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Yaoi



Kizuna
This page is my place of worship - if you will. A blog page where I will post information and pictures of all my favourite Japanese anime and manga, which includes the yaoi of course! I'll be working and updating this section of my blog continuously when time permits. 

What is yaoi, Blak?

As everyone knows there are many forms or sub-genres of erotic literature. And the Japanese like any other culture has their own. There's Yaoi, Bara, Shonen-ai, Yuri etc.

Yaoi is an acronym and it means yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nacho. Simply put, there's no climax, no point, no meaning. It's used to describe anime and/or manga which focuses on male homosexual relationships, with graphically portrayed sex and little to no plot. Also, yaoi is a popular Japanese term for female-oriented fictional media that focuses on gay or gay-romantic male relationships, usually created by female authors. (Wikipedia)

Adding to this: Yaoi is hard core compared to Shonen-ai. Shonen-ai is what I like to call the fluffy love stuff; the attraction, holding hands and kissing, but usually never any sex. Puppy love!

Yuri: The opposite of Yaoi, and intended for a male and/or lesbian audience. Women on women.

Bara: Erotic Japanese mangas written with a male audience in mind. The characters are muscular (muscle bound), relationships are usually non-existent between them (no seme or uke), and nine times out of ten there's rape involved, gang banging or some type of forced sex. And this is supposed to be more appealing to men or gay men. 


There are so many yaoi, and I have so little time! LOL All right, now I'll get into serious mode. I'm a huge yaoi fan. I've been collecting everything from yaoi manga, novels to shitajiki (pencilboards), autographed cels, OVA's and anything else I can get my hands on for years. And, in my opinion, there are only a select few yaoi that I would label as my TOP PICKS. The reason being there are three fundamental things a good yaoi needs in order to be good...artistry, storyline and memorable characters. Artistry is a must as most yaoi comes in manga (comic book format). So, you've got to have the look. Storyline, well that should be self-explanatory. No matter what you read, you want a decent plot. And, memorable characters, the type that stick out from the rest; they've got the appearance and personality you crave. 


Yaoi Manga Series, Yaoi Manga Singles and One Shots


TOP PICK - Number 1

One of my all time favourite yaoi manga series is Kizuna: ‘Bonds of Love’, written and drawn by Kazuma Kodaka. Ms. Kodaka is an amazing artist. Some of her other works include Kimera, Sex Therapist, Prince of Tennis, Sengoku Basara and Midare Somenishi. I’d say Kizuna is one of her more popular manga, probably because the main characters are so easy to love; Kei and Ranmaru are down-to-earth men, who, no matter the circumstance remain loyal to one another.
Kei Enjoji (black hair) and Ranmaru Samejima (redhead) are college students in modern day Tokyo. The moment these two men cross paths, Kei is besotted, literally. Kei is the seme (attacker), and he pursues Ranmaru the uke (receiver) relentlessly until he has no choice and gives in. Okay, I think deep down Ran wanted him from the beginning, but couldn't admit it, which continues throughout the series. Kei is one of my favourite semes. He has a great sense of humour and maintains a fairly optimistic view of life, and he's a total straight shooter when it comes to Ranmaru and their relationship—very romantic underneath his smart-ass attitude. Ranmaru is a 'Feisty Bottom', and yes, he can be a biatch—but hot damn what a pretty one!

Ran is a Kendo champion, and after one of his tournaments Kei shows up. Ranmaru's upset that Kei won't join Kendo because he believes Kei is ignoring his own talent by not taking classes. So, he challenges Kei—if he gets a point (wins), Kei must sign up for Kendo classes. Kei, being the smart-ass he is, agrees to the challenge, but if he wins he wants sex with Ranmaru. Of course Ranmaru thinks he's insolent, basically calls him a pervert, not realizing that the man cares for him. Then Ranmaru attacks Kei. But everything he tries, fails. Kei is a natural when it comes to martial arts, and pins Ranmaru to the floor quickly, and tells him, he's won (got the point). Ramaru refuses to have sex and a struggles ensues, where Kei more or less rapes him. They argue, and then Ran compromises. From what I gather, the sex may have been more consensual and pleasurable than Ran would ever confess. Kei didn't hurt or abuse him, the incident seemed like a battle of the wills, and in the end he won Ranmaru's heart. 

