Fundamentally, I read BL because, more than any other genre, I enjoy the stories. Love them! Okay, yes, the smex, too, but I get a warm feeling from yaoi romance that I just don’t get from shoujo or josei love. I have lots of theories as to why, but when it comes down to it, I doubt I can fully explain (justify?) my fascination with BL. I have, however, learned to accept it.
Over time, I’ve developed the bad habit of trying to tempt my friends (and random gals I run into on airplanes) into turning into fujoshi, and I’m quick to make reading recommendations and blather on about whatever little cultural, artistic, or literary randomness struck me most recently. Yep, I loves me both those pretty boys and that geeky stuff. For me, yaoi is darn near perfect, and good yaoi is even better.
As I have fallen deeper and deeper down the yaoi rabbit hole, I’ve become fairly obsessed by the possible glimpses it offers into Japanese life and language, and I’ve bored my poor non-yaoi-reading friends silly with my speculations.
Pre-yaoi, I had a fairly complete lack of interest in Japan or Japanese — it had just never really been on my radar. Well, that certainly has changed. Did I mention that I’ve been studying Japanese since early 2013? I’m still just a struggling newbie, but I have fantasies about being able to read yaoi in the original and watch anime without needing subtitles. I hope to accomplish proficiency sometime before dentures begin to interfere with my pronunciation.
Beyond romance, language, and culture, yaoi has turned me into a Japanese-food-ophile. In yaoi, those boys are always eating, going out to restaurants, cooking hot pot on the living room table… Yaoi makes me so hungry [yes, even the food kind of hungry]. When I’m reading, I end up getting curious about whatever food the guys are eating. The next thing you know, I’ve finished my online recipe search, come screeching back from the Asian grocery store waaaaaay on the other side of town, and I’m slicing up some Japanese eggplant while the miso sauce thickens in the saucepan and the pork marinades in a soy sauce, sake, and cornstarch paste.
I recently fed one poor friend bitter gourd — some folks are admirably adventurous. I couldn’t decide if I was happy for me or sad for her when I got to eat her leftovers. Other friends have learned to run when I say I’ve “got something new to try”. One person who falls right in the middle has told me, “When you bring me food, just don’t tell me what’s in it. Then I can eat it.” She rocks. As you might imagine, I’m eager to share recipes and cooking experiences. Oh, and once you get used to it, bitter gourd is addictive.
In essence, by putting my yaoi recommendations, cooking commentary, and cultural ruminations here, I hope to avoid torturing my dwindling circle of friends quite so often. Maybe some of them will come back when they hear I’m in recovery.
You can now find out a bit more about me in my post the blog and I, take 2: Liebster Award nomination.
regarding the use of media on this site:
The copyrights of all yaoi-related media on this site are held by the original creators, not me or mine. They are posted here in compliance with the U.S. Fair Use Doctrine, as the images are not being used for profit but are being used to educate and inform readers. I strive to accurately attribute media and would be happy to be informed if I have made any errors. Please contact me if you object to the use of any media on this site.
35 thoughts on “the blog and I”
Wah! Looking forward to reading more on your blog! Glad to find a fellow yaoi-lover on wordpress~~
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Thank you! I’m just getting started, and I appreciate the encouragement. I’m really looking forward to getting to share the JoY here. Thanks for coming to visit and taking the time to comment!
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Thank you for following my blog! We share a great passion 😉 I am looking forward to following your blog, it really looks great! I like that you will spotlight Japanese food, it is such a central topic in these stories. I really enjoy that too 🙂
Thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment! I’m looking forward to playing with this. And any observations or suggestions you might have about the blog would be welcome. You are somewhere in Europe, ne? The global fujoshi community is a pretty cool thing… I’m over on the American West Coast — pretty darn far away but reading the same things… Wonderful to be able to connect about a shared interest from such a distance.
Yes I’m over here in the Netherlands blogging about my passion for yaoi manga. It is such a wonderful manga genre, but for shame, kept on the down low, quietly making itself known outside of Japan. I love seeing all the different world flags on my statistics page ❤ With blogging, we can keep spreading the word.
Indeed. I’ve read manga and watched anime from every genre, and I like many of them quite a lot, but yaoi is always what I end up craving and come back to. IRL, I only have one friend who reads in, so it’s wonderful to be able to connect with others who have discovered how much fun and how interesting yaoi is.
I like you… a lot, already! I’ve read the kuroneko one.. *sigh* GAHH!
Awwww… shucks. （⌒▽⌒ゞ
Yeah, wow, those kitties are too hot. Have you listened to the drama CD’s? I almost died of blood loss.
They are! They really are! My friend caught me reading the first one online and he went O___O and then he walked away very quickly. Didn’t look in my direction for the rest of the day XD
I haven’t listened to the drama CD…should I? I do kind of like having blood in my body…but if it’s worth it then I’ll do it!
