Y is for Yaoi

Yaoi - manga and anime

Books 25 in http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html



Since I write a fair amount of m/m, I have also come to appreciate Yaoi and Shouned-ai manga along with the animated versions. It's a very different form of story telling, the images and text compared to a novel, but I find them enjoyable once I figure out what the heck is going on, lol. But first I must add due to the nature of the images found in Yaoi:


Okay, better. Yes, Yaoi does get graphic and there are pictures. So it pretty much puts the Graphic in Graphic Novels, lol. And to be honest, I sometimes skim over the sexual images because that's not what I'm reading the story for, plus you don't need to stare at it much to know what is going on so they are easy to skim. What I read for is the plot and what puts the boys together. As a writer of boy/boy stories, it's nice to see what is already out there and while there aren't a ton of gay young adult or even adult books (there are some though), a fair amount exists in the world of manga.

It took me a while to get used to reading them. First off, the free manga sites like to slow my computer down. So, that doesn't help, but also... there are lots of pages and when I first tried, I didn't know the read right to left, or the whole how to interpret story through small bits of writing on top of images. But I'm getting better at it.

Then there is the trick. Fan art is fun and can show different series I'd never heard of before. But most of the time, an image of two boys kissing may not actually exist in the manga. Have to figure out if someone is posting an image from the manga, or if they are just doing fan art, as I have been tricked before.

If looking for less graphic, try searching Shounen-ai instead of Yaoi, but I'll be honest, some intermix cause I've seen some graphic content listed under the lighter one that could totally have been called Yaoi.

Also, like some romance (from what I've read on other blogs) at times in Yaoi the question of consent gets a little questionable. I'm not a big fan of force and then the whole "if they like it, it's okay," cause well... No. Don't do that. I'd like to see more where the conflict isn't "OMG how can I do stuff with a guy" and see more that are okay with being gay but other issues arise. Only on occasion does the questionable consent work and some suffering is involved in that, like in Junjou Romantica. But enough of rambles, here are my favorite Yaoi that I've read so far.

Junjou Romantica (both manga and the animated version)

My favorite is the first pairing, the "Junjou Romantica" one. While the other two stories are okay, the confusion and innocence of the main character as he tries to come to terms with his romance with another male was by far the best. It's one of the few times where I don't get too bothered by the consent question, because at the very beginning it's not romance, but near the end, we see him saying he wants to be the guy's special someone. And Usami does struggle later with his actions from the beginning, so that was good to see. However, it does get a little old with him taking control all the time. One of my favorite ones, in the animated version and in the manga, was when Misaki tries to do the moves. He may have no idea what he is doing, but he tries. That was a big moment for him and one of my favorites. Followed close by the conversation in the Ferris wheel.  Such a cute couple. Though I need to finish reading the manga cause I wonder if the brother ever finds out what his little brother and his best friend have been up to all those years... hehe


Monochrome Factor (animated version, haven't read the manga yet)

This one is more obscure. I have a friend who works in the gaming industry and goes to many anime conventions and he'd never heard of it. The Yaoi in the anime version is also minimal. Just kissing so it's far less graphic as it doesn't get sexual, though there is violence because the main character has to fight shadow demons. Though at times I understood Akira's struggles when Shirgone kept professing love for him. He's never sure how he feels and has to deal with that long with demons attacking, being part shadow and not knowing much about his own future. He also has some awesome friends to help along the way as they fight the growing darkness that threatens their world. I've also heard the boy/boy factor was amped up for the animated version, so it may not be the same with the manga. In fact, I wish there was more of the animated show cause I liked Akira. And this is probably the only thing I've ever attempted writing fanfiction for, because I want more story. Should read the manga, I suppose.

Other yaoi manga that I've enjoyed includes:
Gokujou no Koibito
Hey, Class President
Cello Mellow
Love Neko


Special mention for Black Butler and Betrayal Knows My Name, both ones I need to finish that may not quite qualify as yaoi (depending who is doing the defining) but are awesome.

Reviewed by:
Dawn Embers



 

3 comments:

Shawn Yankey said...

Interesting share! We are almost done A to Zing! Hope you had as good a time as I did. Thanks for all your great comments!
Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

J.L. Campbell said...

Although Manga and Anime are so popular, I haven't really gotten past the stuff I see on television.

Dawn Embers said...

Shawn Yankey - Thanks for commenting. It was a fun challenge indeed.

J.L. Campbell - Ah, I haven't seen the ones on tv. I had to seek out these online.

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