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The List - 5 Best Boys-Love Anime


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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 14722
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:23 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
Ok people, do you consider YOI (or any other similar show) to be boys love? Good for you. Do you consider it to be yaoi? Good for you. Do you consider it to be sports themes first? Good for you. If you consider it any of the above over the others you are not wrong to feel that way. What's stupid and creates unnecessary problems is when you want to be the moral authority on which the show predominantly is. Especially when any of the 3 would work. Instead of arguing over honestly pointless categorizations, why not try simply enjoying the damn the show? Simply discuss the actual story, characters, etc. To me that is far more enjoyable then arguing & nitpicking on the internet over what it's main label is.


I don't think that I have ever so far argued that it is a sports anime first. No, my argument has been that a sort of vagueness in the area of BL, that I think could be a bad precedent if we held it as the greatest example of the genre. No argument that it is probably one of the best anime with a gay relationship centered around the main characters, even if I was not an entire fan with how it took attention away from other good shows, it is pretty great. What I don't want is for it to be an example for other BL anime to follow, where there cannot be an onscreen kiss, that relationship steps could be implied to be taken, but enough left vague like some sort of censorship that it has ben confirmed YOI was affected by.

I want BL anime to have a kiss on screen, most even have internal monologue or the like that confirm there is attraction going on, so it can't be confused as just be hero worship, with the other being an authority figure that has a track record of teasing. If this is enough, then I guess that I am wrong and now BL anime can be the type of fair that many audiences can easily convince themselves that there is no definitive romance.
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Crispy45



Joined: 23 Sep 2012
Posts: 363
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:21 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
I don't think that I have ever so far argued that it is a sports anime first. No, my argument has been that a sort of vagueness in the area of BL, that I think could be a bad precedent if we held it as the greatest example of the genre. No argument that it is probably one of the best anime with a gay relationship centered around the main characters, even if I was not an entire fan with how it took attention away from other good shows, it is pretty great. What I don't want is for it to be an example for other BL anime to follow, where there cannot be an onscreen kiss, that relationship steps could be implied to be taken, but enough left vague like some sort of censorship that it has ben confirmed YOI was affected by.

I want BL anime to have a kiss on screen, most even have internal monologue or the like that confirm there is attraction going on, so it can't be confused as just be hero worship, with the other being an authority figure that has a track record of teasing. If this is enough, then I guess that I am wrong and now BL anime can be the type of fair that many audiences can easily convince themselves that there is no definitive romance.


It's been three years since Yuri on Ice aired. if we haven't seen a glut of rip-offs or trend chasers up until now, then we're unlikely to see any in the future as we are well past the franchise's popularity peak. BL has a very specific audience. I doubt they're going to throw it to the wind and chase after some trendy mainstream audience any more than ecchi anime will.

All the BL anime that has aired since then, however, is just as direct and explicit as it's ever been. Daikaichi, Given, that one short anime with the two guys taking care of a baby, and various others can show on screen kisses, direct love confessions, and other explicit things. Yuri On Ice was a specific instance of production committee members not wanting a homosexual relationship in their show because they felt it would hurt the mainstream success.
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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 14722
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:10 pm Reply with quote
Crispy45 wrote:
Yuri On Ice was a specific instance of production committee members not wanting a homosexual relationship in their show because they felt it would hurt the mainstream success.


And people don't see that as a problem for saying it should be the be number one as best BL anime?
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9714
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:06 am Reply with quote
Nope, because it still ended up being a gay romance, despite what the producers wanted and feared. It also brought a same-sex romance anime into the mainstream in a way that garnered world-wide attention, even in decidedly non-anime quarters, as well as being a best-selling series. As long as there is no on-screen sex (and sometimes even then!), people who want to deny seeing anything gay will deny seeing anything gay. And thus it will ever be.

Despite all that you've said, it still doesn't sound to me like you've ever really doubted that they were a gay couple. Your concern seems to be more with whether you can answer those denials in a way that satisfies the deniers, and because you can't (since nothing will satisfy them), you then opt for the most restrictive definitions of BL to exclude YoI. I don't think either of those impacts its status as a top BL anime.
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 272
Location: Mishopshno
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:42 am Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:

Instead of arguing over honestly pointless categorizations, why not try simply enjoying the damn the show? Simply discuss the actual story, characters, etc. To me that is far more enjoyable then arguing & nitpicking on the internet over what it's main label is.

