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Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
9:27 am - Esu vol. 1-4 BL Novel by Saki Aida
Have a thing for yakuza, cops and sex for secrets?Collapse )

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Thursday, February 26th, 2009
5:42 am - Kichiku Megane: BL Game Review and Guide

So I fibbed when I said I'd do a monthly column Jan. last year....Collapse )

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Sunday, March 9th, 2008
6:41 pm - Minami Megumu in English

So I discovered last week that Minami Megumu is out in English in the local bookstore. The titles I found? 'Rose of the Rhine', 'Pleasure Dome', and 'Poison, Cherry, Drive'.

I just stood there in shock. 

Other than the dropped jaw, wtf reaction, I was almost afraid to look, but not afraid enough. Rose of the Rhine is ... indescribable, until you read the postscript and realize it all makes a weird sort of sense if you know Wagner. Wagner. Germanic epic poetry. In this case, it's a mash-up of Song of the Nibelung and Epic of Detrich.

In a way, Wagner and Minami make sense together, they both tend to wtf style plots. Although Minami takes a "What?" plot and makes it a "What?!" I do like her cheerful, utterly ruthless disposal of the facts, as well as her cheerful, utterly ruthless disposal of linear plot.

Unlike Pleasure Dome, Rose of the Rhine is light on the sex and heavy on the comedy. See the excellent   Pleasuredom review.

Oh and for those who care: Spelling? Schmelling! We don't need no stinking grammar, neither! The misspellings look like different translators roman-izing katakana differently and the occasional typo. The grammar does things like drop articles, as if it hasn't been cleaned up from the translation. Not often in the text but rampantly in the postscript. A simple copy edit should have caught much of it.

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
7:55 pm - PSA: Cybershoppe Returns
It is not likely to be as big of a catalog as it was (Yaoi-con obligations' quite a full time ordeal).  But, here's a place for you to shop for doujins, omakes (and some KK artists' goods) in between Conventions where we appear with/in Yaoicon booths.


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Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
11:34 am - Kitty Returns....again.
Kind of. More of a visit from the circus I've run away to join after 5 years.

Gathered Fluffery over New Years in Tokyo.



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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
3:04 pm
Recent reading
So I have a bum knee, see. (I like that phrase, if only for the expression on my Shanghainese coworker's face when I first used it.) So I spend a lot of time lying on my bed with the knee straight out. So I've been working through the manga stack, and finally finished all three volumes of Nitta Youka's Irokoi, volume whatever of the host-based When a Man Loves a Man series.

I like this series when I'm in the mood for BL, only somehow I haven't been in the mood for BL this last shounen-heavy year. But after 9 volumes of Papuwa, 19 vols of HnG and 23 volumes of Bleach in two months, I was ready for a change.
Impressions and some spoilersCollapse )

For my own uses, the series to date under the cutCollapse )

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Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
11:26 pm
English Translation Focus: Antique Bakery

Japanese name: Seiyou Kottou Yogashiten
Original Publisher: Shinshokan (serialized in Wings)
English Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Amazon Link

Yoshinaga Fumi saved me a bunch of money on car insurance! She fixed my bum elbow and cured my astigmatism!

Okay, no.Collapse )


current mood: bouncy

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Saturday, May 27th, 2006
2:32 pm
Long silence. Life happening. Also the server cancelled the password to our site. These things are sent to try us.

So have some pleasant hottish weather reading, Akino Matsuri's Genjyuu no Seiza, Astrological Sign of the Demon Beasts. Not BL, barely shoujo with overtones, but full of hawt Indian/ Chinese/ Whatever anthropomorphic mythological animals. Dragons. Kirin. Bird-men. From the author of Petshop of Horrors, what else would you expect?

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Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
10:04 am
Oh well. Let's pass on the bad news. Biblos has apparently filed for bankruptcy. (Japanese report here.) Mss of current manga have been returned to their owners and one may reasonably expect other companies to swoop in and snap up the biggest of them. Thus passes an age.

