m/m graphic novel appreciation series: tam’s guest post

Please welcome the next guest in my m/m graphic novel appreciation series – and one of my closest virtual mates 😀 – the wonderful Tam!

No doubt you will all be totally surprised by the fact Tam has taken the opportunity to talk about her yaoi obsession with the sword…



Swords and sorcerers and smexin’, oh my!

My exposure to yaoi started in a manner similar to many of us here. How was that? Kris made me read it. Honest. Kris asked me if I wanted to try some, and while I liked Pokemon and Digimon as much as the next parent out there, I really didn’t think reading “Japanese comic books” was my thing. And on top of that I had to do research on Wikipedia about how to read it. So much work. She finally beat me down and I agreed to take a shipment which arrived in six or seven years (thanks Canada Post for sending it first by sea turtle and then by tortoise).

The first book I read was Saihoshi by Košen. It is set in a fantasy kingdom where a Guardian is hired to escort to the prince to a neighbouring kingdom to be married and someone is out to stop them. The retinue includes the Prince’s servant who is disguised as the prince to distract the enemy. Kidnapping, murder, mayhem, sword fights, unexpected alliances and buttsecks ensues.

If I read that blurb for a “regular” book my eyes would glaze over and I’d move on to the next one. I really have little interest in fantasy stories and if the word mage shows up in the blurb that’s even more of a turn-off. I’m not sure why. I, as a rule, can enjoy fantasy movies and TV shows, but in books it just doesn’t work for me. But what did I find? HOLY HELL!!! I adore fantasy yaoi manga.

Another great series which has been recommended here is The Crimson Spell by Ayano Yamane, a swords and sorcerers epic which I loved and look forward to the next installment.

Crimson Wind by Duo Brand is another in a series of which I’ve only read this one book. It is actually a sequel to White Guardian which I have yet to read. I should remedy that as more in the sequel would likely have made a tad more sense.

I’m not sure why this type of story appeals to me only in this format. The brain works in mysterious ways. Maybe I’m visual, I need the pictures to get into it, you don’t need pages of written description, a couple of well drawn panels and you get it all. Or perhaps the manga lends itself to appealing costumes and hairstyles that are hard to describe in a novel. Hmm. There’s that visual thing again. How can you not totally become enamoured with the details and richness of the drawings? My dream would be to have the whole thing in color. You’d have to pay a fortune, but it would be a piece of bound artwork.

I’d love to get some recs from the other yaoi readers out there with more experience. I haven’t read that many but I’m open to trying some new ones in the fantasy sub-genre.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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15 Responses to m/m graphic novel appreciation series: tam’s guest post

  1. Chris says:

    I really, really liked Crimson Spell – probably my favorite yaoi so far!

    Oh, my, my veri word is cling. Hmm.

  2. Tam says:

    I really liked it too Chris. It really sucked you into the story.

  3. Mary Calmes says:

    Love Crimson Spell as well and I will have to look for those Duo Brand titles you recommended. I own Shards Of Affection by Duo Brand and Kiss Your Hair which is like a small anthology. You should try Rose of the Rhine by Minami since you like the fantasy type. It's a little hard to follow as it moves back and forth in time but worth it. Her other, Pleasure Dome, was a bit much for me. I need the romance in there. I'm a sap like that.

  4. Tam says:

    I'll have to check that one out Mary. Thanks for the rec. I want the romance too.

  5. Tam…

    What a lovely post – As Chris can tell you I love sharp implements of any kind..

    So the fantasy stuff is right up my street..

    I am already checking out site to see where I can find those book – I have read two already and I agree with your thoughts on them…


    Thanks for your pimping as well -adding to the list…

    Thank the lord my kids are of the age where they cant bother to be shocked by my reading material anymore…

    Thanks Tam…


  6. Jenre says:

    Great post, Tam.

    I love the fantasy stuff too. I think it really works well in the manga format.

  7. Tam says:

    You and long point things EH. Tsk Tsk 🙂 Hope you can find the other books.

    I guess we are visual fantasy readers Jen. It doesn't hurt that the ones I've read have been by artists whose style I particularly enjoy as well.

  8. Ingrid says:

    I think you are right Tam. Yaoi is perfect for showing the visual aspect of fantasy.
    The hair in Crimson spell is amazing!

    My online yaoi site posted this: http://view.thespectrum.net/series/zettai-meirei.html a while ago.
    I haven't read it yet, only the introduction. It is all about swords and its owners

  9. Kris says:

    Great post, Tam… swords and all. 😛

    Melissa has a post coming up which has a rec for a yaoi fantasy in it and as soon as I saw the sword on the cover I thought 'Tam is going to be sooo pleased.' 🙂 But you have to wait…

    In the meantime, did you ever try the Black Knight series? It is medieval/regency type fantasy with swords: http://krisngoodbooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/tasting-yaoi-black-knight-1.html

  10. Tam says:

    Thanks for the link Ingrid. I'll have to check it out.

    You're naughty Kris, teasing me with a rec and making me wait. I'll look for the Black Knight.

  11. Kassa says:

    Great post Tam! I love “sword” yaoi.. Crimson Spell is wonderful. I love fantasy in general but fantasy in manga is perhaps even better than written fantasy.. I can easily see why this would appeal whereas the genre itself may not.

  12. Eyre says:

    Great post, Tam!

  13. Tam says:

    Perhaps I'm a lazy reader Kassa, I want someone to draw it for me so I don't have to do all the imagining on my own. 🙂

    Thanks Eyre.

  14. orannia says:

    Kris made me read it.

    Funny…that story sounds familiar 🙂

    I am currently reading Crimson Spell and loving it so far. And I really like Crimson Wind! In fact, fantasy yaoi manga = love 🙂

  15. Kris says:

    Orannia: “Funny…that story sounds familiar :)”


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