Well that position would beg the question as to why this List wasn't simply titled "5 Best Gay Romance Anime" or "5 Best Gay Male Relationships in Anime"? Although I realize there is some popular resistance to reconciling art with the political space it occupies (intentionally or otherwise), the fact remains that terminology matters, especially when referencing a historically, and presently, marginalized community; it isn't pedantry to acknowledge the reservations identified within that community surrounding the potential for the application of cultural vocabularies that were not developed by and for them to shift political and social power and autonomy towards them.

BL is a term with baggage, and the decision to exercise its usage broadly carries political implications. I'm not Japanese, so I can't speak to these connotations firsthand, but I can say that as a queer fan of anime in general I take issue with framing the conversations about queer media in the medium using a rubric that has been exclusionary, non-intersectional, and non-queer centered by design. The local analogue for me is the recent (and not so recent) spate of Hollywood media drawing on trans themes and narratives while casting cis actors and centering cis audiences-- reflecting both their tastes and their imaginings of real, lived experiences. The appropriation of queer art by an executive class who can read the pop culture tea leaves and hop on a trend as it's passing (and nab a few career-boosting awards along the way) does not register as empowerment, but as objectification. BL, as an industry, strikes the same chord.

I recognize that there is a separate consensus among many gay anime fans and professionals that simply expanding the definition to be inclusive somehow gives it an inclusive reach, but that consensus seems to occur in a vacuum of subjective, circulatory justification absent any engagement with the reality that is under the lens of the critical opposition-- note, again, the lack of emphasis surrounding the dialogue taking place with NnO, which in some ways eschews the convenience of a simple label while in other ways making a case for what actually intersectional queer manga and anime could potentially look like (the author's later works, even moreso). One of the political implications of using BL as an umbrella term is that it invites this kind of dialogue because of what it represents historically. There are legitimate reasons that many folks want to see gay romance and gay-themed anime divorced from BL as a genre marker, and one of them is that it would be great to be able to have conversations about gay relationships (of all kinds) in anime without filtering them through that kind of culturally loaded (and arguably limiting) categorization.

I would also just add that there is no implied or embedded interest in "policing" anybody's views or approach to the issue in the attempt to push back against, among other things, a kind of professionalized cultural hegemony that typically spurs these conversations. Zac and Lynzee have a platform that many other queer would-be participants in this conversation do not (and I should note FWIW that I generally appreciate and find solidarity in the work they do with it), the same way that published BL mangaka in Japan have a platform that many queer artists and critics who seek to work outside that cultural schema frequently do not, so let's keep that in perspective.
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Crispy45



Joined: 23 Sep 2012
Posts: 363
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:40 am Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
And people don't see that as a problem for saying it should be the be number one as best BL anime?


I'm not saying I agree with it being on there, but the editors and moderators kind of put their foot down on this issue already so continuing to argue about it isn't really going to do much good and will probably just result in posts being deleted. It's their site and their list ultimately to do whatever they want with it. At the end of the day it's just people making a fun little Top 5 list, not some scholarly, academic journal that's going to be used as reference for future anime production and law about defining shows. I mean, the reader poll has stuff like Naruto and Berserk on it. It's not really meant to be super serious.

I'm personally more surprised Love Stage is on the list. Usually the writers on ANN are big sticklers with "rapey" BL.
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DuskyPredator



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 14722
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:33 am Reply with quote
Crispy45 wrote:
I'm personally more surprised Love Stage is on the list. Usually the writers on ANN are big sticklers with "rapey" BL.


It is kind of why my first comment was that it is kind of sad that these are the best we have.

The other side has Yuru Yuri, Bloom into You, Citrus, Flip Flappers, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Yuri Kuma Arashi. Probably also Pandora in the Crimson Shell, Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood.

There is also Happy Sugar Life and Valkyrie Drive -Mermaid-, probably equally not good.

Really hope that we get better stuff.
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