Feb 28, 2021
//may contain some light spoilers

Umibe no Étranger is so much more to me than just another BL story. It kinda reminds me od Doukyuusei, with its storyline and characters and showing the more sweet and realistic depiction od same-sex love. As a LGBT person myself, I love stories surrounding these topics but it's so hard for me to find an anime that would satisfy me. Mostly, because most yaoi/BL stories are overly sexualized and show same-sex attraction as a fetish. L' Étranger is different in that case. It's good to hear the word 'gay' being used in the show and see a character identyfying as such. Sure, Mio still follows the 'I'm in love with a person, not their gender' trope but from what I've understood from the manga sequel, he's still unable to have sex and fall in love with a girl so he might have some identity issues. Besides, there are people who are bisexual with a strong preference for the opposite gender but they still feel same-sex attraction. I'm not against that, what has always annoyes me is the fact that it's been overused in BL stories.

The relationship between Mio and Shun is very real written. It feels real, there are no big fireworks and their dillemas are actually relatable for me. The whole story is not centered around sex and we can actually see their daily struggles with life. Shun's high school life was well depicted and I wish we could see more of it. There is no stereotypical seme/uke dynamic between these two. They're both equals in their relationship.

The movie was quite short and I wish it was at least 90 minutes instead of an hour. The art was beautiful, they really brought the climate from the manga to the big screen. The colours were vivid, the background were detailed. The voice acting was amazing and their voices sounded just like I imagined them in the manga.

The thing with L'Étranger is that it's actually a very simple story. But I feel like we need more stories like this or Doukyuusei with LGBT characters. It's so refreshing for me to actually enjoy a simple romance between two guys, no fetishization, no characters dying. Just a pure story about love. I really recommed it to anyone who's looking for this kind of story. Trust me, it's definitely worth that hour of your time.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9
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