berserk wrote:Unfortunately, society nowadays is so homophobic that people regard any form of physical affection between guys as being gay.
There's nothing homophobic about it - quite the opposite, really. I'm very attracted to gay men and I love, love, love yaoi fanfics and I'd actually prefer it A LOT if there was no female cast in dramas and every drama was about two hot guys together.
Besides, affections between two men is just not part of our culture, really. Men are expected and told not to caress and kiss each other or to sit on each other's lap (and I know many wouldn't even want to even if it was a more normal sight) and most people abide by it, so it's only natural to wonder about the reasons when you do see people acting against this unwritten law. I don't think it's homophobic, just a natural surprising response to a sight that most of us weren't raised with.
I think nobody can argue against the fact that there is shounen-ai subtext
in the drama, especially in the beach scene and a few other scenes earlier on where Akira actually sits on Shuji's laps and caresses him and a few of Shuji's reactions towards girls. That's actually very similar to many animes with good-looking male casts, where no yaoi is actually performed, but a lot is left unsaid on purpose to make girls think of the possibilities. Applying that to the drama itself, I think there are definitely subtle boy love hints throughout the show and I wouldn't be surprised if Shuji was gay - I mean, what was he doing rejecting that beautiful girl and being so blatantly not interested in her? However, it is still true that NwP is about friendship first and foremost, so while I think that Shuji might very possibly be homosexual, I don't really think he was lusting after anyone, not Nobuta, not Mariko, not even Akira in the show itself. What might develop after that beach scene, though, nobody can tell.
So, I don't think Shuji and Akira are in love with each other, but that the drama sure was shameless in peppering itself with suggestions.