Day 25 – Your favorite drawing style

Yellow! I’m afraid this is going to be another mini-collection of photos:

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Seven Days (セブンデイズ)

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Slow Starter (スロースターター)

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Future Lovers (未来の記憶)

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Does the Flower Blossom? (花は咲くか)

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 24 – A BL that made you mad

*breathes in deeply* Today’s title is going to be Hyakujitsu no Bara (百日の薔薇), the anime. Just to make things clear, what I’m about to write next is based solely on the anime adaptation of the manga, as I’ve yet to read it.

I came across a really nice quote (from Maya Angelou I think it was) once, saying something along the lines of: you might not remember the exact words/events/etc., but you will definitely remember how something made you feel. I don’t remember much of what happened over the course of this BL show, but one thing’s for sure – I couldn’t wait to finish it just so I could go on MAL and give it a low rating ><.

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Yes, we have a bit of a Romeo and Juliet thing going on, what with the characters being from two countries that are at war, yet they still love each other; yes, we have guys in uniform parading about, talking about fancy stuff like honour, pride and protecting your country; on the other hand, there’s this guy Klaus who’s basically raping another guy, Taki, for most of the duration of the anime. And I mean he literally leaves Taki bruised and bleeding by the end of it Oo.

I get the appeal of a dominant seme and the intention of adding drama to the story, but that kind of non-con really doesn’t seem alright to me. I don’t usually get upset with things, but this anime definitely made me mad while watching it. I guess the only positive thing about this post is that it was easy for me to pick a title :D:D.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 23 – Favourite type of male

I think I’ll just let some pictures do the talking for today xD.

Long story short, I guess what they all have in common is long-ish hair, they’re quite tall and more on the lean side :D. I’m also a fan of well-defined shoulders and curly hair :D:D. But then again, people who don’t have any of these characteristics might still be attractive depending on what kind of person they are. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that looks only go so far ^^.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 22 – Hardcore or softcore?

If we think of the above words as being the two ends of a spectrum, I think my preferences will fall somewhere towards the middle.
I love reading light, fluffly stuff as much as the next person, but a bit more action doesn’t hurt every now and then ^^. However, I’ve never been a big fan of hardcore stuff just for the sake of it (i.e., stories with random ding-dongs and bodily fluids all over the place).
Which (kinda?) brings me to another point – the build-up. For me at least, there has to be some sort of build-up to whatever’s about to happen otherwise more than half of the excitement’s gone. I remember reading some doujins that had really nice art and whatnot but none of the above-mentioned build-up. One minute the characters were casually talking to each other, then literally on the other page they were screwing in all ways possible oO.
I guess the short answer would be: soft- to mid-hardcore and always within some sort of context, because that just makes things all the more interesting :D.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

MaHo Café: Our Christmas wishes for the New Year

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Ho ho ho!

Time has come for us to bake some dough!

[see the picture below]

And what goes better with some cake

Than a pretty list-to-make?!

[some green tea maybe?]

But it’s not just any list,

Though you can get just the gist:

Oh, gods of Japanese media,

Do not care ‘bout our Nvidia,

Just give us our daily [anime] shows

Since your imagination overflows!

It is not such a big deal,

You just have to have some zeal;

So here’s our wishes in this post –

Just make out of them the most!

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Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake

OK everyone, please don’t kill me for that poem (if it can be called that)… Moro you go first teeheehee!

A re-make of Togainu no Chi (the anime) would be nice. What’s your first wish?

Erm….I want the mooooost…a proper final ending (be it open or not) to the Madoka Magica series. Next!

I’ll second that and…I wish for the final Eva movie to be out already!

I wish for follow-up seasons for Kimi to Boku, Hyouka, and Chihayafuru.

New season of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, since Junjou has a third season.

Yesssssss, more Takano please!!!!! Kyaaaaaa~~~

More animations of BL stories like Doukyuusei.

More OVAs for HoriMiya – preferably containing its end, too!

