today in BL manga

I apologize in advance for how all-over-the-place this post will likely be. /o\ I figured I would just do a post about all the BL stuff I’ve been thinking about or seeing or reading lately that I haven’t necessarily had enough content or collected my thoughts enough for a post.

♔ → Okay first, I want to talk about covers starting with Tojitsuki Hajime.

I just think it’s so pretty—reminiscent of Tojitsuki’s older, more subtle art style. I love the coloring and the shadows and the perspective.

Then there are Manaka Koko and Kijima Hyougo:

They’re just so cute! I can’t get over it. Manaka Koko’s, in particular—it barely even looks like a cover for a BL manga. I still haven’t read anything by her, to be honest, but this one is so tempting. Too bad I already finished calculating my order for May. :<

♔ → Speaking of orders, I actually made my April order quite a while back but actually I probably won’t be getting it for quite a while? orz;;; I bought Yamada Maya’s book and I guess Junet in particular seems to be having a lot of trouble with keeping their books stocked (note to self: preorder PLAYZONE waaaay in advance!) so it’s holding my entire purchase back. Which is sad because I have a lot of books in this order that I was super excited about. I’ll try to be a patient young lady. /;A;\

♔ → I have probably stated before that I really don’t like Nakamura Shungiku’s art. Nothing against it—it just, sadly, doesn’t mesh at all with what I generally prefer in a BL art style. However, on a whim I decided to start reading/watching Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. And… I really like it. orz;; A lot. I still don’t enjoy the art style but the story is enough to make me look past it. I’m not even altogether sure why I like Sekaiichi so much, exactly, but for some reason even Ritsu’s continued dramatic rejection of his feelings for Takano doesn’t irritate me.

The anime, though, is hard for me to watch at times. orz;;; The awkward wet sound effects during the dirty scenes and all the anime-style jokes that were added in to make it more watchable get on my nerves/embarrass me at times. But for some reason I still watch every episode once it’s uploaded.

I’m rather excited about Yoshino and Hatori’s storyline! But I guess I’ll have to wait all week for it to air haha.

♔ → Citron! Jaryuu Dokuro is absent again! Boooooo! ;w; Perhaps she’s just busy putting more effort into her story that runs in BLink, but I really wish she would either continue Coyote or just take a proper hiatus while she works on it so that I can stop getting my hopes up. ilu Jaryuu Dokuro but at this point you’re just being cruel.

But something cute:

I looooooove this! It’s so cute and I just adore the loving look on Kei-chan’s face and I really really really reaaaaally want to read it! Also, as you can see, Itoshi again has two chapters in this volume! *w* Awesome. I was spoiled for a while with the two-chapter volumes of Citron and then they took them away and it was quite cruel, so I’m giddy to have more chapters coming out one after the other. Honestly, I can never get enough Itoshi no Nekokke.

Next volume cover is Nishida Higashi? Which I personally find kind of odd since she has never been in Citron before. Couldn’t they have given it to an artist who has been running in Citron regularly? :T But I’m probably just bitter because I don’t like Nishida Higashi’s art so it’ll be an interview spread I don’t find particularly interesting. (To be honest I was hoping for Kashio or Ayu Yamane. ;w;) Maybe I should try readnig her works more sincerely and see if I can like them. Jaryuu Dokuro will supposedly be in the next issue, buuuut… Aniya Yuiji is gone? Really gone? I’m probably just being paranoid, but I hope she’s not going to stop being in Citron for good now that she’s done doing the comics about the Citron Danshi. Write more comics about them, Aniya! Please? /;A;\ This is the only BL publication you’re still in regularly—please don’t leave me!

♔ → Actually, speaking of Aniya Yuiji, I reread Me wo Tojite 3byou for the millionth time this weekend (and was pretty embarrassing about it) and loved it as much as I always have. Sometimes I read something really fantastic and find myself thinking “why is Me wo Tojite my favorite when there are all these other amazing manga out there??” but then all I have to do is reread it and I will fall in love with Aniya Yuiji’s work all over again. Also, I reread Mister Convenience before bed last night. Same story, haha. I don’t know if Aniya Yuiji can write something I won’t absolutely adore in the end.

♔ → drap’s preview and summary of Ootsuki Miu’s latest chapter of Familiar! \*v*/

………….w-wait, that’s Takaku Shouko’s art, isn’t it??