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Well, I’m a fan of drama CD’s in general (once I got over the, “Holy cow, what am I listening to?” reaction. I admit, I make sure my windows are all closed before I turn them on (I hate wearing earphones for them, but sometimes I have to).
The sex scenes in that manga, as you know, are really hot, and the drama CD (in my opinion) does them justice. So if you’re up for it, make sure there’s a box of kleenex nearby and go for it. Do you know where to find them?
I tend to watch the anime versions for the most part, so Drama CD’s aren’t the norm for me. But still…I had the same reaction when I firsted started watching. I had to slam my mouth close and rapidly look to the right and left to make sure no one else was nearby..
Haha! I will make sure to have kleenex definitely. And not for that one, no. But googling it should be fine right?
There are a number of places with good collections, but for CD’s, Aarinfantasy’s forum is superb — they have a whole dedicated section with pretty good indexes.
If you try youtube, someone put together a manga+drama CD video for that series (on youtube, if you search for “manga CD”, almost everything that comes up will be a yaoi). It’s not the best one I’ve seen, because the images in the sex scenes seem to be rushed (almost as if the person who made the video was a little uncomfortable with leaving them on the screen too long, but they were actually probably just trying to fit in all the hotness), and they’ve done that thing of putting really loud music before and after the actual video, so you’ll blow your eardrums out if you try to watch it with headphones on. Still, they did a pretty good job of matching the pictures to the dialogue. So it’s like halfway between a manga and an anime…
I will definitely be checking that out then! I need to listen to more c:
I have seen some of the manga CD ones and sometimes they aren’t always the best, but honestly, I’m so addicted that I really don’t care most times.
The best person who used to do those was Fluffy, but she (and some other skilled folks) got harassed last year by a yaoi-hater on youtube, and after struggling for quite some time, she ended up giving up. Truly sad. But folks still post some of her videos from time to time.
That is really sad actually especially since that kind of thing happens often.. or at least from what I’ve seen.
Yeah, well yaoi really pushes some people’s buttons. And I get it; folks who are conservative about sex wouldn’t want their kids finding yaoi smut on youtube. And guys who are totally in denial about any homosexual tendencies tend to want to crush anything that embraces homosexuality. And folks who are religiously opposed to homosexuality want to keep anyone from having any positive or enjoyable perspectives on it, and on and on it goes.
But I’d give just about anything to see Fluffy making videos again!
Maybe she could do her own private site? It might be more complicated than youtube though 😦
BTW, Kouun no Rihatsushi has a new scanlated chapter. It came out a few days ago and boy was it AWESOME. I’m so pumped up for the next one.
Yeah, unfortunately, she had one. A big, beautiful site. It was call the yaoiblisscollection, I think. She even had her own forum. Such a loss.
Kouun no Rihatsushi!!! Yay for a new chapter!!! Man, I just love that story. This was a fun chapter, although I missed the twosome dynamic. I wonder what the mangaka will do now that she’s finally broaching the “in the public eye” theme. She’s done a good job of avoiding a lot of the obvious cliches so far.
Thank you for following Yamete Kudasai! I hope it will entertain you!
I’m absolutely not into yaoi, but I’m all open discovering a hidden gem regardless of its genre/type (which is why I went into watching Dramatical Murder without preconceived thoughts) so if you have any suggestion, I’ll happily take it! I’ll look into your recommendations as well!
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Wow. That’s awesome — people tend to have such polarized love-or-hate reactions to yaoi that it’s rare to see a reaction like yours. Not knowing what you have liked/not liked about any of it in the past, I’m not sure what to recommend (but I do like a challenge). Do you like romantic but not graphic sex? Do you like quirky but not sappy? Do you like men who seem like men and not the feminized uke characters? Where to start?
Well to be honest I’ve never really tried to read or watch yaoi, ahah, except for that Dramatical Murder’s anime adaptation. What I know though is that regardless of genres and types I tend to appreciate well-rounded characters, with actual and real motivations, personalities, stories, relations and everything. Characters that sound like they could live next to me instead of being too much ‘anime-ish’, if you get my drift. I also like engaging and meaningful stories that make you see the world a bit more different, the kind of stories that upon finishing them you’re wondering how you could live before knowing them.
hmmm… looks like my reply didn’t post as a reply to your comment (I have a bad habit of clicking the wrong reply links) — so if not, do take a look down below when you get a chance.
Hmmm… okay then. Probably you’d do better with a series (so there’s time for character development) or something truly quirky (because they tend to have unusual, non-cliche characters). I wouldn’t recommend you start with anime. The only ones that have gone on long enough to do real development are Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi — if you’re really into cute or into stories around publishing, you might give them a try, but I find the characters in manga to be better developed (and I don’t really like tsundere — those stories are chock full of tsundere).
