Girls go for bad, abusive guys, while relegating nice, decent ones to the dreaded “friend zone”: A misogynistic lie or the cold, hard truth? Ryuichi Hiroki’s “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” seems to say the latter, starting with its premise. A naive, socially inept high school girl agrees to become the “dog” of a handsome, arrogant schoolmate if he pretends to be her boyfriend. That is, she has to do exactly as he says, doggy tricks included, and in return he will hang out with her in front of her friends — the school’s “cool girl” clique. How retrograde is that?
Based on a best-selling girls’ comic by Ayuko Hatta, the film is actually anything but, though it is truthful about the pitfalls and peculiarities of teenage social dynamics, as well as the volatile mix of pride, loneliness and, yes, decency that dwell in an adolescent ikemen (handsome guy).