“My Beautiful Man -eternal- is a touching and satisfying conclusion. Yusei Yagi and Riku Hagiwara have a wonderful on-screen chemistry and both deliver brilliant performances. Without any doubt, My Beautiful Man is the BL of the year.”
Earlier this year, the BL series My Beautiful Man (美しい彼 / Utsukushii Kare) returned with its second season. Internationally, it was released on Rakuten Viki and GagaOOLala. Season 2 was an excellent follow-up to the first season, further exploring the relationship between Hira and Kiyoi now that they are a couple. However, it was only 4 episodes, leaving fans wanting more. And there was more, after the season concluded, a sequel film My Beautiful Man -eternal- (劇場版 美しい彼〜eternal〜) was released in Japan on April 7th. I was able to see it during my trip to Japan in April. But, I was holding my review until an international release date was announced. Rakuten Viki and GagaOOLala have revealed that they will both stream the film starting October 6.
My Beautiful Man is adapted from the novels ‘He, Who Is Beautiful‘ by Nagira Yuu. Fans of this story have been really happy this year with all the content we got. Indeed, a special edit version of season 1 was released in cinemas in Japan on March 10 (the film is now available on blu-ray with season 2), a second season was released and a sequel film.
LOVE AND TROUBLE
My Beautiful Man -eternal- picks up after season 2. Hira Kazunari (Riku Hagiwara) has taken up the job of Noguchi Hiromi (Wada Soko)’s assistant while Kiyoi Sou (Yusei Yagi) makes some progress in his acting career. Everything is seemingly going well for Hira and Kiyoi. The film further explores their life as a couple, giving us more fun, tender and sensual moments between the two. It also expands on their work life that comes with its own challenges. Hiromi takes a more prominent role in this film after appearing in only one episode in season 2. He is rough around the edges but he is actually a nice character who acts as Hira’s mentor. The same way that Anna (Nimura Sawa) is a mentor and friend for Kiyoi.
But not everything is going well. Indeed, Hira begins to keep a distance not wanting to affect Kiyoi’s acting career, this deepens the gap between the two. Their relationship has been from the beginning a bumpy one. It’s a work in progress. Undoubtedly, they are happy together and they deeply love each other but they also find the way to hurt each other. They continue to do so in the film. It’s a deeply moving story.
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
And as the gap between them deepens, they are also slowly brought back together as the characters around them are connected in more ways than they thought. They end up gravitating around each other again. In fact, Hiromi ends up working with Anna for a photo shoot. Her mysterious lover is revealed. We also learn more about Anna’s strange fan Shitara Katsumi (Ochiai Motoki). There are many threads but everything is connected. It’s clever storytelling.
When everything comes together, the story takes a dramatic and unexpected turn. I was seriously on the edge of my seat in the cinema during the final act. But in the end, My Beautiful Man isn’t a tragedy, it is a touching story with a happy ending. And this is the best happy ending we could have wished for. This film really acts as the conclusion, giving closure to each character. All in all, it celebrates the love between Hira and Kiyoi and their hard work to achieve their goals. The film goes full circle.
Yusei Yagi and Riku Hagiwara continue to have a wonderful on-screen chemistry. They work so well together. Yusei Yagi who has already earned two awards for My Beautiful Man delivers another outstanding performance as Kiyoi. Not only, is he a great singer and dancer (he is a member of FANTASTICS from exile tribe), he is also one of the most talented actor of his generation. He knows exactly how to explore all the different sides of his character, expressing the love Kiyoi has for Hira but also expressing his struggles. He brings so much nuance to his performance. Kiyoi is a complex character who is struggling with his personal feelings but who most of all wants to be loved by the man he loves. And Yusei perfectly conveys this through his performance.
Additionally, Riku Hagiwara also delivers a brilliant performance as Hira. Hira is a character who has trouble to accept he is not actually at the bottom of the social pyramid and that he is a talented man. In the film, he evolves and what we see at the end of season 2 continues to evolve in the right direction. Hira learns to be more confident in himself. And Riku wonderfully showcases this evolution through his performance.
Moreover, the film returns to locations we have seen in the previous two seasons. The first one being Hira’s house, it has been the main set we see since the beginning. It’s a Japanese traditional house with a garden, a place that favours romance. We return to the high school and Kiyoi’s filming set. Noguchi’s house and studio was quickly featured in season 2 but now that Hira works as his assistant, the film features this place a lot more. Because it is a film, it has a bigger budget so it can explore more places. There are also scenes from season 1 that are used in the film but instead of just re-using these scenes, they shot them again. So it is like seeing them again in a new light.
Director Sakai Mai who had already worked on the series has kept the same visual aesthetic. She gives intimacy to her characters, getting the best out of her cast. The bathtub scene between Hira and Kiyoi is really intense in all the good ways. Mai’s has a filming style that feels like an indie style. She gives the focus to the characters.
Yoshitaka Fujimoto returns to compose the score. Once again, he has done a fantastic work. His music is so beautiful. He knows how to integrate synth in a way that works with the piano and other instruments. The main theme and Kiyoi’s theme that have been used since the beginning of the series are memorable. If you pay attention to these themes (especially the instrumental version of the main theme), it’s bit melancholic. Which, when you think about it, it mirrors Kiyoi and Hira bumpy relationship. They love each other but they had a lot to work on to get to a balanced relationship.
Fujimoto introduces a new theme with this film – ‘Beautiful World.’ And the final version we hear of this theme in the film has no hint of melancholy. It’s all joy. This is where their relationship is at the end of the film, they lived happily ever after.
My Beautiful Man -eternal- is a touching and satisfying conclusion. This film continues to explore Hira and Kiyoi’s relationship as they face their biggest challenge yet while also expanding on their respective struggles and successes at work. Yusei Yagi and Riku Hagiwara have a wonderful on-screen chemistry and both deliver brilliant performances. Without any doubt, My Beautiful Man is the BL of the year.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert