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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Yakuza Trope #bookreview #manga #yaoi #gay

100 Blossoms to Love
Welcome to BRB, everyone! I apologize for my tardiness. I've been so busy lately it seems I can't keep up. Then, of course, the time it takes to actually put a post together doesn't help. Anyway, as everyone knows when it comes to manga and anime no matter the genre certain tropes are used so bloody much it's almost painful to read them. For instance, the Yakuza, and I don't know why but occupations that involve salarymen, flower shops, cafes, and bakeries are also used quite heavily--the teacher-student relationship, the cop-yakuza couples, doctor-doctor or patient-doctor, and my all time favourite (not) "we've been best friends since elementary school." There are many others, but you get the gist. I realize that in Western culture we also abuse certain cliches, but then again it's almost unavoidable when you consider how many novels are published each year. How many ways can you say, 'I love you?' It really is difficult to put a new spin on an old tale when there are millions of authors vying for an audience. Needless to say, we all keep trying. I've put together a short list of just a handful of Yakuza yaoi I've read, and believe me, this isn't all of them. Some I've review and others I may never. 

Yakuza Title List

-Usagi Otoko Tora Otoko or Man, Tiger Man by Akira Honma
-Ai ga Kami wo Korosu Toki or A Love That Conquers Gods by Akira Honma
-Yakuza in Love vols. 1-3 by Shiuko Kano
-A Genteman's Kiss by Fuwa Shinri
-Kizuna & Hana to Ryuu (Kizuna prequel and original doujinshi series) by Kodaka Kazuma
-S vols. 1-4 (yaoi novels) written by Saki Aida and illustrated by Chiharu Nara
-Iroku Irokoi Romantan by Ayano Yamane
-Hatsujoukei Drags by Rokuya Sanae
-Ake Nure Goyou ni Furu Yuki wa by Hori Tomoki
-Okane ga Nai by Hitoyo Shinozaki
- Bi no Isu by Ike Reibun
- Noodle Shop Affair by CJ Michalski
- Trigger by Akira Norikazu
- Totally Captivated by Ha Jin Yoo
- Heart Strings by Akira Norikazu
- Nageki no Vampire with illustration by Ayano Yamane
- My Hero (one shot) by Momiji Maeda 
-Kyou Hana no Gotoshi by Akira Norikazu
-A Pure-hearted Abortive Flower by Maeda Momiji
- Ijimekko (one shot) by Tarira Bee
-NightS by Yoneda Kou
-Torawarebito by Minase Masara
-Sleeping with money by Barbara Katagiri
-Boku No Shiru Anata no Hanashi by Suzuki Tsuta
-Negai Kanae Tamae by Nishida Higashi
-Double Snake by Oumi Shinano
-All You Need is Love by Jinko Fuyuno
-Usagi Otoko Tora Otoko by Honma Akira
-Freezing Flame - Kanbe Akira
-Waka!! by Kirishima Tamaki
-Tight Rope by Isaku Natsume
-Yuigonjou Yori Ai Wo Komete by Sakura Sakuya
-Koi Made Hyakurin (Spin-Off Akunin O Nakaseru Houhou) by Amagakure Gido

Yaoi Review: 

Koi Made Hyakurin by Amagakure Gido isn't the best-drawn yaoi I've read, but what makes this manga a fun read is the loveable honest characters and a nice story. Since childhood, Kotaro has admired the life of the Yakuza, or what he calls an honourable outlaw. In his mind, he's romanticized his view of the criminal organization thanks in part to his doting grandfather and because he watched too many Yakuza movies during his youth. Eventually, his grandfather wants him to become the boss and take over their family's empire. One day, he witnesses a man capture a purse-snatcher single-handed. The man is a local florist Toraji. Kotaro immediately declares that Toraji is the ideal big brother, a man he's always looked for to stand beside him in the syndicate. From that moment on, Kotaro stalks Toraji and eventually falls in love with him. Toraji has a dark past, including a criminal record, which has hardened his outlook on life and relationships, and which makes him almost impossible to woo.
Ways to Make a Villian Cry
Like I said this yaoi isn't spectacular in the art department, but Kotaro's sweet almost innocuous perception of gangsters is refreshing. He's a dimwit, but an honest one, and that's what made this yaoi fun to read. The spin-off Akunin O Nakaseru Houhou is about Toraji's older brother Takao and his lover Kayano. The story doesn't have anything to do with the Yakuza other than a couple brief appearances by Toraji and Kotaro. And, likewise, you meet Takao in a few scenes in 100 Blossoms to Love. It's kind of hard to read one and then not the other. I give both 3.5 stars.

Happy Yaoi Hunting!
Blak Rayne


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