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NEWS: BL (Boys Life) Manga Sasaki and Miyano Gets Anime (Updated)


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fencer_x



Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 236
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:48 am Reply with quote
Yo, Sasaki to Miyano isn't BL. It's just marketed as 'romance', not BL (the cover even explicitly says it's NOT BL). That's why it's such a great series--no one expected it to be anything more than gag flirty shoujo stuff, not a genuine heartfelt slow-burn romance.

Would appreciate the author of the article correcting this :/ It's super important that it's not a BL series, as the author is showing that romance is romance is romance and doesn't need to be 'othered' just because it's between two boys.

ETA: Okay, that's a pretty great edit, ANN Anime hyper That's exactly the tongue-in-cheek way that the author presents the content, so bravo Smile Thanks for the quick work!
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KuroiTsubasa



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:23 am Reply with quote
but It IS Boys love manga.
The two main characters are dating and kissing (comes later in the story)...... but it's very delicate and sweet, and it does portarit boys life. I agree that romance is just romance, but some people have a problem with gay romance, and they should know what it's really about (tho I doubt will see much if enything Boys Love releated in the anime...).
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25thchestnut



Joined: 14 Sep 2020
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:32 pm Reply with quote
I'd never encountered this manga before, but after seeing basically all positive comments about it this morning, I might pick it up. It's seemed to spark some debate/conversation around the label of "BL", which tends to be associated with anything from highly sexualized, often non-consensual gay relationships to straight up porn with plot. I wonder, would including wholesome, non-problematic gay romances under the category BL help to change people's perceptions/connotations of it? I think, despite misconceptions about it, BL is not so much a genre in itself as it is a fairly neutral technical term.

Alternatively, it might be necessary to have clear labels separating pornographic stories from the romance stories -- i.e. in the same way that hentai and romance are separated as genres. I think there's often a confusing conflation of the two for Western audiences when they think of BL.

fencer_x wrote:
the author is showing that romance is romance is romance and doesn't need to be 'othered' just because it's between two boys.


Of course I absolutely agree with this, and I think the end goal of society in general is to no longer be so hyper-conscious about separating straight and gay romances, or assuming that the latter is only predominately aimed towards straight women. I hope one day that categories of BL or GL simply won't be relevant anymore and we can judge stories solely based on their quality of writing.

It'll be interesting to see if Sasaki and Miyano, if the adaptation is done well, will continue the precedent that YOI, Banana Fish, and Given set in mainstreaming stories around gay relationships as no different than straight ones in how we should think and talk about them.
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LittleKitty24



Joined: 22 Aug 2018
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:17 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if the anime will adapt the events of 'Hirano to Kagiura' as well since the events happen around the same time? Hopefully the drama CD cast reprise their roles for the anime.
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Samiamiam



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 222
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:52 pm Reply with quote
25thchestnut wrote:
I'd never encountered this manga before, but after seeing basically all positive comments about it this morning, I might pick it up. It's seemed to spark some debate/conversation around the label of "BL", which tends to be associated with anything from highly sexualized, often non-consensual gay relationships to straight up porn with plot. I wonder, would including wholesome, non-problematic gay romances under the category BL help to change people's perceptions/connotations of it? I think, despite misconceptions about it, BL is not so much a genre in itself as it is a fairly neutral technical term.

Alternatively, it might be necessary to have clear labels separating pornographic stories from the romance stories -- i.e. in the same way that hentai and romance are separated as genres. I think there's often a confusing conflation of the two for Western audiences when they think of BL.


I mean BL is just a marketing term that just tells you that the magazine/game/ect is looking for BL audiences. (One that this manga is obviously using though in a tongue in cheek ~~boys life~~ way as its a meta story about BL) The content itself isn't actually that relevant.
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25thchestnut



Joined: 14 Sep 2020
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Samiamiam wrote:

I mean BL is just a marketing term that just tells you that the magazine/game/ect is looking for BL audiences.