As the series continues, additional information surfaces about their past. Kei is the son of an oyabun (mob boss), and these two men have actually known each other since childhood. The plot and artistry improve the further you read, and by the last manga, you've got a cast of beautiful characters who have shown exceptional growth within their relationships as well as personal development. And they've faced some unbelievable challenges together, which in the end makes for an awesome story. There are supplementary characters, and some interesting side stories, as well as Ms. Kodaka's input and comic relief. 
People argue that Kizuna doesn't have a plot. And there is some truth to that belief if you're expecting some big build up and action-packed series with a grandiose ending then you will most certainly wind up disappointed. Kizuna is all about the lead characters, their relationship, their personal growth and their love. I'd classify Kizuna as a romantic drama, and very satisfying. The sex scenes are moderate to explicitly graphic, and not to worry, there's plenty of them.

Scene from OVA 'Much Ado About Nothing'
based on the yaoi manga 'Kizuna' by Kazuma Kodaka
Enjoji and Ranmaru

Haru wo Daiteita
TOP PICK - Number 2

Haru wo Daiteita - 'Embracing Love'

OMG where to begin...Embracing Love is written and drawn by Youka Nitta, another fine manga artist! This lady has also produced Sound of My Voice, Kiss Ariki, Spiritual Police and so on. But for now I'm sticking to my fav out of her collection, Embracing Love. 
This yaoi is about two male pornography (AVI) actors who fall in love while attempting to break into mainstream acting. The main characters are Kyousuke Iwaki (black hair) a reserved and self-conscious man who puts his career ahead of his personal life. He's at odds and isolated from his family. And he feels very much alone and depressed. Youji Katou (blond) is a bold and outgoing man. He's an up-and-coming actor, younger than Iwaki and quite self-confident. In the beginning Iwaki appears to be the seme, but it quickly reverses when Katou takes charge and demands a relationship as well as sex with the older man. Of course, as in most yaoi, Katou relentlessly pursues Iwaki until he gives in. What I find interesting and different with this story is that neither Katou or Iwaki have had a relationship with a man previous. They never profess to be homosexual. They're just two people that fell in love. Iwaki is stumped in one scene, he can't understand why Katou has fallen for him, a man. He assumes it's because of their love scene in front of the camera and that Katou has clouded reality with fantasy. Katou's response is kind of comical, the acting may have brought them together but he doesn't see Iwaki as a man but instead the person he loves. 
These men battle through some interesting challenges. Iwaki, like I said, is more reserved and he doesn't want anyone to know they're together as a couple. His denial, and sometimes almost rude behaviour in public is at times very hurtful, but Katou seems to rise above it all. I'd say in this relationship Katou is my favourite. He's strong, tenacious and yes, sometimes immature with how he handles things. But he also loves Iwaki like no other. It's Katou's passion and unconditional love that keeps me reading. 
On the other hand, it took time to really appreciate Iwaki. He's older, has certain ideals and his family life is a bit of mess. But now I can honestly say, I've grown fond of him and he does compliment the relationship. 
HWD is another yaoi manga series and I'll warn you, it's a very long one. I believe the chapter count reaches into the forties and is still on going. The sex is very explicit. I'd call it a five flame. Not for kids! LOL Overall HWD is awesome and will keep your attention. Katou and Iwaki develop as characters with the storyline as does their relationship. I'd classify this yaoi as another romantic drama with strong, enchanting characters. HWD is hugely popular. The sequal or continuation to this series is HWD Alive in which the men are married and getting older.
Hyakujitsu no Bara - 'Maiden Rose'
TOP PICK – Number 3
Taki 
Hyakujitsu no Bara, or in English, Maiden Rose, is a war-romance yaoi that isn't for the faint of heart. Having said that, I wouldn’t recommended it for everyone. I’ve seen some pretty serious arguments on the net with some people hating this manga series and others loving it. There seems to be no happy medium. I’ve got to admit when I started to read Maiden Rose, I had to force myself to continue reading, this isn’t to say that the storyline was awful or anything, it was the graphic content.
