Tag: shounen ai

Behind Story – BL Manhwa Review

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 Manhwa (1).jpg

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)

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I Hear the Sunspot BL Manga 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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We All Need A Hero: Hitorijime My Hero Series Review

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)

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[OWLS Blog Tour] Falling in Love With My Best Friend: The Strength of Friendship in No. 6

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Squad!

“Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.””

March 2018 “Squad” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was my boy Takuto from Takuto’s Anime Cafe, with his beautiful post about my favorite sports anime series Haikyuu.

Our members have really outdone themselves this month with some phenomenal personal and pop culture inspired posts! This month I decided to look at the anime series, No. 6! Nothing says Best Friends 4 Lyfe, like overthrowing a longstanding dystopian society! Amiright?!

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Fangirl Moment: Roommates (Seok Young)

TGIF Heroes and Travelers, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Fangirl Moment, the series of posts where I spotlight media I think you guys should check out! This week I’m covering a Korean webcomic I discovered a little while ago, Roommates (aka Can’t Confess) by Seok Young, translated by Han. This is a fun comic about two friends that secretly harbor feelings for one another, things only get a bit more complicated when they suddenly become roommates… It’s just as awkward and hilarious as you’d imagine!

The series was originally published digitally by Mr. Blue back in 2015, but was eventually picked up by Spottoon.com for an English language release. This is a paid release, but you can read the first five chapters for free and by creating an account with the site you can also earn keys that will unlock additional episodes for free. Spottoon also has weekly/monthly free episode rotations, so if you plan accordingly, you can read the whole thing for free.

If you aren’t in the mood for BL, I highly recommend checking out one of my other Fangirl Moment posts (there are a ton to choose from) by clicking right, HERE, I cover a range of topics so I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile over there!! For everyone else, let’s get this show on the road shall we?

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Fangirl Moment: Don’t Blame Me

TGIF! Here we are again with another Fangirl Friday! This week I’m covering one of the first BL manga I ever read! So when I saw it on sale on the Juné site, I wasted no time snapping it up. Of course I reread it for this post, and OMG, I fell in love with the story all over again… I’m talking about the yaoi classic, Don’t Blame Me (Ore wa Wakarunai) by Yugi Yamada!

dont blame me banner

For those of you that have been following me for a while, you might recognize this manga from my Top 5 BL/Yaoi Titles post, as the series that showed me there was more to BL than sex. This a heartwarming manga and one of my all time favorites!!

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Fangirl Moment: Doukyusei

TGIF! Here we are again with another Fangirl Friday! This week I’m doing something for all of my BL/Yaoi Fangirls out there…Today I’m going to cover the boy’s love manga, Doukyusei. This post will be SAFE FOR WORK…There will be absolutely NO NSFW images in this post, so rejoice (or curse my name), this post can be read in public without consequence! Also, Doukyusei is licensed in English by Digital Manga Guild (however, while I am grateful for the work they put into translating it, there are some minor faults with their product). Doukyusei and its sequels have been licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment. The print of volume one is now available for purchase (the subsequent volumes will be released later this year).

When I heard that this manga was getting an animated film adaptation back in February, I damn near pissed my pants! I absolutely adore this manga, quirky art style and all, and I am more than willing to shell out $60 for the Blu-ray, when it is released in September. This is exactly how I like my BL, I’ll choose slow natural romance over non-con romance any day of the week! This story gave me butterflies, because it very much reminded me of my own experience with first love (though mine was nowhere near successful). I’m still fond of that awkwardly bittersweet time, and this manga captures it perfectly.

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So I kinda sorta like yaoi…and by “like” I mean LOVE!

Before I start singing the praises of the genre here is a brief overview of some BL/Yaoi basics….

Yaoi 101

Yaoi, aka Boy’s Love (as defined by wiki) “is a genre of fictionalized media focusing on romantic and sexual relationships between male characters, typically aimed at female audiences.” Yaoi is a more sexual off shoot of shounen-ai, which depicts more tame male-on-male relationships. Most BL and yaoi focus on men, with little or no female presence within the plot. Male characters are plentiful and fit into one of two categories: Seme or Uke.

Semes

Semes usually, but not always display masculine characteristics. These men are referred to as the “tops” and are the dominant participants in the relationship. These characters are often more aggressive than their partners and are the ones who “give” during sexual intercourse. These men are usually strong, well built specimens who appeal to both men and women, and are often seen pursuing their prey uke.

I generally like confident and imposing semes, but that’s just me. It’s even better when the seme has a cute side that only his uke gets to see. There is something sexy about a man blushing that gets me all hot and bothered…now put some glasses on that seme…

Ukes

Ukes on the other hand are the “receivers” or bottoms. They are often more feminine in appearance and physically smaller than semes. These characters are often more reserved than their partners, rarely pushing the relationship. Most BL is told from their perspective giving insight into their thoughts and feelings, making them more relatable to the reader. Seme/Uke roles can be both permanent and impermanent with some couples choosing to reverse roles within the relationships (I personally like this). Also age has no bearings in who is a seme and who is an uke. Semes can be younger than their partners and ukes can be older and vise versa.

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