Dakaichi: I'm Being Harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year is a BL anime about two high-profile celebrities and their secret romance. The main character is a talented actor with a famous reputation as the most desirable man in show business. However, he is unnerved by an up-and-coming star who steals the spotlight from him. As they work together on a movie, their relationship is mixed with tension and temptation.
The glaring issue in Dakaichi is its offensively irresponsible approach to consent. This problematic anime fetishizes many nonconsensual sexual encounters, creating an uncomfortable and dangerous relationship dynamic. Even if the story is compelling in some places, I remain deeply disturbed by the excessive amount of toxic tropes.
Around 5 hours + movie sequel
Dark and toxic
Yes, written by Hashigo Sakurabi
Yes, Dakaichi is a steamy BL anime.
Takato is a famous and talented actor at the peak of his popularity. His acting career has been ongoing for two decades. Over the past five years, the tabloid magazines have put him in first place during the annual Sexiest Man of the Year rankings. Although Takato sees himself as a serious actor who rises above such silly recognition, he secretly cares about his placement very much. Topping the list boosts his ego, reassuring Takato that the public still adores him.
This year, Takato surprisingly drops to #2 in the Sexiest Man of the Year rankings. He is topped by Junta, a young celebrity heartthrob making waves in the industry. Takato is aggravated about getting second place and feels threatened by his handsome rival. Worst of all, both actors are cast in the same movie, so Takato must face his nemesis on set every day.
Although Takato treats his costar with hostility, their rivalry is one-sided. Junta is friendly, enthusiastic, and utterly smitten with Takato. A relative newcomer to the industry, he is grateful when his experienced colleague gives him acting advice to improve his performance. It doesn't take long for Junta to develop an attraction for Takato, an intense and unhealthy obsession he struggles to conceal.
One evening, Takato becomes so drunk that he loses consciousness. He wakes up to find himself in Junta's apartment, stripped completely naked. As Junta takes compromising photos, Takato assumes his rival plans to blackmail him. Eager to maintain his squeaky clean reputation, Takato will do anything for Junta to hand over the footage.
Enticed by the offer, Junta reveals his crush and tells Takato that he wants them to have sex. His costar is shocked, confused, and repulsed by this request. Although Takato refuses to have intercourse, Junta overpowers his victim physically. He forces a kiss, molests his victim's body, and threatens sexual assault. Takato barely escapes from the rape attempt and feels traumatized by tonight's events. Nonetheless, he must continue facing the predatory Junta every day on the movie set.
Takato Hiroki Takahashi (高橋廣樹)
Takato is a famous actor who has been in the show business industry for two decades. Known for his handsome looks and professional attitude, he received many acting awards over his career. He was also declared the #1 Man I Want to be Hugged By, a frivolous tabloid ranking Takato won in the past five years. Due to his accomplishments, Takato developed an egotistical personality and believes he is the most popular celebrity. That was until he met Junta.
Junta Yuuki Ono (小野友樹)
Junta is a young up-and-coming actor at the start of his career. Thanks to his dashing good looks, he replaced Takato as the #1 Man I Want to be Hugged By in this year's ranking. Although Takato sees him as a rival, Junta admires his senior colleague and harbours a secret obsessive crush. Before being recruited as an actor, Junta has worked many different part-time jobs.
Takuya Satou (佐藤拓也)
Yuma Uchida (内田雄馬)
Satoshi Hino (日野聡)
Youji Ueda (上田燿司)
Kousuke Toriumi (鳥海浩輔)
Yōko Hikasa (日笠 陽子)
Kenjiro Tsuda (津田健次郎).
Kengo Takanashi (高梨謙吾)
Ryōtarō Okiayu (置鮎龍太郎)
Eiji Takemoto (竹本英史)
Kikuko Inoue (井上喜久子)
Hiromichi Tezuka (手塚ヒロミチ)
Anime Review Score: 5.5
Nonconsensual sex is a prevalent problem in many BL anime and yaoi manga. The toxic trope is disgustingly common in this genre, normalizing harassment, sexual aggression, and rape under the pretense of attraction. It shouldn't be considered erotic when the uke feels abused and cries as he resists the seme's predatory advances. Unfortunately, Dakaichi is an egregious offender and doesn't care about respecting consent before sexual encounters.