But like a little trooper I persevered and at the end, I found the characters grew on me (plus I kind of like stories with a military theme). The artistry is well done, the plot interesting and the characters are attractive. So if you can stomach the brutality you may enjoy it. I don't normally give spoilers, but I will say, not to worry, the brutality does end. 
Klaus von Wolfstadt (seme blond) and his family (parents and siblings) visit the Far East to attend a coronation ceremony. After the ceremony Klaus becomes lost, wandering in the gardens surrounding the area and this is where he accidentally meets Taki Reizen (uke black hair). The year is nineteen-eighteen. The young Taki asks Klaus to help him pick some cherry blossoms. He wants the blossoms to put on his ceremonial headgear. Klaus does this and Taki asks if he would become his personal knight.
Almost a decade later the two men meet again at a Military Academy Luckenwalde, where Taki has been sent to learn about European warfare. Klaus is given orders to befriend and protect Taki. A year passes and the two have fallen in love with one another. And this is where the story takes on a twist. Eurote breaks a treaty with the Western Alliance and Taki is deported. The next evening, he and Klaus, have their first romantic encounter (and I use the word romantic loosely). 
Taki and Klaus
From here on in the sex is brutal and I sense Taki isn't as receptive to Klaus as Klaus would like him to be, which is understandable considering the physical pain and the young man’s status. Klaus is angry and confused. He doesn't want to lose Taki, but due to Taki's status there appears to be no choice. The Reizen family is supposed to be favoured by the gods and the rulers of their country. He is expected to remain celibate until marriage. Knowing this, Taki ends the relationship with Klaus, but this is after Klaus has already sworn to be his knight, which is a sacred oath. And it's the oath that binds them together forever. Both men end up fighting in the same war from opposite sides. I will leave my synopsis at that. I don't want to spoil the story. 
As far as semes go, Klaus has one hell of a body and he's hung like a horse! LOL Taki is a more effeminate uke and not really a fighter like the typical 'feisty bottoms'. He sort of fights Klaus then seems to allow the abuse as if he feels partly responsible for Klaus's feelings. In time and after one especially brutal scene, Klaus finally realizes how wrong he's been and the cruelty of his actions. He accepts his fate at the hands of Taki's officers. I can't say that I'm absolutely smitten with this yaoi. I did thoroughly enjoy the in-depth plot, the artistry is very, very well done and the characters are certainly attractive. But it did take me a bit to fully appreciate these men. In the beginning, I wanted to beat Klaus and shove my foot up Taki's ass for allowing the shit to go on. But then my attitude changed and I found, I actually understood their passion and pain. Overall I like Maiden Rose and look forward to future installments. The sex is explicit. I'm giving this yaoi four flames for the simple fact of the violence. 


One of my favourite pictures. I think it's the red roses.
Klaus from the OVA.
Finder Series (Viewfinder) - You're My Love Prize
TOP PICK – Number 4 
Well, you knew it had to be coming. How could I possibly ignore Ayano Yamane's Finder Series (Faindaa no Hyouteki)? Yes, she also created 'Crimson Spell', which is hugely popular but it's Viewfinder I wish to discuss. If there was ever a more ideal seme I'd like you to point him out or more submissive uke with attitude let me know. Ms. Yamane does a near perfect job with her two gorgeous leading men.
Twenty-three year old Takaba Akihito (the smaller of the pair in the picture above) is a young freelance photographer who's always looking for the next big scoop. After he takes photographs of the business dealings of crime lord Asami Ryuichi, Asami kidnaps and rapes him; a common yaoi theme. Asami believes the abuse will place him at an advantage. But, of course, over time he develops feelings for Takaba and he finds that he can't stay away from the young man. Takaba claims he's revolted but again, he winds up falling for the crime lord.
Fei Long, a rival Chinese boss, who blames Asami for his father's death, takes an interest in Takaba as well and believes he may have found a way to get revenge on Asami. I won't go any further because I'll spoil it. But I will say, this manga series does evolve, the plot does thicken, and there are grandoise cliffhangers, where true love is finally given a voice. The first installment with the sadomasochism was a turn off. When I got past it and the story began to take shape I found I was rather impressed. This yaoi is really good. It does have heart. And there are some interesting twists and turns with a secret thrown in. It's another ongoing series. I have truly enjoyed it so far and I'm giving it five flames because the sex is explicit. 


