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 30 – An anime you wish never ended and continued on

Although I believe everything should end at some point and that dragging a story for too long would only be detrimental to it, if I’d have to name one title that would be No. 6.

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Just to clarify though – I don’t mean to say that this anime should go on forever. I do however believe that it (the anime) could have been executed better in some ways. The ending, for example, always seemed quite rushed to me. So it would’ve been nice to maybe extend No. 6 by a few more episodes and give the events more space to unfold. Alas, we got what we got. The story of Nezumi and Shion is still amazing though and I’m glad I stumbled upon this anime a few summers ago ^^.

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! 🙂

Day 8 – Favorite love scene

Well initially I was sitting here, scratching the top of my head and trying to come up with a good answer. If I had to chose a scene where the characters specifically sleep with each other, I would go with the last love making scene from Sakura Gari (樱狩). However, there’s a wee bit too much drama in that manga overall and that somehow affected my overall enjoyment of it. Then there’s the love scene from Touch me again (タッチ・ミー・アゲイン). An interesting thing about this one is that you don’t even get to see anyone do anything. The reader merely see glimpses of that night, accompanied by the characters’ reminiscing and pondering and their feelings about what had happened at that time.

However, most of the moments that ‘stole my heart’ and made me giddy beyond belief didn’t really involve any intercourse in the first place. So the following is a list of what I wanted to write about in the first place, as I was literally banging my head against the wall trying to come up with scenes along the lines of the above. WARNING!!!! Kinda-sorta spoilers ahead :D. Not that you can have many mind-blowing spoilers in a yaoi, but hey xD. They’re mostly to do with details concerning the characters’ stories/path (cause some are from VNs).

  • Akira and Rin’s first kinda-sorta kiss (at least, I’m fairly sure that this was their first kiss), from Togainu no Chi (咎狗の血). Now I say ‘kinda-sorta’ because (don’t quote me on this though, it’s been a while since I read the VN ^^”) Rin was unconscious and Akira attempted to give him some water – because that’s the most legit thing to do give the circumstances – aaaaand cue the mouth to mouth xD. Apparently, Rin was dreaming all the while, specifically about some past unrequited love of his and ends up thinking that Akira is that guy and starts to kiss him. Or something-something along those lines xD.

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Now my clumsy way of presenting stuff most definitely makes this seem less intriguing than it actually is, but I swear that scene was sexy as fudge!!!! Now go read the VN! xD

  • This scene from In these words –

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I hadn’t even read the manga at the time I first saw this panel, but dear lord, I loved it from the start. And after I got my hands on the manga, I couldn’t help but love this scene (not to mention Shinohara) even more. This illustration is also one of many that demonstrate TogaQ’s immense talent. I mean, I feel sad and pained just by looking at Shinohara’s expression. Ok, I’ll shush with the drama for now xD.

  • The entire OVA about Onodera and Takano while they were still in high school, from the Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi (世界一初恋) series. That episode just oozes fluff and emotion and is beyond awesome! ^___^

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  • Pretty much every moment when Nezumi and Shion are together – with special emphasis on their kiss scenes xD – from No.6.

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  • Clear’s return to Aoba, in DMMd, the VN. Enough said :D:D.

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  • I can’t find a suitable image for it and I sure as fudge am too lazy to dig out my copy of One of these nights just now and take a picture, but the scene where Katsuya just shows up at David’s hotel room in the middle of the night and they hug (before moving on to the more 18+ activities xD) is just superb (♥ω♥ ) ~♪.

Can’t think of anything else just now, so I’ll leave it at that. As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 7 – Your anime crush

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerm….. well, I’d wanna go all ‘I’ve got a few characters I’m attached to’ (which is true), but at the same time the one character that clearly comes to mind right now is Nagisa Kaworu (from the Evangelion series) :).

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As I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t exactly know what it is about him that I really like but I can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside and squeak when I see him on screen :D:D.

I haven’t forgotten what I wrote above, but I’d still like to mention a couple more characters while I’m at it ^^. Also, I’m not gonna list all the characters I have a thing for ’cause we’ll be here for a while :D:D.

Nezumi (from No. 6)

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I mean, just look at him 😀

Lancer (from Fate/Zero)

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Yes, I have a thing for tragic, dramatic and generally fudged up characters :D.

Matsuoka Rin (from Free!)

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I’m not gonna attempt to give any specific reasons as to why I ‘have a crush’ on these characters ’cause I’ll basically just end up saying something along the lines of – they’re awesomely awesome in an awesome way xD.

But that’s day 7 for ya ^^. As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 4 – An anime series you think should have been a BL

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell….. I can’t think of any series that would work as a BL as I’m afraid the BL element would mess up the original plot line.

However the fangirl in me is giggling and saying ‘here are some series where I would’ve enjoyed seeing some (/sometimes more) BL elements’:

– No.6 (for obvious reasons xD)

Evangelion: 3.0 You can (not) redo (because although I almost never ship characters that aren’t together/don’t show an interest in each other in the first place, Kaworu is just too amazing for words and him and Shinji would make a beautiful pair :D:D)

Now if I had to chose a series (and at the risk of ruining a boatload of bromance) I think I’d go with Free!.

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I really think that if it were handled properly this could somehow work. Huuuuge emphasis on ‘handled properly’ though xD.

Or maybe they should’ve just made Amnesia into a BL and have the guys chase after each other instead of that female lead who’s too lost and confused even for my liking ^^”.

So there you have it! As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Day 3 – Favourite animated BL

I’m a bit confused as to what to choose here. The titles that come to mind for this day are No. 6, Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi (世界一初恋) and Fuyu no semi(冬の蝉). Out of these, Fuyu no semi and Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi are the only one that I would consider to be BL, while No.6 arguably only has elements of it (although you can’t deny the chemistry between Nezumi and Shion xD). Either way, I’m assuming that this challenge refers to everything that contains boyxboy stuffs. So without further ado and with the above in mind, I’ll have to go with…. *drum roll*

Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi! ^^

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It’s full of fluff, comedy, romance and it just made me go ‘squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ most of the time while watching the series :D:D. I also really enjoyed how the story focused on the couples and their work as well, thus enabling the viewer to learn quite a bit about the publishing industry.

Just to clarify, I love No. 6 to pieces, but the fact that its story focuses more on the dystopian world and how to unmask said world keep me from choosing it as my favourite BL anime. Also, and it pains me to say this, I still think No. 6 as an anime could have been executed better.

As for Fuyu no semi, yes it’s proper BL, yes it’s got quite a nice story, but (and you can call me a shallow bastard all you want) something about the art in that anime always irked me a bit. Yes, I might be contradicting myself here (as in a previous post I mentioned I’m all for tragic stories and whatnot and now here I am, declaring the pinkest of BLs as my favourite) but it’s just how I feel right now. And heck, Sekai-Ichi got me all excited and warm and fuzzy and it didn’t even contain any on-screen action as far as I can remember! Also, I guess I like this series because it’s pretty much everything in one – it’s got romance, drama, TONS of humour, just the right amount of melancholy and did I mention the way it makes you feel all pink and fuzzy inside? xD

So there you have it! As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