Friday, June 22, 2012

BLBB Chats About Boys’ Love

If you like boys' love manga, gay romance novels (known as “M/M” or “MM”) are throbbing for your attention. If you like M/M novels, boys' love manga (known as “BL” or “yaoi”) will lasso you in!

As part of author Hayley B. James' initiative to help the BL manga fan explore M/M novels and to help the M/M novel fan explore BL manga, we four ladies(?) sat down this past weekend to chat over coffee (definitely not vodka).

Kimberly: 1. How did you find BL? Did you get into it right away, or did you have to warm up to it?

Barbara: Well, it all started with Harry Potter fan fiction. Do you remember after Goblet of Fire came out, and we were all waiting for the Order of the Phoenix? I wanted to read more so badly I thought I'd write my own novel, but I found out it was a lot harder than it sounded. So I started reading fan fiction. And I ran into slash pretty quickly. I don't think I even BLINKED. I got the eroticism of it right away and was totally hooked! So when I started watching Naruto with the kids in 2007, I started slashing Kakashi and Iruka naturally. Then I looked for fan fiction, and it existed. Then I found doujinshis. Then I realized that there was actual real manga featuring gay relationships! I was like a kid in a candy store! I'm a natural fujoshi. [A fujoshi is a female fan of BL.]

Anne Lee: Sounds very similar to me, except I started with Sailor Moon fan fiction. Sailor Moon was my first anime/manga, though, so I think it took me a little while longer to get to the point where I started slashing characters myself, but the gay/lesbian relationships written into the canon helped expose me to that "world," so to speak.

Alexandra: Netflix really helped me out. One day I'm watching Utena, the next it suggests Loveless. Next thing I know, I'm jonesing for a new fix, and there's Crunchyroll with Junjo Romantica. [After] the first episode, I was a goner. Shortly after that I met Barb, so it all worked out just fine. Haha.

KimberlyI lived a fairly isolated existence from birth to about 20, but I did have posters of Erik from Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera (Susan Kay's version is better) and Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre on my wall; I've always loved intense human emotions expressed through words and art. One day, in my mid 20s, I just happened to see an AMV [animated music video] with clips from the 1992 Ai no Kusabi anime. Chains? Whips? Torture? Out of control emotion? Possession? ...Love? Sweet merciful above! WHAT IS THIS FABULOUS MADNESS? So, BL was actually my first introduction to manga and anime itself! Fifteen years later, the fire only burns hotter. Deep end first baby. No swimming lessons.

Kimberly: 2. Has BL brought any other benefits to your life?

Barbara: Yes, lots! 1. made my sex life better (when I had one) 2. introduced me to lots of cool women & men (or perhaps I should say nerdy otaku and fujoshi) [An otaku is a fan of manga, anime or video games.] 3. pushed me to learn Japanese and become a translator 4. gave me a year of fiction writing that I may not have had otherwise

Anne Lee: I'd have to say the biggest positive impact BL has had on my life has come from my deciding to pursue research of the sub-genre academically. I took this class while I was an undergrad called "Homosexualities in Asian Literature and Film," and it basically showed me that people were actually looking at BL from an academic standpoint, and I thought "Wow! I could do that!" (Since I already knew I wanted to go to grad school, the rest is history!) XD

Alexandra: Wahahaha! Er... I'd have to agree with Barb's 1-3, and then add in learning InDesign and Photoshop. Let's go with that. Big words about accepting sexuality without labels can wait for another day.

Kimberly: Here's mine: BL, despite the generalized “porn” classification, has forced me to question a lot of serious matters and helped me shape the questions I wanted to ask in order to find the answers I needed to find about myself and my world. Like Anne, I've been inspired to do a lot of exciting research.

Barbara: I have one more! Can I? I used to think penises were ugly, but now I really like to look at them. 

Kimberly: The Art of Penis?

Barbara: The Beauty that is Penis.

Kimberly: 3. Digital publishing and the comic medium: pros/cons?

Anne Lee: Pro: ease of distribution, able to get many titles out quickly. Con: I hate reading on computer screens! I want a shelf full of books I can smell!