Wild Rock
TOP PICK - Number 5
My choice for the number five slot is Wild Rock written by Kazusa Takashima. Other manga by Ms. Takashima are as follows:
List from Wikipedia
▪    Harlem Beat wa Yoake Made (2001)
▪    Last Client (2002)
▪    Wild Rock (2002)
▪    Dragon X Boy (2003)
▪    Kingyo Hime (2003)
▪    Takuhai Sentai: Hakobunja (2003)
▪    Private Magician (2003)
▪    Inu mo Arukeba: Fallin' Love (2004)
▪    Mata Natsu ga Kita Pinpoint Lovers (2004)

Picture this…prehistoric, men in skimpy loincloths and steamy lovemaking! Enough said, huh? Here's the synopsis–brief as it is. Wild Rock is divided into three short stories: Wild Rock, Innocent Lies and Child Rock. The first story is about Emba and Yuuen. Emba and Yuuen are heirs to opposing clans in conflict, the East Forest Tribe and Lakeside Tribe. Yuuen is in the forest, hunting and minding his own business when this lion tries to attack him. Yuuen is the uke–smaller, weaker and no match for the ferocious beast. Next thing you know this big, strong and handsome young man pounces from the trees and kills the lion! Okay...a little cliché, yes. But that’s how the story begins. Emba (the big handsome seme) saves Yuuen and it’s love at first sight, for both men, though nothing is verbally stated until much later. 
Yuuen’s father Yuni fears for their tribe’s welfare because the Lakeside Tribe (Emba’s people) are killing all the big game. So, he forces Yuuen to pretend he’s a woman, in the hopes he’ll sway Emba’s thinking in favour of their tribe. It’s a simple pretext that works too well and regardless of Yuni’s plans the young men end up falling in love. I’ll stop here, so I don’t spoil the entire plot.
Innocent Lies is actually a prequel to Wild Rock. This is a story that involves Yuni and Emba's father Selem, as younger men. Yuni steps into an animal trap set by Selem and is injured as a result. Selem nurses Yuni back to health. Selem knows that Yuni is the heir to the East Forest Tribe, but Yuni doesn't realize that Selem is the heir to the Lakeside Tribe. As time goes by feelings develop between the pair, but at the end neither is willing to sacrifice their status in order to remain together.
Child Rock is a very brief story (if you can call it that) about Emba and Yuuen years after Wild Rock, when they spend the day together babysitting Nava (the offspring of Emba’s sister and Yuuen’s brother).
Okay, I’m not going to mince words. Wild Rock is well-drawn with utterly gorgeous characters. I’d take Emba any day of the week–actually I’d take his old man too! LOL And Yuuen is the quintessential uke. So, what is it this yaoi lacks? Well, it lacks a spine and I’m referring to the plot. The plot was too simplistic and predictable. I couldn’t sink my teeth in, not enough meat on the bone I’m afraid. Here’s my rating–art A+, plot C+, sex mild and the translation questionable in spots. My overall score is a 3.5 flames because I felt Wild Rock had potential for so much more. The reason I added it to my list is because this yaoi is gorgeous and still worth a mention.
Starfighter
TOP PICK - Number 6
The yaoi I’ve chosen for number six is ‘Starfighter’, and I must say with this one, I’m very impressed, because it’s rare to find a North American artist that is exceptionally talented with her own distinctive style. Hamletmachine is taking the yaoi scene, quite literally, by storm. Everywhere I look, I find her banners and a growing fan base. This isn’t to say there aren’t other equally as talented NA yaoi artists. Just like eBook authors, there’s a new yaoi artist born every day and some do have a definite gift. But, for now, I’m sticking to the ones I know and appreciate. 