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Monday, March 20th, 2006
11:08 am
I keep falling
In and out
Of love again...

love for BL, that is. Right now I'm out. Shoujo with undertones is where I'm at and you can keep your repetitive sex scenes. But I'll make exceptions, in this case for Ze, the latest series from the Love Mode mangaka Shimizu Yuki. Grumpy remarks aside, I actually don't think this would have worked much better as shoujo with undertones rather than as a full-blown guys in love story. What I can't get over is how much it reads like a BL remix of Fruits Basket.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2006
3:42 pm
Yoshinaga Fumi in English. Thanks, Santa!

Recently got my hands on vols 1 and 2 of "Antique Bakery" (Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten), English translation by Digital Manga Publishing. This isn't a review since the series has 2 more volumes (I think) to go, but I just wanted to give it an early recommendation here -- this series is good enough to eat, pun intended. From the delicately layered characterization to the full-bodied and over-the-top comedy, the aromatic lacing of m/m romance, and all of it wrapped in crisp hilarious dialogue... ah, what a treat! (The detailed descriptions of the pastries don't hurt, either.) I have to admit I was a little worried when I heard DMP would be taking on one of my favorite mangaka, but they clearly handled this one with the artistry and respect that it deserves. (Scratch n' sniff covers on every volume!)

I'll give a full review when vol. 4 comes out, but in the meantime check out DMP's descriptions for more info.

But does anyone know -- what was the original term used to describe Ono? In this translation it's "gay of demonic charm", which strikes me as a bit unwieldy. I've heard that it was either "magical gay" (pun on "magical girl?") or "gay fatale" (as in "femme fatale"), but I haven't read the J-version myself.

current mood: giggly

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Saturday, December 3rd, 2005
7:47 am
Genji, the original Gary Stu

This was one of those blink! moments. Yes, *lord* yes. Genji is fanfic, at least in terms of the circumstances of its production. (Of course Genji is all OCs, not fanfic. We *still* don't have a word for the original amateur stuff the Chinese and Japanese produce. Our amateur writing seems derivative by default.) But: largely female genre, its rules worked out by the original female producers, not taken seriously by the main culture, written in the social context of a smallish group of people who all knew each other well. Be nice if that interpretation at least got published in some academic journal.

(For those out of this particular loop there are ongoing summaries and discussions of Genji from a distinctly fannish POV in rachelmanija, telophase and kate_nepveu's ljs. As a plus, I believe they're all reading different translations.)

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Sunday, November 13th, 2005
2:53 pm
Shall pass this on in a public service fashion, for all the seiyuu fans out there.

So there's this truly WTF oddity called Legend of the Sacred Stone, which is a run of the mill made in Taiwan High Silly kung fu film-- except that it's done with puppets and it has a Japanese dub sound track.

The Japanese dub is a necessity, because the Chinese dialogue is all done by one man- the puppeteer, I'm assuming- and it's a) inaudible and b) the same for all voices. The subtitles, I will say now, are *wrong.* But the Japanese-- ahh, the Japanese---Collapse )

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Saturday, October 22nd, 2005
8:46 pm
Ima Ichiko, the acknowledged master of boggarts and bogles and long-leggity beasties (and the guy in my icon who's actually one of same) has a side series she draws whenever the mood strikes her-- as in maybe once a year. The mood has struck often enough that hallelujah, she now has enough stories for a tankoubon. Herewith Strange Tales of the Phantom Moon Tower, which is all about boggarts and bogles and Boy's Love. *And* Alternate Universes, just for a change, cause it's set in 'something approaching early Shouwa' (mid-1920's) that isn't quite the one we know.

I'll quote Puff magazine again: 'Periodically people try to come up with ways to categorize mangaka, but Ima Ichiko can't be put in any one box or with any one set of people. She's just... Ima Ichiko.' Good times.

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2005
12:18 pm
Roadblocks on the way to yaoi? Thoughts on reading FMA

We all know the common wisdom, that shounen series get yaoified much more often than shoujo because 1) they have more guys 2) interacting with each other and not with the girls who 3) tend anyway to be stereotypes or on the periphery or at any rate not central to the action. I'm sure this is true. Give the fans a bunch of guys playing tennis and they'll do mix and match as they please.

