BL ‘year in review’ 2010 meme
I decided to make this since everyone else is currently filling out the fandom ‘year in review’ memes and I’m, sadly, not in many fandoms so I can’t really participate. But I keep wanting to do the ones that ask questions like ‘favorite BL manga of 2010’ so I figured I may as well just make my own BL-centric ‘year in review’ meme lmao. Kind of pitiful, I know, but it’s fun!
01. What were your top five BL manga of this year?
Me wo Tojite 3byou by Aniya Yuiji — this one is really obvious, sorry. There’s just something about this manga that always makes me come back to it, even though I know there were plenty of much more ‘deep’ or ‘meaningful’, etc. manga released this year. But the way this manga made me feel when I read it for the first time (and the subsequent thirty or so times after that) and the fact that it rocketed Aniya Yuiji to my #1 spot even though there are so many BL mangaka I adore… this manga really encompasses 2010 for me.
Danshi Meiro by Aniya Yuiji — yes, another Aniya Yuiji title! But this was the debut comic of the Citron line and is the tankoubon that contains the first Aniya Yuiji story I ever read, and it was released early this year when I was just first starting to buy a lot of my own BL manga and anthologies and starting to make my own discoveries in the genre instead of relying on others. Also, I just fucking love this manga lmao. It’s brilliant and sweet and I have also read it a ridiculous amount of times.
Kimi Note by Junko — a sweet romance between two school boys. This is one of the first Japanese-only tankoubon I ever reviewed so it has a special place in my heart. It also introduced me properly to Junko, who I have since fallen completely in love with. This one really reminds me of spring of this year, since that’s the mood of the main story and also when I first got the book. Brilliant and sweet, I recommend it to everyone who hasn’t read it yet!
Koutetsu no Baby Leaf by Sunae Hata — Sunae Hata’s first tankoubon, I picked this one for a variety of reasons. One, she was a big reason I picked up Canna. After I saw her illustrations next to Ootsuki Miu’s I just couldn’t drop the subject and spent countless hours researching Canna when the anthology had only just recently been announced for publication. At the same time, her tankoubon for this story was announced and thus the reason I started buying LYNX. So because of Sunae Hata’s cute art and adorable stories, I was introduced to a lot of different manga I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise.
Hakumokuren ga Saita nara by Riwo & Mieno Saori — this one didn’t necessarily introduce me to anything and doesn’t have any great meaning, but I just all-around really love this story. There have been a lot of BL tankoubon released this year that I really enjoyed, but somehow Hakumokuren really stands out. It has the perfect mix of drama and angst and romance and is just really a beautiful story and it goes so well with Mieno Saori’s art. I just love it for the perfect balance it has. Also, crossdressing.
02. Name a manga that ended this year that you really loved.
This is hard since I didn’t really start following Japanese publications until this year, but I guess I have to say Punch by Kano Shiuko. That manga was quite long and a very bumpy road from beginning to end, but I really loved it. It’s sad to see it end, but I’m nonetheless happy that all the characters got the happy end they deserved. It really left me with a great feeling, reading that last chapter.
03. Name a manga that started this year that you really loved.
Yakozen by Jaryuu Dokuro! It disguised itself as a fairly simple manga but it’s really brilliant and sad. I can’t wait to see the next chapter. But also, it’s tied with Kumota Haruko’s Itoshi no Nekokke. Really, Itoshi is such a fabulous lighthearted slice-of-life manga about the relationship between two men who really want to make their love work. It’s so heartwarming seeing them accept each other’s faults and bask in each other’s joys. I really love it a lot.
04. What was your favorite BL oneshot of 2010?
Any number of the oneshots I read by Kojima Lalako. There’s just something about her stories—even her short ones—that really stands out. One that was originally a oneshot before it got another chapter continuation was Yamada Torico’s Nettaiurin Yoru, which was just a horribly heartbreaking story but it was so realistic and evoked such real feelings that I just can’t forget it.