Haha actually drap messed up and all the preview images were wrong for a while. orz;;;;; Which was funny, but rather disappointing since I really want to read Familiar and was very excited to see Ootsuki’s color page. But they fixed it, which is a relief because Ootsuki’s color page is suuuper cute and I’d hate to have missed out on it!

I really love Ryohei and Nanao’s pairing dynamic. *v* So it’s killing me that I probably won’t be able to read this until mid-May haha.

♔ → And then lastly, I found a bunch of POP images from old Tokyo Mangasha tankoubon publications:

I absolutely love them! Except they just really make me want to reread the series’ they’re all for…

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18 responses to “today in BL manga”

  1. gb says :

    I’m a new reader here, so I’m really curious about this monthly BL manga budget of yours. X)

  2. myluv2pop says :

    I really love Sekaiichi Hatsukoi! I haven’t watched any of the anime yet, BL anime and OVA kind of put me off for some reason… especially the dramatic music during the karami. But I really love the story and the humor! I’m a big fan of Nakamura Shungiku anyways for Hybrid Child and Junjou Romantica, but I like Sekaiichi Hatsukoi the most out of her works. I might have to start watching Sekaiichi Hatsukoi next week though since I’m a big fan of the drama cds and I love the seiyuu for Tori… Ugh! But the dramatic music! It kills me….

    • ふう子 says :

      I feel the same way re: BL anime for the most part—I actually had a conversation with my friend and we discussed how it’s sad that BL anime is used mostly as just another way to get money and almost never seems to equal anywhere near the same artistic integrity as the original manga. Generally it’s just a bunch of fanservice and dumb jokes. orz;;;; I would love to see a BL anime that was handled and budgeted properly that was actually a joy to watch.

      BUT ANYWAY haha Sekaiichi isn’t too bad! Like I said, there are some parts that make me cringe but I nonetheless keep going back for more so there has to be something about it I find enjoyable!

  3. sringangel says :

    Sekaiichi Hatsukoi : Ahahahha I can’t deny her art ain’t really good but I have to give credits for her chibis and crazy panda eyes and the crazy expressions she always draw XD. (And also the times she make me laugh)
    I feel her art and her kind of story blend in so well its kinda incredible.
    What’s more incredible is even my non-otaku-non-fujoshi-at-all friends watch Junjou Romantica with me! wwwww And they love it! XD
    I’m waiting for Kisa’s couple but the notion of new couple plot makes me squee too ~*V*~
    Ahhhh Aniya Yuuji, I should really start reading her works. … I’m not sure if I’ve read Mr. Convinience, should go and find out. ><;

    • ふう子 says :

      her art is fine! It just doesn’t mesh with my preferences, sadly. Too… square-ish? If that makes sense? But yeah, she really does excel at silly facial expressions and such! She’s very good at writing comedic BL.

      And that’s really cute that you’re able to watch Junjou Romantica even with your non-otaku friends! :> I’m glad they’re able to enjoy it as well!

      Aniya’s works are really brilliant! *w* Mister Convenience was her work that pushed me over the edge into just liking her into full-on adoring her, so you should totally check it out!

  4. merly says :

    i am not entire fond of Nakamura’s art too but i feel that it’s on par when compared to almost every BL artist’s art. Interesting to note is that my fav kind of art hardly appears in BL works. Ironically it appears on almost all the manga published on monthly shojos like Zero-Sum Comics, Avarus etc…

    Sometimes i do wonder what the BL manga industry is like. When I read all those Hetalia, Durarara, Katekyo Hitman Reborn doujinshis and then go back to my BL manga, I find the BL art to be severely lacking.
    With the exception of Abe Miyuki and some others, BL manga’s art always have this half hearted and sketchy feel to it. Not that i am complaining…but it sure boggles me sometimes.

    Speaking of which, Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi is awesome! I really hope more BL manga authors can write a serialized story instead of finishing a story in a tankobon!

    • Cozza says :

      Oh, wow. I’m sorry, but exactly how much BL have you read to be qualified to state that “BL manga’s art always have this half hearted and sketchy feel”. Firstly: no, no, no, artist – let alone BL artist would ever submit something half-hearted, considering it’s their passion. Secondly, what appears to be a “sketchy” style you’ll most probably find to be extremely difficult to accomplish tastefully, so if anything mangaka with these “sketchy” styles should be all the more credited. Thirdly: While some doujinka may have “prettier” works, they’re under little pressure, no deadlines and no expectations because it’s not their sole profession. And not only that, but they’re creating stories based off already existing characters and settings, as opposed to mangaka creating said conventions from scratch, along with a captivating narrative.