Another VN from Nitro+Chiral—

YESSSSSSSS! I second that so hard[core] *cough*

It’d be nice to have a proper anime made out of Harry Potter —

Yes, without all the loopholes in the books, though.

So these are some of our wishes (with some moderation) – what are yours??

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Thanks for stopping by!

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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!

Day 17 – Favorite BL website

Today’s post is gonna be really short, as I don’t really know what more to say other than what’s in the title. I don’t really have a favourite BL website (as i mostly just google what I’m looking for and see where that takes me :D), but one website that I really like is aarinfantasy .

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So, I guess I’ll take the opportunity to thank the people at aarinfantasy and everyone else who’s ever written, drawn, translated, scanned or taken the time to spread any BL content in any way. Not to mention all the help and support one can find on their forums.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 12 – Favorite BL voice actor

*scratches head* See the ‘problem’ I’ve got here is that I’m not too familiar with seyuus in general ^^”. I mean, yeah, I’ll be able to recognise someone’s voice across different anime, but I’m really bad with names and all that jazz :D:D.

Still, after doing some research here are the names and faces behind some of the most awesome voices I’ve heard in a BL context (which is basically limited to BL anime/VNs, as I haven’t actually listened to drama CDs a lot).

Konishi Katsuyuki (小西 克幸)

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Notable in my world (and in this context) for his role as Takano in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi :D. I know he also voiced Soubi in Loveless, but I was never really a fan of that show ^^”. Still, this guy’s voice is beyond amazing.

Sakurai Takahiro (櫻井 孝宏)

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He voiced Misaki in Junjou Romantica!! 😀

Taniyama Kishou (谷山 紀章)

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He voiced Sono-san from Sensitive Pornograph and Gunji in Togainu no Chi (the anime). This guy also voiced Jean Kirstein in Shingeki no Kyojin xD.

Midorikawa Hikaru (緑川 光)

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Because he was brilliant in the role of Shiki in Togainu no Chi. Not to mention Lancer and Rukawa, among others ^___________________^.

Nakazawa Masatomo (中澤 匡智)

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He voiced Clear from DRAMAtical Murder (in both the VN and anime)!!!! What more could one ask for? ♡(˃͈ દ ˂͈ ༶ )

I’ll stop here before for now. Hope this post didn’t turn out too bland xD.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 11 – Favorite BL mangaka

Well, two mangaka come to mind for this here post and they are Kyuugo (author of Sora wo daite oyasumi among others) and Yoneda Kou (Doushitemo Furetakunai, Saezuru tori wa Habatakanai). I also wanted to mention Rihito Takarai but then I realised I haven’t actually read any of her works yet Oo. Oh well, I’ll just have to fix that in the near future.

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Either way, what I like about these authors is their clean art style, that manages to bring about characters that look good but are also a bit more on the realistic side of things. Most importantly though, the stories they write have a certain something-something. Yes they’ve got humour and good looking guys but a good chunk of them is also dedicated to letting the characters explore their feelings towards one another and towards the idea that they might be gay/falling in love with another guy (because that stuff’s always there :D) and just love in general.

So yeah, if you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside and be flooded by boatloads of feelings every now and then, I highly recommend you check out their work if you haven’t done so already ^^.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 10 – List the BL you own

With the idea that ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’ in mind, here are all the BL manga I own 😀 –

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yes, Totoro is observing you from the background ^^

So, on one hand I have the In these Words series (volumes 1 and 2 in English and Japanese) and it’s prequels New York Minute, First, do no Harm, One of these Nights, Maybe Someday and the Undertow booklet. I’ve also recently purchased chapter 1 of ITW but I forgot to stick in here with the rest of the books ^^”. Next, we’ve got the Sakura Gari series in Japanese (interestingly enough, this hardcover version also has furigana), Chou ni naru hi (チョウになる日), volume 1 of Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi (世界一初恋), volume 1 of Hana wa saku ka (花は咲くか), NightS and Kimi ni ageru (きみにあげる). I’ve also got a few of the No.6 volumes, but that series doesn’t technically qualify as BL I guess.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to expand the collection over time :D:D.

Alas, that’s it for today. As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