What I can offer you easily right now is the former — character-focused series, because I already have a number of those described on my site, in the top 25 list I’ve almost done with. Eventually I plan to sort through my favorite quirky yaoi, but they are scattered around my brain now, and I don’t just want to pull one out of the hat.
So, from the 20 that I currently have posted, I’d recommend you look at the descriptions of these manga in these four posts — these manga have a broad variety of character types and story styles to choose from:
top 10 (25) yaoi manga, part 1:
#1: Haru o Daiteita
#4: Love Mode
#5. Doushitemo Furetakunai
#7: Sorenari ni Shinken Nandesu
#11: Koi Cha no Osahou (Tea for Two)
#19: Yume no Kodomo
#20. Dear Green: Hitomi no Ounowa
and I’ll tell you ahead of time, if you like schoolboy stories, you might want to take a look at what will be #25: Seven Days by Tachibana and Takarai (no sex — pure shounen-ai)
Maybe the description of one of those might catch your eye. I’d love to hear if you find something you like.
Thanks for coming to play!
I’ll give these manga a shot whenever I have the chance to find them. Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll tell you if I find something I like!
Cool. I hope you have fun with it!
Hey there! 😀
Because your blog needs more love I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! Here’s the link to my nomination post: http://pantasticpanda.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/liebster-award-nomination/
(I apologize if I posted this in a bad area >_<;; )
Info about the Liebster Award: http://wordingwell.com/the-liebster-award-the-official-rules-my-first-blog-award-and-a-few-personal-secrets-revealed/
I hope you can pay it forward, too. ❤
Hahaha! I can relate to that oh-so-tempting need to try to convert every female you know into fellow fujoshis! It’s been more than a year since I came over to the dark side (it’s only been a year and a few months??? I swear it feels like I’ve been reading yaoi my whole life!!!), and ever since then I’ve been attempting to lure my little sister to the sweet sin of BL goodness. So far, I’ve managed to make her read a few titles but she’s a tough nut to crack. She’s more into shoujo-ai, so I’m even trying to read a few shoujo-ai titles to convince her to share my interests too. How to get her to read that Haikyuu doujinshi, I wonder? Hmmm…
I feel blessed to have a few fujoshi friends IRL (specifically, there’s just two of them BUT STILL) and it’s really great to be able to squeal over our favorite pairings and recommend titles with each other. You’ll find a kindred spirit someday, hopefully! ^^
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Yes. I actually got lucky with that, too. A couple of years ago I was able to convince my friend from Japanese class to try yaoi, and she got completely hooked. I feel like a successful drug pusher! In fact, this year was our 2nd year going to Yaoi-con together, and we already have plans to go back next year.
You’re right — it’s wonderful to have someone to squeal with. 😀
I first found yaoi when I was in high school. Funny thing is, it’s actually through fanfiction. I’m addicted to slash fanfiction (I wrote slash fics on ff net and AO3). The first yaoi anime I watch is Gravitation but I prefer fanfiction than anime even though it isn’t canon. And I seldom read manga. Right now, I like Kaito/Shinichi pairing from Detective Conan/Magic Kaito.
As for friend, I got two friends who like yaoi and know that I like yaoi. This isn’t something that people can advertise freely in the country where I live after all.
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It’s cool that you found yaoi so young. In truth, I haven’t read all that much fanfiction. I have a few friends who have recommended some to me that I’ve enjoyed, but I used to teach writing, and I spend too much time wanting to pull out my red marker and start making comments. It’s a horrible habit of mine. I’ve read a lot of m/m novels, though (which is why I kind of disappeared this year — I was completely distracted by them), and I do enjoy the depth and inside-view of slash fiction.
Actually, I have to admit that awhile before I started reading yaoi, I was really into Supernatural, and my first slash fiction was Sam/Dean. (yikes!)
BTW, I’m all for violating canon. Life’s more interesting that way.
Thanks very much for the fantastic posts, so helpful and great descriptions of what’s on the menu 😉
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You are so very welcome! Thank you for your encouraging words. I look forward to expanding the menu soon. 🙂
hey there! I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blog Awards, hopefully you have time to answer the Qs? They’re at the bottom of this post https://myfujoshilife.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/the-sunshine-blog-award-nomination/ >__<
I’m super happy I stumbled across your blog on the internet ^^ reading about your journey and realizing that “Its not just me” makes me grin^^ GLOMP’in you in person would definitely not go well so hence please imagine a huge anime “Glomp” here and I am so glad you exist. From the unintentional first step to bugging friends to learning an entirely new language , culture and the rest in a short space of time and I moved to that country too for work 😀 . Geez!! and did I mention I love the way you write…. Don’t stop writing and expressing yourself^^ You’re a natural and I do hope you dreams and aspirations for Japan and Japanese do come true. Jah ne ^^