      So please take your ignorant comments elsewhere. I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, but quite frankly your condescending outlook on the BL industry is incredibly discouraging.

      And my apologies to you, Ami. I did not intend to start some big comment war battle. ♥

      • merly says :

        I’ve been reading BL manga since Abe Miyuki and Maki Murakami debuted…which is around 15 years ago. In fact, i don’t just read only BL manga, that is why i am making a comparison. I beg your pardon but my comments would be anything but ignorant :>

        The art in typical BL manga is usually unpolished, bad use of white space, and lack of screentones – which is what i meant by sketchy and half hearted.

        Let’s put it this way, we’ll almost never see a similar character art or design from shonen/shojo manga in BL. It just seems to pale in comparison.

        So why am i making a comparison? Just venting because I hope to see a transition of art in some BL manga.

        Just an example let’s compare b-boy’s monthly anthologies with monthly zero sum.
        Those are just the covers, flip through your BL and do a comparison with your other genre of manga. I am sure you can see the stark differences. That said, I did pointed out some exceptions in BL manga, in the above post.

        In any case, sorry if you seemed offended but i hoped you could see my point from a neutral point of view. It was just a comment that came off my mind when someone mentioned about BL art. I loved BL manga more than anything and there’s no way i would diss it :)

        Keep in mind i am generalizing most of the things i said above. I know there are always exceptions, but majority ain’t the case.

        • ふう子 says :

          you may say your comment is not ‘ignorant’, but there are other ways to be ignorant about such a topic aside from not reading a lot of BL manga. Frankly, I don’t care if you’ve been reading BL since Abe Miyuki debuted. I also found your comment in poor taste—I said I do not like Nakamura Shungiku’s art style, but never at any point did I say she is a ‘bad’ artist nor did I say she was unpolished or not talented. The great thing about manga is there are many different styles used by many different artists—that goes for any genre, whether it’s BL or shoujo or shounen. Perhaps you prefer the way shoujo or shounen manga is written and drawn, but that doesn’t automatically make BL bad just because it’s created in a different way. I know BL mangaka who draw detailed backgrounds and BL mangaka who use rarely draw backgrounds at all. I know BL mangaka who use screentone like it’s their lifeblood and I know BL mangka who do not use it at all. There is no wrong or right way to express your own art. There is just the work you put into it and the people you share it with.

          BL manga shouldn’t have to change just because you’d prefer it to be another way. Maybe you find the art styles to be sketchy and lacking, but that’s your personal preference. I happen to like a majority of the art styles I see in BL manga—even the ones you would likely turn your nose up at—over shoujo or shounen styles any day. And I’m not ‘just saying’ that, and I’m also not ‘just settling’ for BL’s art and direction just because I like the porn aspect. I don’t think writing manga is about jumping through hoops with detailed backgrounds and screentone and being as flowery as possible and always showing off your ~mad skillz. Creating a manga is only about taking a story from your own head, putting it on paper, and hoping there are other people out there who will feel moved by it. Some of the manga I have read that moved me the most had nothing to do with dramatic and amazing manga-creation skills.

          If you want to see a change in the way BL is written, then why not write a manga yourself? I don’t understand why you think coming onto my blog and complaining to me about something I love, whether you are just venting or not, is justified. Quite honestly your original comment seemed like a troll comment to me at first. You say you would never diss on BL manga, but then why did you say it just pales in comparison to all other genres and pretty much insinuate that BL mangaka are lazy with their work and don’t put as much effort in as mangaka who write for other genres? That seems pretty insulting to me. If I put my heart into creating something and then they said it was just a pitiful, halfhearted attempt I know I wouldn’t exactly be taking that as a compliment.

          • merly says :

            hmm i figured everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that criticism is part and parcel of life.

            I apologize if the intention of your blog is to have positive comments only and that you wouldn’t want to hear any word or complaints that degrades BL in any way.

            I never intended to put my words in your mouth just so you know, so you might be a little sensitive there. I just figured it’s better to give alternative opinions than to give ‘It’s cuteeeee’ or ‘The H scene is awesome!!’ comments after every BL manga introduction by you.

