The broadcast series Loveless (2005) has provoked arguments among fans over whether it should be considered a shounen-ai (boy-love) program. Ritsuka is an alienated sixth grader: his older brother Seimei died under mysterious circumstances; his mother is prone to irrational, violent rages. Two years ago, Ritsuka underwent a change he doesn't understand that's left him unsure of his own existence. Soubi, a mysterious college student, appears and announces he loves Ritsuka and will do anything for him--and that he knows how and why Seimei was killed. With Soubi as his protector, Ritsuka enters a supernatural battle against the forces of the sinister Septimal Moon. Loveless is an odd program that plays like a skewed mixture of X and Gravitation. Ritsuka and Soubi look like standard bishonen (beautiful boys)--except Ritsuka sports a cat's ears and tail; all the children in the series do. The handsome backgrounds suggest watercolors and woodblock prints, but the story taking place in front of them makes little sense. Although it's not a typical yaoi romance, Loveless does contain gay themes that may offend some viewers. (Rated 16 and older: violence, tobacco use, suggested homosexuality) --Charles Solomon
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