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Anime / Sanrio Boys

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At the prestigious Sanriio Military Academy, Yuucisus and Shuun, two knight candidates, stand at odds as Sei and Riyon refuse to intervene. In order to stop the infighting between his two precious friends, Koural steps in between them. He dies, but he manages to bring them back to their senses. The End.

Or is it? Nah, it is just a school play. The real story starts much earlier.

Kouta Hasegawa, 17 years old, is a second-year high school student who hides a secret: he is very fond of Pompompurin. He was open about it when he was younger, but bullying by other kids changed that. This caused Kouta's relationship with his grandmother to crumble, and she passed away before he could apologize. He starts going through life keeping his love for Pompompurin a secret, having little to look forward to otherwise.

All of this changes when Kouta accidentally finds a cutesy My Melody keyholder belonging to Yuu Mizuno. Much to his shock, Yuu isn't afraid to admit liking My Melody. Slowly, Kouta begins to bond with his fellow cuteness fans at school, gradually learning to accept himself and being open about the things he likes.

Sanrio Boys (Sanrio Danshi) is the Animated Adaptation of the franchise of the same name by Studio Pierrot in January 2018 as a part of the Winter 2018 Anime season. It can be legally viewed on Crunchyroll here.

Tropes in the Sanrio Boys anime include:

  • Animated Adaptation: Of the already-existing Sanrio Boys franchise, which previously had two manga adaptations and even a Visual Novel adaptation.
  • Audience Participation: An In-Universe example: during the Miracle Gift Parade, Hello Kitty asks the crowd to raise their glowsticks to save the queen. Also, in the final episode, the rest of the Sanrio Boys go off-script from their musical as a surprise to Kouta where they ask the audience to raise their glowsticks and summon angels so Kouta's character could be brought back to life.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The second episode heavily hints that Yuu and Shunsuke are a secret item going to school separately, what with them living in similar spaces, Yuu asking "Can't we go together?", and the cuts used in the scenes. Then we see that the pair actually had their morning routines in separate buildings— buildings with the same layout, in fact.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 9, and it's milked for all it's worth by panning across all the boys' bodies as they play in the sand.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After the school play ends, Kouta looks towards the audience and explains that the story is In Medias Res.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The five main guys are fairly attractive, each in their own way. Even some of the side characters fit too.
  • Childhood Friends: Yuu and Shunsuke, which doubles as an Odd Friendship.
    Yuu: "We're friends who already know all the embarrassing parts of each other, right?"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Kouta's shame at liking Pompompurin, his envy and confusion at Yuu and Shun being so open about their love for Sanrio characters, and Yuu encouraging Kouta that it's okay to "like what he likes", can easily read as a Coming-Out Story. This gets especially prominent when you pair this with Kouta being taken on a group outing organized by Macchi to help himself find a girlfriend.
  • Excuse Plot: As the series goes on, it's difficult to see what the main conflict is. Episode 7 is the worst of it — it's just a glorified 30 minute commercial for Sanrio Puroland, the majority of it explaining the plot of the stage show that the Sanrio Boys actually see.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The first minute or so of princely politics and swordfighting is really just a part of the (somewhat melodramatic) school play, which actually occurs much later.
  • Female Gaze: In full force compared to the blog. In the first episode alone, there are long, loving pan shots of the boys' wet bodies when they take showers, along with some conveniently-placed soap bottles to keep the scene less blue. If it weren't for that tiny Hello Kitty on the bottom, you wouldn't know it was a Sanrio series.
  • Generic Cuteness: The boys tend to fall under two categories: rounded "cute" face (Kouta, Ryo, and Yuu), or jagged "handsome" face (Shunsuke and Seiichirou). This gets especially noticeable when Macchi complains about pretty boys (specifically Yuu) in episode 1— due to the show's shoujo aesthetic, the only difference the two have is in hairstyle.
  • GIS Syndrome: Episode 7 has the boys (and Tsucchi and Macchi) go to Sanrio Puroland. Like in the blog, the backgrounds are at most filtered from actual pictures of the park.
  • In Medias Res: The story starts with the end of the school play. Kouta admits that the real beginning of the story is much earlier, and starts narrating how it was before the five main characters became a group of sorts.
  • Kids Are Cruel: When he was a little kid, Kouta was mercilessly mocked for his love of Pompompurin.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The show is filled with Product Placement and even shows a segment where the boys go to a Sanrio Gift Gate located in Shinjuku, using actual photos of the store as background. With that said, it does focus on what the goods represent to the boys.
  • Playing a Tree: Kouta played a tree in the school play as a kid, starting his wish to be more than The Generic Guy.
  • P.O.V. Cam: At least Once an Episode, right before the episode cuts to a commercial break, one of the main characters will run into a girl for a moment, and the camera will switch to her POV while she interacts with him.
    • In the first, Kouta runs into a girl in the hallway while she is carrying books. He apologizes to her and keeps running.
    • In the second episode, Kouta looks at the camera and asks if the audience has seen the recyclers' truck pass by. The camera then moves from side to side as if shaking ones' head to answer "no".
    • The third episode has Yuu hand over a package of meat at the store to a shopper.
    • Ryo talks to an older woman using this POV in the fifth episode.
    • The POV character takes a picture of the boys at Sanrio Puroland in episode 7.
  • Product Placement: Aside from shamelessly showing off Sanrio merchandise, the show also shows off the LINE messaging application and Google Maps and at one point shows a Cardfight!! Vanguard deck.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The whole premise of the plot is Kouta learning that it is okay to like cute things.
    Yuu: "There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in loving something!"
  • Title Drop: "Sanrio Boys" is a name Yuu gave himself and Shunsuke (which eventually goes to the whole main group), due to them both liking Sanrio staples.
  • Wall Pin of Love: Shunsuke pins Kouta against the wall after Kouta finds Yuu's keyholder.