*WARNING: this review is extremely biased since I read the manga*
*If you have any special attachment to the OVA, don’t read on because you will read almost nothing good about it*
Before I talk about this OVA, I would like to say a few words about me and yaoi/shounen-ai. As a girl who likes anime, I am painfully aware of the very loud and noisy army of female yaoi fangirls. Honestly, when I first started out watching anime, I was dead set against ever watching any yaoi because all the ones I saw looked gross and I didn’t think it was that fun to watch a show about a bunch of guys doing it. Not to mention I didn’t appreciate the fandom and all it does to anime that have absolutely nothing to do with yaoi. Well, last year, I watched my first yaoi/shounen-ai, Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi…and I ended up liking it a lot. Although, I only liked it because I was really surprised by how much development the relationships got. I thought the couples were cute and it made me really happy that they actually worked on their relationship, rather than just banging all the time. Well, I was spoiled. After Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, I checked out Junjou Romantica…and, while it did have some similiarites, was vastly different. There was more of a definite emphasis on the sexual part of the relationships and two out of the three couples were unbelievably frustrating. By frustrating, I mean, one couple, for example, were together for about 10 years, but had major communication issues because all they did when they were alone together was have sex. That angered me to no end, especially since one half of that partnership was a total ass to the other for about half his time on the show for both seasons. Flashforward to now, and I have realized that I am much more suited to reading shounen-ai which is far less sexual and more relationship oriented, although it’s hard to find good ones (I recommend Rin! and Seven Days for beginners). I’m still uncomfortable with “those” scenes and I have no great love for yaoi and tend to avoid it all together. I also haven’t watched any yaoi/shounen-ai since Sekai Ichi’s second season.
Back to Tight Rope. I saw the original announcement for this and decided I would try it out. To see what I was getting myself into, I read the manga and discovered that it actually wasn’t too bad. There were only two sex scenes and there was a lot of focus on the characters. It was pretty funny too. So, going into this OVA, I did have some pretty high hopes for it, since I do remember liking its six chapter counter part. Well, I have to say that after watching it, I was sorely disappointed.
Tight Rope is basically about a guy is set to become the next boss of a gang, Ryunosuke, and his best friend, Naoki or Nao for short.Ryunsuke is quite openly in love with his best friend and while Nao appears to be indifferent when it comes to his feelings, but actually seems to return them in a way. While the story isn’t terrible, the OVA sure makes it out to be that way. There actually is almost nothing that I like about it. The background music, if there was any, was forgettable. The OP and ED were equally so. The animation, while not terrible, was not the best either. The movements of the characters were pretty jerky sometimes. It looks pretty average, or below average, I suppose these days. I don’t normally, talk about voice acting because I don’t speak a lick of Japanese other than the staple phrases that one picks up after a while of watching anime, so I don’t really think I can really make too much of an educated opinion on it. But I would like to say that I don’t think the voice acting was too swift here either. It felt like it lacked energy and I, personally, wasn’t a big fan of the acting in general. As for the characters, they were probably the best thing about this short disappointment, but they didn’t go through any noticeable development at all and were pretty stagnant. Ryunosuke started out a love sick puppy who had a short fuse and by the end was still a love sick puppy with a short fuse, although he did appear to be slightly more responsible. As for Nao, he started out the nonchalant best friend who could kick an ass or two, and by the end, as he came to accept his love for Ryunosuke, turned into a bit of a crying wimp, though this transformation only occurs in front of Ryunosuke as he professes his love. One thing about the OVA that really disappointed me was how it couldn’t adapt six chapter in two episodes. This is just a personal thing though. One thing that I would have really appreciated, and that I think would have added more depth to Nao’s and Ryunosuke’s relationship is if they went over why exactly Nao refused to have sex with Ryunosuke when before despite coming close. I think that would have added more Nao as a character. The one thing that I liked about this OVA is that it didn’t animate any, what I like to call, “ewwy” scenes. There was a make out session or two, but the rest was only implied and I give it kudos for that because I don’t really see the point in ever having to see any of that.
Well, if you guys couldn’t tell, I really wasn’t a fan of this anime at all, which is a shame because I really did like the manga. I feel like this is a pretty poor adaptation, but I’m slowly coming to realize that really good series are far and in between, and that stuff like this and stuff even worse is the norm. So, unless Sekai Ichi gets another third season, or something amazingly good comes out, I doubt that I’ll really watch anything since no one ever animates shounen-ai and that’s what I really like. I would only recommend this to people who already have a strong affinity for yaoi and have a high tolerance level when it comes to stuff like this. If you don’t, don’t watch this or if you really want to, watch it with someone who will make fun of it and make it funnier to watch (My sister came in and watched episode two with me, and it suddenly became so much better).
Overall Score: 5/10 (It could have been worse)