I wasn’t planning on posting this for a while since I’ve already posted a bunch lately but S asked for me to finish it before she has to leave again (I’ll miss you bb! /;A;/) so! Here it is: my post about the Bitter and Sweet Syrup anthologies that Marble just recently released. The topic is, of course, men in clothing generally only worn by women. For some reason this happens to be one of my main interests so I was excited about these anthologies from the second they were announced.
And I must say, these anthologies did not disappoint. Packed full of amazingly talented BL mangaka, the stories are a mix of charming and sad, serious and silly. The reason for the boys wearing women’s clothing varies—some wear it because they want to be accepted for loving men, some wear it because they just happen to like women’s clothing, and some wear it because they were put up to it by friends. However, regardless of the reasons each story is very cute.
Insert vague disclaimer about R-18 content here, though for the most part both of these anthologies are quite tame as far as sexual content goes.
First is the Bitter anthology with cover illustration by Kumota Haruko. Mannnn I just love her art of men in dresses. She posts them all the time on her sketch blog as well and they just make my life worth living. Maybe someday in a perfect world she’ll write more manga about men in women’s clothing.
Kojima Lalako’s story was quite bittersweet, a good start to an anthology titled ‘bitter’. A young man’s childhood friend dresses as a woman and visits a park where he isn’t exactly welcome to get the attention of a man he’s in love with, but it ends with the friend getting heartbroken and crying in the arms his childhood friend. All the while, the young man is wondering if he might perhaps maybe a little be attracted to his crossdressing counterpart.
Nimoda Ai’s story, however, was mostly just silly and cute.
Taki’s story is about Kouta who develops feelings for Haru-san (whom he’s known since childhood) who is currently making the witch dresses for the Halloween parade. At one point the man mentions that Kouta might be cute in a dress, saying he’ll make one for him as well. But supposedly Haru-san has a girlfriend, making poor Kouta’s heart hurt. When Kouta gets one of the witch dresses for the parade, he takes his chance to prove his feelings for Haru-san once and for all.
I haven’t read Shinomiya Shino’s story properly yet but her art is just so cute. So.
A neighborhood man meets a cute schoolgirl on the street only to secretly find out he’s actually a boy, but that doesn’t stop him from slowly falling in love with him.
I rather liked this one, by Yoshida Yuuko. A young man runs into Toro, a former classmate, after returning home from college only to realize the boy is wearing a skirt. However, he takes a new-found interest in Toro and wants to stay acquaintances with him. The more time he spends with Toro, the more he wants to understand him. And perhaps the more he falls for him…?
Yamada Torico’s story was pretty interesting—in the end, the boy who dressed in women’s clothing and was known for being beautiful shaves off his gorgeous hair and dances around in a long skirt. I really liked that scene; it seemed very fitting of something written by Yamada Torico.
I’m not so sure I understood this one so well so I can’t really talk about it in length, but Ayumi Saki’s art is so pretty and I loved the feel and flow of the story so I wanted to post it anyway rofl. ;;
Moving on to Sweet, with cover by Zekkyou. I love the tsundere-looking schoolgirl theme haha.
Matsumoto Miecohouse’s story was fairly simple—two childhood friends, one who has always felt like and dressed like a female and the other who is in love with him.
Uyama Gihou’s story. Two cute, innocent schoolboys and some dresses.
Probably one of my favorite stories, written by Shidami. While they’re about to have sex suddenly one boy scurries off and changes into a girls’ sailor school uniform. He’s supposedly unsure of himself since his lover always points out cute girls in magazines and such and he wants his lover to consider him cute as well. This couple was just so adorable ahhhhh and though Shidami’s art feels familiar I don’t think I had ever heard of her previously? But her art is really cute! I’ve totally fallen for her!
Kanai Kei’s story, in which a boy confesses to a girl he likes only for her to be like “I’m a dude” but he can’t help but keep falling for ‘her’ anyway.
I don’t really know what was going on in this story by Kimura Hidesato but I liked this scene haha.
Umematsu Machie. *w* I had forgotten she was in these so seeing her art was a nice surprise. Also, the boy dresses up in a girls’ uniform and then his friend cums on his exposed thighs. Good stuff lmao.
Yoshizuka Mayako’s story, I quite liked this one if only because the boy in the dress was on top. You don’t see that often enough, I think. The world needs more of this.
Sakamoto Mano haaaaaay! /o/ Another story of boys being insecure after seeing their lovers macking on random females, but still very fun to read nonetheless. He looks quite dashing in his little maid outfit, does he not?
A boy trips and falls in the bathroom and his pants slip down, revealing to a fellow student (and his handy camera phone) that he’s wearing women’s panties. From then on the classmate blackmails him into coming to his house to wear women’s clothing for him. But really, this fellow classmate just seems to be looking for some upskirt action.
By niwa, a cute boy gets help from his sister after deciding to dress up in girls’ clothing after falling for the clerk at the bookstore. But he can’t help but still want to face the clerk as himself instead of as the cute girl he’s trying to imitate.
And then we go out on Fujio!
That’s all for the stories I’ll be personally highlighting—if you want to see the others then make sure to buy your own copy! From the ones I’ve properly read the stories are just brilliant and vary from silly and weird to sweet and angst-filled. If you are not opposed to crossdressing and especially if you are for some reason (like me!) interested in the subject, then I highly recommend the anthologies! They’re really honestly a great read for most any BL fan.