Monthly Archives: October 2010

Manga Moments: Yaoi Explained

I felt tempted to call this post Why Yoshinaga Fumi rocks so much or One reason to go read Flower of Life NOW!, but I’m think yaoi explained pretty much covers the amazingly good concept this mangaka defined here. I’m sure there are tons of explanations around about why women like boy’s love and of course with detailed reasons for every existing rule in the genre. I think Matt Thorn covered all this very well in Girls And Women Getting Out Of Hand: The Pleasure And Politics Of Japan’s Amateur Comics Community. But a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in this case, a few manga pages are worth a thousand words. Continue reading

A flower stands proud in the swamp – Love Water review

Love Water – 妓楼の戀水
Tachibana Venio, Miyagi Tooko.
2007 – Taiyo Tosho. 2010 – Juné.
Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance, Yaoi
Buy: USA , Rent it
Rating: 16+

In the intricately mannered world of an Osaka brothel in Meiji-era Japan, Misao, a beautiful male servant, can only dream of a time when he can earn enough money to pay his debt to the brothel and escape his servitude. Into his small, stifling world comes Masaomi Towa, the handsome and wealthy heir to a corporation and a newcomer to the rules of the pleasure district. Masaomi’s sincerity and kindness penetrate through Misao’s practiced cynicism, and Misao finds his heart captured by love for the first time. But Masaomi has come calling to meet with Ukigumo, the brothel’s beautiful head courtesan. Will Misao’s deepest desire come true, or will the cruel reality of the brothel destroy his dream of love? Venio Tachibana’s beautifully-rendered portrait of Meiji Japan evokes an era gone by. Includes illustrations by Tooko Miyagi. Continue reading

35 Days of BL manga-Day 31: least favorite overused BL manga plot device

This might sound very specific but it’s actually a formula: super rich and good-looking man sweeps a young and naive one from his feet, not in a good sense. The naive guy is usually a new employee or just a kindhearted one that’s very clumsy/shy and admires the self-assured boss, who is usually a jackass, if not a seemingly nice person until he decides he has to rape the other just because he thinks he has the right to. Oh, and don’t forget the part where the victim falls in love with this piece of work without even putting out a fight, even after seeing his idol get worse and worse in his eyes. I guess the use of the word love justifies it all. Right now I can remember a title that represents this perfectly, but I’m reading The Lonely Egotist and after the first chapter it seems to be going that way…I hope I didn’t predict it right.

35 Days of BL manga-Day 30: favorite overused BL manga plot device

Hana wa Saku ka

Enemies that actually love each other is probably my favorite overused setting. Also, the unsuspected love interest from someone that seems to be just a mere friend. But the first one is the best for me, like in Shiranai Kao, where the two main characters seem to be unable to stand each other but are actually hiding some feelings. Hana wa Sakuka has a similar feeling to it, they couldn’t stand each other but something develops slowly. It seems Hidaka Shouko has a way with these stories. Now if only this beauty were licensed…

35 Days of BL manga-Day 29: a BL manga that best covered your own personal kinks

Personal kinks? Might sound weird but if I have to consider it my personal kink is seeing the character’s fetishes, especially if those are nicely portrayed, take for example Don’t Stay Gold (drap 05/08) and the prequel Tadayoedo Shizumazu, Saredo Naki mo Sezu (HertZ #32); the scar fetish and the SM one were really sexy here, mostly because of the beautiful way they were presented. Then you have something like that story from Black Winged Love about a masochist’s frustrated love; it’s just words we are talking about here but that character certainly needed more spotlight, because that was the most realistic way I have seen it portrayed.

Anyways, onto more specific kinks, at least lately, I might have a thing about fragile looking characters that are actually the most fearsome ones. The peak of this presentation it’s the drag-queen who tops the though-looking partner. Not like I have seen a lot of these so Candied Lemon Peel, from Yamashita Tomoko’s Touch me Again will be my queen here. Continue reading

35 Days of BL manga-Day 28: a BL manga you read that was just plain weird

For a moment there I was thinking about Poison Cherry Drive (even if I love Motoni Modoru, that was too much weirdness for me) but wait a minute, there was an even weirder manga, by Yamato Nase, that involved…

Can't believe there are 3 vol... plus extras and drama CD...

