Dear Boys is about highschool-level basketball. I know, I know, that sounds boring as heck. But it isn't! As much as being about the sports, it's about five *people* interacting. Five guys who have to learn together and be together and act as one team together. Five different personalities and pasts and fears and such.
I watched the last two eps tonight. As expected from a series about sports, the end of the series brought the Big Game, the final game in the tournament to decide who would be best in the world (okay, best in Japan). What would the plot bring if this were an American show? Or god help us, a Disney movie? The "good guys" would have a hard time, fall behind at one point, but in the end would win. (Because good guys always win, right?)
That was not the case in Dear Boys. They lost. It came down to the last game, the biggest one, and they did not win. But luckily for us viewers, the story didn't fade to black there. There was one more ep, and I cried my eyes out during the entire thing. Each one of these boys, these players who had worked so hard for so long to try to win, every one of them tried to take responsibility for the loss.
Tell me if out characters would do that (if they ever lost...). What would NBA players do if they lost? Blame the officials, blame "bad calls", but blame themselves? Never.
(Yay, MUSH crap cutting in again. No, Chia, don't blame yourself. His fault.)
Anyway, since I've totally lost my chain of thought and now have to deal with another mess, I'll end conclude this: Not only do you get really cool m/m vibes, but you get storylines and endings you'd never see in the usual media we are exposed to.
Edited to add: When you're having a crappy night, it helps to listen to snaples read slash to you.