Monday, November 5, 2012

Joys and Terror of an Insane Seme

I've blogged a lot about the possessive Seme and a bit on Seme on Seme relationships, but there is a Seme I really adore but don't see too often that I'd like to talk about today. The Insane Seme has all of the characteristics of the typical Seme – gorgeous, strong, passionate, possessive and sex crazed. On top all of that fun, this Seme is quite a bit nuts. I have few examples, so I'll talk about the first one I ever ran across and my absolute favorite.

Usami Akihiko from Shungiku Nakamura's Junjou Romantica has all the traits of a great Seme, including great wealth and talent. When I first saw the show, I was thinking 'Okay, another arrogant Seme about to set upon this poor, vulnerable young man.' The spooky room full of toys gave me pause, but it wasn't until Usami-san was seated beside that big stuffed bear on the sofa that I realized he was bonkers. By the end of the first episode, I was madly in love with this Seme. Usagi-san's state of mind is the result of complex situation within his family during his childhood and his being a writer. For the most part, writers are wacky. How wacky varies from writer to writer.

Usagi-san is really, really wacky. That's quite a combination with arrogant and possessive. One might think that it would be too much for 18 year old Takahashi Misaki to handle. But I think that the overt nature of Usagi-san's zaniness revealed the vulnerable side of this rich and powerful Seme to Misaki. He could see through all of this man's formidable defensiveness better than people who have known the man for decades. Misaki knows and understands Usagi-san better than his brother who has been his best friend. This gives the uke a measure of power in the relationship. That power grows as Misaki takes on more and more responsibility for aspects Usagi-san's life. All of this began because Usagi-san was obviously a bit nuts.

Junjou Romantica's premise does not seem to be exciting. At it's simplest, the plot revolves around an orphaned college student who lives with a writer who has family problems. Their lives are filled with deadlines and the occasional family squabble. The beauty of the pair Shungiku Nakamura created and this manga and anime is that even without the high drama and threat of violence, they are fascinating and exciting. Despite the love of teddy bears, Usagi is a real Seme and quite capable of going to find his uke and drag or carry him home. Usagi-san is also not afraid to strip said uke naked and pound into him that he belongs to said Seme. Usagi-san's instability makes the story very scary to me. He has a lot to lose if he snapped and did something in a public setting. Misaki is very afraid that his Seme will do something unwise in front of the wrong people. He would never lose his money – unless he managed to spend it all on too many suits for Misaki. But he could lose his writing career which is more important to who he is as a person than the money. There are people in Usagi-san's life who want to protect that career, but they don't realize that his survival as a writer and a man has become wrapped up in his relationship with Misaki. That misunderstanding and Misaki's reluctance to admit that he has fallen in love with a man makes Junjou Romantica really scary sometimes. Usagi-san is crazy enough where Misaki is concerned that he is willing to risk everything to keep his uke beside him.

There are other insane Semes, I'm sure. Takano Masamune of Shingiku Nakamura's spinoff series, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi is certainly nuts. However, he isn't the kind of gleefully batty that Usagi-san is. I'd love to see more variations of the arrogant and possessive Seme. I would certainly welcome the humor that a nutty Seme brings to a story. I'd be very interested to hear other opinions.

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