Talking penises. Yep. There is no need to explain how weird Chintsubu is, amazingly it’s quite entertaining and completely hilarious of course. The story is about these four students that got some sort of spell on them so that their chinkos got personalities of their own…that happened to be from the other guy. The rest are the incredibly awkward and funny situations they find themselves in while living with their love interests in their pants. Got nothing more to say about this, still makes me laugh.

Nitta Youka’s Kiss Ariki and my regrets

For a while I’ve been interested in the new efforts that Libre Publishing is making to bring manga to the English speaking community. You might already know that they created a branch called Animate U.S.A that handles this publications and, for now, they seem to be publishing only for the Kindle. There are already a number of old titles available on Amazon, and also other nice and shiny additions like Nitta Youka’s new works. These mangas are being published chapter by chapter, which is great, because the foreign readers can get their hands faster in the issues that are published on Japaneses magazines. On the other hand, the price is around 5$ each one, which is really bad.

It's good to see Nitta working again

Oh well, it’s Nitta Youka! let’s try it out. And so I went and bought Kiss Ariki chapter one. Honestly, the chapter itself was pretty nice, two yakuza’s sons get secluded in a solitary island in order to protect themselves from an upcoming underworld war. Tohru has a very though personality and isn’t really happy about having to spend so much time alone with Mutsumi when he could be helping his father. Mutsumi on the other hand is a very smart man that doesn’t want to get involved in the yakuza world, but he seems to be oddly interested in Tohru. Not exactly an impressive plot, but I quite enjoy the art-style and this mangaka is creating some interesting characters again. Continue reading

35 days of BL manga! – Day 27: A BL manga you think is so brilliant it’s like literature

It’s extremely difficult to pick a manga for this day. It’s not like there are many brilliant-literature BLs around, but the ones that I can remember are really good for completely different reasons, making this a difficult choice. The first that came to my mind was Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume o Miru, then Red Blinds the Foolish, also some specific one-shots made by Yamashita Tomoko in Black Winged Love and Bara no Hitomi wa Bakudan. In the end I decided that Endless World was the most fitting for the word brilliant here.

I consider this one a brilliant piece of literature because of the way the story was presented. There would be nothing unusual about a former delinquent being faced with his messy past, by an unexpected meeting, if it weren’t because of the well calculated flashbacks. It wouldn’t be that great to see a young man consumed by drugs either, if we weren’t allowed to have a glimpse of his mind in the moment he lost himself in a psychedelic world. And this story wouldn’t be so amazingly brilliant if the beginning of all were presented at first and not in the end how it happened. Gripping,  realistic, surprising, beautiful and saddening, that’s Endless World by Jaryuu Dokuro.

Completely opposite to her better known work Sugar Milk, Endless World would be an excellent choice for licensing; I think Jaryuu Dokuro has already proven that she deserves more love.

And Action! – Double Cast Review

Double Cast – ダブルキャスト
Mizutashi Takana, Mamahara Ellie.
2007 – Shinshokan. 2010 – DokiDoki.
Genre (s): Drama, Yaoi
USA: Vol 1, Rent it (Coming soon)
Rating: 16+

Yuki Yamamuro: he’s a star who’s blessed with such talent that no one can take their eyes off him. Yuki tries to trick mitsuru sawaki, who yuki’s “occasional lover” and producer otaki has his sights on. However, the seemingly innocent Sawaki actually gets the jump on him, and they end up costarring in the same drama. The curtain has just been raised on this game of love between two men who have their pride at stake!

Continue reading

35 days of BL manga! – Day 26: A BL manga you would never buy

I might be a very superficial person, because I judge by the cover, and if I see one like in Lost Boys I would want to run away from it. If convinced I might try it out, however, just seeing it around I can’t bring myself to get interested in it.

Don't get me started on the hairstyle...

I have no idea if this story is good or not, but he looks like a kid and that somehow creeps me out. Besides, I don’t like the art-style. There are lots of BLs that feature this sort of characters that could be 20 years old but still look like a 10 year.  Although I might have read an enjoyed some of them I still can’t get over my instinctive reaction. There is a kid being molested here! Continue reading