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Friday, March 10, 2017

What's Your Yaoi? List 25 #tearjerker #gayromlit #manga #mustread

What’s Your Yaoi? 

Welcome to BRB, everyone!  Several years ago, I started to post my favourite yaoi based on my own unique list of sub-genres, which includes everything from the bizarre to the cliché. Anyway, so here’s the next sub-genre on my list. Enjoy!

List:

25. The Tearjerker:

God knows how many of these are there. Thousands? Millions? Gazillions? Just about any story that can make you laugh, frown, cry or cringe has made that all-important emotional connection. I mean that’s the whole point of writing and why we read. Not only is the novel you’re holding a source of escapism, but it’s also a jump-starter for your mental and emotional health. It can help develop vocabulary, ignite the imagination as well as provide knowledge. The more you read, the more you learn, and I read every day. Setting aside traditional books, what I find so amazing about a manga or comic is how an image can trigger such a strong emotional response, which no other source of reading material can do, at least not in the same way. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true. With mangas, there’s no need to describe the setting, what the characters look like or the characters’ feelings. Dialogue and pictures hold the entire story together. I love to create the author's world in my mind, but sometimes it’s nice to have the visual stimulus instead so I can focus on the conversation.
So, getting back to the “tearjerker”, I had a hell of a time trying to decide which stories to use, because as we all know a dramatic romance usually has a tragic element. And the more tragic the scenario, the more dramatic the story is. In the end, I narrowed the hundreds of choices down to a precious four. 

You Can't Call it Love

1. Koi to wa Yobenai or You Can’t Call it Love by Eda Yuuri and Machiya Hatoko
A caring and average guy Ei walks home from work one evening to find a man huddled in a ball outside his apartment; it’s Christmas Eve, he’s just been dumped, and it’s snowing. He ignores the man and goes to the store. When he returns, the man, Junpei, still hasn’t moved. Then he discovers Junpei isn’t alone; there’s a kitten stashed inside his jacket. Ei takes both of them in for the night. Eventually, Junpei gets better, and he ends up staying indefinitely and becomes a great friend to Ei. Both men have serious baggage, which is what makes their personalities three-dimensional, lending credence to the problems that arise.
This yaoi is a dramatic romance, and it takes time for the story to build momentum, but once it did, there were moments my heart sank, and I cried. But no matter how much it upset me, I couldn’t stop reading because I had to know how things would end. You Can’t Call it Love is emotionally gripping and beautifully illustrated. I found it refreshing for a change to read about a pair of honest men who prevailed over their mistakes. No abuse. No stupidity. And no airhead uke. At one point, the story could’ve veered off in a whole other direction, but thankfully it didn’t. The author is a superb storyteller, and the artist did an excellent job.

Porno Superstar

2. Porno Superstar by artist and author Nanami
Now, I’m not going to lie and say: “Hey, this yaoi is hilariously fabulous!” far from it. Although well written with deliciously attractive characters, Porno Superstar will make you cringe, cheer and cry, and almost all at the same time. Yamashita is a twenty-six-year-old gay virgin, and it’s his internal dialogue—how he views himself and his personal history—that sends the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. I couldn’t help but feel for him as he slowly dragged me deeper and deeper into the depths of his despair. Lonely, introverted and desperate for affection, Yamashita isn’t your typical uke. He’s unique in the fact he’s quite intelligent, but he just happens to make a bad judgment call because he’s star struck (well he views it that way in the beginning).
The other main character Asaoka is the twenty-three-year-old son of the vice president of the company where Yamashita works. And I know if you read this yaoi you will want to pummel this guy for his, and there’s no other way to say it, shitty and deplorable attitude. But, don’t write him off immediately. Even though he’s the complete opposite of Yamashita, aggressive and a bully, and he can never seem to find the right words, he also becomes the answer to Yamashita’s prayers. Asaoka has his own private issues to deal with, and near the end, he shows a truly wonderful romantic side.
I won’t bother with a synopsis because this yaoi takes off from the very first page, but what I will recommend is take the time to read Yamashita’s thoughts. I don’t know any personal history about the mangaka artist, but this plot was one of the most tragically realistic I’ve read in a long time. Yamashita’s fears literally tugged on the old heartstrings. As for the art, it was quite beautiful. If you like this yaoi the spin-off Shiny Star is a must read.

Goodbye, My Dear Friend
3. Goodbye, My Dear Friend by artist and author Enzou is a touching story about one man who tries to bring another out of his awkwardly cold shell. Tatsuo is a makeup artist for a fashion photographer. He’s a friendly guy that gets along with everyone, except Hajime, the new hair stylist, a man who never smiles and never has anything nice to say. One morning, a model runs out of Hajime’s room crying, so Tatsuo has a long talk with him. He tells the hair stylist that he’s rude and antisocial and it isn’t right to act that way, especially with fellow employees or the woman he’s supposedly dating. As they talk, Tatsuo realizes Hajime hasn’t got any social skills; he doesn’t know how to treat others or act appropriately, and he doesn't have any friends. Being kind-hearted, Tatsuo decides, come hell or high water, he will become Hajime’s friend.
Aside from the unique art style and a simple but enticing plot, what I really like about this yaoi is the dialogue. Tatsuo is an unbelievably tolerant and understanding man, who graciously makes an effort to get to know Hajime. No matter how rude the guy is, he sticks around until he realizes his feelings have developed into more than friendship. Hajime is good-looking and super intelligent, but thanks to a lousy upbringing, he distances himself from everyone. Which means, he isn’t the typical uke. He certainly isn’t whiny, bitchy or a crybaby, and he isn’t a gullible pushover. On the contrary, he’s blunt and doesn’t ask for anything until he begins to see how valuable their friendship is, and what Tatsuo’s companionship means to him.
I liked the honesty between the main characters. When Tatsuo is told to back off, he does without question even though he's dying on the inside. And once Hajime sorts out his feelings, he doesn’t waste time. With a touching story, great characters, pretty art and candid dialogue Goodbye, My Dear Friend is a must read.

Out of Control
4. Out of Control by Bbong
Out of the hundreds of manga I’ve read, Out of Control is what I’d call an “unforgettable read”. It’s one of those stories that left a mark. The reason I say this is because the humiliation, segregation and bullying the main characters suffered twisted my stomach into a knot and caused my heart to race to the point I was actually scared to read the next page. I had no idea what would happen next. Honestly, I felt anxious even though I wanted to see the couple triumph in the end.
Similar to His Most Favourite by Tanaka Suzuki, Out of Control follows the lives of Yuri, the most handsome guy in school and, Jaerim, one the ugliest; how they get together and the consequences of their strange union. Both teens are emotionally and, even physically, tormented by some of the other students. However, once Yuri gets to know Jaerim, who is actually a willful but dependable guy, he discovers love has nothing to do with sex or looks. By the end, they’re stronger, happy and they’ve earned the respect of their classmates.

I can’t tell you which of these tearjerkers is the best because each one is awesome. But what I can tell you is that each is worth reading.

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