When it comes to Starfighter, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m an avid fan. I first noticed Hamletmachine’s work @ Deviantart, where I’ve had a membership for years. And I must mention, that my daughter got me hooked. When my daughter noticed I’d faved Hamletmachine on Deviantart, she told me about HM’s website and that her comic was available to read online. My daughter’s a huge yaoi too! LOL Anyway, I immediately fell in love with Hamletmachine’s raw and gritty, but also unique style. Something about it caught my eye. It isn’t beautiful precision like Kazuma Kodaka or Ayano Yamane, but her work is still beautiful in it’s own right. Perhaps, it’s the retro seventies movie poster feel, I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’m in for the long haul.


When it comes to fully understanding the plot, you’ll have to read both chapters. Basically, you have a pair of young men who are given the task names–Cain (seme-the fighter) and Abel (uke-the navigator). These men live in outer space working as a starfighter team. Their ship is the Reliant. Near as I can tell, Abel is a virgin homosexual that has an attraction for Cain. He’s introverted and caring–at least he has a conscience. Cain is the local ‘bad boy’ so-to-speak. He’s supposedly the best fighter in the fleet, and also rude, impetuous and demanding.
After they receive their assignment, the men argue. Abel’s attracted to Cain, but at the same time disgusted by the man. Abel’s feelings are typical in so many ways–he wants the bad boy, awesome sex, fuck me when I demand, but he’s fearful of the consequences a relationship with Cain could mean. At this point Cain and Abel receive battle orders. After destroying an enemy ship, they hear a distress call from the Tiberius. Abel decides to help though Cain refuses. Luckily they survive to salvage the Tiberius. Again, the men argue. Cain is rightfully pissed that Abel risked their lives. And, this is when the bad boy more or less forces himself onto Abel, and is somewhat surprised to find, Abel’s quite willing, and what a bonus, he’s a virgin! The story does continue, but I’ll leave my synopsis were it stands.
Now to the best part… I love both characters, and they do evolve, though subtle. My favourite is Cain and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in chapter 3, whether he develops more of a heart towards Abel, or if he’ll continue to unnerve the guy. Cain comes across as a prick, but I sense underneath he’s capable of better–at least when it concerns Abel. Yes, be a prick in public Cain–I love it! But be a little nicer in private. LOL
Hamletmachine does a wonderful job. Her artistry is quite addictive. Her characters are charismatic, anatomically correct, and definitely likeable. And, the sex is explicit hot! But… Yes, there is a ‘but’. From an author’s perspective, I will say the dialogue needs editing and the plot could use a touch more depth. Other than that, I give this yaoi four flames and I can’t wait to read the furture instalments!

OMG Love this pic!
Midaresomenishi
TOP PICK - Number 7
I struggled the last few days unable to choose, which yaoi to post next. Finally, I picked ‘Midaresomenishi’ or in English ‘A Legend of Samurai Love’ for my number seven slot. Samurai Love is probably one of Kazuma Kodaka's lesser-praised works. The manga is approximately two hundred and sixteen pages of moderate plot and sexual depravity--not as explicit as some bara I’ve read, but close enough. And, yes, I have read bara. I must confess, the guys with anatomically over exaggerated body parts aren’t really a turn-on. Bara is strictly a ‘suck ‘n’ f*** fest’ most of the time. And, the ones I've read with an actual plot still include gang banging, rape, or S and M. According to whomever (stats) bara is quite popular with men. I guess every man’s ultimate fantasy is to be forced? A shiver just ran down my spine. **shudders**
Anyway, getting back on track… Midaresomenishi is the story about Shirou, a red-headed, samurai warrior that has a taste for blood. Unknown to Shirou, his much younger brother Fujimaru follows him and ends up kidnapped by a sadistic, feudal lord, Sougetsu. In order to protect his brother, Shirou becomes Sougetsu’s sex slave, while devising a daring plan of escape. Subjected to humiliation, and eventually, the loss of this brother, Shirou finds himself falling for his captor and his captor falls for him. That’s a very brief synopsis. If you want to know what happens, you'll just have to read the manga. I will state this, the ending will throw you for a loop. And, Ms. Kodaka's storyline and characters were supposedly created by following a traditional yaoi standard; redheads were almost always classified as ukes at one time, and semes were seen as rather ugly men with black hair.

