35 Days of BL Manga! – Day 32: a BL manga that’s the best of the best in your favorite sub-genre

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

Some of these might be considered more important than others (the extras) for the main story, featuring the main characters, they were compiled in two anthologies:  Sore kara no Antique 1 and 2.

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.

Stop bickering guys! Ono is seriously listening!

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.

17 responses to “35 Days of BL Manga! – Day 32: a BL manga that’s the best of the best in your favorite sub-genre

  1. I wanna see them too T.T

    • Hehe, yes, and I kind of want to read them along the main story. I was re-reading Antique for this and it is so engaging! Not to mention hunger-provoking.

  2. Oh, I would love to see these brought over!

  3. I would pay a lot of money for these if somebody published them. 😀

    • I guess a lot of people would right? Antique Bakery is quite good and loved by many BL readers.
      I don’t know much about the industry but I wonder if licensing doujinshis is a more difficult task. If not, maybe several well placed suggestions would encourage DMP 😀
      In fact, I’ll check their suggestion post right now, it doesn’t hurt to mention it.

  4. I would LOVE these, too!
    Big Yoshinaga fan.
    If I remember correctly, the issue is that the doujinshi is not owned by the publisher that owns Antique Bakery. It’s an etiquette issue. DMP would have to go over the publisher to get the doujinshi, and it’s a delicate situation. They’d have to go to Yoshinaga directly, bypassing the Japanese licensor, and directly contacting a creator, which may not be entirely appropriate.

    • Oh yes, that’s what I thought. Although I really wonder why I haven’t seen someone try to change the traditional way. I mean, there are tons of self-published works that would make great licenses…it must be a seriously dedicated situation, if not we would probably have a lot more licenses working directly with the mangaka.

      On the other hand, isn’t DMP is trying to change that with the Digital Manga Guild project?. Since it is a matter of innovation and finding a way to change the rules (that’s what Hikaru Sasahara said in the DMG video right?) it could happen if they get interested enough on it. Is that only our wishful thinking?

      • Who knows? That’d be pretty awesome though.
        It was July when I asked DMP about that, so things may change with their Guild project.

  5. I’d pay a ton of money for these, but don’t expect it to ever happen! It’s hard enough to find the Antique Bakery manga itself! (Which is a travesty, of course.)

    I love Antique Bakery muchly, and the doujinshi extras were just icing on the already very yummy cake. The story with the girl’s narration is absolutely hilarious! Nice to have some comedy in with the steamy stuff 🙂 I do have to disagree with you in that I thought the Ono/Tachibana pairing bits of the doujinshi were less plausible than the other parts. I really liked how their relationship progressed in the manga, and I thought the doujinshi kindof destroyed the balance it had. But that’s just my personal thoughts – probably due to my Chikage/Ono preference 🙂

    • Yes I guess it would be really difficult to do. So sad because a lot of people look forward to these stories.

      I understand that, but in the end wasn’t that just about the same as the original manga? I mean, something happened between them but it never went too far. Of course, it is very sad to see Ono after that, and his interactions with Chikage are kind of painful too. But in the end I think Chikage&Ono was standing, with a lot of hopes for their love, if I remember well. I loved Ono/Tachibana bits because they were sort of a melancholic explanation about Ono’s crush and how much it affected Ono in the following years. Yup, I love it when the little spaces are filled in the story.

  6. hii would you like to give me a litle review about what happend in these two anthologies?
    i try to google and couldn’t find any
    tnahk you so much before

    • Hi, the anthologies are only the short stories compiled in a whole volume. If you look for them individually you should be able to find most of it.

  7. PS i do love it if Ono ended up with Tachibana, but i cant sense this the story will end up there…
    i guess Ono x Chikage till the end (and Ono still cheating all along the way to, a habitually one i guess .. Poor Chikage)
    i’ve read all of the DJs except the two anthologies and Ono Recipe DJ
    i even make some fanfics too, a terrible one since i really want Ono x Tachibana pairing 😦

    • No, they will not be together even though Ono tries. But well, Chikage is happy with it and Ono has someone who deeply cares about him. I am satisfied with the way YF handled it because I can’t see OnoxTachibana really happening after so much time.

      • i wonder if there’s something new in antique, ive read the manga, seen the anime and watch the korean version of it years ago and time to time, i still can’t get over the fact that there was no clear ending to the story.

        I don’t really think Chikage will remain oblivious for the rest of their couple lives. And he might make that choice that would really shock a lot of readers.

        I want an Ono x Tachibana ending but by how doujin 15 ended I dont think it even has a possibility, sad really, coz there’s just some parts in Ono that I thought Tachibana could only see, and I kinda like that fact that they’re able to read each other.

        Its been wat, 7 years since I read Antique? But the story still makes me smile. ^____^

      • I haven’t heard of anything new. I don’t like Chikage’s situation either, I’d like Ono to find another love, but I am pretty sure it will not be Tachibana haha. I kind of like that, I mean, it’s not like most stories where you know that, no matter how unrealistic, the two characters are going to get together.

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