Yeah that's essentially what it is. Though I'd say that these days, it's a marketing term that might need some rebranding, because stereotypes that Western anime watchers (I don't know about the Japanese side) have about it means a lot of potential watchers are altogether put off by the BL label. It's arguably narrowing the audience base rather than expanding it, especially among male watchers, though of course things are in the process of changing. For example, Banana Fish and Given are great shows that in my opinion are criminally underwatched among non-BL fans. Of course that's not to say that all shows will be equally appealing to male and female watchers, but I think more shows recently would be able to bridge that gap.
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SciasSlash



Joined: 09 Jun 2015
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:23 pm Reply with quote
ANN, are you really going to put some random comment like that in just because some commenter said so? The edit you've made makes it sound like the story isn't actually a romance.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 436
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:44 pm Reply with quote
SciasSlash wrote:
ANN, are you really going to put some random comment like that in just because some commenter said so? The edit you've made makes it sound like the story isn't actually a romance.
I second that commotion, actually. Regardless of the intent behind the clarification, it definitely reeks of "no homo."

Having now skimmed through the available chapters on pixiv, there is most definitely homo. So yeah.
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Samiamiam



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 222
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:42 pm Reply with quote
25thchestnut wrote:
Samiamiam wrote:

I mean BL is just a marketing term that just tells you that the magazine/game/ect is looking for BL audiences.


Yeah that's essentially what it is. Though I'd say that these days, it's a marketing term that might need some rebranding, because stereotypes that Western anime watchers (I don't know about the Japanese side) have about it means a lot of potential watchers are altogether put off by the BL label. It's arguably narrowing the audience base rather than expanding it, especially among male watchers, though of course things are in the process of changing. For example, Banana Fish and Given are great shows that in my opinion are criminally underwatched among non-BL fans. Of course that's not to say that all shows will be equally appealing to male and female watchers, but I think more shows recently would be able to bridge that gap.


I'm not sure most BL magazines/studios are even aware that theres a western audience for BL, let alone trying to market/influence western opinion for it. Their concern is of how "BL" is read by Japanese audiences (and to an extent other Asian audiences- Given and Etranger did get international screenings). Also, I don't think "BL" itself even has a western opinion- most people in the west would likely call it "yaoi" or "shounen ai", terms that obviously aren't used in Japan. Ironically I think that Chinese danmei probably does more to try to interact with western fans than Japanese BL.
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Chrizy



Joined: 30 Aug 2018
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:20 pm Reply with quote
fencer_x wrote:
Yo, Sasaki to Miyano isn't BL. It's just marketed as 'romance', not BL (the cover even explicitly says it's NOT BL). That's why it's such a great series--no one expected it to be anything more than gag flirty shoujo stuff, not a genuine heartfelt slow-burn romance.

Would appreciate the author of the article correcting this :/ It's super important that it's not a BL series, as the author is showing that romance is romance is romance and doesn't need to be 'othered' just because it's between two boys.

ETA: Okay, that's a pretty great edit, ANN Anime hyper That's exactly the tongue-in-cheek way that the author presents the content, so bravo Smile Thanks for the quick work!

BL is Boys Love. If Love between non-biologically-related people isn't romance, I don't know what that is.
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Chrizy



Joined: 30 Aug 2018
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:25 pm Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
SciasSlash wrote:
ANN, are you really going to put some random comment like that in just because some commenter said so? The edit you've made makes it sound like the story isn't actually a romance.
I second that commotion, actually. Regardless of the intent behind the clarification, it definitely reeks of "no homo."

Having now skimmed through the available chapters on pixiv, there is most definitely homo. So yeah.
You'll be surprised to find out the amount of Internalized Homophobia from people who identify themselves as homosexuals and those who think they tolerate homosexuality. The first comment is apparently one such. They might support the love between boys but when it comes to calling it the BL, they get irritated.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 436
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:01 am Reply with quote
I think there's also some general misunderstanding (even in Japan) over whether it's still BL if it includes ActualGays™ and not just the usual "but I'm straight" dudes in a hetero-normalized relationship. I think it will be less of an issue as more gay male creators enter the space and "gay" in general becomes more normalized in society. Yuri, at least, is mercifully ahead of the curve in that respect.

