Based on the novel of the identical identify by Michi Ichiho (which is out there in English translation from Seven Seas), Yes, No, or Maybe? follows the romance of Ushio Tsuzuki, a stop-motion animator, and Kei Kunieda, a TV newscaster. The movie is an efficient distillation of the supply materials and manages to hit the entire salient factors of the novel with out indulging in among the facet plots or bits and items that will have been harder to animate, though that does inevitably lower out or scale back the roles of most of the facet characters, leaving solely Kunieda and Tsuzuki to hold your complete fifty-three-minute movie.
This works higher than you would possibly anticipate. In half, in fact, it is as a result of style – BL or in any other case, most romance is pushed primarily by the connection between two individuals. While there usually are rivals and different peripheral gamers, they don’t seem to be strictly needed, so Yes, No, or Maybe? is already set as much as work on this condensed format just by advantage of its style designation. It additionally helps that Kunieda is his personal rival for Tsuzuki’s affections. Kei Kunieda is a person with two faces, one front-facing and the opposite extra inside. He places on an excellent present at work of being a form, charming man, however your complete time his internal self is screaming sarcastic feedback and being decidedly much less of a pleasant man. He feels that he wants to cover this true self due to his job, and so he mainly places on a masks each time he leaves the home in his good swimsuit. To unwind, he trades his swimsuit for sweats and hides his face with a masks and glasses when he goes out. Although he does not say it, going out as his extra snug self is one thing he must do, maybe to remind himself that it is okay to be who he feels he actually is – simply not when he is on the job.
Essentially, although, it signifies that he meets Tsuzuki for the primary time twice. Chronologically, the primary time is in his newscaster function, when he goes to interview Tsuzuki about his course of. Later he fairly actually bumps into him when he by accident goes to cross the road when the sunshine is pink and Tsuzuki hits him together with his bicycle. As far because the animator is aware of, he is assembly two separate individuals, Kunieda and “Owari,” one thing which Kunieda likes at first however begins to search out limiting as he falls for Tsuzuki and realizes that with out Tsuzuki being conscious of his act, he is changed into his personal rival in a scenario that is concurrently a love triangle and a extra simple romance, one which in fact hinges on Tsuzuki’s capability to in the end see via Kunieda’s disguise(s) and uncover the actual man beneath.
Both Kunieda and Tsuzuki are lonely individuals, though they present it in several methods, and Kunieda provides a touch of tension to his psychological state. That this is not overtly said within the movie makes it work effectively – we see as an alternative that he values routine to the purpose the place he even orders the identical factor from the identical restaurant most nights and carries round a pronunciation dictionary bristling with bookmarks as a safety blanket. He’s good at his job, however he does not actually see it, partly as a result of he does really feel a lot like he is placing on an act with a view to do it. Tsuzuki, in the meantime, is a fiddler – he tugs at his tie, doodles on calendars and in books, and turns in his chair – numerous little behaviors that point out his temper and persona. He’s higher at coping mechanisms than Kunieda is, however that is no less than partly as a result of his job is so completely different; he works alone more often than not and infrequently needs to be “on.” That he jumps on the probability to have “Owari” work with him or simply hang around at his place says simply as a lot as Kunieda’s dictionary about his frame of mind.
With a lot driving on their performances, because the movie is basically an prolonged dialogue between Kunieda and Tsuzuki, it is essential to notice that each Atsushi Abe (Kunieda) and Yoshihisa Kawahara (Tsuzuki) do a exceptional job. The movie by no means feels uninteresting or protracted, and Abe’s vocal shifts between what are basically three Kuniedas (work, dwelling, and screaming inside chibi) are particularly good. The background music is considerably much less profitable, consisting of near-constant delicate violin and piano tracks that begin to get just a little grating after some time, however it does attempt to be unobtrusive.
There is one main fly within the ointment, nonetheless, and that is one which carries over from the supply novel as effectively – a non-consensual intercourse scene. Kunieda explicitly asks Tsuzuki to cease a number of occasions throughout the scene solely to be answered with issues like “you got off, so now you have to get me off” and “nope, too late, not stopping.” While that is hardly distinctive to BL (readers of western romance novels could also be accustomed to it from so-called “old school” romances), it actually is not doing the movie any favors and drastically decreases the sweetness issue of the story. It is not an express scene, however it’s a troubling one. Technically you would skip it or cease the movie simply earlier than hand and nonetheless get the entire really feel of the film, so if that is a deal-breaker for you, the choice is there.
That scene apart, Yes, No, or Maybe? is a really good movie. It’s therapy of Kunieda coming to grasp that there are individuals who will settle for him warts and all is effectively completed, as is how he finds emotional power in his relationship with Tsuzuki. It ends with room for a sequel (and there are extra novels within the sequence), however even when that is all we get, it leaves us with a stable sufficient ending to be rewarding.