Kimberly: Pros to digital publishing with business models like Digital Manga Guild: more authors I want to support are available in English now!

Alexandra: But dedicated eReader devices like Kindle need to catch up in regards to quality.
Seriously. I'm not blind, but comics on Kindle make me think I am.

Barbara: For me... I prefer books, but my life is unmanageable. I have too many books, so ereaders work for me. I do hate reading manga on my Kindle. I'm not thrilled by reading it on a computer either.

Kimberly: 4. Censorship on Apple iDevices & Amazon's Kindle: thoughts?

Barbara: Who knew that the most advanced technology came with Victorian age principles? I'm still stunned.

Anne Lee: I honestly don't know enough about the history of the whole ordeal to comment fully on the cases of Apple and Kindle, but I can't see how certain stores can think it's okay to censor what they sell like that.

Kimberly: There's enough censoring from the publishers. Please don't censor where I can buy and read something as well! Censorship is insulting to my emotional and intellectual intelligence. It has certainly influenced my buying habits. Right now, I have an iPad. It's great, but my next purchase will be a tablet that supports an operating system like Android.

Alexandra: Amen to that. Apple and Amazon have not been getting my money for a while now. Don't you smirk a little when B&N [Barnes & Noble] will distribute something they won't? I know I do.

Kimberly: 5. What are your top five BL mangaka recommendations?

Anne Lee: Fumi Yoshinaga, Basso, est em, Keiko Takemiya, Asumiko Nakamura. I realize not all of these are available in English.

Kimberly: Saemi Yorita's Brilliant Blue. I cried and cried and it felt so good. Completely fell in love with both main characters. Yuki Shimizu's Love Mode. Akira Honma's... anything. Yayoi Neko's Incubus.

Barbara: Nishida Higashi, Shiuko Kano, est em, Renaissance Yoshida, Tomoko Yamashita, Fujiyama Hyouta and Marta Matsuo.

Alexandra: Setona Mizushiro, Dokuro Jaryuu, Shoko Hidaka, Akira Kamuro & Hiroi Takao
together, Tetuzoh Okadaya, Sakaki Kuroda. It’s difficult to pick between favorites! * sob sob *

Kimberly: 6. What M/M romance would you most like to see adapted as a comic?

AlexandraJosh Lanyon's Adrien English mysteries and the adaptation would be done by Guilt|Pleasure or Akiko Monden.

Kimberly: Anything by Sarah Payne! (Her subscriber system is beyond annoying--just let me buy the whole damn book and read it offline--but her stories are worth the aggravation!) Also, not exactly M/M romance, but a series of manga one-shots from The Great Mirror of Male Love (1684) by Saikaku Ihara would be amazing. OH, OH! Or even The Blue Hood and The Chrysanthemum Vow (both published in 1776) by Ueda Akinari!

Barbara: A comic adaptation of Forster's Maurice.

Anne Lee: Wouldn't a Brokeback Mountain manga be fine?

Kimberly: Excellent! Time’s up, ladies! Thanks for the chat!


So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. If you love BL, try M/M. If you love M/M, try BL. There is manna waiting to explode on your taste buds and fill your starving bellies. If you're already dining on both, then we wish your continued pleasure alongside us at this fine buffet!

Don't forget to comment! Every comment on a "Manga & Romance" related site enters you into a draw for mouthwatering treats! There's also a scavenger hunt!
Treasure sparkles!
Blog hop image from: Sekaiichi Hatsukoi by Shungiku Nakamura.

Monday, June 18, 2012

PRIZES!!! Boys Love and MM Romance Collide!

Look forward to the blog hop at the end of this week! BLBB is excited to reveal our entry, where we chat about our individual history with BL and even a little bit about our thoughts on MM romance novels! Heh.
So far, there are thirty-six exciting posts being readied for your reading pleasure! Remember, "the more you hop and comment on available blogs, the higher chance you have to win!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Boys Love and MM Romance Collide!

Boys Love Bang Bang will participate in a blog hop called "Manga & Romance." On the day of the hop (June 22-24), come read our thoughts on yaoi and M/M Romance. There will be a grand prize giveaway, so stay tuned for all the goodies.

Please click the hop banner for more information and the original post by Hayley B. James. Come help us promote two fabulous genres!

Ryoko Chiba's If I Take Your Hand

If I Take Your Hand by Ryoko Chiba (Sono Te o Toreba)
To make a choice is to take a risk, so Hinata simply coasts. When the older Kasahara pursues him, Hinata allows himself to fall into an awkward friendship. But Kasahara demands more and Hinata’s hand is forced: will he take a risk and face his fears, or will he stay in his comfortable but empty life?

Kozuki used to risk falling in love, but too much heartache has crushed his belief in “happily ever after,” so he rejects his co-worker Sakashita’s confession. However, Sakashita’s love just won't fade. Will Kozuki take one more risk for love before it’s too late?

IF I TAKE YOUR HAND, what will happen?

Translated by Anne Lee
Edited by Kimberly Lammens
Lettered by Alexandra Gunawan
Available for all platforms at eManga.
Also available from Kindle, Nook, and Wowio.

Preview: Click images to make larger.

If I Take Your Hand - Sono Te o Toreba © Ryoko Chiba 2010. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2010 by Tokyo Mangasha Co., Ltd.


An avid game of love between rivals! Soccer fans are notorious, but ultras like Al and Leon take it to another level! They eat, breathe, and sleep for their beloved teams and their rivalries, like the rivalry between Liberta and FC Madrid.
When the Spanish national soccer team wins the European championship, fans around the country unite to celebrate. Sparks fly when Al and Leon first meet amidst the festivities, but what happens when these two ultras unknowingly find themselves on opposite sides of a passionate rivalry?!
Other exciting stories in this anthology include:
Say Hello to Mr. Smith
The Onlooker
Who Killed Oscar?
Local y Visitante

DMGuild Group: Sabaya
Translated by Barbara J. Vincent
Edited by Yadira Gonzales
Lettered by S. Russell
Available for all platforms at eManga.
Also available from Kindle, Nook, and Wowio.

Preview: Click images to make larger.

ULTRAS © Est Em 2008. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2008 by Tokyo Mangasha Co., Ltd.

Friday, June 8, 2012

69er Review Challenge!

OverDrive © Koume Nakamura 2005. All rights reserved.
Original Japanese edition published in 2005 by Oakla Publishing Co., Ltd.
Can you write a spunky and meaningful review of a DMG title in sixty-nine words exactly? You could include things like your emotional response or your critique of a structural point (e.g.: plot, story, characters, art). If you’re crazy-clever, try a few! Keep it honest, but upbeat. Post it to your favourite location. Email or tweet us the link. We’ll keep a directory post for all the DMG 69ers

(And that, dear reader, was a sixty-nine quickie. Feels good, yes?)

Tweet: @lostdutchie

Friday, June 1, 2012

Est Em's Seduce Me After the Show

Seduce Me After the Show by Est Em (Shou Ga Hanetara Aimashou)
Emotionally unstable after the death of his mother, a world-famous ballet dancer, Theo finds himself unable to dance. Advised to find a change of pace, he decides to appear in a movie and then throws the gossip magazines into an uproar when he's caught kissing his popular young costar, Darren, in downtown L.A.;

“Will there be a sequel to this joke of yours?"
“…that depends upon the script.”

From the lives and loves of glamorous Hollywood stars to a Kyoto festival, Est Em artfully crafts multiple beautiful and heartrending worlds overflowing with sensuality. Seven unique stories of timeless love, art, music and human emotion--as well as some that may not be quite so human--are collected here in her debut volume.

DMGuild Group: Footlights
Translated by Barbara J. Vincent
Edited by Anna Schnell
Lettered by Liz B.

Available for all platforms at eManga.
Also available from Kindle, Nook, and Wowio.

Seduce Me After The Show - Shou Ga Hanetara Aimashou © Est Em 2006. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2006 by Tokyo Mangasha Co., Ltd.