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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Hinako Takanaga


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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 97
Location: Mishopshno; Somewhere in SoCal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:19 am Reply with quote
This is quite relevant to my interests. Thanks to Jason for his insight and opinions on this subject. It's nice to know that there are heterosexual men out there willing to openly express their appreciation of boys-love as a genre like any other-- I sometimes dislike the term itself since I feel it tends to place restrictions on any manga involving a plot with homosexual romance between men where that connotation may not be entirely appropriate in describing the material, but that's another matter.

I also found Fumi Yoshinaga's self-characterized outburst regarding her work very interesting, indeed. I enjoy BL as pornography, specifically pornography with (generally) a context and background that give me a reason to be invested in the characters and their relationships and subsequently allows the sexual payoff to be that much stronger, but I am so wary of the exploitation that goes on with "gay themes" in the media that I almost always catch myself thinking something along the lines of what she said. I'm always remembering how unrealistic it is and noting how blatantly obvious it is that it isn't being written by a gay man about gay men, but rather by a straight woman about a heterosexual fantasy regarding the lives of gay men. In that sense, no matter how believable and personable (and mouthwatering-ly attractive) the characters may be, objectively, I subconsciously cringe whenever the seme/uke scenario begins to play out and think, "I really hope no one takes this seriously. It isn't meant to be taken seriously. Is it?" Unfortunately, I've met more than a few "yaoi fangirls" who seem to think it is; every time, my communications about my relationships and my gender and my sexuality seem to become entirely susceptible to their straight-for-gays fantasy land. So while I personally love BL, I have this massive socially conscientious beef with BL. Oi vey.

Anyhow, fantastic article, once again. :]
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 804

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:20 am Reply with quote
Reading Jason's article helped me better appreciate My Girlfriend's a Geek, made it more believable about a guy letting his girlfriend coax him into drawing/writing yaoi for her.

I've been a Yuri fan for a long time, yet I consider myself an open-minded guy and had tried sampling Yaoi for a time--but then I gave up after a while. Jason's a better man than me, obviously. Still, everything that Jason mentioned about what makes a good Yaoi--that it should be emotionally realistic without so much the stereotypes and the rape--also applies to Yuri, and to good romances in general.

So very good, interesting article!
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kawaiibunny3



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 459
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:09 am Reply with quote
I haven't really been into a yaoi and BL manga since I bought Earthian when i was like..17 Anime hyper I've been wanting to get a little back into BL but since all these titles have been coming out, I wasn't sure where to even start and which titles were really any good.

now I know some good titles and manga-ka to look out for next time I go to the store, thanks! ^^
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momogoldfish



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 135
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:16 am Reply with quote
Great article Jason, glad to hear that you are able to appreciate BL for its basics without having to justify it with some hoo-hah about "academic interest". Also reminded me that I have yet to finish Challengers, in spite of the fact I'm completely up-to-date with it's spin-off.

Takanaga Hinako is one of my favorite BL mangakas alongside Fumi Yoshinaga, but I've read a lot more of the former's output.
I really love all her WAFFy works (with the blasphemously naughty Akuma no Himitsu being a fave) but strangely enough, the Takanaga manga that I consider her best work is the 2 chapters short story "My First Love" at the end of Croquis. It's an atypical BL story and pretty unsatisfying plotwise spoiler[(Mutual unconfessions due to misunderstanding that remains unresolved till the end, only one panel of imagined intimate scene and *GASP* one guy ends up loving and marrying a girl)] but the bitter bitter sweet tone really left an impression.
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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1175
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:54 am Reply with quote
I usually shy away from blind-buying yaoi manga because, like Jason said, some titles can be really hit-or-miss. Even so, Hinako Takanaga's Little Butterfly is one that I not only bought, but also display proudly on my shelves, right next to my "regular" manga. I was really touched by its story and characters, it just felt so genuine and heartfelt compared to other yaoi manga I'd come across...

Croquis sounds amazing, I'm going to order a copy from RightStuf right now! Smile
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 945
Location: in a van! down by the river!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:13 am Reply with quote
Thanks for spotlighting Takanaga! She recently became my favorite BL creators since I started reading The Tyrant Falls In Love. I know a lot of people are put off by the initial noncon scene, but after thinking about it, I realized that it really fit in the story and wasn't there just for shock value. First off, both characters acnowledge the incident was wrong but because of it, Tatsumi is forced to start facing his true feelings for his friend. If it had not happened, I'm not sure this story would have made it past one volume. But what makes it so good, is that their relationship evolves as the homophobic Tatsumi gradually realizes his true feelings for Morinaga.

