Shimbashi Koi Story 3 is the third season of the Japanese BL series. This sequel continues the story of a couple who met at a bear bar. The main character maintains a long-distance relationship with his boyfriend, who has moved overseas for work. He grows worried when communication suddenly ceases. During the absence, the protagonist befriends a new patron at the bar. Feelings become complicated, especially after his missing lover returns.
The final installment of the Shimbashi Koi Story trilogy takes a dramatic turn. Compared to the past two seasons, this series has a more nuanced narrative with intricate emotions. The sad relationship drama includes plenty of poignant exchanges and heartbreaking turmoil. However, the series lacks romantic content besides the annoying love triangles. The leads also behave unsympathetically to the extent that I root against them.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 Summary
Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Sad and emotional
Around 20 to 30 minutes
Jun-nosuke, also known as Junos, is in a long-distance relationship with Tatsuya. The couple met at a bear bar, where they fell in love and began dating. They have been boyfriends for several years. A while ago, Tatsuya's company transferred him to work overseas in China. He accepted the new position. Despite living in different countries, Jun-nosuke and Tatsuya try to maintain regular communication.
Six months ago, Junos suddenly lost contact with his boyfriend. He hasn't heard from Tatsuya since then. Tatsuya's phone number doesn't work anymore. Junos becomes concerned about his lover's missing whereabouts. He meets with his friend, Kotetsu, to express his concerns. Finally, Junos receives an update from Tatsuya's older brother. Tatsuya is safe, but he has quit his job and refuses to reveal more information.
Junos is relieved to hear about Tatsuya's safety. Regardless of what happened, he hopes his boyfriend returns to him soon. During his absence, Junos has befriended Shinji, a new patron at the bar. They get along well and even start meeting during their free time. Kotetsu has noticed their growing bond and wonders if there may be more to their friendship. Yet, Junos insists he will wait for Tatsuya.
Meanwhile, Shota and Ryotaro are friends who hang out at the same bar as Junos and Kotetsu. They are all friendly with each other. Shota used to have feelings for Tatsuya, but his love confession was rejected. Since then, Shota has gotten over his heartbreak. Lately, he starts flirting with Hiromasa, a restaurant chef. Shota insists they have a romantic spark. He and Ryotaro visit the diner frequently, hoping for an opportunity to advance this potential relationship.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 Cast
Jun-nosuke, also known as Junos, is Tatsuya's boyfriend. They have been dating for several years. The couple maintained a long-distance relationship after Tatsuya relocated overseas for work. Junos becomes concerned when he loses contact with his lover six months ago. Junos is friends with Kotetsu and Shinji. They frequently meet at the bear bar for drinks.
Tatsuya is Jun-nosuke's boyfriend. They have dated for several years. A while ago, Tatsuya accepted a job transfer to work overseas in China. He maintains a long-distance relationship with Junos, keeping in touch via phone conversations. However, Tatsuya suddenly ceased communications six months ago. He only contacts his older brother to report his safety. Junos doesn't know what happened to his lover.
Shimbashi Koi Story Review
Drama Review Score: 5.9
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 begins with a strange disappearance. The protagonist's boyfriend has gone missing without any explanation, a plot development that surprises me. Based on the past two seasons, most storylines involved mundane relationship drama. I didn't expect to solve a mystery during the third installment of this trilogy. Despite straying into a random genre, I welcome this adventurous change. The Shimbashi Koi Story sequel tries something new to break the monotony of the old narrative.
The amateurish storyteller presents the mystery sloppily, overlooking critical details. If your loved one went missing for six months, you'd take more proactive measures than venting to your friends at a bar. Even so, I disregard the blatant plot holes and focus on solving the case of the absent boyfriend. My theory is that Tatsuya stayed in hiding due to a terminal illness! Tatsuya eventually returns, but I feel underwhelmed after hearing his explanation. The reasoning behind his prolonged disappearance doesn't seem satisfying.
Tatsuya's storyline may be more convincing if we saw what happened to him. This central plot needs flashbacks to depict the events and clarify the details. Instead, it relies on flimsy dialogue that conveys little context. Tatsuya has sympathetic circumstances for his disappearance. Nonetheless, he should have contacted his boyfriend earlier. Tatsuya and Junos were in a committed relationship for several years. Not communicating with your partner about your livelihood seems irresponsible, inconsiderate, and cruel. Junos deserves better treatment.