However the shounen I've followed most avidly is drawn by women, ex-fangirls who deliberately stick the subtext into the text for all to see. I'm told some male mangaka are doing this too, or that subtext gets inserted when the manga is animated in hopes of appealing to a wider audience. I'd argue that subtext crops up anyway when animation enters the picture. I read all of YuuYuu Hakusho and didn't get any yaoi vibes among the main characters. I watched a few eps of the anime and yes by god, it was too gorgeous not to smutify. Same in reverse for Rurouni Kenshin: I watched the anime and finally saw, at least in outline, where all those many many djs were coming from (though sexslut!Aoshi still hurts my head.)
But what about FMA?Collapse )

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Thursday, August 18th, 2005
4:10 pm
Words for things that need words

1. Those female characters who call themselves boku and dress like guys and look like guys- Haruka in Sailor Moon, Kaoru in O-niisama e- what are they? They are bifauxnen. The wikipedia article says Utena is the classic example, but I think I disagree, largely because Utena the series is itself about questioning sexual and gender roles. The meta is already part of the text. There's a why for Utena to be dressing and talking as she does. There's no why for Haruka and Kaoru. They just are. And Kaoru is straight.

2. Fans of ongoing series know this one only too well. You write a story about an unresolved question or plot point. The mangaka answers the question in some ep or other and wham, your story has been automatically rendered un-canon and Alternate Universe. You've been jossed. "(A) story (or writer) has been jossed when it has been made AU by events in canon after it was written. Named for Joss Whedon, who made a habit of declaring earthquake in Buffy canon so often that writing fanfic within that canon was an exercise in willpower and frustration."

Willpower, frustration, and sheer bloodymindedness. Ah yes, Ai remembhair eet well.


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Sunday, July 31st, 2005
9:06 pm
"The hot days of summer continue I hope you are well" as Japanese letters tend to begin at this time of year. The hot days of summer continue indeed, rot them. Have some Heian historical BL, Romance of a spring evening at the royal court. Romantic. Not hot. Well, unless you find refined language a turn-on-- which, after all the crude four-letterdom of western slash, I rather do. Though I'll note that characters in this period refer to the male organ as 'mara', which I'd always thought was the essence of coarse. But then I'd never seen the kanji for it. High-falutin' Sanskrit word for an 'obstacle'--in this case, to Buddhist enlightenment. Cough.

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Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
9:09 am
Some people rant at fanfic rants but I rant here. And what I rant about is people at fanficrants insisting that Japanese terms shouldn't be used in Gundam Wing or Full-metal Alchemist fics because 'the characters aren't Japanese!'
Surely you jest?Collapse )

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Saturday, July 9th, 2005
3:59 pm
To call your attention to an online survey about your BL habits and preferences, located here. I have problems with some of the usages and spellings therein (what else is new?) but I think any attempt to research fandom by talking to the fans themselves should be encouraged. Since academics will theorize about us, let's give them some hard data to theorize from.

To quote the researcher, Dru Pagliassotti:

'"Boy's Love Manga: Readers and Fan Communities" asks boy's love manga readers to describe themselves, why they like boy's love manga, and how they contribute to the boy's love genre and fan community.'

'The study seeks to develop a detailed description of English-speaking boy's love fans and lay down a solid academic foundation for further popular-culture research into the genre.'
A word from the researcherCollapse )

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Thursday, June 16th, 2005
4:38 pm
One of the problem with being a long time fan is that you accumulate stuff. Quite a lot of stuff. If you 're one of the lucky few who live in Japan you can offload them on Mandarake and Bookoff. But the rest of us are left with choosing between the hassles of EBay or buying more bookshelves. So we're very happy to introduce a new addition to Aestheticism - The Trading Post, a classified ad service for yaoi fans. You can use it to buy, sell and trade your drug of choice with your fellow fans. Even better, you can post up to 10 ads/month free. Click here to give it a try today.

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