Also, it subverts the uke/seme cliches. Tatsumi acts like a uke only in the bedroom and while he does look somewhat effeminate, he is very tough and manly. Morinaga is a sweet guy most of the time but only acts like a typical seme when he's pursuing Tatsumi. But it's obvious Tatsumi is very attached to his friend; he claims he only agreed to have sex with Morinaga so he won't leave him. He always says that he doesn't like it or want it, but he doesn't do much to put an end to it. I can't wait to see him finally realize that he really does love his friend.

As for the whole unrealistic/fantasy aspect of BL/yaoi, it doesn't really both me. I realize it's not completely realistic but it's not any worse than the bodice-ripping het romance novels. I think the main problem is that a lot of the fans are young (and sometimes underage), meaning that they're not exactly very mature and experienced when it comes to RL relationships. So they make the mistake of confusing fantasy with reality.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 335
Location: Holland MI

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:13 am Reply with quote
Hinako Takanaga has the distinction of being the only BL/Yaoi mangaka whos'e work I have bought (I got Little Butterfly) when I tried to devlop a taste for Yaoi/BL but other than that one title I just don't like it I thought Little Butterfly was good and I have read some older stuff (Heart of Thomas, Sonf of The WInd and Trees) that I have liked but just not something I was able to get into .
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 356
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:40 pm Reply with quote
momogoldfish wrote:
Takanaga Hinako is one of my favorite BL mangakas alongside Fumi Yoshinaga, but I've read a lot more of the former's output.
I really love all her WAFFy works (with the blasphemously naughty Akuma no Himitsu being a fave) but strangely enough, the Takanaga manga that I consider her best work is the 2 chapters short story "My First Love" at the end of Croquis. It's an atypical BL story and pretty unsatisfying plotwise spoiler[(Mutual unconfessions due to misunderstanding that remains unresolved till the end, only one panel of imagined intimate scene and *GASP* one guy ends up loving and marrying a girl)] but the bitter bitter sweet tone really left an impression.


I was going to mention that one, actually! I love that story. It's really unusual for a BL, for the reasons you mention.
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AyumiHamasaki



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:48 pm Reply with quote
This was a great article. Enjoyed reading from start to finish.

Now I'm interested in reading Hinako Takanaga's "Challengers". I have only read the first volume of "The Tyrant" (which is a spin off).
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everapril



Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:04 pm Reply with quote
One of my favorites, if not my favorite BL mangaka! Thank you for the fun article.

I am glad that she has gotten so many titles licensed here in the States.
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oriana3k



Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:17 pm Reply with quote
Is there really gravedigger BL? Surprised
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Youkai Warrior



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 505
Location: Sarayashiki

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
This is quite relevant to my interests. Thanks to Jason for his insight and opinions on this subject. It's nice to know that there are heterosexual men out there willing to openly express their appreciation of boys-love as a genre like any other-- I sometimes dislike the term itself since I feel it tends to place restrictions on any manga involving a plot with homosexual romance between men where that connotation may not be entirely appropriate in describing the material, but that's another matter.

I also found Fumi Yoshinaga's self-characterized outburst regarding her work very interesting, indeed. I enjoy BL as pornography, specifically pornography with (generally) a context and background that give me a reason to be invested in the characters and their relationships and subsequently allows the sexual payoff to be that much stronger, but I am so wary of the exploitation that goes on with "gay themes" in the media that I almost always catch myself thinking something along the lines of what she said. I'm always remembering how unrealistic it is and noting how blatantly obvious it is that it isn't being written by a gay man about gay men, but rather by a straight woman about a heterosexual fantasy regarding the lives of gay men. In that sense, no matter how believable and personable (and mouthwatering-ly attractive) the characters may be, objectively, I subconsciously cringe whenever the seme/uke scenario begins to play out and think, "I really hope no one takes this seriously. It isn't meant to be taken seriously. Is it?" Unfortunately, I've met more than a few "yaoi fangirls" who seem to think it is; every time, my communications about my relationships and my gender and my sexuality seem to become entirely susceptible to their straight-for-gays fantasy land. So while I personally love BL, I have this massive socially conscientious beef with BL. Oi vey.