05. What was your favorite BL couple of 2010?
Possibly Dora and You-chan from Danshi Meiro but I also really loved Mi-kun and Kei-chan from Itoshi no Nekokke. Their relationship is really just too sweet. Also, also! Kikuchi and Akaboshi from Kojima Lalako’s Kimi to Parade. ;; They were just amazing together.
06. In your opinion, who was the biggest up-and-coming mangaka of 2010?
Maybe I am biased, but I think it was definitely Kumota Haruko!! /o/ She went from being a name that just made BL fans curious to, after the release of Nobara‘s tankoubon, being a smash-hit, having her own meet-and-greet, being in various BL publications (where previously she had just been in publications released by Tokyo Mangasha) and even getting the cover of Moe Danshi Gatari 2. She has become suuuuuuuper popular and it makes me so happy—I can’t think of a sweeter, more amazing person who deserves it any more than Kumota does.
07. Who were some new BL mangaka you personally discovered and fell for?
Oh gosh there were so many this year. This was my ~big year of discovering BL fandom~ so many of the mangaka I love were ones I discovered just this year. Kojima Lalako, Matsumoto Miecohouse, Sunae Hata, Umematsu Machie, Junko, Kevin Komine, Komeri, Konno Satomi, Yamanaka Hiko, etc. etc. The list could really go on forever.
08. Which publisher really caught your attention this year?
WELL. There were a lot of great lines this year that I really fell for—HertZ in particular—but I have to say that Citron and Canna were the two that really shined this time around. Both of them debuted this year and instantly made a name for themselves with all the great mangaka they carry and the wonderful stories in every book. I see a long future ahead of both of them.
09. Were all of your wishes for 2010 answered?
ehhh… I would have liked for my favorite mangaka to have published more this year. Aniya Yuiji only released two books, both of which were at the beginning of the yer and caused a relatively Aniya-less last-half of 2010. Ogura and Kobato only released one book each, Ootsuki only released two whereas she usually releases around three or four. But that’s just me being greedy, since they’re working their hardest and I’m sure the amount of tankoubon they release doesn’t really mean much.
10. Talk in length about your experience in BL fandom in 2010!
In length ahhhh why did I write this question. Well. There isn’t much to say lmao. Like I said, in 2010 I had this blog and started my path to BL discovery. I bought a lot of anthologies and magazines and thus was able to discover many many different mangaka with various art and stories styles—some of which I fell head-over-heels for and some not so much. I met a lot of great people, including my Fujoshi Twin and many other friends who I am very grateful for who are also passionate about BL manga. So I think 2010 was really a very great year.
11. What are you most excited about for 2011?
Punch tankoubon! Itoshi no Nekokke tankoubon! I was going to say ‘the completion of Castle Mango but since that only publishes three times a year I doubt that will happen haha. I’m excited about more Hakumokuren in the next issue of HertZ. I’m excited about the next issue of Citron that’s only six or so days away now. I’m excited about Canna’s tankoubon releases for next year. Umm… yeah!
12. What are your hopes for 2011?
oh gosh. :> I hope for a Castle Mango tankoubon though it’s looking like they won’t release anything until the story is complete. I hope for looooots of Ootsuki Miu this coming year since she has about a million unpublished oneshots and random stories in a million different magazines and anthologies. Here’s to her finally getting a book that isn’t through LYNX or drap or Pierce! (Though I’m also hoping for Pierce to finally release all the stories by her they’ve been hording gdi.) I’m hoping for Kobato Mebaru to come back to BL in spurts. I’m hoping for lots and lots more stories by my various favorite mangaka. I’m hoping for Kojima Lalako to finally get a tankoubon release so I can properly show her my support. I’m hoping for Tokyo Mangasha to keep doing what they do. I’m hoping for Aniya Yuiji to release a tankoubon for her story in OPERA so I can stop being tempted to buy the damn anthology. I’m hoping for Nakamura Asumiko to get better and come back so I can read more Sora to Hara.
In general, I’m just hoping for 2011 to be filled with more and more great BL manga!
Anyway, a very happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog! Thank you, and here’s to hoping you achieve all of your goals and hopes in 2011! (Especially those relating to BL, of course!)