Ms. Kodaka does a superb job as usual. Her artistry is second to none. But the plot…total cliché, unfortunately. Very ‘oh master hurt me’. On the other hand I found this to be a breath of fresh air for Ms. Kodaka, something completely different from her usual, though graphic as it is. And, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There is a lot of forced sex. So, if very explicit, rough intercourse turns you off run the other direction.
An offshoot to Samurai Love is a very short insert called 'Midare Somenishi DJ Adesugata Emaki' (Alluring Scrolls). Once again, if you need a sex overload, please indulge. It’s approximately twenty pages of Sougetsu doing Shirou. Period. So there you have it! I give this yaoi 4 out of 5 flames because I sincerely enjoyed most everything about it and the sex was hot! But the dialogue–not! Yuck.


Black Sun
TOP PICK - Number 8
My choice for the number eight slot is Black Sun, an unusual pick, and I'll explain why shortly. Written by Uki Ogasawara, Black Sun, is the story of General Jamal Jan, the leader of a Middle Eastern army, that meets with two-hundred Monastic Knights in a final battle for the Gerum Fortress, a Mediterranean stronghold. After a brief skirmish, Jamal seizes control of the castle and the commander in charge, Prince Leonard de Limbourg. Jamal seems to have certain ideas when it comes to subjugating his enemy, which I would call 'submission through humiliation', but also 'lust at first sight'. He forces Prince Leonard to strip naked and perform in front of his knights. Leonard partly gives in to Jamal in order to save the lives of his remaining men. Then Jamal takes Leonard captive as his personal slave (sex slave to be more accurate), returning to his homeland where he's employed under the Sultan. 
The problem is Jamal didn't have permission to take a personal slave, and since he's more or less one himself, his actions lead to punishment, for both himself and Prince Leonard. While this is going on, Prince Leonard is fighting demons of his own; though he verbally denies it, secretly he enjoys the interaction and being Jamal's private sex toy. It's hard to ignore the sinful feelings of pleasure, especially when your captor doesn't actually hurt you, but instead shows moderate affection. In the end Prince Leonard finds himself wanting to stay with Jamal. And, Jamal finds himself defending Leonard against the Sultan. 

The reason I chose Black Sun is because it's unconventional; the central characters, Jamal and Leonard, are of differing racial heritage, a unique and rare find in yaoi. Okay, I admit the story is predictable and lacks depth. But you've got a pair of men, who do grow emotionally (though it may feel superficial), and who are very beautiful. If anything, for whatever the story doesn't have, Uki Ogasawara is an amazing artist, and the sex is 'ouch that's hot' good. And, there is lots of it. I'm talking pages of in-your-face man on man sex. Jamal is blatantly horny, intelligent, witty, and takes whatever he desires whenever the mood stirs him. Leonard has that introverted sexy happening; he wants it, but won't admit it. 
Basically, both characters are attractive, anatomically proportioned, and easy to like. And, as I mentioned, the sex is perversely awesome! LOL The story is predictable but decent enough to keep your attention until the last page. I've ordered the second manga, Black Sun Volume 2, because the first manga leaves the story in limbo. I'm interested to see how their relationship will pan out. In conclusion, I'm giving Black Sun 3.9 flames, it's almost there!

