I get quite a few emails from people about yaoi and what I would recommend to those new to the genre and to those who want some good reads.
In light of this, and given the diversity of dis/likes out there, I thought it would be great to start a series where I invited fellow readers to talk about their favourite yaoi novels and manga as well as other forms of m/m graphic novels.
Much to my delight a number of people said yes and I’m pleased today to launch what I hope will be a weekly event with a post by our very own, the lovely Ingrid. 🙂
Last week I was cordially invited by Kris to write about yaoi. Right. I will get to that in a minute. First something about me. I am Dutch, 34 as of 24th June, Cancerian, bloodtype … no clue and I don’t have my own blog to ramble on so need to look for it. I started reading m/m around July 2008 and sometime last year I was asked if I wanted to read some yaoi by a certain someone. I wish I had never responded to that question! *Kris: Hey! How rude!*
Just kidding, the entertainment value of this genre is so big, it can be hilarious, touching, very smexy to the totally absurd.
After reading the first few books were I was totally flabbergasted because you have to read them from right to left (and down and across) I got hooked to the genre and started to looking out for more. So I found this site. I have spent loads of hours there reading the yaoi and looking at the pretty pictures. I noticed that I did not like all of them, some artwork just did not catch me or the story wasn’t. Like some people are raving about Tyrant Falls In Love but I got bored after one book. The artwork is ok but the rest isn’t. The one protag keeps screaming no, no and it got tiresome. Now will you think, “don’t they all scream no?” True, they do but this instance it grates on my nerves.
One of the first books I read was You’re My Love Prize in Viewfinder by Amano Yamane. I am sure this was the book that cemented my love for yaoi. The artwork is gorgeous, as all her books, the story is gripping, fast paced and sweet at times too. It has all the ingredients of a typical modern yaoi book, a stern Yakuza leader, a twinky who gets in situation he isn’t supposed to be, the bad guys and a very bad guy, its explicit and has happy ending. Although I understand that there is another book coming.
Another series that is a big favourite of mine is Okane ga Nai (No Money). I read the book and later I discovered the anime. The story is about a man, well boy who we have been told is 21 but does not really look the part, is sold at an auction by his cousin due to gambling debts to a money lender. In order to pay of his debt Ayase has to work for it, meaning have sex with his buyer Kanou. This continues for 37 chapters plus extra’s and it is still not finished. Of course this grates with Ayase and Kanou is highly jealous of Ayase’s dealings with other men and so it goes on. One thing the books has plenty of are chibi’s. These are the tiny figures of the persona. In this case they are so cute and funny.
The anime only shows the first chapters of the book but is beautifully done.
Another big favourite of mine is Junjou Romantica. At the moment I am waiting for book 9 to arrive from the Emerald City aka Book Depository. It is in anime. I love the two for different reasons. It is a romantic comedy and the comedy aspect shows much better in anime then in book form. In the books I can follow the development of the relation of these two much better. The books have the stories of three couples but I like the ones about Misaki and Usami the most.
When Kris asked me to make a list of my favourite yaoi I also thought of the books I enjoyed but for totally the wrong reasons. Yesterday when researching for this blog I came across a real gem. The title only is hilarious: The Vibrator Company. Inside are 4 short stories, each one more bizarre the other one and they are all very very explicit, it is like a comedy PWP in yaoi form.
Another book I enjoyed but not because of the exquisite artwork or story line is Animal X. It is about a hermaphrodite of some sort and weredinosaurs. Yes you read that right wereDINOs. No wolves, bears or kangaroos but dinosaurs, the T-rex type. It has kidnapping, secret biochemical companies, bad guys and love. You will be amazed about what all happens before they get their HEA.
I'll have to bookmark this post for reference! Thanks, Ingrid!
Your welcome Chris 🙂
Great post, Ingrid! As I'm a newby to yaoi bookmarking isn't a bad idea (thx Chris)! I actually have Junjo Romantica vol.1 on the shelves. 🙂
I need to get my butt reading Viewfinder before yaoicon… since Amano Yamane is going to be there…
I'm also weirdly intrigued by the concept of weredinos. I think I definitely need to give that one a try.
Thanks heaps for this guest post, Ingrid! Love your recs. *g*
Oh, and just to let you all know that the wonderful author Mary Calmes agreed to participate in this series and her post will be up next week. Awesomesauce.
Thanks for the links. I'll have to check them out!
I'm passing on weredinos but I did love Junjo Romantica.
I find I really love the fantasy (swords and sorcerers) ones which is a genre I don't care for in regular books. I've also found that the novels don't really work for me that well. They go into so much detail of the cultural mindset (usually Japan) that I just can't justify a guy who will have sex so his boss will be pleased with him. That's freaking sexual harrassment man. Grow some balls and tell them to shove it. LOL
I also get tired of “no no no”. A few times fine, but come on, just admit it already.
Great post and I look forward to your other ones.
Word veri: mangstr – A master of the manga
The wonderful Lea has made a button for this series. YAY! Feel free to grab it from the right side bar and put it on your own blog. 🙂
This sounds great – I am a pure novice at yaoi & have no idea where to start.
Just as a side, Jen at GR, posted a comment about a woman who says her son now needs “extensive therapy” after reading (stealing) Manga from a local library!
The question is, now, will I now lose my mind too, if I venture into yaoi?!
veri – uneven (the state of my mind at any given point)
Nah, Juni, I'm sure the stuff we're circulating is MUCH WORSE than what the library is circulating. You'll be fine. 😉
Chris has a good point, Juni.
Also, you should probably asking yourself what would happen if you don't star reading yaoi; ie, me kicking your arse.
Juniper, don't worry. I read the article and I saw that her dear baby boy was in a section of the library that was not for him yet.
Extensive therapy, that's ridiculous!!
Wonder, I read Beatrice Small at 12/13, do I need therapy too?
Janna, get reading or drooling at the pics.
Tam, there are some novels I like. IE Immoral Darkness, can't explain why.
I do notice that the translations can be “off”. It's not always fluent prose when translated into English.
Kris, thanks for letting me posting here!
PS: I am not responsible for complaints about time sucks etc!
Great idea Kris and great guest post Ingrid – thank you! I've been trying to bookmark all your links. I do like the sound of No Money…and it's in novel form? (I like the novels 🙂
And I'm with Tam…I love the fantasy yaoi 🙂
Orannia, No money is manga only. And the anime of course.
Thanks, Ingrid, for the links. I'm still a newbie some I'm still looking for recommendations.
Is No Money only available online or can we buy it in paperback from somewhere? I saw the anime for it and it interested me.
Nikyta, it seems like it is out of print at the moment. It might be best to read it online.
Ingrid, I was a at the Emerald City yesterday and saw that they are re-releasing Viewfinder. I think that's very cool. 🙂