The BL romance in Dakaichi is built on the foundation of nonconsensual sex, which happens early in the first episode. Junta exploits his unconscious costar in an intoxicated condition, strips him naked, and takes invasive photos. After Takato becomes horrified by the events, Junta overpowers his victim physically. He forces a kiss, gropes his nude body, and imposes his desires onto an unwilling target. Takato barely escapes from the jaws of sexual assault and spends the night feeling traumatized.
What I just described resembles the police case report in a rape investigation. Somehow, that is how the so-called romance begins in Dakaichi. It's not just an isolated incident, because the anime is packed with deranged rape fantasies on multiple occasions. The more Takato tries to resist, the more excited Junta feels about ravishing his reluctant prey. At some point, Takato becomes desensitized to his trauma, as the narrative suggests he gets pleasure from being violated. The anime sends a horrific message and sets a dangerous precedence.
Maybe some viewers will have a higher tolerance threshold to sexual harassment disguised as eroticism, but I'm offended and outraged. My discomfort overshadows the nonsexual components of the story, which can be intriguing sometimes. Admittedly, the saucy tale of two high-profile celebrities and their secret gay romance comes with scandalous appeal. Dakaichi has a fascinating premise, exploring various facets of the acting industry. The thirteen episodes highlight the hardships with fame, invasion of privacy, and work-life balance.
When Dakaichi focuses on anything else besides the sex, I actually enjoy it. Some storylines are fun to watch with juicy twists, cheeky interactions, and energetic humour. The anime is surprisingly introspective and offers insightful characterization at times. The visuals are attractive as well. Both protagonists look convincingly handsome, even though I don't love the visible shading on their necks. With their striking art designs, I can understand why Junta and Takato are the top two sexiest men of the year.
Annoyingly, the worst episode of the series (Episode 6) is followed by the best episode (Episode 7). I was ready to dismiss Dakaichi as sleazy trash, but then it impressed me with an elegant, atmospheric flashback retrospective. Overall, the series has a stronger second half, especially since the couple's affections grow more reciprocal. Despite a few redeeming qualities, I can't overlook the brutal disregard for consensual encounters. I'll remember Dakaichi as a problematic anime that made me uncomfortable more often than it was enjoyable.
Dakaichi was initially released in 2018. I remembered watching the first episode in eager anticipation, but couldn't continue watching because the premiere felt so off-putting. However, I decided to give this series another chance, clutching my pearls through one problematic episode after another. In the end, Dakaichi wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I found myself liking several parts of the story that weren't related to sex.
I enjoyed Dakaichi when it's about the celebrity world and the acting industry. The premise of two high-profile stars with a secret gay romance intrigues me. Plus, it's compelling to watch Takato navigate various hardships in his line of work. On the one hand, he's talented, hardworking, and at the peak of his fame. On the other hand, he's insecure, cynical, and cautious about his fragile celebrity status. He's a likable, multifaceted main character with many layers. I want to root for him to find love and still succeed in his career.
As much as I like Takato, I'm not fond of his other half Junta. He makes a terrible first impression for obvious reasons and never redeems himself afterwards. Dakaichi likes to joke that Junta is a lustful devil with an angelic face. Without his handsome looks, this guy would simply be a creep. He constantly crosses the ethical line, but never gets called out for his ugly, sleazy, and manipulative actions.
In addition, Junta represents an archetype that I don't enjoy in BL. He's an obsessive stalker whose identity revolves around his love interest. I don't think Junta ever received any characterization outside of his relationship with Takato. It makes him a terribly boring and flat character, like an appendage of Takato rather than an actual equal.
I might feel more receptive to Junta if he's portrayed accurately as a villain. Instead, Junta is treated like this perfect golden boy and not exposed as a sexual abuser. I'm infuriated by his ~wolf in sheep's clothing~ act. In Hollywood terms, he is the Casey Affleck to my Brie Larson. Junta offends me and I would definitely rank him LAST PLACE in the Man I Want to be Hugged By contest.
Consent is not a concept that exists in this anime's universe. Almost every sexual encounter in the beginning involves Takato feeling forced, unwilling, and compromised. The anime thinks predatory behaviour is erotic and constantly flirts with uncomfortable rape fantasies. The more Takato squirms and struggles, the more Dakaishi takes sick pleasure in his torment.
Apparently, the Dakaichi anime already downplayed the hardcore noncon from the source material. The manga is supposed to have outright rape in the beginning, whereas the anime modifies the scene to a rape attempt instead. Not that the change is a significant improvement. Dakaichi could've done much better to portray Junta's crush without veering into toxic territory.
The nonconsensual dynamic subdues in the second half of the series once the characters become boyfriends. As Takato and Junta reciprocate each other's affections, their interactions are almost sweet sometimes. However, I just can't excuse the sexual harassment at the start and their romance still raises red flags for me.
Takato and Junta are a polarizing couple. I'm sure some viewers won't make it past the first anime episode, dropping the series over the problematic romance. Many others might have a higher tolerance level for this aesthetically pleasing fictional relationship. Personally, I never warmed to Junta and believe Takato should file a restraining order from his obsessive stalker.
Dakaichi sets dangerous precedence by normalizing Junta's rape attempt in the first episode. He doesn't face any consequences for forcing himself on Takato. In fact, his offensive actions are justified as ~sexy and erotic~, almost like a twisted turn-on for his abused victim. I hate how the anime perpetuates the idea that Takato secretly enjoys being harassed. It sends such a harmful message, not one that I want to champion on BL Watcher.
Later in the series, Dakaichi condemns Chihiro & Sakamaki for their sexual harassment, which feels hypocritical. The main character in this anime is a sexual predator who got a free pass. His actions are just as despicable, but the only difference is that Junta looks physically attractive. Dakaichi lost credibility the moment it refused to hold him accountable for his sexual assault. You want to portray the other characters as antagonists, yet the biggest culprit is Junta himself and he's walking scot-free! 😓
I thought Takato and Junta looked handsome throughout the series. Their character designs are attractive and they are convincing as the two hottest celebrities in show business. At times, the art is inconsistent and the protagonists look better in some scenes others. Nonetheless, it's a pleasant-looking series with occasionally striking beauty.
My biggest nitpick is that I don't like the shading on the characters' necks. I'm not a fan of this cross-hatching technique in manga, but it looks even weirder in animation. That strange blotch between their faces and their necks irks me and I didn't get used to it over time.
Dakaichi has a happy ending where Takato and Junta got back together after breaking up. Previously, Takato ended their relationship because he was threatened by the scandalous tabloid picture. He bargained with Jiro to stop the photo from being leaked. The deal involved letting Jiro photograph Takato in a compromising situation. The new set of pictures will likely tank Takato's reputation, but he's willing to make the sacrifice to protect Junta's career.
However, Junta has a few tricks of his own. After the breakup, he begins a romantic relationship with his female costar Yurie, a tabloid queen. Just when Jiro thought he got an exclusive scoop on this couple, Junta reveals their relationship was a fake publicity stunt. Jiro loses credibility over his published article and he's transferred to another department. Furthermore, Junta blackmails the photographer with invasive hidden camera footage. As a result, Jiro never releases that scandalous picture of the gay kiss.
Junta goes on television to clear up the gay rumours. He turns it into a positive publicity stunt, rehabilitating Takato's image in the public eye. Takato also gets back the acting gig that he lost earlier. As the good news keeps rolling, the main characters reconnect romantically. Junta promises Takato that his relationship with Yurie is phony and he never cheated. They kiss and have sex. Afterwards, Takato exchanges rings with Junta as a sign of their long-term commitment to each other.
The Dakaichi ending was just okay for me. I thought the storylines wrapped up too neatly in a contrived way. Jiro has this juicy photo of the two hottest celebrities kissing, so I don't understand why he holds onto it. It makes sense for him to leak the pics, right? Also, Junta uses PR magic to make the gay rumours go away, but it doesn't feel realistic. It's more like a deus ex machina to force a happy ending in the last episode.
To be honest, a part of me was also rooting against Junta. I waited all twelve episodes for this sexual predator to get his comeuppance. Finally, I thought he would face some dire consequences. Maybe he'll even quit the acting industry for good! Instead, this bastard gets away with everything once again. Junta is like the golden boy of the series with impenetrable plot armour. You can't sabotage him no matter what.
With that said, I liked the part where Takato and Junta exchanged wedding rings. It was a nice little gesture that proved their long-term commitment to each other. No, I don't endorse this relationship, but I can still appreciate the romantic sentiments. It's always sweet to see a BL couple exchange wedding rings with each other. 😚
Dakaichi: I'm Being Harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year has a total of 13 episodes. Each episode is around 22 minutes long. Episode 12 feels more like the finale, while the last episode is a Christmas special. It is a long BL anime series, and you can finish the entire series in around 5 hours. Dakaichi started airing on October 5, 2018 and ended on December 28, 2018.
In addition, Dakaichi released a movie sequel on October 9, 2021, which continues the events from the anime series.
⭐ Best episode
Episode 7 is the best episode in Dakaichi. It's a flashback retrospective told through Junta's perspective, describing how he first met and fell in love with Takato. Was it just me or did it feel like they put more effort into this episode than usual? I don't know if I imagine an improvement in storytelling and artwork, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable episode.
This extended flashback has an excellent atmosphere, rich with sexual tension and a tiny dash of melancholy. Junta still oversteps personal boundaries in a few scenes, but I like how this episode doesn't rely on sex to convey the romantic connection.
Overall, Episode 7 feels elegant, well-crafted, and memorable. It comes at the perfect time after I was really annoyed by the events in Episode 6. This episode redeemed the series a bit for me, proving it has more sophistication than I thought.
😡 Most triggering episode
Honestly, the entire Dakaichi anime series is triggering due to the many glorified nonconsensual encounters. Takato comes incredibly close to being raped in Episode 1 and Episode 5. However, the most triggering episode is Episode 6, exploring the aftermath of the events in the previous evening.
Episode 6 begins with Takato waking up after he lost consciousness from last night. He's shocked to find himself in bed with Chihiro, both stripped naked. Takato is confused, terrified, and does not recall what happened between them. After discovering Takato and Chihiro spent the night together, Junta is furious. He confronts Takato in an aggressive and accusatory tone. Takato still doesn't remember the events, but insists that he wouldn't consent to having sex with Chihiro.
Junta's response is victim-blaming. Instead of comforting the clearly distressed Takato, Junta shames him for seducing other men. He accuses Takato of inflicting this trauma onto himself. "Look at yourself, any man would get turned on! That's why he was able to put his hands on you!" His harsh words almost bring Takato to tears.
This scene confirmed to me that Junta is UTTER TRASH. I thought he'd show some compassion to a sexual assault victim, but I shouldn't have expected any decency from this rape sympathizer. Worst of all, the anime doesn't condemn Junta's distorted views and continues to portray this scumbag as a lovestruck hero. By the end of the episode, Takato is the one who goes crawling back to Junta, pleading for him to accept his love. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! The whole episode left a sick taste in my mouth. 🤮
Dakaichi Movie Sequel
Dakaichi: Spain Arc 2021 movie sequel Movie review
Dakaichi released a movie sequel in 2021 called Dakaichi: Spain Arc. This 75-minute film continues the love story between Junta and Takato, who travel to Spain separately before reuniting. The story introduces new characters with flamboyant personalities. The supporting cast receives much focus, almost fighting for the spotlight with the leads. Junta also receives plenty of development as we learn more about his backstory and motivations. At the climax, Dakaichi: Spain Arc achieves several emotionally compelling moments.
I gave a higher review score to the Dakaichi movie than the series, but the quality difference isn't significant. The sequel doesn't redeem this franchise. It suffers from a thin plot, a disingenuous romance, and toxic tropes. Also, Dakaichi: Spain Arc continues glorifying sexual harassment in the story. It's committed to putting Takato in compromising positions where he must resist unwanted sexual advances. The movie is less offensive since it only has 75 minutes to do a limited amount of damage. Nonetheless, both the original and the sequel are problematic BL.