TOP PICK - Number 9
Junjou Romantica or 'Pure Romance', which has many alternate titles, is a yaoi manga series by Shungiko Nakamura that focuses on three storylines: the main couple Usagi (famous author) and Misaki (college student), whose stormy romance comprises the majority of the books, and two other couples that provide ongoing side stories titled: Junjo Egoist and Junjo Terrorist. Junjo Egoist is about Kamijou Hiroki (college professor) and Kusama Nowaki (med-student), and Junjo Terrorist is a slow burn romance between Miyagi (college professor) and his very young ex-brother-in-law Shinobu (high school student). The books have branched into several Drama-CDs, OVAs, a manga series running in Asuka Ciel, and a 36 episode anime series, as well as a light novel series titled 'Junai Romantica' that’s run in The Ruby magazine.
Ritsu and Masamune
On top of Junjou Romantica, the author wrote a spin-off titled Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi or 'The Best First Love in the World', which again, focuses on yaoi romance, the central pair being Ritsu (shōjo manga editor) and his first love he’d met in school Takano (EIC). Which becomes a twisted love triangle of sorts when Yokozawa, Takano’s friend, sticks his nose in; a jealous sales manager who eventually finds his own true love in another spin-off in Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi – Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai manga novels and movie. The other couples are Yoshiyuki or Tori (manga editor) and Chiaki (manga author), whose relationship becomes a triad when Yuu, Chiaki’s other childhood friend interferes; then you have Kisa (manga editor) and Yukina (sexy bookstore clerk). There is a fourth relationship slipped in and easily overlooked if you don’t pay attention, Ryuuichiro (editor) and Kauro Asahina (secretary). Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi was also done as a 24 episode anime series along with OVAs, et cetera.
I watched the shows first, then found the books to read. Both have engrossing plots and provide an in-depth portrait of what publishing in the manga world is like, as I was informed, is quite true to form. So, being an author, I really enjoyed these series, carefully absorbing every word. But I can’t decide which if either appeals to me more. The only thing I will say is I was drawn to certain couples. In Junjou Romantica my favourite relationship was Hiro-san (Kamijou) and Nowaki (Kusama). No matter the turbulence throughout their lengthy courtship, these intensely romantic men manage to stay together. To a lesser degree I also favoured Usagi and Misaki.

Hiroki and Nowaki
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi had a different feel, and I can’t pinpoint one couple I really preferred other than Ritsu and Takano, and the only reason I’ve chosen them is because out of all the characters in the SIH series Takano was my favourite—my God the man had stamina to put up with Ritsu’s crap, taking into consideration how many times Ritsu hurt him. In real life, I would’ve slapped that 'bitch' and moved on. As you can probably tell, Ritsu isn’t my flavour of the month. He’s a whishy-washy ass, the type of uke I cannot stand. I know he loves Takano, and I get it. But, seriously, his personality takes a lot to handle. That’s why I’m undecided as to which series is better or more accurately, my favourite; honestly, I love both, and could watch them over and over again. Maybe my two fav semes Usagi and Takano should get together! I’d pick that one! LOL
Miyagi and Shinobu
The Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai novels and movie were pretty good too. Yokozawa was supposed to be the bad guy, shoving his nose into Takano’s business by constantly upsetting Ritsu, but really he wasn’t. He was in love and his feelings weren’t reciprocated. It took me a while to warm up to him, his low commanding voice and stoic personality were difficult to appreciate. He was the only character who didn’t find romance in the series, however he did later in his own movie.

With the two series and separate movie there's a little something for everyone, even a relationship between an older man and a confused teenager, which honestly, was very sweet and tastefully done, at least in the anime series. When Shinobu gave his big, heart-felt speech to Miyagi on the beach I cried. It reminded me of my own youth and the first man I was in love with at the tender age of sixteen. I even sympathized with the older male characters, some of which who had become battering rams for their younger, overly emotional counterparts. Anyway, you get the gist. The yaoi manga are more explicit, of course.