I Properly Delved Into the World of Boys’ Love/Yaoi (7th Day of Anime 2019)

After hitting pause on DakaIchi last year, I made some better efforts to look into the genre and ended up consuming some surprisingly decent works.

The fact I have enough works to write about in 2019 in a post like this is already enough of a miracle, considering how I didn’t even bother with romance stories at one point…well, one of these works isn’t actually an anime or a manga, but rather a Western-made VN, but…something’s gotta fill space…


Koi ni Tsuite was a work I’d completely tried to ignore in the past…

…well, in order to explain why I could ignore it, I have to explain the current status of my local libraries’ categorisation. There’s a graphic novel shelf which houses the obvious (like But I Really Wanted to Be An Anthopologist…, which was far too out of my league because it was basically GN!Rinshi! Ekoda-chan) as well as some manga (with absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why they’re there, except for the fact they’re more on the “adult” side) such as Jojo’s (the more recent hardcovers), Dragonar Academy and this one random shoujo called He’s My Only Vampire (apparently called Junketsu + Kareshi in Japan). For some darned reason, Koi ni Tsuite appears at two branches of the same library (i.e. they have the same categorisation system), where this second graphic novel shelf houses the likes of Buddha, Alice in the Country of Clover’s multiple manga and Monster. TL;DR: I learnt early on when dealing with manga at these libraries that I should seek out the graphic novel shelf, lest I miss anything good.

…and so having to ignore a single volume of a rather suspicious (yet also non-descript) manga was easy when it was mostly surrounded by hardcovers and books much larger than it. I checked it out in July, presumably to complement Given, and…turns out the reason why the library bothers with it is because it’s not very explicit at all. The one shot you get of the guys *erhem* doing what dudes in yaoi do best doesn’t really expose anything, but then again, the art’s pretty minimal, so…*shrug* There’s not a lot of details about the characters either, but I guess there’s only so much you can do in a single volume.

Your Dry Delight I checked out in August – September due to Naja’s post. I particularly liked Leslie, but that’s because he’s a bit of a troll. That’s not normally the type of character I like, but considering his competition is Eastman – who’s a bit more obviously gay from his interactions with Richter – it is rather typical of me in a sense, since I gravitate a lot more towards protags than antagonists. I think this VN was a turning point in that I really started to figure out what my preferences with these works are and that really, I shouldn’t have been so scared off from the entire genre by the fact it’s guys on guys – kiss scenes are kiss scenes, no matter what the gender and sexuality of the participants may be.

Sidebar: Naja’s post also mentions That Which Binds Us, which I also tried the demo of, but I wasn’t as thrilled about it.

Of course, the shining star of this set was Given, which just tangentially happens to be a shonen ai with the heavier focuses being on healing from trauma and music. I’ve already acknowledged that this is the work that made me realise I like the less sexually-explicit stuff in the genre and the work that opened me up to the other ones in this post (hence the reson why I chose to present the works in the order that I’ve done – it was from least to most liked). I feel like I’ve talked about it enough (outside of the fact I never actually mentioned how awesome episode 9 was, particularly for Mafuyu’s characterisation), so I’ll redirect you to the posts that discuss it.


It’s said the name “yaoi” came about because there was “no climax, no punch line and no meaning” but if you explore anything enough, you’ll come to find there are works that have such attributes. It’s normally these works that come to our screens as anime, anyway…

I’m still looking around for good recs to keep easing myself into the genre in 2020 and beyond, so be sure to drop any you may have in the comments and I’ll see if I can get to them in the near future.

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