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Monday, September 28, 2015

What's Your Yaoi? List 21 to 23 #yaoi #mustread #manga #mmromance

What's Your Yaoi? 

List 21 to 23

21: What’s With the Cats and Dogs?
Another over used part of character structure in many yaoi is the cat and/or dog fetish. You know what I’m talking about. One of the main characters finds a stray and saves it. As one reader poignantly put it: “If I read one more yaoi where the uke saves a cat I’m going to @#$* hurl!” Even though I am a cat lover, I can’t say I’m a fan either. For example, I can list three characters off the top of my head that save a cat: Takano in Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi and later Yokozawa saves the same cat in Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai, and there’s Kyouya in Gravity Eyes, who saves two cats. Yet another novel that uses the “stray cat” is Honey Darling by mangaka Akira Norikazu. But with this yaoi it works and is acceptable because the seme is a vet. And aside from friggin’ beautiful artwork the story is actually really good. Neither of the leading men, Chihiro or Kumazawa, are the typical uke and seme, which I think is what gives this manga its "must read" appeal.

22. And the Drama Continues:
Many mangas have spin-offs, usually where a supporting character gets their own story. For instance Yaya Sakuragi’s Hide and Seek is a spin-off from Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love. In BOD, BOL seme Ryomei’s best friend Shuji makes an appearance and later Shuji gets his own story in Hide and Seek. Three such yaoi where the main characters are interlinked is Fuwa Shinri’s A Gentleman’s Kiss, Absolute Fated Equation and Gravity Eyes. All three are highly enjoyable with endearing characters, but Gravity Eyes is by far my favourite. Kyouya works as a host in A Gentleman’s Kiss and he falls in love with his boss, whose family is yakuza. Anyway, he loses out to another man. A diehard romantic and perpetually optimistic, Kyouya is given a second chance at real love in Gravity Eyes. What I like about this story isn’t so much Kyouya it’s the man he falls for. Kiriya Youji is good looking, but he’s the coldest seme I’ve ever come across, and I mean he’s indifferent, aloof and emotionless. Period. What makes the relationship unique is that Kyouya the uke chases Kiriya right to the bitter end. Which is totally divergent to the traditional standard, where the seme is the aggressor. But once they connect, I couldn’t help but feel jubilant. Kyouya put up a hell of a fight. And if you can get past Kiriya’s thick skin, you'll find he has his own story about lost love, and turns out to be a really sweet guy.


23. Touching One Shots:
In literature it’s difficult to write a touching short story. Especially, when in written form it has to be ten thousand words or less, and it’s no different with manga. In forty pages on average, give or take a few, the artist has to convey a sensible, cohesive plot with a definitive start and ending, where two men meet, fall for one another, and then the ultimate, they consummate their love. And there are tons and tons of one shots out there, literally, and some are definitely better than others. Two of the best one shots I’ve come across and for entirely different reasons are: Raise a Beacon (Noroshi Wo Agero) story and art by Sakurai Shushushu and Replay by Shiuko Kano. Of course there’s another hundred I could list, but these two were the ones that stood out. In Raise a Beacon, Okabe Shouichi is a deputy manager in the business department and Kobayashi, his subordinate, is hopelessly in love with him. Kobayashi is gay, Okabe is straight, and well, you can guess where this short story leads. Anyway, Kobayashi invites Okabe to a major league baseball game, like a date, and he agrees. What got me was when Okabe stands Kobayashi up and the poor man is left waiting and waiting. In each frame his head and shoulders sinks lower and lower, and adding insult to injury it starts to rain. The man is devastated and finally gives up on ever having a relationship with his boss. I know this yaoi is listed as a comedy, and there are some humourous parts, but the real story is very sad and very touching. In less than forty-five pages Sakurai Shushushu got the point across and good.



Replay by mangaka Shiuko Kano, is from a book of one shots titled Priceless Honey. I loved all the stories in this book, but could only chose one and Replay won in the end. Mitsugu the neighbour boy, used to sleep with Fumiya’s older brother Takaya, when they were all in high school together. Now they are adults and Mitsugu has come home to attend Takaya’s wedding. It is a bittersweet reunion, because Fumiya also had a relationship with Mitsugu after his brother threw him away. The difference, Fumiya loved him. In approximately thirty-four pages, I got totally swept up in this emotionally tumultuous story, and even though the ending was a HEA, I desperately wanted more.




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