If you're wondering what the difference between "Prelude" and "Introduction to Gravitation" is, I'll explain. If you're completely new to Gravitation. this Prelude gives a little insight to whether or not the Gravitation series is the series for you, while the "Introduction to Gravitation" explains the synopsis of the series.
Now then, Gravitation is, as it stands, Maki Murakami's greatest piece of work. She really didn't create too many manga before Gravitation, and none of them were very long, just short stories and the like. With her production of Gravitation, however, the shounen-ai genre in anime simply exploded in fandom. If you're new to Gravitation, you might be asking quite a few questions and wanting to know if it's 'safe' to purchase. This brief prelude should help in answering some of your queries and hopefully help you make your decision.
Quite a few people are uncomfortable with the concept of homosexuality, but people's views of homosexuality vary. There is an immense amount of anime/manga fans that range from disliking shounen-ai to 'tolerating' it, to loving it. :P In order to watch Gravitation, one must keep an open mind with homosexuality. True, homosexuality has certainly been hinted before in other anime such as CardCaptor Sakura and Sailormoon, but never has it been the centerpoint of a plot in a popular anime1, and Gravitation is possibly the first 'popular' anime to have homosexuality as a primary focus.
Natually, when people hear about this anime, they are curious as to what it might be about and what it contains. Many are intimidated by the concept of homosexuality and will avoid anime that revolves around the concept. One question that some people have asked before viewing Gravitation is, "how much detail does this anime go into in regards to homosexuality?" Honestly, there isn't much explicit homosexuality in the anime at all. Now granted it's a shounen-ai anime, so the topic is blatantly obvious instead of subtle and hinted, but you don't get much deeper into detail other than kissing and possessive glomping. Gravitation by no means goes into YAOI2, if you're strictly talking about the anime. With manga you'd have to watch your step a bit, but for the most part it still remains in the safe shounen-ai range. As for the 2 OAVs, there is a scene in there that could be considered YAOI, but again, it's mild, brief and not graphic. If you don't mind some nudity and Yuki in a thong, the OAVs are fine to watch. To some who not only tolerate but love shounen-ai/yaoi, they may actually find Gravitation disappointing in the amount of yaoi involved in the series. If you're one of those people, you can surely satisfy your fetish needs with the Gravitation Remixes3.
Thus, if you're new to and curious about Gravitation, keep in mind that it is targeted for an older audience and has several mature themes in it. It's a comedy, it's romantic shounen-ai, and it even contains a pleasant amount of angst. If you like any of these genres and have no problem with homosexuality, then it's probably safe to say that you'll like this series.
1. Gravitation is not the first shounen-ai anime to be created, but it is the first anime to more or less explode in the shounen-ai genre of anime. (Much like how Sailormoon and CCS are among the most popular anime in the mahou shoujo (magical girls) genre of anime.)
2. "YAOI" is an acronym that stands for "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (no peak, no point, no meaning)." The term is generally used to indicate explicit and graphic homosexuality between two males. YAOI is mainly directed at a more mature audience, usually NC-17. YAOI can also be used to generalize the entire shounen-ai genre.
3. Remixes are Gravitation doujinshi created by Crocodile-Ave, co-dependent of the original creator, Maki Murakami, for she is the artist of the remixes. Contains extremely graphic scenarios, including boy x boy (multiple pairings, some not seen in series), graphic incest, and group sexuality. The remixes are specifically targetted at a NC-17+ audience.
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