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New Japanese film The Shortest Distance is Round (2019) stars well-known Japanese straight porn star, Mukai Riku, as a gay man in his first role for the big screen.  After a theater run in Japan, the film is now being released worldwide this Friday, June 12th, on GagaOOLala.

Watch The Shortest Distance is Round on GagaOOLala

(Image from GagaOOLala)

After 10 years and uncountable films, Mukai Riku has made a name for himself in the Japanese AV (adult video) industry. He is specialized in a porn genre that caters to straight women, where men play gentle and submissive roles whose only goal is to please. Riku is now so popular in Japan and the rest of Asia that he has already flown all over the continent for (female-only) fan meets. But all his fans were in for a surprise last year when it was revealed he would be starring as a gay man in the erotic film The Shortest Distance is Round.

​(Image from GagaOOLala)

In the film, a high school freshman, Haruto (Mukai Riku), is having trouble fitting in. His teacher, Aoyama (Shioguchi Ryohei) takes him under his wing and the two of them start exchanging letters. However, a kiss will end their beautiful relationship one night. Many years later, Haruto, now a male prostitute with plenty of debts, reunites with Aoyama by chance.

​(Image from GagaOOLala)

Even though the plot of the film focuses on the dark side of society and features fairly explicit gay sex, director Daisuke Yamanouchi wanted this film to also be targeted to Riku’s fanbase. He asked AV female directors on how to convey a female gaze in the love scenes between the two main characters, resulting in very delicate and intimate sequences. Yamanouchi also included another curious device from the Japanese anime world into The Shortest Distance: there are two different versions of the film, one with a lighter ending (Blanc) and another with a darker one (Noir). “It is a film you can enjoy twice”, said the director during the film promotion tour. Both versions only differ from each other in the last 15 minutes.

​(Image from GagaOOLala)

Two sequels are also currently in the works and will finalize shooting during 2020.

The Shortest Distance is Round (Blanc & Noir) will be available on GagaOOLala starting on June, 19th. This June, the streaming platform is putting together a special collection of Japanese queer cinema with the playlist “Sugoi Japanese LGBTQ+ Movies!” composed of around 20 films. Future releases include Athlete (June 5th), The Extremists’ Opera (June 10th), or Gymnasium Baby (July 3rd).

​(Image from GagaOOLala)


Haruto is a freshman and a loner in high school. His teacher, Aoyama, cares for him and starts to exchange diaries with him. While they grow fonder of each other, an unexpected kiss ends their beautiful relationship one night. After graduation, Haruto becomes a male prostitute in order to pay back his debts and reunites with Aoyama by chance. How will Haruto face his feelings for Aoyama when given a second chance? Should it be 'blanc' or should it be 'noir'? Two versions. Two completely different fates.

Watch The Shortest Distance is Round on GagaOOLala


​(Image from GagaOOLala)​

GagaOOLala's 2021 original "Queer Up The Volume" series will be linking 10 different LGBTQ+ love stories together with 10 films and series, 10 songs, and 10 music videos. From the birth of love, the maturing, to the happy seeds of starting a family, a melody or a line of lyrics is bound to remind us of that very special one. With 10 renowned directors and 10 artists working together, "Queer Up The Volume" extends love by joining the power of music and film.🎬

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