Manga Adaptation by Studio Deen
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Haru visits his birth mother who lives in the Canadian wilderness and discovers she has taken in an orphan named Ren. Tasked with “taming” the wild and anti-social boy, Haru immediately takes him under his wing.
Jel’s verdict: Implied Jailbait
A lot of anime aimed at people in their 20s has this weird and uncomfortable mix of sexuality and paternal/maternal instincts that I could just never wrap my brain around. It’s the base concept for the original definition of moe, which is a completely different landmine topic for another time. My point here is that 99% of the time we’ve seen it applied to young girls, so at least in a strictly observational sense I find it interesting seeing how it is presented with a young boy. Of course, it does not make it any less creepy.
Watching this episode itself you could pretend it’s innocent. Haru takes up the big brother role and through his perseverance he manages to earn Ren’s trust. How sweet. There are just way too many implications here for me to let that fly though. Pretty much the entire episode is full of long pauses and meaningful glances, either between the two main characters or the adults who can immediately spot something is up. By the time we get to Haru asking Ren to sleep with him and Ren saying how pretty Haru’s eyes are, it’s just confirming that yes, you should be creeped out. If there’s any doubt at all as to the eventual destination of this story, the title SUPER LOVERS shouts it loud and proud at your face. Watch this first episode if you must see for yourself, but get out before Chris Hansen shows up at your house.
Artemis’ verdict: Could Be Worse, Still A Little Creepy
Usual cracks about Boku no Pico aside, this could certainly be a lot creepier. In fact, right up until the final minute or so of this episode, you could almost have been forgiven for assuming that Super Lovers was just a nice little story about a boy with an abusive past and abandonment issues finally learning to trust again, and being rewarded with a family who genuinely loves him. Sure, it clearly wouldn’t be anywhere near the quality level of, say, Usagi Drop, but the story would’ve done just fine on its own. This is, however, a BL title, so I can certainly understand where those Boku no Pico jokes are coming from – I forgot whether they specified his age but the boy in question can’t be older than about 10, even if his soon-to-be-caregiver looks to be in his older teens. Thankfully, it seems like we’re about to see a time-skip of several years so Super Lovers will hopefully not be quite as creepy as it sounded on paper – though that being said, I have absolutely no familiarity with the source material, and if that happens to be terribad and creepy then I can’t think the anime will do any better. Bottom line, this (probably) won’t be pedophilia disguised as art or innocent entertainment, but it’s also still on pretty shaky ground right now, and even fans of the BL genre should approach with caution. At best it’ll be dead average, and at worst… well, you know.