BL ‘year in review’ 2011!
It’s that time of year again, where everyone is suddenly thinking back with nostaglia as well as forward with excitement. Even a fujoshi gets a little caught up in all the year-end festivities, so here you have it: a BL year in review. I also did one last year so I figured I may as well do one this year. I don’t want to be inconsistent now!
01. What were your top five BL manga of this year?
I’m really bad at these things. If it were up to me I’d put pretty much every title I read this year, but I was a good young lady and only included things that were released in 2011. A fun tidbit is that I reviewed every single one of these books: Matsumoto Miecohouse’s Sawatte mo Ii ka na, Jaryuu Dokuro’s Yakozen, Junko’s Konbini-kun, Nobara Aiko’s Akiyama-kun, Kumonosuke’s Shiawase ni Naru no sa! I didn’t even realize that until I was uploading the pictures. As much as I loved many, many of the books I bought and read this year, these five stand out above the rest. Obviously, considering I liked them enough to write 2000-word essays on every single one.
02. Name a manga that ended this year that you really loved.
Hakumokuren ended this year!! 8((( I’m so sad. I really loved that story, but I guess it was about time to finish it up. Though I think the ending could have totally been more dramatic, tbh. Another one that ended this year was Sora to Hara but technically it hasn’t ended yet for me since I haven’t read the final chapter. Also, Junketsu Drop. ;; I wish they would have drawn that one out forever like they do with some series. If only it ran in drap sob.
03. Name a manga that started this year that you really loved.
oh gosh okay I know onBLUE technically officially started releasing in December 2010 but I think that book has been my favorite as far as new series from 2011 go. I love Kumota’s porn-star-yakuza stories in particular, as well as Yamanaka Hiko’s melancholy story about timeskip and androids. But one that did start in 2011 that really caught my attention has been Nobara Aiko’s. She’s really just such a brilliant BL artists ahhhh. I guess another one I’m really excited about that actually just started recently is Ootsuki Miu’s newest drap story. I think this is the story I really needed to rekindle my love for Ootsuki Miu!
04. What was your favorite BL oneshot of 2011?
This one is so hard because there are so many oneshot in BL genre. orz;;;; But I guess a few that really stand out would include Akahoshi Jake’s sexy story with the masseuse, Kumota Haruko’s sexy DameBL story about the leg fetish, Kojima Lalako’s story from LYNX early this year as well as her more recent story from Moca, and then Mita Ori’s glorious oneshot about the young man who’s mother sends him homemade remedies to cure him of his homosexuality. That last one in particular is the one that always comes to mind when I try to recall oneshots I’ve been truly touched by.
05. What was your favorite BL couple of 2010?
I really loved the boys from Junketsu Drop with all their hate-filled sexual tension! They were definitely a highlight of my year. Also, even though they’re technically old news at this point I still absolutely love Mii and Kei from Itoshi no Nekokke. 8(( They are just my perfect BL couple, so understanding and in love and endearing and perfect! Aside from them, the couple from Konbini-kun is adorable no matter how many times I reread their story. And I have reiterated lately how much I love Ayumu and Komatsu? Because I don’t even like romance all that much but god did their story actually make me wish I had someone to love as much as they love each other.
06. In your opinion, who was the biggest up-and-coming mangaka of 2011?
Kojima Lalako, hands down! With her three-shot release in the span of a month she really made a name for herself, and I know many fujoshi now who anticipate every single one of her releases. Not only that, but her Magi fanart and doujinshi has gained a ton of popularity (admittedly, it’s even what got me hooked on the series) and considering she can really do no wrong I see her career going nowhere but up from this point forward.
07. Who were some new BL mangaka you personally discovered and fell for?
so, so, sooooo many. Nobara Aiko and Kumonosuke in particular are two artists I discovered properly just this year (though I’d admittedly heard their names previously and it just wasn’t enough to pique my interest) who rocketed into ‘favorites’ status after reading just a title or two. Mita Ori and Kimura Hidesato are two artists I now keep a close eye out for every time I look at the Cab lineup. I feel like I only properly ‘discovered’ Hideyoshico’s amazing talent this year, though she’d been running in Cab for longer. (Here I am again with my bad habit of skipping stories in my anthologies…) Minazuki Akira as well—I already liked her before but this year I learned to love her.Yanagisawa Yukio and Tsutomu with their F-Books releases. Akahoshi Jake as well, though I have so far only been able to read two stories by her before she started publishing exclusively in draps cellphone lineup.
08. Which publisher really caught your attention this year?
I’d have to say Gateau and onBLUE. onBLUE has really come onto the scene as another more ‘alternative’ BL anthology, especially now that they’ve also debuted their comic line and started right off the bat with Est Em’s Equus. There is really nothing more that screams ‘alternative BL’ more than Equus, quite frankly. As for Gateau, they’ve just been a huge winner with both their anthology as well as their regular comic releases. Whenever I see an artist published under them, I feel like it’s safe to assume that it’s a worthwhile book to buy. Not to mention that until February of next year they’ve exclusively released all of Kumonosuke’s works.
09. Were all of your wishes for 2011 answered?
orz no. Aniya did not come back to the BL publishing scene, instead sticking with shoujo and josei. But I’m at least happy that she’s released a couple BL doujinshi on the side. Actually, most of my regular BL favorites haven’t released much this year now that I think about it. Nothing from Kobato Mebaru, only Castle Mango from Ogura Muku, only drap books from Ootsuki. Such a shame. orz I did, however, get the Kojima books I was longing for. And Itoshi no Nekokke continued all year! So at least there’s that.
10. Talk in length about your experience in BL fandom in 2011!
Ahhhh what to say, what to say… I feel like I’ve really pinched pennies all year to be able to keep afloat in BL fandom but I still think it’s very worth it. So many great books were released this year for me to get excited about, so many books that really cemented by love for the genre. I feel somewhat like I’ve become more of a jaded person and I get frustrated a little easier when I hear people shit-talk the genre though lmao. orz;;;;;; Anyway, aside from that I’ve met some really great friends and have started talking more to many people I would like to be good friends with. So here’s to hoping for many, many fujoshi comrades in 2012!
11. What are you most excited about for 2012?
I’m pretty damn pumped about Katou Setsuko’s and Matsumoto Miecohouse’s releases for January, and then Ootsuki Miu and Hideyoshico and Komeri’s releases for February, and then Kumonosuke’s release for March!! Such an amazing lineup by so many of my favorite artists right at the beginning of the year ahhhh. ;A;)/
12. What are your hopes for 2012?
I really want Castle Mango to wrap up! ;; Haha I really want to see a happy ending for those two but the more and more it drags on and becomes more dramatic the more I’m losing hope. It is, after all, a story by Konohara Narise. I’m also hoping for multiple releases by Ootsuki Miu this year, since 2011 was such a sparse year for her and she only released two books by a publishers she always runs in. It’s about time she gets a book through Asuke Ciel or Libre!! I’m also hoping Jaryuu Dokuro will continue her story from Citron but… I’m not going to hold my breath. orz;; Also also also I want an Akahoshi Jake book! I feel like I’ll forget about her if she really does completely stop releasing in drap.
So many things to hope for in 2012 and I haven’t even been introduced to all the artists who’ll debut this year yet!