やめて お尻が 痛い

Is No.6 a yaoi?

NOTE: unless you are a 腐女子 (fujoshi) or a 腐男子 (fudanshi), you are hereby granted permission to skip this post.

[Talk between Nikki and Moro]

Legend:

Nikki – lilac text

Moro – rose text

Before starting on this, I think we should clarify some Japanese terminology, but more importantly, what some words mean in Japan versus what they mean in the Western community. And since we don’t want to be sexist, even if this post refers mostly to yaoi, we’ll clarify yuri, too.

Firstly, the term yaoi is an acronym dating from the ‘70s, which stands for 山[場]なし、落ちなし、意味なし (“No peak, no fall, no meaning”). In Japan, yaoi is a parody of the BL (boys’ love, or 少年愛 – shōnen-ai) genre: while BL focuses on the more serious aspects of a relationship between two male characters (i.e., all the drama which makes you cry your eyes out – the juicy stuff), yaoi depicts more explicit content without much of a story, just like the phrase 山[場]なし、落ちなし、意味なし says. In the Western community, however, BL refers to fluffy, softcore stuff, while yaoi is more on the hentai side of things.

Secondly, the term yuri (百合), also known as girls’ love (GL), is in Japan an umbrella term which encompasses all of the aspects of a relationship between two female characters (i.e., sexual and/or romantic, both implicit and explicit). In contrast, in the West, yuri refers to the more explicit depictions of a lesbian relationship; for the fluffier (again), more drama-focused stories, the fans use the term 少女愛 (shōjo-ai, i.e., girls’ love). Noteworthy is that in Japan, shōjo-ai refers to paedophilia.

And now, let’s tell our readers where this stemmed from. Well, as far as I remember, once we finished our co-post on Madoka Magica, and we decided it was not yuri (and the above paragraph supports that, which is why I deliberately wanted to include it somewhere – anywhere), I think it was you who asked “but then is No.6 not a yaoi?” And I think I’d said something along the lines of “well, they kiss in No.6, something they don’t do in Madoka Magica; so, I’d say the shite between Nezumi and Shion is on the more romantic side, unlike the one between Madoka and Homura”. I mean I’d say that a kiss is a pretty bold way of expressing affection – considering we’re talking about the way it’s viewed in the Japanese culture and media, so this is what I’m basing it on when I say that No.6 could be considered yaoi, in that regard.

When I initially found out about No.6 – the anime – I also ended up finding out about this yaoi/not yaoi dilemma: there are definitely people out there who think “OMG! I’m not going to watch this because it’s a yaoi”—

And you think it’s not?

I don’t think it’s not a yaoi, but it’s not a yaoi in a traditional sense either (i.e., it’s not all drama and f*****g and sucking either).

So if you were to take out those negations you end up with what?

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It is a yaoi, but at the same time I don’t think that’s the main focus of the story. Well it is a big part of it, but I personally don’t feel like it’s the main focus of it. I guess I just feel that No.6 is just a good depiction of two very realistic characters and the relationship that forms between them. I mean, it’s not a yaoi either in the Japanese nor the Western definition. Could you actually classify it as a BL?

I don’t think I would. I mean it’s just an aspect of the story, it just is there. It’s not the biggest thing that happens in the story, there are other bigger and more important things that are the focus of it; their gestures are an important aspect of their relationship and how they develop it—

But it’s not what the story itself revolves around. So you could say that the relationship that forms between Shion and Nezumi is an off-shot of the events that happened in the dystopia that is No.6. I mean if those things hadn’t happened, they wouldn’t have met.

Yeah, I wish they would have actually done something on that stormy night when they first met as kids – I’m a perv and proud, OK?!

Well, there were lots of innuendos (SQUEEK!). On another note, No.6 was published in a magazine (Aria – Kodansha) which publishes shōjo manga, but it specifically targets an older audience (16-22 years). So in that sense I guess you could say we’re dealing with a more mature story and that’s why the whole BL content in it is not such a big deal. At least not in the ‘ewww!’ sense, where people end up making a fuss about it.

Well, the problem is that the terms gay and lesbian have come to have truly negative connotations for some people, and I guess that’s where all this silly and ignorant attitude stems from. I mean, some view this gay/lesbian thing in a negative light and they don’t even want to try to understand it, therefore completely disregarding stories such as No.6.

You also can’t deny that yaoi and even BL include loads of really weird, effed up, and maybe even creepy stuff, because not everything’s going to be peachy in BLland. I mean if in the West yaoi is considered to be porn, people are going to easily dismiss something if they hear that it has yaoi content in it (provided they’re not into that).

