reversi revisited at yaoi-con: asking Tateno Makoto (Yellow’s mangaka)

Yellow 1 cover - Tateno Makoto

Tateno Makoto’s Yellow

Tateno Makoto's Aoi Hitsuji no Yume (aka Blue Sheep Reverie or Blue Sheep Dream)

Tateno Makoto’s Aoi Hitsuji no Yume (aka Blue Sheep Reverie or Blue Sheep Dream)

In gender rebels — when uke and seme switch: yaoi’s top 10 reversi manga, I ranted about the lack of reversi in yaoi and my desperate desire to know why, why, why?!

Well, at this year’s Yaoi-con, I had the awesome opportunity to ask Tateno Makoto (creator of Yellow, Hero Heel, and Blue Sheep Reverie) why there’s so little reversi in yaoi.

and here’s what Tateno-sensei had to say…

Tateno Makoto

Tateno Makoto at      Yaoi-con 2015

Many mangaka like writing reversi stories, but the Japanese audience doesn’t really like reading them.

Tateno Makoto's Aoi Hitsuji no Yume

Tateno Makoto’s Aoi Hitsuji no Yume

Simple as that.

Yep, according to Tateno-sensei, it’s the Japanese fujoshi who reject reversi couples. Apparently Japanese teens and young adults prefer stories where semes top, ukes bottom, and th-th-th-that’s all, folks.

Tateno-sensei’s Yaoi-con translator, who works for her publisher, chimed in that he thinks it’s because Japanese people still have fairly conservative views on gender, so readers want semes and ukes to fit with traditional gender roles.

When I commented that switch couples are very popular in the U.S., heads all around me nodded. 😀 Tateno-sensei and her translator looked surprised, which I found interesting.

“Americans are more flexible,” her translator said with a grin.

I’m pretty sure the double-meaning was on purpose.

Tateno-sensei said that for her personally, she likes her “semes to be semes and ukes to be ukes.” So don’t look for any upcoming reversi characters from her.

alas, the yaoi reversi drought will continue

Such a shame.

Me, I’m looking forward to a feminist revolution in Japan so I can see more ukes on top, violating the standard uke tropes (and the semes).

BlueSheep

Tateno Makoto’s Yellow


FYI: In the U.S., Tateno Makoto’s manga are available from Juné. Recently, Yellow‘s four volumes were reprinted in two double volumes.

4 thoughts on “reversi revisited at yaoi-con: asking Tateno Makoto (Yellow’s mangaka)

  1. Pingback: gender rebels — when uke and seme switch: yaoi’s top 10 reversi manga | the joy of yaoi

  2. I think it’s great that you asked this question even if the answer is kind of anticlimactic. I guess we’ll have to wait for the revolution together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It was such a relief to finally get to ask someone who might actually know. And, yes, anticlimactic. Although her sweet translator was kind of struggling, so I think that anything complex that she might have wanted to say (in response to most of the questions) would probably have been lost in translation. Still, despite the language barrier, it was great to get to hear her thoughts.

      Part of me wants to believe that the publishers, not the fujoshi, are the ones who think that their sweet little readers couldn’t possibly want to actually read about sex between men, so they discourage reversi, but they’re running a business and want to make as much profit as possible, so I kind of figure that if fujoshi/fudanshi really wanted reversi, yaoi would be full of it.

      Power to the revolution! XD

      Like

  3. Hi! I think yeah, the average fujoshi, especially from my friend group prefers a more rigid role for the characters in a pairing. There’s a lot of people who will get mad about gyakuCP/opposide order and riba. Creative differences i guess? I don’t think it’s about enforcing a stereotype as much as people having specific situations which excite them. I love riba myself, but for me it’s very situational, i think if every relationship has its different dynamic, that will be the most interesting. But anyway i wanted to hook you up, there’s a lot of riba works and fans out there too! on pixiv and twitter, not just fanworks but full original comics too if you search 創作bl 🙂 people write scary large amounts of webcomics and they tend to be a lot more variety than what gets published since it’s independant works people don’t always try to hit a mainstream audience with.

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