A love hotel, the adult film industry, and a high school aged uke… sounds like the set up for a really sleazy, cliche boys love series. But don’t let the synopsis fool you, Castle Mango written by Narise Konohara and illustrated by Muku Ogura is a surprisingly heartfelt read. A hidden gem in an otherwise sex heavy genre, Castle Mango is a breath of fresh air!
The series follows Yorozu Shirosaki, a studious high schooler whose family runs the love hotel, Castle Mango, where for a few hours, couples come to let off some steam. Yorozu sometimes helps run the front desk, but otherwise keeps his family’s business a secret from the rest of the world. His “quiet” life is interrupted when an adult film director, Togame, decides to use Castle Mango as the set of their next porno shoot and he is mistaken for one of the “extras” in the film. Embarrassed and ticked off, he vows to give the director a wide berth, but when it seems like Togame has his eyes set on his younger brother, Yorozu devises a plan. So, he tricks a drunk Togame into believing they slept together, in hopes of diverting his attention. Yorozu thought it would be enough to scare Togame off, he never imagined Togame would actually ask him to be his BOYFRIEND?!
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Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s LGBT Pride Month, the annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT+ community!! Now more than ever, representation matters, especially in the wake of the recent string of injustices carried out here in the United States and abroad.
These past few years I celebrated Pride Month with lists of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels–2018’s List and 2019’s List–and I highly recommend giving those a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I have compiled another list with even more LGBTQ+ positive Visual Novels!
I tried my best to choose games that presented members of the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light, focusing less on sexual orientation or gender identity and more on telling meaningful stories that focus on the human experience. As in previous years, I have include links to each of the games, a synopsis of the story, and a short summary of the types of representation you’ll find in the game. So, without further ado, here are Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!
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Like many of you, I’ve spent quite a bit of time confined to my apartment, waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to blow over. And while the bulk of my time spent teleworking during the week, I do need a bit of a break from the monotony of my computer screen. So I’ve taken to buying manga on Amazon and in the two weeks I’ve been social distancing I’ve amassed quite a few new titles. Of course, most of these are boys love (which seems to be pretty much all I buy now), which given my not so secret fujoshi tendencies shouldn’t be a surprise (especially if you follow my Insta).
While I definitely snagged some interesting stuff, the one that I was most interested in starting was the manhwa, Behind Story by Narae Ahn. Now, some backstory—Amazon has been suggesting this to me for WEEKS and while I like manhwa, I kind of find their stories a bit on the soap opera side when it comes to drama. And BL manhwa tends to really crank that shit up with their angsty drama and penchant for tragedy, and… I really need to be in the mood for that. So, I kinda dragged my feet a bit. It’s just 3 volumes long so it’s not as big of an investment as say a longer running shounen or shojo series and it was on sale when I got it, so I figured I could do worse.
Behind Story is the debut title of Narae Ahn, so it is a bit rough in places, but despite some flaws I actually really enjoyed reading this story. It’s more on the shounen-ai side of things, with very little in the way of actual sex, BUT, it does deal with some intense themes like: non-consentual sex, drugs, and abuse. There are a few characters that have been the victims of sexual assault and while most boys love media tends to sexualize rape, Narae Ahn makes it very clear from the get go that this is not meant to be taken lightly! These are traumatic experiences and they are handled (for the most part) in a realistic way.
Where to Read: Lezhin (Digital) | Netcomics (Digital) | Amazon (Print)
Continue reading “Behind Story – BL Manhwa Review”
I’ve been on a real boys love kick lately, so I decided to finally read through Yuki Fumino’s I Hear the Sunspot. The series focuses on the relationship between a hearing impaired college student and his cheerful and outspoken classmate. Originally released in 2014 as a stand alone volume, the story was expanded into a second volume, I Hear the Sunspot – Theory of Happiness and then again as the ongoing series I Hear the Sunspot – Limit. The series is currently licensed in English by One Piece Books, I picked up the first two volumes at con and I fell in love with the series, so when I saw them up for pre-order on Amazon, I snapped the rest of them up as well. Unlike most of the series I buy, I Hear the Sunspot is an ongoing series, with only four volumes available in print (as of this writing).
Kohei is a hearing-impaired college student who is used to being misunderstood by his peers due to his disability, to the point that he’s resigned himself to a life of loneliness. But, when he meets the outgoing and friendly Taichi, Kohei finds his quiet life of solitude is no longer enough to satisfy him. After sharing their lunch together, the pair strike up an instant friendship that slowly develops into something more than friends, but less than lovers, where will life take these two very different young men…
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Hitorijime My Hero is based on the ongoing manga series of the same name by Memeco Arii. The series follows, Masahiro Setagawa a high school student who has stopped believing in heroes, especially since the world seems to be hellbent on showing him the worst it has to offer. His mother constantly brings her “clients” home forcing Mashahiro to spend his nights wandering the streets, where he’s “adopted” by a group of local thugs. But, his luck changes when the infamous street vigilante, Kousuke Ooshiba, the “Bear Killer” comes to his rescue and decides to make him his underling. What’s more, Kousuke is the older brother of Masahiro’s best friend and his homeroom teacher! Suddenly, Masahiro starts believing that maybe hero’s do exist, but it seems that his feelings for Kousuke are deeper than either realize… and maybe, Kousuke feels the same way too?! There’s also a B-romance plot between Masahiro’s best friend Kensuke, who has recently reunited with his childhood friend, Asaya Hasekura.
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Slice-of-Life, School Life, Shounen-ai
- Air Date: Summer 2017
- Studio: Encourage Films (English: Sentai Filmworks)
Continue reading “We All Need A Hero: Hitorijime My Hero Series Review”