            Now I won’t bother to talk about the art anymore because people will just defend it to their grave regardless if it’s true or false, personal taste or whatever.

            In fact, my original comment was a question as to why BL art has an empty feel compared to other genres, to the extent that it feels sketchy and heartfelt. Yes everyone has their own art style, but why is it only prevalent in BL manga? So instead of a proper reply, you can see what i get.

            But you have summed up what i wanted to say when you said ‘I’m also not ‘just settling’ for BL’s art and direction just because I like the porn aspect.’ The complete opposite is what i feel about most BL mangaka. The intention was to deliver ‘that’ and they end up neglecting the art and storyline. I don’t think there’s room for denial when most books you introduced are like that, isn’t it? :x

            Regarding your last comment, i never used the word pitiful, and yes it wouldn’t be a compliment either way. But if I only want to hear music in my ears then the word ‘comments’ should have never been in the dictionary.

            In any case, i digress. My perception of BL is widely different from yours, and possibly the readers here.
            It’s just unfortunate they have to put porn and good storyline under the same category – BL :\

            Now say for reference, Chil Chil’s top selling BL mangas are very much what i seek in BL :)

            • ふう子 says :

              1. I would appreciate you not being condescending to me on my own blog. If you think I’m that stupid then I don’t get why you bother to read what I have to say in the first place. Comments like this: “I don’t think there’s room for denial when most books you introduced are like that, isn’t it? :x” just seem like bait to piss me off. Your reply shows that you barely even tried to read what I had to say and are still preaching at me and expecting me to see the error of my ways and think you’re a brilliant special flower who’s educating me on the ins and outs of a genre I pretty much breathe. I specifically stated that the things you’re enforcing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are pointless to me, so I don’t get why you’re trying to prove otherwise. After this comment, I don’t care what you have to say—I will not argue with you over stupid things like difference in opinion over what makes a ‘good’ manga.

              2. Which leads me to: our opinions on what makes a good manga are very different, so we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that. You may think fancy detailed backgrounds and excessive sceentone use makes a great manga but I have never finished a manga and gone “wow I really loved that manga—the screentone and backgrounds were great!” For me, it will always be about the story and emotions foremost, and how I love the art second. BL manga is heavy on plots driven with character emotions, so I like it. You will never get me to agree that backgrounds and screentone and other such skills are important, because to me they are not. One of my favorite mangaka, Inoue Nawo, specifically goes out of her way to never use screentone and I think that makes her incredibly interesting—not unfinished or untalented.

              3. Yes you are entitled to your own opinion, as is everyone else. However, the problem here is you’re trying to push your opinions off as FACTS. Do not even give me the “you’re being too sensitive” line because everyone I’d showed this comment to agrees. Opinions are not facts. There is nothing about art that is a fact, except maybe “this is a sex scene” or “they drew an apple”. (And even those are questionable.) Almost everything about art and a person’s perception of it is about opinions. You say that BL manga art feels unfinished to you, and that’s fine—but you’re expecting everyone to agree with you and insinuating that if we don’t agree then we’re somehow stupid or just making excuses for BL manga or haven’t read enough shoujo or shounen to understand that it’s somehow ‘better’ and that’s where your ‘opinion’ comment is going wrong. That’s completely untrue. Many of my shoujo- and shounen- and josei- and seinen-reading friends have seen your comment as well and agreed that it’s totally unnecessary. Someone saying “I don’t like ________’s art because ________” is an opinion, but the problem here is that you’re not wording it that way. In trying to force everyone into agreeing with you, you’re insinuating that for a fact BL manga is inferior to shoujo/shounen.

              4. Yes, actually, this is supposed to be a positive space for fans of BL manga and I would prefer for BL to not be compared to other genres here—especially not in a way that belittles ALL BL manga. I’m not saying everyone has to love all BL mangaka and it will be puppies and rainbows and flowers but I am putting my foot down about someone coming in and making huge generic statements about how all BL is shit compared to other genres. I see enough of that crap on other manga-related forums, and I’d prefer to not see it on my own blog. I am very open to discussion of the negative aspects of BL, such as overt use of the ‘rape is love’ trope and an odd amount of gay bashing for a genre that’s all about homosexual relationships. And I will stand there and go “oh that’s too bad” when someone tells me they dislike a mangaka’s art because it’s their right to not like that person’s art. But to pretty much outright bash the entire genre and all of its talent? That’s not constructive criticism at all, imo, it’s just troll bait.

              5. Shoujo and shounen and seinen and josei all also have mangaka who do not do screentone and intricate backgrounds, so why should BL be forced to be a genre that bends over backwards to prove itself? Some BL mangaka are incredibly talented as artists and creators whereas some are talented mostly at the ‘entertainment’ aspect of manga. This is the same in any genre, as far as I can recall from all the manga I have read.

              • merly says :

                1. If you actually reread my first comment, it was never meant to be condescending or close to it. Notice i didn’t say ‘bad’, ‘stupid’, ‘terrible’ or anything remotely like it. It was just a simple comment seeking to see if anyone feels the same way or knows the reason why i feel that way.

                I commented before on Koshino why she was well received yet her art is sketchy, which is a fact. So i read it, her stories are very well portrayed, along with the multiple use of gags, that’s right. Now that’s an exception.

                Yes i ended up being sarcastic after because right off the bat you have people accusing you of ignorant as though as i am an amateur when it comes to reading BL.

                2. You’re putting too much emphasis as though as i buy a BL book solely for its art, just because i bring a point about it. That is not the case at all. My original comment just mentions about the art style(‘sketchy and half hearted feel to it’). Story is always the top priority, just like how Nakamura Asumiko and Morozumi Sumimoto has the weirdest art but yet fantastic story.

                Never at any point did i say bad art style, no screentone or whatnot = garbage etc.

                3. Correct, and sketchy will belong to your ‘this is a sex scene’ category, wouldn’t it? If i said ‘characters in BL looks like idiots’, then yes that is an opinion, not a fact.

                I’ve never pushed my opinions as facts. Look at it from another angle, you disagreed with me and enforced your opinion(fact) that most BL manga aren’t sketchy nor lacking. Now we’re standing on neutral ground here aren’t we?

                I reread my comments and don’t see myself forcing facts into anybody. All i did was justify my observations when people disagreed. You can disagree with my justification then so be it, nothing lost there. I don’t know what is the huge fuss over it. If my wording is really that out of place then i apologize for that.

                4. I’ve rectify myself multiple times above. Never, never bashed the entire BL genre. I might prefer art from other genre more, but seriously why would i go all the way to bash a genre that i read everyday? It wouldn’t make sense would it?

                5. Like i said, it’s just a trait that is seemingly more distinct in BL manga, from my observations. I think we can stop talking about screentones now because frankly i don’t even care THAT much about it. I kept emphasizing art in general, and i don’t know where this screentone or background kept popping out of nowhere. If anything, i’m more particular about the character art.

                And to reiterate my original comment so it doesn’t offend anybody…
                You see, every Comiket, Hetalia djs will be the #1 selling ones by far. Does no one really ponder as to why we never never ever see that kind of character art in BL?

                Now I will just stop here with the comments but just to perhaps spark your interest, tsukkomi is a very common way of speech in the manga community, at least in the japanese and chinese forums. I’m sorry if people don’t see the entertainment aspect in it and treat it as mindless bashing or whatsoever.

                ^^^^^ p.s when i reread the entire wall of text i just find it absurd that a simple art comment could escalate into unrelated issues and mind boggling arguments.

                • Aki says :

                  I think the key thing here is: it’s all subjective. Your first comment came off as stating (your) opinion as fact, and when you got called on it you just… kept going. Thus, wall of text.

                  Also a lot of doujinshi is really, really, REALLY sketchy, like “would not be printed in a publication” sketchy, and that includes a lot of Hetalia doujinshi. Saying stuff like (your) doujinshi is “better” than almost everything the BL manga industry comes out is… strange to me.

                  • K says :

                    >Saying stuff like (your) doujinshi is “better” than almost everything the BL manga industry comes out is… strange to me.

                    +1. Totally agree with you. Also 90% of Hetalia doujinshi IS written by proffesional BL mangaka, who continue to work for their doujinshi-circle even after debut in original magazines. I don’t get the meaning of this – “You see, every Comiket, Hetalia djs will be the #1 selling ones by far. Does no one really ponder as to why we never never ever see that kind of character art in BL?” – sentence :S

  5. sringangel says :

    I feel the notion of trying to compare two different genres or any genres as the matter whether it being art style or anything at all is ridiculous in itself.

    Reminds me of how Onodera could not understand Shoujo mangas when he first started.

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