I’m probably on the same line as Fuuko (creator of this wonderful meme), although I had a bit of indecision, because I also love psychological BLs, but I wanted to include Yoshinaga Fumi in this list. She is a genius after all. Now, I could have picked Ichigenme, but that’s not actually my favorite BL work from her. Neither is Jerard and Jacques, although they are both great. My favorite one is Antique Bakery. Wait, this is not a BL right?, it is just a shoujo/slice of life that happens to feature a gay character in it. Well, that’s true unless you count the doujinshi made by the same author…
Yoshinaga Fumi was kind enough to indulge Antique Bakery‘s fans wishes for more than just BL undertones with a series of independent works that feature the same characters and some additions. These works are for adult eyes only. And, more importantly, Antique Bakery doujinshis follow the storyline and complement the main story. Therefore, nothing feels out of place and the relationships are very plausible; that’s the advantage of making a doujinshi of your own story.
This series of one-shots follows the main story from the very moment Tachibana harshly rejected Ono to the end of the series. We finally get an insight about what happened to Ono and how he became the gay of demonic charm. Also, how the love lives of the Antique staff develop and maybe some sort of closure for Tachibana and Ono’s troubled past.
As with the original story, the doujinshis have endearing moments, realistic relationships, sad situations and a very beautiful way of portraying feelings. I felt like crying reading the moment that led to a flash-back with the explanation of Ono’s past crush towards Tachibana. As always, through several panels, Yoshinaga Fumi skillfully represents progressions of feelings without needing a word to explain them.
This is the list of doujinshis sorted according the original story-line:
01 . かなり人でなし– – Kanari Hitodenashi
02. 初恋 – Hatsukoi
03. 小野は厨房で夢を見る – Ono no Chuubou de Yume wo miru
04. 猫とおじさん – Neko to Ojisan
05. 好事家の絵本 – Kousaka no Ehon
06. 永遠はありますか？ – Eien wa arimasu ka?
07. 悪魔のような男 – Akuma no youna otoko
08. 青い鳥 – Aoi tori
09. 小野裕介のレシピ – Ono Yuusuke no Recipe
10. ため息をつきながら – Tameiki wo tsukinagara
11. 僕の大切なひと – Boku no taisetsuna hito
12. 七夕の夜 – Tanabata no yoru
13. そしてかくも平穏な日々 – Soshite kakumo Heion na hibi
14. 橘という男 – Tachibana to iu Otoko
15. そっとしておいて – Sotto shite oite
One of my personal favorites from the extra stories is Kousaka no Ehon (5) in which a group of 腐女子(fujoshi) visit the bakery and start creating BL stories involving the staff. Tachibana, Ono, Chikage and Eiji end up eavesdropping the girl’s narrations.
While Ono is very focused in the stories, one of the girls makes an odd suggestion that leaves them flabbergasted: maybe the shop owner is a neko [bottom/uke]. Her friends, of course, completely reject her theory even after hearing her elaborated story (where Chikage takes care of his master Tachibana). The staff, on the other hand, congratulates her for it. Tachibana’s reaction after doing this adds even more humor to this one-shot.
I wonder if the rest of the fans, as me, are eager to see these short stories compiled and published in English. I’m not really a fan of romantic pairings that are out of the original path and purpose of the story, but this case is a notable exception. Antique Bakery doujinshis smoothly fit in the main books and give a whole new perspective to it.