Umibe no Étranger (Seaside Stranger) Movie Review - What Are You Staring At?

What Are You Staring At?

  • Movie : 59 minutes
  • Genre : Slice of Life, Drama, Shounen Ai, Romance
  • Airing Date : September 11, 2020
  • Producers : Shochiku, Half H.P Studio

Contains Spoilers

Umibe no Étranger (Seaside Stranger) Introduction and Story

Shun always wanted to be a writer. After finishing high school, he starts working at his grandmother’s inn to save some money and, during the night, he focuses on his passion. He is busy enough as it is, so he doesn’t have time to think about love… until he notices a young boy who’s always sitting on a bench near the inn. Curiosity gets the best of Shun and he decides to approach the student, but things don’t go very well. The boy, named Mio, yells at Shun and tells him that it’s creepy how he’s always watching him. Hurt and embarrassed, Shun goes back to the inn and asks his grandma about this stranger.

Mio is living alone ever since his mother passed away, with no one to look after him. With this new information, Shun goes after Mio the following night and offers him some food, which he hesitantly accepts. The next day, Mio shows up at the inn and apologizes to Shun for calling him creepy. From that moment on, they start spending more time together, with Mio coming frequently to the inn to share dinner with them. Unfortunately, this dynamic comes to an abrupt end when Mio decides to move to the mainland to finish high school; Shun stays behind with the promise to wait for him.

Three years later, Shun is expecting a new part-time worker to show up at the inn when Mio calls out his name. He is the new employee! And what’s more, he immediately confesses his feelings to Shun. Shocked by the sudden confession, Shun spends the next few days trying to avoid Mio, not ready to give him an answer. Of course, it’s hard for Mio to wait around and he finally explodes, letting Shun know how selfish he’s being and running away. Shun goes after him and confesses his feelings too, followed by a passionate kiss. These two spend some quiet days together until a woman from Shun’s past shows up on the island. She wants him to go back to Okinawa because his father is sick and, even though Shun refuses in the beginning, at the end of the film he decides to go back and asks Mio to go with him.

Why You Should Watch Umibe no Étranger (Seaside Stranger)

1. An Accepting Family

When Shun’s parents find out he likes men, they’re not very pleased. His mom is in denial and his dad is furious, so Shun is asked to leave the house. Luckily, he stumbles upon grandma’s place, a sweet lady who accepts Shun for who he is. At the inn, Shun starts his own family, with Eri, Suzu, and grandma, who all know he likes men and doesn’t judge him for that.

2. Character Development

The characters from Umibe no Étranger, unlike some from other BL films, have depth. Mio starts the film being a gloomy teen who doesn’t say a lot, but then he develops into a young man with a bright smile who’s not afraid to go after what he wants. On the other hand, Shun takes a bit longer to change, but by the end of the film, he’s ready to embrace his true self and let himself love Mio with all of his heart.

3. The Unexpected Seme

Whenever we watch a BL film, we immediately guess who the seme will be. Judging by age and appearance, Shun should be the seme of this story, right? Well, think again! When the time comes for these two to share a bed, Shun tells Mio to put it in. Though a bit surprised at first, Mio ends up being the one on top. Bet you didn’t see that one coming!

Why You Should Skip Umibe no Étranger (Seaside Stranger)

1. Shun Takes His Sweet Time

Although Shun knows he likes Mio, he takes his time to finally accept Mio’s confession and start going out with him. It drives us crazy to see Shun push Mio around like that, testing his patience. Yes, they end up together in the end, but Shun takes his sweet time to come to terms with his feelings, and that's a bit annoying, to say the least.

2. Relationship Moves Too Fast and Then Too Slow

The relationship between Shun and Mio is really sweet, but it’s also inconsistent. Before Mio leaves the island, he gets pretty close to Shun and they even hold hands, but after he comes back, it’s back to square one. All the progress is suddenly forgotten and they have to build trust again. Fortunately, it doesn’t take that long for them to do more than holding hands innocently, but still. Prepare for some drama!

3. The Film Continually Teases Us

If you’re impatient and want the hot stuff to happen right away, then this movie is not for you. Shun and Mio kiss a lot throughout the story, but it’s not until the end of the film that they finally have sex. Before that, it’s all about teasing us… and Mio. There’s always this situation where they start kissing and, right when the good part is about to happen, Shun backs away. Just get naked already!

Final Thoughts

Umibe no Étranger is a BL film that fujoshis were looking forward to because of its simple yet charming story. It’s well-paced for a short film and it manages to capture the personalities of all of the characters that show up. Yes, its running time might be short, but the smile after watching this film is guaranteed to last a while.

The movie debuted 6 months ago, and we all hated the news about the DVD and Blu-ray being delayed… but it’s finally available! Have you seen Umibe no Étranger already? Let us know your opinions in the comment section!

umibe-no-etranger-poster Umibe no Étranger (Seaside Stranger) Movie Review - What Are You Staring At?

Author: Yaz L.

Hey, there! I'm a soon-to-be marine biologist who just happens to love video games, dream pop music, and BL/yaoi stuff. When I was a kid, I lived in Colombia for 3 years and now I'm a sucker for hot chocolate with cheese. My favorite treat while watching anime!

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