On an unrelated note, I hope they keep the drama CD cast (now that I've stumbled across its existence). There are some pretty impressive names, and it's been years since I've gotten to hear Soma Saito play a tiny gay boy.
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capt_bunny



Joined: 31 May 2015
Posts: 279
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:27 pm Reply with quote
I hope Soma Saito continues to play the main character!
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Samiamiam



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 222
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:40 am Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
I think there's also some general misunderstanding (even in Japan) over whether it's still BL if it includes ActualGays™ and not just the usual "but I'm straight" dudes in a hetero-normalized relationship. I think it will be less of an issue as more gay male creators enter the space and "gay" in general becomes more normalized in society. Yuri, at least, is mercifully ahead of the curve in that respect.

On an unrelated note, I hope they keep the drama CD cast (now that I've stumbled across its existence). There are some pretty impressive names, and it's been years since I've gotten to hear Soma Saito play a tiny gay boy.


There is plenty of BL with men who identify as gay and plenty of BL written by male mangaka that run in BL magazines and are marketed and thought of as BL so I'm not sure where you're going with this. (And there are also comics about gay men, written by gay men that run in family magazines or on pixiv that are not considered BL) Personally, I think its a good thing that BL doesn't do the "all lesbians and even just lesbian adjacent media is "Yuri" " thing because I think its a bit distasteful when you see shit like lesbian autobiographies labeled as yuri. Its also how you get bs like "benches in an empty park is yuri" from prominent yuri mangaka.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 626
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:11 am Reply with quote
People on the Anglophone internet like to think way too deeply about these things...

Like "shoujo" "shounen" "seinen" etc., or even "yuri", "BL" is what gets branded as "BL". That's it, that's all. If it runs in a BL magazine it's BL. If it's published by a BL publisher, it's BL. If the author calls it BL then it's BL. Regardless of topic, of whether it's about "but I'm straight" dudes or ActualGays™ or vaguely male humanoid creatures with no concept of human sexuality, regardless of genre, regardless of being written by a man or a woman, gay or straight or anything in between and beyond. Similarly, if it's not branded as BL then it's not BL, even if it features dudes in a relationship. (See: What Did You Eat Yesterday, or Kunisaki Izumo no Jijou, one is seinen and the other is shounen.)

It's just that there's still (still!) this thing in Anglophone fandom where BL is often looked down upon due to stereotypical "genre traits" (that were never rules, and are way outdated anyway), and some people consider the label undesirable. "It's not BL, it's ~more realistic/serious/whatever~!" Kind of like the stigma on "shoujo" where for many people if it's not a Harlequin romance then it's automatically "josei", never mind the tons of shoujo manga which aren't that (and so, so many josei which are).

Similarly in Japan, since the BL branding, wide as it is, has certain implications about a frivolous treatment of homosexuality some authors wish to avoid it when they write about RL gay stuff, or if they want to make a point by avoiding labeling their work as "boy's love", etc.

Edit: I just saw this...

fencer_x wrote:
Yo, Sasaki to Miyano isn't BL. It's just marketed as 'romance', not BL (the cover even explicitly says it's NOT BL). That's why it's such a great series--no one expected it to be anything more than gag flirty shoujo stuff, not a genuine heartfelt slow-burn romance.

But like... no? The cover has one of the characters reading a BL manga and glancing at the other guy, and the tagline says "BL展開断固拒否" ie. "this is absolutely not going to be BL". And like... if you look at that cover, look at the content of the very first chapter, and look at that tagline, it takes a lot of mental gymnastics to deny that the tagline is very much tongue in cheek. Hell, pixiv itself tags it as BL!


Last edited by SHD on Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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