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The List - 5 Best Boys-Love Anime


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xyz



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 243
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:40 pm Reply with quote
4/5 from this list are pretty average. Haven't watched Given. I watched too many to remember but I will always remember Ai no Kusabi, Yami no Matsuei and Gravitation. I can't remember which one is yaoi and which one is BL.
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catandmouse



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Jin_Uzuki wrote:
No. 6 anime is largely trash, it completely butchers the relationship between the two leads and in particular Shion character. Then again, I guess when the competition is stuff like Junjou Romantica, you take what you can get.

It was also a pretty interesting social phenomenon, people genuinely couldn't comprehend an anime not marketed as BL with gay protagonists when it aired. Razz


OMG, I think this is the first time I've seen anyone say anything negative about the No. 6 anime! Sorry if I seem a little excited, but I hate the anime w/ a passion because of the unnecessary changes they made to the characters for (what I think was) no reason whatsoever, yet I've never seen anyone say that they didn't like it. Maybe they have most read the novels or manga, I dunno, but yeah... just wanted to say that...
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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 14739
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:54 pm Reply with quote
SailorTralfamadore wrote:
There are a lot of other people who felt it went plenty "far enough" in showing the characters get engaged, and that these expectations are a ridiculous double standard that would never be applied to heterosexual couples, but okay, I'm glad we have someone who outright admits they haven't seen the show to tell us whose opinions about it are accurate Rolling Eyes


I am not saying that Victor in Yuri are not an item, but I am saying that it did not be clear enough. Sure Yuri put a ring on Victor's hand (his right hand) and they seemed to make some sort of promise, but Yuri does not outright say that he is asking Victor to marry him, nor do either say they are engaged. The ring is seen, one of the characters loudly asks if they are getting married, and the shush him for being disturbing instead of confirming or denying. Them kissing also happens at times they are filled with emotion, that you could explain it as two people without worries of same sex stuff not knowing what to do with their emotion, not confirmation they are both boyfriends now.

I agree that for a heterosexual pair it would be enough to say they are together, but lets be honest that things like anime have not exactly had good track record of explicitly confirming homosexual relationships. It is often just implying, queer coding, and can often end up bein full on queerbait. Such example with Hibike Euphonium, which was super yuri/lesbian, had all the marks of lesbian relationship, until some straight relationship stuff is brought up and it tries to pretend that it never had this scene.

I am not some sort of person that is all about denying gay stuff, I watch a lot of yuri stuff, and always trying to notice characters as a non cis gender. I am well aware of all the possible coded characters and their relationships, and I know about all the ones too afraid to outright confirm things. Like Nanoha and Fate are two women/girls who have a close relationship, end up living together, and even are two mothers to a daughter, but only ever says that they are best friends. This while Sailor Moon left no uncertain (except for some dub) that two girls are totally that way.

If we want proper queer people in anime or general pop culture, we need the characters to be explicit about it. We can't have Hideri dressing up and on instinct going into the womens washroom, if they will otherwise announce themselves as a boy. Some people tried to explain Lily as a boy after she was pretty direct about it not being what she is. Treating queer relationships the same as straight ones is the ideal but comparing to all the ones that leave things vague, we are not there yet, and this point Yuri on Ice was not be clear enough. Which I find disappointing for a show that was amazing so much elsewhere in it.
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kazenoyume



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 422
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:17 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
SailorTralfamadore wrote:
There are a lot of other people who felt it went plenty "far enough" in showing the characters get engaged, and that these expectations are a ridiculous double standard that would never be applied to heterosexual couples, but okay, I'm glad we have someone who outright admits they haven't seen the show to tell us whose opinions about it are accurate Rolling Eyes


I am not saying that Victor in Yuri are not an item, but I am saying that it did not be clear enough. Sure Yuri put a ring on Victor's hand (his right hand) and they seemed to make some sort of promise, but Yuri does not outright say that he is asking Victor to marry him, nor do either say they are engaged. The ring is seen, one of the characters loudly asks if they are getting married, and the shush him for being disturbing instead of confirming or denying. Them kissing also happens at times they are filled with emotion, that you could explain it as two people without worries of same sex stuff not knowing what to do with their emotion, not confirmation they are both boyfriends now.
.




Oh yes no confirmation at all.

