“Sasaki and Miyano Graduation is a sweet and heartfelt film. It’s a satisfying continuation of their story that also sets up for a potential second season. The Hirano and Kagiura short is also a sweet one, they deserves their own anime spin-off series too!”
After a successful first season last year, it was announced that Sasaki and Miyano would return with a film in 2023. Sasaki and Miyano: Graduation released in Japanese cinemas on February 17. It also included a Hirano and Kagiura short. Since then, international fans have been waiting for Crunchyroll to release the film on their streaming platform. The wait is over, Graduation is now streaming on Crunchyroll! Sasaki and Miyano is based on the manga of the same name by Shō Harusono. The film adapts the Graduation arc.
HIRANO & KAGIURA
The film starts with the Hirano and Kagiura short story. Hirano already had a secondary role in the first season but his room-mate Kagiura only appeared briefly. In the manga, the duo has their own spin-off. And with this short, it feels like they are trying to see if people would be interested in a spin-off series as well. I think the answer is clearly yes! Everyone loves these two.
Just like Sasaki and Miyano, the narration juggles between one character and the other. Kagiura is in love with Hirano while Hirano is holding back on how he feels. It’s a back and forth between the two. This is definitely a sweet short and we will be waiting for more!
For Sasaki and Miyano, the story picks up where we left off at the end of season one. The two characters are now dating and are adjusting to this new side of their relationship. The normal stuff hasn’t changed, they still act like before. In fact, before they started dating, they already looked like a lot like a couple. Except now, Sasaki is more touchy-feely. There are more kisses, more touching hands… The back and forth narration between Sasaki and Miyano allows the audience to fully understand how each character feel. It’s so interesting to see how both feel about what is going on.
The next step in their relationship is the coming out to their family. Miyano’s coming out to his mother is so adorable while Sasaki’s coming out to his sister is a bit more delicate but still ends up on a positive note. These are earnest scenes. I love how this film really explores the evolution of their relationship and how it impacts their life. I regret that it’s only one hour long, less if you count the Hirano and Kagiura short story.
Moreover, as the title indicates there’s a graduation in this film. Sasaki, Hirano, Hanzawa and their class are graduating from high school. This is a big moment for Sasaki but it also means this is the last moments he shares with his boyfriend being together in the same school. They made a lot of memories there throughout the first season and they are making some more in this film.
Graduation acts as a continuation of Sasaki and Miyano’s relationship while setting up their next chapter which is inevitably how the two will deal not going to the same school together any more. Even though, there has been no announcement for a second season, this is where the story is going. We just have to be patient. All in all, this is a sweet and heartfelt film.
Additionally, this film uses the same animation style from the series. Japanese are so lucky to have been able to see this one on the big screen. I wish Crunchyroll had gone the cinema path for international territories too. We need more diversity in what gets released in cinemas for anime. And a boy’s love like Sasaki and Miyano, that would have been great!
Sasaki and Miyano has its own visual identity with big eyes characters and some effects during sweet scenes or transitions. It also continues to feature cats especially the cat with one blue eye and one orange eye, which are exactly the colors of the title characters. Furthermore, the kisses and other sensual moments are filmed in a way that puts emphasis on how the characters feel at this time.
Once again, Kana Shibue returns as the music composer. She delivers another nice and cute score that fits perfectly with the slice of life tone of the story. She re-uses the themes from the series while bringing new tracks as well. Her music represents so well the relationship between Sasaki and Miyano. Miracle Chimpanzee also returns for the theme song. This one is called ‘MARCH.’ It’s in line with what the song they did in season one.
Sasaki and Miyano Graduation is a sweet and heartfelt film. It’s a satisfying continuation of their story that also sets up for a potential second season. The Hirano and Kagiura short is also a sweet one, they deserves their own anime spin-off series too!
The stills used in this review are still from season 1.
Sasaki and Miyano season 1 and Sasaki and Miyano: Graduation are now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert