Junjou Romantica: Pure Romance(純情ロマンチカ/ピュア ロマンス,Junjō Romanchika?, lit. "Pure-Hearted Romantica"), stylized as Junjou Romantica ~Pure Romance~, is a yaoi series by Shungiku Nakamura. It focuses on three storylines; the main couple, which comprises the bulk of the books, and two other male couples that provide ongoing side stories (Junjo Egoist and Junjo Terrorist). It has expanded into several cd-dramas, a manga series running in Asuka Ciel, a light novel series titled "Junai Romantica" running in The Ruby magazine and a 24-episode anime series.
Shungiku Nakamura has written a spin-off to Junjou Romantica (mentioned above), titled Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi (lit. The Best First Love in the World) focusing on a shōjo manga editor and his first love, which was also animated by Studio Deen in 2011.
Misaki Takahashi(高橋 美咲,Takahashi Misaki?) (Uke of the Romantica couple) is the 18-year-old (19 in episode 8 of Junjo Romantica) little brother of Takahiro. At the start of the series, Misaki is about to sit for his college entrance examinations. His dream is to go to Mitsuhashi University since that was the college his brother turned down so that he could begin taking care of Misaki after their parents died. Although seemingly childish and brash, Misaki is later revealed to be a person who is simply adamant on insisting against doing anything that might be troublesome for anyone else. This is due to the fact that he still blames himself for his parents' death (believing that if he had not asked them to hurry home, they would not have sped in the rain and crashed). Misaki and Usami eventually begin a relationship together which puzzles Misaki, who is not outwardly confident about his feelings towards the older man because of his narrow view of a typical relationship. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai
Akihiko Usami(宇佐見 秋彦,Usami Akihiko?) (Seme of the Romantica couple) is a 28-year-old popular author of fiction and erotic BL (Boys' Love) novels, and the youngest recipient of the distinguished Naomori Award. His nickname is "Usagi", which means "rabbit" in Japanese. Usagi is Misaki's tutor for the upcoming entrance exams, and a very close friend of Takahiro (he, in fact, harbored an unrequited love for Takahiro for a long time). He and Hiroki were childhood friends. Shortly after meeting Misaki, he finds that Takahiro has gotten engaged. Seeing how upset this makes Misaki on Usagi's behalf, Usagi realizes that he loves the younger boy and the two become lovers. He makes a cameo appearance in the first episode of the anime adapted Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi. He is henceforth mentioned a few times as the central character was once his editor. In the anime adaptation, Misaki doesn't know that Usagi had a relationship with the other professor Hiroki Kamijou, Usagi is voiced by Hikaru Hanada.
Haruhiko Usami(宇佐見 春彦,Usami Haruhiko?) is Akihiko's 30-year-old half brother (they have different mothers). He is generally cold and disapproving towards his brother, though no one really knows why. After a brief appearance by him in the middle of the series he begins proclaiming that he 'loves' Misaki, but that was only after he found out how close he and Usagi were. When he begins sending Misaki flowers and saying that he would take Misaki as his own, Usagi claims that Haruhiko was "always trying to take [his] things." In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi while his childself is voiced by Rina Sato.
Takahiro Takahashi(高橋 孝浩,Takahashi Takahiro?) is Misaki's 28-year-old brother, and Akihiko's long-time friend. He was the subject of Akihiko's love interest for a long time, but never noticed Akihiko's feelings due to him being naive. He is extremely caring towards his brother, even dropping out of school to support Misaki's studies after their parents died. Early in the series, he engages and marries Kajiwara Manami. They soon move to Osaka due to his job. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kishō Taniyama.
Hiroki Kamijō(上條 弘樹,Kamijō Hiroki?) (Uke of the Egoist couple) in the anime, he is 29 years-old and a long-time friend of Akihiko's, who is an associate professor at the college Misaki studies at. He is a bit of a loner and is extremely passionate about classical Japanese literature, apparently having graduated at the top of his class. Hiroki initially loved Akihiko, his childhood friend. He took advantage of Akihiko's unrequited love for Takahiro, convincing him to wear a blindfold and pretend Hiroki was Takahiro. Hiroki hoped that once Akihiko was intimate with him, his feelings would change. Hiroki soon comes to realize he could never be with Akihiko so long as he is in love with Takahiro. He sympathizes with Akihiko however, since just as Akihiko pines for Takahiro, he too pines for Akihiko. He is an example of the tsundere character archetype: he has a bad temper and is feared among his students, though he is actually shy and gets flustered easily. He is often called "Devil Kamijou" by the students. Misaki makes reference to his 'difficult Japanese literature professor' later on while on a date with Akihiko. Hiroki has now fallen in love and is in a relationship with Nowaki, who calls him Hiro-san. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kentarō Itō while his childself is voiced by Eri Kitamura.
Nowaki Kusama(草間 野分,Kusama Nowaki?) (Seme of the Egoist couple) was orphaned without a name as an infant, he was named "Nowaki" ("typhoon" in Japanese) by the head of the orphanage because he was found in a heavy rain storm. Elders call him "Wacchan". 6 years previous to the main story, Nowaki first comes across Hiroki when he finds Hiroki crying about his fruitless relationship with Akihiko, and goes on to insist that Hiroki become his tutor. Originally studying to become a social worker, he changes his mind and is currently in training to become a pediatrician. Nowaki is very kind, understanding, and patient, and shows these traits most when around Hiroki. Nowaki is 4 years younger than Hiroki, leading to a desire to quickly catch up to him (mostly career-wise) so the two can stand on equal ground. He shows unrelenting devotion and love for Hiroki, never giving up on them even when Hiroki seems oblivious to it. Despite his age, Nowaki is actually much taller than Hiroki, a fact that initially irritated the older Hiroki. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Nobutoshi Canna while his childself is voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi.
Yō Miyagi(宮城 庸,Miyagi Yō?) (Seme of the Terrorist couple) in the anime, he is 35 years old and a literature professor at Mitsuhashi University and a co-worker of Kamijo Hiroki. He was once married, but is now divorced most likely due to his indifference to feelings and emotions. His love interest is Takatsuki Shinobu, his young ex-brother-in-law. Miyagi is often playful when it comes to teasing Hiroki, though his true character is far more serious due to an event from his past. He once tried to kiss Hiroki but was stopped at the last minute by Nowaki. Nevertheless, he seems to be supportive of Hiroki's relationship with Nowaki. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kazuhiko Inoue.
Shinobu Takatsuki(高槻 忍,Takatsuki Shinobu?) (Uke of the Terrorist couple) is an 18-year-old high school student (and the son of Mitsuhashi University's dean of literature and of Miyagi's boss) who believes it to be fate that he is in love with his ex-brother-in-law, Miyagi Yo. He would very much like Miyagi to take responsibility for Shinobu falling in love with him. He is often blunt and unreasonable, though he is shown to have a softer side. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Daisuke Kishio.
Keiichi Sumi(角 圭一,Sumi Keiichi?) is a senior college student at Mitsuhashi University and Misaki's friend. He is very mysterious and it is hard to tell whether he is serious or not, though he is not a bad person. He is the son of famous novelist Ryouichi Sumi. Keiichi is also a member of the university's Onsen Research Group, ORG, which have been known for generations as makers of Japan's most terrifying haunted house. He is first introduced trying to lure Misaki away from Usagi, fuelling Usagi to intervene. Afterwards, both Usagi and Misaki admit that they love one another. He frequently creates problems for the two, suggesting to Misaki at one point, that there might be something between Usagi and Aikawa because she had a key to his apartment. He has later stated that he was merely using Misaki to get closer to his true object of affections, Usagi. Despite this the two remain close friends afterwords, showing that he does care for Misaki. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Isshin Chiba.
Ryūichirō Isaka(井坂 龍一郎,Isaka Ryūichirō?) (Uke of the Mistake couple) is the senior managing director of Marukawa Publishing, and Haruhiko's childhood friend. He is 32 years old in the main time line. He and his assistant Asahina are the main characters of the short comics released with the DVDs, Junjou Mistake. Junjou Mistake takes place ten years before the main Romantica storyline. Isaka aspired to be a novelist, but his real talents lay in finding future best-sellers. In the anime adaptation, he first appears interrupting Usami and Misaki while they are on a date. He is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa.
Kaoru Asahina(朝比奈 薫,Asahina Kaoru?) (Seme of the Mistake couple) is Ryūichiro's assistant, and came to work for the Isaka family when they helped the Asahina's out of a bad situation. Originally intended to be Isaka's playmate, he ended up becoming something more of a caretaker. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu.
Eri Aikawa(相川 絵理,Aikawa Eri?) is Usagi's editor, as well as friend to both him and Misaki. She is roughly the same age as Usagi and is constantly pushing him to finish his work on time. On the outside she seems like a very nice mannered person, but when Usagi does not hand in his manuscripts on time she is famous for freaking out and even, on one occasion, attacking him. In the anime adaptation, she is voiced by Noriko Namiki.
Fuyuhiko Usami(宇佐見 冬彦,Usami Fuyuhiko?) is the father of Akihiko and Haruhiko and uncle of Kaoruko. He loves both of his sons equally and wants what's best for them, however, he can become quite ruthless in his need to accomplish that. Like his youngest son, Akihiko, he is very fond of bears and enjoys the art of woodcarving. He owns a successful business and is often seen carrying rubber ducks. It is briefly mentioned by Akihiko that Fuyuhiko was adopted. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Jūrōta Kosugi.
Kaoruko Usami(宇佐見 薫子,Usami Kaoruko?) is Akihiko's cousin on his mother's side (though she has the same last name as Akihiko's father. Akihiko did mention once that his father was adopted so it's possible that Akihiko's mother is a blood relative of the Usami family, including Kaoruko Usami). She is 20 years old and came to Japan because she heard that her parents had fallen ill, but really it was a trick by her uncle Fuyuhiko to get her to come back and marry Haruhiko in order to separate him from Misaki. As time progresses in the story, Kaoruko claims to love Misaki as she has the "same taste" as Usagi. She wants to be a pâtissier (pastry chef). In the anime adaptation, she is voiced by Mizuki Nana.
