Partner's Territory is a short slice-of-life Korean BL anime. The first episode is a quick prologue that describes a critical moment in a gay couple's relationship. The second episode is an extended epilogue, highlighting the happy domestic life between the main characters. These two romantic partners live together, enjoy passionate encounters, and even adopt a dog.
Loosely adapted from a webtoon, Partner's Territory has a relaxing vibe with plenty of affectionate encounters between the couple. Unfortunately, it feels like an incomplete story, where we only see the beginning and the end of a romance. This slice-of-life anime is ultimately too short, simple, and inconsequential to make a lasting impression.
Partner's Territory Summary
2 (prologue + epilogue)
Around 13 minutes
Cute and sweet
Yes, Partner's Territory has a BL romance.
Partner's Territory has two episodes. The first episode is called "Prologue". It introduces Chuck and Yije, who have dated for a decade. They dated since high school, breaking up multiple times before getting back together again.
Currently in his early thirties, Chuck faces tremendous pressure from his family to marry a woman. He feels unhappy and stressed. Chuck comes up with a plan to find a beard, marry her, and get a divorce shortly afterwards. He believes this false marriage will alleviate the expectations of his family. His boyfriend Yije supports his decision.
The second episode jumps forward in time, showcasing the couple at a happier moment in their relationship. There is no mention of marriage or divorce. Instead, Chuck gives Yije a tour of his lavish home. The couple plans to live here temporarily until they find a permanent house to call home. Chuck and Yije enjoy plenty of steamy encounters after moving in together. They also plan to adopt a dog.
Partner's Territory Cast
Chuck Kwon Sung-hyuk (권성혁)
Chuck is a wealthy man in his early thirties. He is currently in a relationship with Yije. Chuck faces tremendous pressure from his family to get married. He devises a plan to marry his beard before getting a divorce. Chuck hopes this arrangement will relieve the expectations of his family.
Yije Oh Min-hyuk (오민혁)
Yije is Chuck's supportive boyfriend. They are high school sweethearts who have dated for over a decade, although it's an on-and-off relationship. Yije begins living with Chuck in his lavish home, impressed by his boyfriend's affluence. Yije is fond of animals and wants to adopt a dog.
Partner's Territory Review
Anime Review Score: 6.4
Partner's Territory feels like an overlooked gem, not widely discussed outside South Korea. I couldn't find much information and had to dig deeply into researching the background. If I understand correctly, the original novel was about a man who enters a contract marriage to hide his gay relationship. Then, the story got adapted into a lengthy Korean webtoon. Later, the illustrator took a small section and made this short animation video singlehandedly.
The Partner's Territory anime is impressive for a solo effort. Drawing, colouring, and animating every frame of a thirteen-minute series by yourself is a herculean undertaking. I'm in awe of the time, effort, expertise, and commitment required to bring this vibrant BL tale to life. Best of all, the storyteller celebrates passion and affection openly. Partner's Territory isn't shy about displaying romantic moments between the couple, including several encounters that get racy and raunchy.
Undeniably, Partner's Territory runs into some limitations as a one-person project. The visuals don't always look smooth, cutting corners with the plain backgrounds or the stiff animations. While the characters look pretty, this raw anime lacks polish compared to a professional production. It should be noted that the artwork improves over time. As the series progresses, the backgrounds become more vivid and the imagery shows refinement. You can tell the illustrator develops confidence animating the work, which results in a higher degree of creative expression.
Partner's Territory suffers because it isn't a full-fledged story. This partial retelling covers a limited scope of the source material, unable to build an overarching narrative. The audience wants a cohesive journey that flows from start to finish, whereas this anime offers disjointed relationship moments. You get almost no context to the characters with vague backstories and superficial personalities. There's virtually zero plot other than having sex and adopting a dog. The minimal content isn't enough to feel satisfying, not even for the casual slice-of-life genre.
Despite the mundane storyline, I appreciate the anime for depicting the sweet domestic bliss between two boyfriends. Chuck and Yije seem happily in love. Their interactions convey warmth, tenderness, and a commitment to a long-term relationship. Adopting a pet emphasizes the theme of settling down with your partner, painting a bright future for the characters. Maybe I'm a sucker for sentimentality, but I like seeing this picturesque portrayal of a gay couple. The generous amounts of fanservice are a bonus, solidifying my enjoyment of Partner's Territory.
Ultimately, I wish the anime showed more nuance beyond a cute and cozy romance. Give me an actual plot instead of this lightweight slice-of-life teaser. While I understand the difficulties of remaking the original story in its entirety, the current adaptation is too bare and simplistic. I need more complexity, more drama, more character development, and more of everything. Overall, Partner's Territory is an admirable passion project from an ambitious individual. Yet, the series lacks significance and doesn't leave a lasting impression.
Partner's Territory barely has any plot besides the characters having sex and adopting an animal. You don't get much insight into the characters, personalities, or backstories.
The anime portrays a physically affectionate and emotionally tender romance between two boyfriends. Their sweet domestic bliss is enjoyable to watch, accentuated by plenty of fanservice.
Although the character designs look pretty, the backgrounds are unpolished and the animations move stiffly. The artwork improves over time, becoming more detailed and vivid towards the end.
Partner's Territory has a heartwarming ending that reaffirms the theme of settling down with your loved one. Chuck gives a sweet monologue that wraps up the story thoughtfully.
This anime has a soft, pleasant aesthetic and can look really pretty in several moments. It gets bonus points for being drawn, coloured, and animated singlehandedly.
Partner's Territory is an overlooked indie gem that deserves more recognition. Yet, the simplistic story is bare and incomplete, making this series feel insubstantial.
Partner's Territory Episodes
Partner's Territory consists of two parts. The first episode is called "Prologue", introducing the characters and their romance. It was released on May 29, 2019. The second episode is called "Epilogue", describing the couple's blissful domestic life some time later. It was released on December 15, 2019.
The two episodes add up to approximately 13 minutes. The same series was also released as twelve separate episodes without the adult content, likely to avoid the age-restricted censorship from YouTube.
Prologue Around 2 minutes Prologue YouTube
The first episode is called "Prologue".
This episode introduces the main characters, Chuck and Yije. Chuck is stressed because his family pressures him into getting married. He discusses his plans to enter a contract marriage with a woman.
The idea is supported by his boyfriend Yije, who recalls their on-and-off relationship over the years. During a flashback, we see the couple share a passionate kiss in the alley as snow falls on their faces.
Epilogue Around 11 minutes Epilogue YouTube
The second episode is called "Epilogue".
This episode takes place at an indiscernible time after the prologue. It doesn't address the drama from the previous episode. Instead, the plot focuses on the blissful domestic life between Chuck and Yije.
The couple has moved into Chuck's lavish house. They have plenty of steamy encounters and plan to adopt a dog together. However, the stray dog is mischievous and prefers Yije over Chuck.