even so, aside from maybe the decent background art detail, very little, if anything, about Sankaku appeals to me. The character designs, even for the non-creep main character, are all vaguely unsettling, the silence between the dialogue or action is off-putting, and even the voice acting does absolutely nothing for me.
Bottom line, I don’t really know what I’m looking for this season, but Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru sure ain’t it.
8 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru”
I got this warmly recommended to me but now I’m not that enthusiastic about watching it. I’m not a big fan of creepy turning into romantic… And if the production isn’t going to sell it…
To each their own – I’m not one to bash people on their viewing choices, and Sankaku certainly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever watched. I just personally can’t look past the creepy-is-actually-romantic trope, I’ve seen it too many times before and it rubs me the wrong way.
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The dialogue was pretty terrible and it isn’t even trying subtle – that said, I found the supernatural aspect of this interesting and I didn’t mind the aesthetic. While the very in-your-face innuendo was jarring (I hadn’t actually realised this was boys love prior to watching) I ended up quite intrigued by the potential for the plot. It might not go anywhere but I’m going to stick around and find out.
Yeah, the dialogue was extremely cringe. It’s the kind of story that I badly want to like, but personally, I just can’t quite manage to look past the whole creepy-is-actually-romantic/predatory-behavior-equals-love trope. I’ve seen it so many times before, especially in boys love, and I just don’t think I can personally stomach any more.
I actually liked this more than I thought I would. I’m not that familiar with the BL genre, so maybe it’s just my bad luck, but I’ve sort of come to expect a pushy, creepy guy. There are exceptions, say the excellent Given, but it’s present to some degree even in shows I enjoyed, say, Love Stage.
That said, it’s hardly a clear pick-up for me. I’ll have to see where this goes. One thing that I found interesting is the “it feels good, but I don’t want it,” dynamic. It could go down the usual road, but maybe there’s some potential here? Not sure I’ll find out. As you say, the production isn’t exceptional, and some of the light effects come dangerously close to hurting my photosensitivity.
For me that’s kind of the point – I always expect a pushy, creepy guy and the whole sexual-assault-is-romantic trope because that’s what BL tends to entail, at least when it comes to most of the anime being adapted. I’m therefore even more frustrated when I see new anime come out and that’s /still the case, even though the trope has persisted already for so many years. I think that may be slowly changing (Given is a great example), but it’s a shame when an otherwise potentially interesting and unique story is marred by this kind of thing.
Yes, I fully agree. I never liked this aspect and I probably never will.