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Takuto Izumi, a high school soccer star, has a dark family secret-his mother's obsessive love for his father led to murder. Superstar idol singer Koji Nanjo has a terrible family background, with long-standing animosity between him and his eldest brother, and his middle sibling clinging to the elder. With their problems, the two should never even contemplate a relationship, but Koji has fancied Izumi since he first saw him; even when he finds out Izumi isn't, as he thought, a girl, he can't get him out of his mind. His obsessive love is the last thing Izumi needs, but as Koji pursues the relationship and Koji's friend Katsumi Shibuya becomes a friend to Izumi, too, love grows between the desperately needy pair despite Izumi's reluctance to accept it. It's tested by the hostility of Koji's family, which doesn't hesitate to threaten Izumi's chance of an international soccer career.
Bronze Cathexis (1994), a 33-minute "image" video concentrating on Koji, features five pop promos set to animation (as with Cipher) directed by some of the star directors of the Madhouse studio: Katsuyuki Kodera, Yoshiaki Kawajiri (who storyboarded Zetsuai), Koichi Chiaki, Toshio Hirata, and Rintaro.
A further video, Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989 (1996), directed by Yamazaki and designed by Kise, shows Izumi leaving for a soccer tour. When Koji doesn't show up to see him off, he gets worried and starts to wonder why. In fact, Koji has had a minor car accident, but as a result Izumi starts pondering over their whole relationship.
Based on the ongoing 1990 manga in Margaret by Minami Ozaki, Zetsuai is one of the greatest icons of shonen ai-gay erotica for a female audience. The video versions show only a tiny segment of the angst-ridden multicharacter story, and though there's not much explicit sex, there is a lot of blood-accidents and self-inflicted wounds abound. Koji and Izumi have become shonen ai's Romeo and Juliet, and a similarly tragic ending probably awaits. "Everlasting Love" is Ozaki's preferred English title, either through deliberate irony or simply poor translation. NV