Anyhow, fantastic article, once again. :]


Thank you! Smile While I'm not into yaoi or BL because I believe it undermines real gay men, at least youare honest about why you like it and realize that it is just fantasy, and not how real gay relationships are.

Great article Jason. You aren't just a fan, you're an enthusiast. Wink
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1150
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:33 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:

I also found Fumi Yoshinaga's self-characterized outburst regarding her work very interesting, indeed. I enjoy BL as pornography, specifically pornography with (generally) a context and background that give me a reason to be invested in the characters and their relationships and subsequently allows the sexual payoff to be that much stronger, but I am so wary of the exploitation that goes on with "gay themes" in the media that I almost always catch myself thinking something along the lines of what she said. I'm always remembering how unrealistic it is and noting how blatantly obvious it is that it isn't being written by a gay man about gay men, but rather by a straight woman about a heterosexual fantasy regarding the lives of gay men. In that sense, no matter how believable and personable (and mouthwatering-ly attractive) the characters may be, objectively, I subconsciously cringe whenever the seme/uke scenario begins to play out and think, "I really hope no one takes this seriously. It isn't meant to be taken seriously. Is it?" Unfortunately, I've met more than a few "yaoi fangirls" who seem to think it is; every time, my communications about my relationships and my gender and my sexuality seem to become entirely susceptible to their straight-for-gays fantasy land. So while I personally love BL, I have this massive socially conscientious beef with BL. Oi vey.

I agree with this line of thought as well, though I usually don't read anything hardcore, and when I do it's never for the sex. Actually, I've pretty much given up on most BL as I'm not into romance in general. Reading yaoi for the neither romance or the sex was a pretty useless cause when I think about it. Anyway. The majority of BL does not reflect real life at all. It does make me uncomfortable to think that people, usually the younger crowd, actually take it seriously. They also seem to be the type to find "OMG yaoi!" every time two males have some sort of connection or platonic relationship. Quite frankly, some of these 'fangirls' say the most inane, stupid things. Have they even met someone who is gay or bisexual?

I also found Y-Naga's conversation with her gay friend interesting. If I remember correctly, I think she even notes that she hadn't even met a gay person before her friend came out. I do wonder how some people who fall into the BL trap (as in, that's totally how two men behave in real life!) would feel after reading that.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 945
Location: in a van! down by the river!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Yes, maybe we should ban fiction all together just because some stupid people might mistake if for reality. Rolling Eyes
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 97
Location: Mishopshno; Somewhere in SoCal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:27 am Reply with quote
rinmackie wrote:
Yes, maybe we should ban fiction all together just because some stupid people might mistake if for reality. Rolling Eyes

I don't think anyone in this thread is advocating anything like this and making that leap of judgment is a bit unfair on your part. However, if fictional material is having a perceived derogatory effect on a real group of people, it's at least worth discussing openly with a critical mindset. After all, fictional works aren't unconditionally defensible simply by virtue of the fact that they're fiction. Additionally, merely because something is definitively fictional doesn't mean it or certain aspects of it are entirely unrealistic or, more to the point, unbelievable. If someone is not equipped with the relevant knowledge to discern what is authentic and what is not within a real world-type fictional piece than they may well assume credibility where none is present. It doesn't make them stupid, it makes them ignorant and possibly very gullible, neither of which are entirely (and both of which are partially) their fault.

@ Youkai Warrior and RestlessOne: I'm also particularly concerned with how this trend plays out amongst younger (or perhaps less romantically experienced or "closeted") gay people. It seems to me that it could conceivably act as an aid in developing their self-esteem in allowing them to relate to these characters who often go through the same motions of denial and acceptance as a socially traumatized gay person might, but I wonder if that doesn't come at some cost given that what they're relating to isn't as told by someone who carries that personal experience with them (for instance, when I was younger, I actually thought BL and yaoi must be written by gay men because that's what would make sense; when I found out it was predominantly created by and for straight women I was somewhat confused, to say the least, and I wasn't totally inexperienced in the realm of relationships). Add to that the perception it creates of gay lovers for those who may not know any better and it isn't hard to see the potential for some serious sexual misconstructions on the part of all parties involved. Add to this even greater preexisting cultural mentalities (in America, Japan and elsewhere) regarding homosexuality and it becomes truly confounding. Of course, this ties into a wider concern regarding the misappropriation of (especially) non-heterosexual sexual orientations in the media, but that's yet another tangent.
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