After hearing Tatsuya's justification, I don't believe he should reunite with his boyfriend. I wish him well, but he's an unsuitable partner for Junos. Maybe I'd change my mind if the story redeems Tatsuya's character persuasively. Instead, many overwrought scenes dwell on gloom, agony, and indecisiveness. Tatsuya and Junos almost become the villains as they stomp on everyone's feelings. The couple's selfish behaviour makes me root against them. Their forced reconciliation also seems inevitable, making the constant drama and tiresome conflicts unnecessary.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 displays several improvements. Despite the annoying melodrama, the story is more sophisticated than previous seasons. I appreciate the attempts at ambitious plots. The past two series have flat narratives, whereas this sequel occasionally delivers poignant moments. Likewise, the writing is sharper. I smile at a few funny jokes and witty lines in the conversations. Furthermore, I appreciate the diverse filming locations, taking the characters out of the bar. The production team uses their accumulated experience to create a presentable BL drama.
Yet, Shimbashi Koi Story 3 still suffers from many of the same shortcomings. The actors remain stiff and deliver lines unnaturally. There's also a lack of romantic content. The series focuses too much on relationship feuds and not enough on sweet moments. The secondary couple shows some promise, but they disappoint me in the finale. Worst of all, every storyline revolves around love triangles, one way or another. Shimbashi Koi Story perpetuates an endless cycle of aggravating rivals for the past three seasons. Sadly, this tedious BL drama has little imagination to offer.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 attempts an ambitious plot about a mysterious disappearance, but the explanation is unsatisfying. The constant relationship drama and love triangles irritate me.
After Tatsuya's disappearance, he isn't a suitable partner for Junos. Their inevitable romantic reunion feels forced. Both leads behave selfishly and indecisively, making me root against the couple.
Like before, these amateur actors appear stiff and deliver lines unnaturally. Despite a few teary-eyed performances, my opinion of the cast's abilities remains unfavourable.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 has a happy ending where Tatsuya returns and reconciles with Junos. However, the couple hurts many people to be together, leaving a trail of broken hearts.
The production team uses their accumulated experience to create a presentable BL drama. I appreciate the increased diversity in filming locations. The new soundtrack is also splendid!
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 shows some improvements compared to past seasons. Yet, it still suffers from annoying conflicts, tedious love triangles, and a lack of compelling romantic content.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 Episodes
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 has a total of 4 episodes. Each episode is around 20 to 30 minutes long. The last episode is around 30 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire season in under 2 hours.
Shimbashi Koi Story 3 is a sequel. The predecessor contains four episodes. Its first season started on October 23, 2022 and finished on November 2, 2022.
Tatsuya's mysterious disappearance is an unexpected plot. I wonder what happened to him? My guess is he wants to hide a terminal illness. OMG, Tatsuya appears at the end of the episode!
I laughed at Kotetsu's remark about being close in age to those guys. While I sympathize with Tatsuya's mental health struggles, I hate how he cut ties with Junos. He ditched his boyfriend for another man.
I despise Tatsuya's indecisiveness and dread his inevitable reunion with Junos. These love triangles are a waste of time. The secondary pair seems promising. I hope they get together in the finale!
I'm rooting AGAINST Tatsuya & Junos. This couple has hurt others in a trail of broken hearts. I'm also annoyed Shota & Ryotaro don't end up together. Staring at the moon is overdone in this drama.
Shimbashi Koi Story (2022)
Shimbashi Koi Story began as a four-episode drama that launched in October 2022. The first season lasts around 1 hour. It introduces the lead characters, Tatsuya and Jun-nosuke. They meet as patrons at a gay bar. You should watch Season 1 before beginning Season 2 or Season 3.
From the beginning, Shimbashi Koi Story had a touch of melancholy in its narrative. However, the first season is lighter than its sequels. The series features a generic plot about the two leads meeting and falling in love. Although the storyline isn't innovative, there's a novelty since the actors differ from the usual young hunky leads. Unfortunately, the inexperienced actors appear nervous on screen. The amateurish writing also leaves a lot to desire.
Shimbashi Koi Story 2 (2022)
After the first season, Shimbashi Koi Story released a follow-up in November 2022. It is around one hour long. The sequel continues after the first season, but there is a time skip of two years. The lead characters are still dating and have moved in together. However, their relationship struggles when two new love rivals arrive. You should watch Season 1 and Season 2 before starting the third season.
The second season of Shimbashi Koi Story indulges in too much love triangle drama. The new rivals arrive with the sole intention of breaking up the lead couple and stealing someone else's boyfriend. Shota irritated me in Season 2, whereas he's more likeable in the next season. The annoying relationship conflicts drag down my opinion of Shimbashi Koi Story 2. In addition, the acting and writing haven't significantly improved. Everything about this series still feels bland and generic.