Also the idea that publicly making out in front of thousands of people is something that doesn't explicitly denote they're romantically involved is so galaxy brain I don't even know where to start. And it's so insulting to compare this series, which the director worked so, so hard to get on the air despite pressure from all sides for her to change it, to shows that were deliberately bait and pulled a last minute het ending.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:00 am Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
If we want proper queer people in anime or general pop culture, we need the characters to be explicit about it. We can't have Hideri dressing up and on instinct going into the womens washroom, if they will otherwise announce themselves as a boy. Some people tried to explain Lily as a boy after she was pretty direct about it not being what she is. Treating queer relationships the same as straight ones is the ideal but comparing to all the ones that leave things vague, we are not there yet, and this point Yuri on Ice was not be clear enough. Which I find disappointing for a show that was amazing so much elsewhere in it.


Well first of all, props to kazenoyume for giving the best, most succinct answer, but if you're interested, here's the TL;DR one.

As a gay media critic, I've had these arguments over and over with various pieces of media -- I wrote one of the more-widely-cited articles on queerbaiting six years ago -- and now, at the end of the day, I'm just tired of playing by straight people's rules about it. Every other marginalized group's critics have decided they're tired of this: tired of judging women's representation by what men think, tired of judging black media by what white people might think. Why are we judging LGBT-themed media by what straight cis people -- and the most delusional and biased straight cis people at that* -- think about it? The creators might have to consider this in marketing terms, but why do the rest of us, fans just talking about it online or writing criticism, need to care what they think when they already have so much media to cater to them, and all they'll do is hold us back?

And the thing is, these people constantly move the goalposts. People say "well if they had sex" as though that would solve it (and as if requiring that doesn't open its own can of worms) but I was in a fandom for a live-action TV show where a bisexual male character literally gives another man a blowjob on-screen. Many fans still denied over and over that this character was bi, insisting he was just "experimenting" with the other guy and really only into women, even though his sexual encounters with women were framed similarly and the show didn't drop his interest in men after that. Fans even argue about characters who verbally identify as gay/bisexual/trans, and if that label actually makes sense for them or they might be dishonest about it, as real people often can be about their own sexuality temporarily. (A good example of this is the discourse about Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who was clearly in love with men before the fourth season, when she began dating Tara and came out as a lesbian. It's been 20 years and fans still argue about if she really is, or is actually a bisexual in denial.) You've seen the shippers who will steadfastly insist that two dudes who merely look at each other in one shot are secretly in love, all evidence to the contrary be damned; well, it works the same way in reverse. If people are truly committed to denying two characters are into each other, or denying that a particular character has a non-heterosexual orientation (or non-cisgender gender identity), nothing will stop them.

The fact of the matter is, there's often a trade-off between making a piece of media "for" a marginalized group, vs. making it to teach a lesson to clueless people of the privileged group. When it comes to something like race, this is the difference between a movie like Green Book or The Help, vs. a movie that actually centers black people's perspectives and experiences... and may not even mention race or racism at all. Because people want escapism, and sometimes that means treating a marginalized group like they're normal, like the marginalization doesn't exist, and you don't have to point it out all the time by turning to the camera and saying "I'm X!" In the case of LGBT stuff, representation designed to enlighten straight people often means lots of tragedy, lots of wallowing in homophobia, and can mean that (as in the Buffy example) labeling a character as gay/bi/trans is treated as more important than putting convincing writing behind that label. Albus Dumbledore is a "canonically" gay character, as established by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, but you won't look far to find queer people who find his storyline significantly less satisfying than Yuri on Ice or, really, any of the entries on this list. Because she never shows us, only tells.

But the biggest reason I'm frustrated with this, though, is that this mentality leaps into how we're treated in real life as well. As a lesbian, I can't tell you how many times I've been on a date with a woman that had all the clear markers of a "date" but were treated by others around us like we were "just friends," because we were two women. Conversely, one of my closest friends I do stuff around town with a lot is a gay man, and he and I are frequently assumed to be on a date because that must be what's happening when a man and a woman are out alone, right? There are men who harass women on dating sites who clearly have "lesbian" in their profiles, because they just refuse to believe that that identity (and particularly, lack of interest in men from women) is legitimate. My bi friends are always having to clarify their sexuality when they're in a committed relationship with someone of the other gender. If you want media to reflect reality, well, the standards you're using here would leave a lot of real-life same-sex relationships and queer people out, too.

We shouldn't have to constantly turn to the camera and tell people who we are. People should believe us and believe our stories. And if media can reflect that standard, maybe the rest of the world can start to take a cue from it.

(*To be clear, I'm not saying this is you; I believe you that you are concerned about queer representation and you're echoing sincere arguments you've heard, often from other queer people, that Yuri on Ice's representation wasn't enough because some people might still deny it. I've heard those arguments from those people, too. But I've also seen people who argue that couples like Yuuri and Victor aren't an item clearly out of homophobia, out of discomfort with admitting that a thing they like is G-A-Y, and that's why I think the argument from queer people falls apart. Because those people should not matter any more than a racist white person's opinion on Black Panther should matter. It's a function of internalized homophobia that we've been told that we should care so very much about homophobes and transphobes' opinions of how we are represented in media.)
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 272
Location: Mishopshno
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:19 am Reply with quote
"Naruto" and "He-Man" have definitely got my votes. Wink

I'll continue to be a queer outlier in declining to adhere to the unilateral cultural consensus that all gay art (in Japan?) is best left subsumed under the BL umbrella; I get that it's really nice and handy to have that moniker primed for marketing purposes, and it feels good to be able to just say that something is hella gay and leave it at that, but the constant dismissal (either directly and snarkily as in this thread, or through regular omission from the conversation) of critiques from gay folks and allies leads me to believe that the industry is not providing an artistic platform that functionally progresses the rights and interests of queer people. Which means there is effectively no reason for me as a queer reader/consumer to go out of my way to emphasize or exaggerate its value as a mode of inclusive, dynamic or insightful queer representation. I say that because many queer commentators seem to feel the need to validate it as some sort of helpful catch-all that will consolidate the visibility needs among queer communities in Japan (like, because some queer authors make BL), and that seems pretty deeply counter-intuitive.

Rather, it seems much more socially healthy and forward-thinking to view YOI as a sports show and a gay romance that can stand apart from those marketing brackets. Sure, it has its fair share of detractors and valid criticisms surrounding how it portrays its central relationship, but rather than debating its merits solely in relation to BL tropes as they're popularly conceived (which is not to say the comparisons are totally unjustified) I would love to see conversations about that show and other gay romances shift to taking place in a space that is both more generalized/liberated as art-work, while also more specifically highlighting queer social concerns of inclusivity, intersectionality, and cultural symbolism.

Like, it might be worth considering for a moment that the dichotomy between BL/yaoi and GL/yuri creates or reinforces a sense of real social and artistic precarity for trans authors and audiences, particularly those of us who are nb: already in this thread we have conversations going on between folks about whether or not an ostensibly shonen manga, featuring an intersex character who identifies as male, written by a mangaka who identifies as X-Gender, manages to mark itself as "BL" due to the gay nature of the will-they-won't-they romantic subtext (haven't read NnO yet so if I've misrepresented any of this drag me). Effectively, as I see it, debating the potential to wedge this story into a restrictive and exclusionary categorization which is ill suited to describe the elasticity and complexity of the narrative, rather than celebrating its thematic potential to effectively explode that kind of genre shorthand.
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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 14739
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:21 am Reply with quote
kazenoyume wrote:
Oh yes no confirmation at all.

Also the idea that publicly making out in front of thousands of people is something that doesn't explicitly denote they're romantically involved is so galaxy brain I don't even know where to start. And it's so insulting to compare this series, which the director worked so, so hard to get on the air despite pressure from all sides for her to change it, to shows that were deliberately bait and pulled a last minute het ending.


Except, it would kind of be in character for Victor to tease Yuri by saying something is more intimate than it really is, at least that was my thought. And wasn't the kiss kind of obscured, like not shown directly?

SailorTralfamadore wrote:
(*To be clear, I'm not saying this is you; I believe you that you are concerned about queer representation and you're echoing sincere arguments you've heard, often from other queer people, that Yuri on Ice's representation wasn't enough because some people might still deny it.


I appreciate that you have not just chucked my opinion away as something like a hater. But I was not just repeating what others heard, I honestly watching it at the time could not feel sure, and was kind of confused why people felt so sure. I can only say what I felt watching.

I do understand that you are tired of trying to play by others rules, and your opinion on this probably holds more weight on this subject. On a personal note I have a lot to learn, because I had been kind of wondering why certain topics were not leaving my head, that I felt so invested, and only just in the last couple weeks or days come to a realization. I realized that I am most likely Non Binary, and I had kind of been suppressing parts of myself out of fear of being weird or a pervert. Just being telling myself that I had a feminine side, while also fantasising over switching genders. Only really started to realize things when certain shows were being more explicit with things, and not just awful stereotypes of gender queer characters, or being ambiguous about things.

I will concede that Yuri on Ice is undoubtedly a BL to some people, but we can kind of get into tricky situations of how obvious or accepted an element needs to be to count as part of that genre. Is Endro a yuri show? Hibike Euphonium? Flip Flappers? K-ON? What about Piano Forest, it has certain aspects of crossdressing to maybe/likely attraction? In context I was totally shipping in Astra Lost in Space as pretty much a BL pairing, although with my focus on the intersex character I might have also been reading Non Binary into one of them too.
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Jin_Uzuki



Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:09 am Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:


I am not saying that Victor in Yuri are not an item, but I am saying that it did not be clear enough.

But Yuri and Victor are more affectionate and intimate than 99% of anime couple. They are constantly flirting, touching and being intimate with each other. Yuri's character development and evolution are all about him becoming more sexually in charge of himself and trying to capture Victor's interest. Even if you take out the rings and the kissing scenes, they straight up have more romantic moments than Naruto and Hinata in 700 chapters of Naruto.

https://i.imgur.com/zz14bak.jpg

It's actually *bizarre* than someone could watch YoI and assume the main characters are straight, like you are had people who genuinely argued Yuri's posters of Victor were just him being a normal fan. I'm familiar with the no homo thing that happens every time something gay happens on TV (People still argue Eva is not gay in the year 2019), but I feel like the world is on crazy pills when talking about Yuri on Ice.

Also, bottom line, it's not like the writers can do what they want. We still have people trying to censor the rings from magazines after the anime literally found its success because of the main couple.

Quote:
Such example with Hibike Euphonium, which was super yuri/lesbian, had all the marks of lesbian relationship, until some straight relationship stuff is brought up and it tries to pretend that it never had this scene.

Isn't Hibike based on a work with a canon straight romance and in which one of the characters in this scene can't stop talking about how much she wants to bang her teacher? Like, I haven't watched it, but even I know that.


Last edited by Jin_Uzuki on Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:12 am Reply with quote
Jin_Uzuki wrote:

It's actually *bizarre* than someone could watch YoI and assume the main characters are straight,


I didn't say that. But I have seen so many shows wuss out after what should be obvious. Hakumei & Mikochi has two women living together, with all the elements of life partners, and supporting each other, but what exactly their relationship is never seems to really be elaborated on

Jin_Uzuki wrote:
Isn't Hibike based on a work with a canon straight romance and in which one of the characters in this scene can't stop talking about how much she wants to bang her teacher? Like, I haven't watched it, but even I know that.


Which is why it is kind of bizarre. Watch the show and you see that the main character seems to not react to the boy she apparently gets with in the book as a tsundere, but between total disinterest and maybe even disgust. It is really hard not to read romance into the scene, despite how the other girl admits later to being into a male teacher. Rather than wearing yuri goggles, it turns into kind of poor direction if you were not meant to read same sex attraction. After that episode it seemed pretty much confirmed, but then it doesn't.

Dororo never confirms if the titular character is trans. New Game does not make it clear that the two women who could not live separately are now dating. Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū has a number of things you could read into. Or what exactly SSSS.Gridman meant at the end. Or Vatican Miracle Examiner, despite them being Catholic.

There are a lot of examples of where things are left unresolved.
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Jin_Uzuki



Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:14 am Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
Jin_Uzuki wrote:

It's actually *bizarre* than someone could watch YoI and assume the main characters are straight,


I didn't say that. But I have seen so many shows wuss out after what should be obvious. Hakumei & Mikochi has two women living together, with all the elements of life partners, and supporting each other, but what exactly their relationship is never seems to really be elaborated on

Jin_Uzuki wrote:
Isn't Hibike based on a work with a canon straight romance and in which one of the characters in this scene can't stop talking about how much she wants to bang her teacher? Like, I haven't watched it, but even I know that.


Which is why it is kind of bizarre. Watch the show and you see that the main character seems to not react to the boy she apparently gets with in the book as a tsundere, but between total disinterest and maybe even disgust. It is really hard not to read romance into the scene, despite how the other girl admits later to being into a male teacher. Rather than wearing yuri goggles, it turns into kind of poor direction if you were not meant to read same sex attraction. After that episode it seemed pretty much confirmed, but then it doesn't.

Dororo never confirms if the titular character is trans. New Game does not make it clear that the two women who could not live separately are now dating. Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū has a number of things you could read into. Or what exactly SSSS.Gridman meant at the end. Or Vatican Miracle Examiner, despite them being Catholic.

There are a lot of examples of where things are left unresolved.

I get what you are saying but ultimately, one should judge a show by its own merit? It's not like ambiguity or subtext are exclusive to gay romance for what matters anyway.

I would say YoI is even more explicit that most straight romances, it's just that people are either 1) So jaded and used to assuming that LGBT content can't exist in non-BL mainstream Japanese media outside of jokes that assume the characters can't just be gay (I don't know if you watched No.6 when it aired, but even when the characters kissed on screen people tried to rationalized it) 2) Don't want gay stuff period in their "normal" media so they just perform mental gymnastics to deny it (Not saying it's your case)

Curiosity, a lot of people who deny the obviously homosexuality in YoI have no problem claiming that Yuri is in love with... Yuko through all the show.


Last edited by Jin_Uzuki on Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sherris



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 247
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:06 am Reply with quote
Gravitation was great. I wish all idol/music anime were like that show.

wolf10 wrote:
Shit, I forgot to write-in Promare. Laughing

So true! Laughing Galo spoiler[kisses (OK, that was CPR) Lio and this gives him a boner.]
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 497
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:48 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
Except, it would kind of be in character for Victor to tease Yuri by saying something is more intimate than it really is, at least that was my thought. And wasn't the kiss kind of obscured, like not shown directly?


In terms of the engagement: no, Victor likes to make jokes but tends to be bullheadedly sincere when it comes to things that matter to him. Plus, this is around the point in the story where we learn about the banquet and that a lot of what came off as "jokes" and "tricks" from Victor early on were him sincerely trying to seduce Yuuri, and getting frustrated at Yuuri's lack of response. And a few scenes later Victor is shown gazing at the sunlight hitting his ring, which is the sort of thing that newly-engaged people do.

A lot of how the storytelling in Yuri on Ice -- and Sayo Yamamoto's work more generally -- works is by setting you up for one expectation, and then it turning out to be something entirely different with more information. The show does this a lot with the ANN forums' favorite word, heteronormativity (e.g. we believe in the episode 1 skate that Yuuri is skating romantically for Yuuko, but it's really all about his feelings for Victor and he knows Yuuko is married and they're just close friends), but it also does it with more typical BL tropes, like assuming a character like Victor is a duplicitous trickster planning to take advantage of Yuuri. A lot of fans thought that in the beginning, and the point of episode 10 was to show how skewed our idea of things were by only getting Yuuri's perspective.

As for the obscured kiss, I don't have the links right now but Yamamoto has basically stated that she had to fight really hard to keep that scene in the episode, so the obscured version is probably all that they allowed her to do. And I think the fact that she fought so hard against homophobic broadcast standards deserves a different reception than the deliberate bait-and-switch pulled by something like Sound! Euphonium.
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Jefcat



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 56
Location: Palm Desert
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:42 pm Reply with quote
I don’t have my DVDs of No.6 at hand, but I seem to recall in the commentary with the seiyuus that they said something about the anime being produced before the author had actually written the ending to the light novel series hence some of the differences between the novels and the anime.
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Zimmer



Joined: 08 Jul 2015
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Including Yuri on Ice is just insulting when it's so called subtext is just is just an excuse to wimp out on being explicit about it. Not everyone who claims it's not BL is doing so because of homophobia. In fact, a lot of homophobes were calling it gay from the start.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 497
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Zimmer wrote:
Not everyone who claims it's not BL is doing so because of homophobia.


And no one said that. Maybe you should actually read the multiple long posts from multiple users on this topic before jumping in with your pithy cold take.

ETA: Also dude, it's easy to check your comment history to see you have a pattern of telling LGBT people that they're wrong to be offended by things. Don't go trumpeting your ally credentials now.
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