Mizuki Shiiba(椎葉 水樹,Shiiba Mizuki?) is Akihiko's 25-year-old cousin from his father's side of the family. He has returned from America to visit Akihiko, freeloading in his apartment. While he is very attached to Akihiko, he comes off as quite cold to Misaki. It turns out that the reason he's so cold to Misaki is that he has feelings for Kaoruko.
Shinnosuke Tōdō(藤堂 進之介,Tōdō Shinnosuke?) is Misaki's friend and classmate. He is attending Mitsuhashi University as a law student with aspirations of becoming a police officer in the future. He is also a member of the Kendo club. He met Misaki when he picked up The☆Kan phone strap that Misaki dropped. The two easily bonded over their shared love of The☆Kan manga. (only appears in the manga)
Kyō Ijuuin(伊集院 響,Ijuuin Kyō?) is the creator of Misaki's favorite manga, The☆Kan. Whenever the deadline for his next manga installment is near, he becomes incredibly pessimistic. According to Isaka, it is disputed whether The☆Kan is in 1st or 2nd place in sales for the Marukawa Publishing Company. Misaki first met him at the Marukawa Publishing Company when Kyō is in one of his pre-deadline funks. Misaki gives him the motivation to continue by telling him how much his work means to him. Later on, Misaki is selected in a lottery to meet him once again for an autograph signing. Kyō's a bachelor, and when he's cleaned up he's a considerably attractive man. The majority of his fans are women. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Hozumi Gōda.
Shinoda(篠田,Shinoda?) is a real estate agent who met Hiroki while trying to get him into a real estate contract. He and Hiroki had a short romantic relationship while Hiroki was dealing with his feelings for Akihiko. He appears very briefly and only in the manga.
Tanaka(田中,Tanaka?) is the Usami household butler, often mistakenly called 'Sebastian' by Misaki. (A joke based on the Japanese pop-culture stereotype of "Sebastian" as a typical butler name.) In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kenta Miyake.
Shizuko Ishi is the new editor of Ijuuin-sensei. Taking the place of Kirishima Zen, Ijuuin-sensei's previous editor
Written by Shungiku Nakamura, Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance began serialization in Asuka Ciel in 2002. The individual chapters have been compiled into fifteen tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten. The first volume was released on June 2, 2003; as of May 1, 2012, 15 volumes have been released.
The series was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Blu Manga, an imprint of Tokyopop, until Tokyopop's closure in May 2011. As of April 2011, 12 English volumes have been released. An attempt to gauge relative sales of manga titles by online vendors (based on publicly available "bestseller" listings) suggests that Junjo Romantica was the best-selling yaoimanga series of 2008 among online vendors. Volume 10 was #6 in the manga category of the New York Times "Graphic Books" weekly bestseller list for July 11, 2009, and volume 12 was #4 on the same list for September 10, 2010.
Studio Deen produced an anime adaptation based around the manga series. Premiering in Japan on TV Hokkaido on April 10, 2008, the series' first season ran for twelve episodes until its conclusion on June 26, 2008. A second season premiered on the same channel on October 12, 2008, it also ended after twelve episodes. On March 28, 2012, a new anime adaptation of Junjo Romantica was announced to be in the works, which has been revealed as an OVA to be released with the limited edition Volume 16 on December 20, 2012. On August 29, 2013, it was been announced that more anime for the series is in production.
The anime series is licensed for release in North America by Kadokawa Pictures USA; Season 1 was released on May 4, 2010. The series has not been dubbed for English audiences, but released in Japanese with English subtitles. Per their website, they may be releasing the series under the name "Romantica: Pure Love". Anime OVA in bundled with volume 16 is released on December 20, 2012.
Junjo Romantica became the first yaoi (boys' love) title to enter the New York Times Manga Best Seller list when it debuted in week 28. According to Oricon and DVD sales data from Animesuki, the first DVD for the Junjō Romantica anime adaptation was released on July 25, 2008 and it became a hit, selling 8,406 copies in its first week. It is currently the fourth best selling debut DVD for an anime series of 2008, just after Gundam 00, Macross Frontier and Aria the Origination. It continued to dwell on the Oricon anime DVD charts for the second week charting on the top 5 with total sales for the first DVD at 10,986 copies. With those sales, it is currently ranked at number 1 for the shōjo category on DVD sales for the year 2008. According to Oricon sales for the past 5 years, it is the best selling BL (Boys Love) anime so far and has performed the best on the charts.
The second season's DVD sales have performed extremely well as well, selling an average of 7,000 to 8,000 copies which makes it one of the most profitable anime series of the year. It is constantly ranked very high on Amazon Japan for the DVD category as well. Fan reviews and the responses were amazing.