Title: Haru wo Daiteita Embracing Love 春をだいていた
Release Date: 2004
Based on the long-running BL manga series by Nitta Youka 新田佑克.
Released in 2005 in DVD format, the anime is about Iwaki Kyousuke (Morikawa Toshiyuki) an adult video actor who is trying to break away from his AV past before his star wanes. When an opportunity to cross over to mainstream showbiz arrives, he takes the plunge and auditions for a film to be directed by a famous novelist, Sawa Nagisa (Inoue Kazuhiko) . He meets a younger and bolder rival in the form of another AV actor, Katou Youji (Miki Shinichirou). Although Iwaki wins the the role in the first audition, the rivals are subsequently paired up as lovers in another production. As the two have more interactions with each other, Katou finds himself falling for Iwaki both on and off screen. Although they have a few physical encounters, Iwaki holds Katou back due to his pride and his lack of confidence in the relationship… Will Katou’s persistence bear fruit?
In the second part of the story, Katou starts work with acclaimed actor Kikuchi Katsuya (Narita Ken) on a new production. Disgraced and forced to leave Japan due to a scandal about his homosexuality a few years ago, Kikuchi returns with a grudge and a hidden agenda. What scheme does he have in store for Katou and Iwaki?
Well, I watched the subbed OVAs years ago, so its been a while and I had to refresh my memory again. I do remember enjoying the first OVA more than the second one because the characters and plot were more varied and fun. The short side story in the first OVA that involves the cross-dressing novelist Sawa Nagisa and his lover and cousin, Sawa Yukihito (Suzuki Chihiro) as well as our main couple is rather yummy. ^^
After revisiting the anime, I find that the animators did a generally good job for most of the scenes (including the sex scenes) but the anime definitely would be more enjoyable and less distracting if the animation was smoother and had less panning still shots. And is it just me being too critical or did they “reuse” Katou’s climaxing animation from OVA 1 in OVA 2? I don’t know what to say about that lol~
That said, considering its vintage, Harudaki’s animation is still better and way more varied than Okane ga Nai お金がない which is a much recent title. I was really unimpressed with OgN’s animation although it had brighter, prettier colours. *rant*
Well, the seiyuus did a great job as usual, bringing wonderfully across the range of emotions that were displayed in the anime. I think a fan of the manga may appreciate the dramatic aspects more because we have come to know the character’s development and backstories in the long-running series. I believe non-fans too would also find it an enjoyable BL anime and a worthwhile title to add to a BL collection ^^
US licensed English version of Haru wo Daiteita 春をだいていた DVD is available from Rightstuf. Both OVAs 1 and 2 from the Japanese version DVDs will be on one DVD.
Miki Shinichiro as Katou Youji
Morikawa Toshiyuki as Iwaki Kyousuke
Suzuki Chihiro as Sawa Yukihito
Inoue Kazuhiko as Sawa Nagisa
Narita Ken as Kikuchi Katsuya
Itou Kentarou as Urushizaki Kazunari
Suzuki Chihiro as Staff B (ep 1)
Terada Haruhi as Female Reporter A (ep 1)
Sugita Tomokazu as Reporter B (ep 2)