Yup, and that’s why people should take it in the Japanese way, and then there would be no more confusion and such brainless situations, where people argue against something without even checking it out. I mean, I die inside when I see that after so much time of being exposed to Japanese productions, there is still this huge clash in mentalities, and people actually try to explain why Japan is creating the media it is creating, and the way it does it. And that makes no sense: I mean, it just is; that’s what they do, and if one takes it in the Japanese way, in the Japanese context, even tentacles makes sense – it’s just the way their creativity goes; some things may have a reason for being there (like tentacles), some may just be there because the author wanted it, and that’s to be respected. One either likes it, or not – just like Marmite, but one can’t argue against something if they don’t even bother looking into it. And I ended up rambling again.

I’d say that’s perfectly fine ^^. So we’ve agreed that No.6 is not a yaoi, by any definition, nor is it a BL; and it doesn’t qualify as a shōnen-ai either, because that is not the main focus of the story that is No.6. As you said, it’s a story that people should just take as it is (the same way as the Japanese do – as they don’t categorise it as anything but mystery, sci-fi, dystopia).

So there you have it, guys, enjoy. By the way, the title translates to “stop it, my arse hurts!

Thank you for stopping by and for reading!

On ‘New York Minute’ (prequel to ‘In these Words’)

N.B.: this post was first published here, before I made a blog here on wordpress.

So these thingies came through the mail yesterday 😀

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I know I’m still not finished with the by-now-way-more-than-30-day anime challenge, but I wanted to make a post about the works of Guilt|Pleasure for a while now, so here goes :D.

Mind you, I haven’t read In these words yet, as I’m waiting for volumes 1 and 2 to be (re-/)published. In the meantime, I did however order them in Japanese because of reasons xD. Aaaaaaanyways, what I mean to say is that the following is written with minimal to no knowledge about the events that unfold in the main series.

New York Minute

I have to say, this volume might just have one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. I knew TogaQ’s got boatloads of talent, but I’m still in awe at how beautifully the charatcters’ expressions are rendered. And ever since I read this story its atmosphere really stuck with me, so now there’s a ‘heavy winter in New York’ kinda vibe in my heart :D:D. Fuzziness aside, I think it’s safe to say that New York Minute’s about the day that Asano Katsuya and David Krause get together. Katsuya’s the police department’s newly employed psychiatrist and David’s a homicide detective.

The manga part of this volume is beautifully drawn and leaves you wanting more (and when I say that I’m not complaining about the lack of explicit content; rather, the story left me with a nostalgic feeling and it would’ve been nice to see more of Katsuya and David in this ‘winter wonderland’ setting ^^). Lucky for us though, the manga’s swiftly followed by Prey, a short story looking at Katsuya’s very first days at the precinct and how he and David actually meet.

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While I really liked the volume’s first part, it also left me a bit disappointed so I was immensely grateful for the inclusion of Prey. Yes, I probably got ahead of myself here, but right after finishing the manga chapter I couldn’t help but think – ok, that’s all fine and dandy but where’s my context for all of this?? It’s like I was watching a display of fireworks, but getting to see only the moment when the fireworks go off in the night sky. As in, I was missing all the anticipation and excitement that comes with seeing and hearing the thing soar up in the sky before bursting and making people go all ‘kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!’ Excuse the cheesiness, but that comparison was the only thing that came to mind when trying to explain my thoughts xD. So Prey comes along and gives more info on the previously seen characters and frames the manga quite nicely. New York Minute was definitely a much more satisfying read after finishing that short story.

As for the main characters themselves – they’re charming! ^^ I knew from what little I’ve read about ITW that Katsuya’s got a troubled past (to say the least?), and the hints dropped here and there throughout the book left me with a handful of questions about him (which will hopefully be answered at some point). While I’m usually not that big a fan of the older character archetype in yaoi stories, David won me over from the start. I liked the fact that he knows who he is and goes with it, he’s strong, he’s got a great sense of humour and there’s a kindness to him that just makes me want to give him a big hug xD. That being said, I can’t help but be a little scared for him.

In the main series, Katsuya’s (kind of?) paired with Shinohara, so where does that leave David? Will he be reintroduced there at some point? Does he die? Oo Or maybe I’m overlooking stuff ‘cause I haven’t read the main series yet, in which case I’m even more anxious to get my hands on it xD.

I’ll shush for now, but this is to be continued with me rambling about the other volumes from the ITW prequel series ^^.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