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MangaGamer

AX '14: MangaGamer announces OZMAFIA, No, Thank You!!, and more


Otome and BL Game fans rejoice
Jul 04
// Salvador GRodiles
MangaGamer's ready to reveal their new titles, and team's ready to try something new. If you happen to be a fan of Otome and/or BL Games, then you'll be happy to know that MangaGamer's planning to localize OZMAFIA and No, Th...
Junjou Romantica photo
Junjou Romantica

Junjou Romantica getting a DVD Litebox re-release


Love lives!
Jun 12
// Kristina Pino
Shungiku Nakamura's Junjou Romantica remains a relevant title for overseas fans these days, it seems, because Nozomi Entertainment announced they'll be re-releasing the entire first season this September in one 3-disc package...
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Tableau Numero 20

SuBLime releases steamy Tableau Numero 20 manga


Get your sexy boys love
Oct 09
// Kristina Pino
VIZ Media yaoi imprint SuBLime have announced the release of a one-volume short story collection titled Tableau Numero 20 by est em. Here's the brief synopsis: Ten years ago, while still a student, Maurice stumbled across a...

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Yaoi Prose are hitting up a few conventions this year


Aug 10
// Kristina Pino
For the Japanator readers who also indulge in Yaoi, I've got some news for you if you live around Nevada. Yaoi Prose (of Yaoi Press) were just at Animeland Tucon, and they've sent over some information of where they'll be thr...

Japanator Recommends: Flutter

Aug 07 // Kristina Pino
Flutterby Momoko TenzenJuné MangaTranslated by: Jocelyn AllenRelease Date: July 24, 2012 (Japan: 2011)MSRP: US$12.95 [BUY] One of the first things that Asada learns about Mizuki when they get to chatting, is that the guy he's been ogling for ages is gay. The momentary victory was short-lived though, because Mizuki had some baggage. He had still been in love with the same person for years, and we get a full back story. Despite all this, Asada doesn't scare off. Eventually, they get together, and cute things happen. While the novel itself is rated mature (18+), there is very little in the way of steamy material. Most of the book focuses on Mizuki and Asada's relationship and how they slowly come together. What I like about the book is that both characters are on even footing. They both start off laying it kind of strong, but when it comes to actual romance, they both become shy. This isn't a story where one character is a clear "seme" while another is the "uke." There is no focus on this whatsoever, which is refreshing. All the dialogue is saved for the drama. The drawings themselves are also refreshing and simplistic. It's easy on the eyes, and when they get bumping the art is censored (it barely earns the 18+ rating) or drawn in a way that you don't see "the act" in general. Though some scenes take place at work and others at bars and otherwise public places, there aren't many scenes or panels that involve any other characters besides the main two. There is only one other memorable character, and that's Yoshino (Mizuki's former love). As for the pacing, I also enjoyed taking it down a notch and reading something slow. There was some anticipation for what we got at the end, of course, but I didn't feel like anything unnecessary was happening in the meantime. The story goes with the "flutter" theme of a nervous heart. If I have one complaint - and this isn't the author's fault, it's just the one-book format - is that we don't get any kind of back story for Asada. The only things we learn about him are he's lonely, and he's too nice of a guy so he gets used or dumped often. It's turned into a positive in the course of the story because of his dedication and persistence, as well as Misaki's full understanding and acceptance of his character. Flutter is a quick read, and I fully recommend it to any and all BL and Yaoi fans. If you're not really into explicit content but are OK with some brief scenes, this book is also A-OK despite its rating. If you just like to read yaoi for the steamy stuff, then you might find this story a bit slow or dull. Either way, I hope you'll pick up this lovely title! Bonus: it's also available for Kindle, so you could take your boys everywhere your eReader goes. 8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre (yaoi manga) that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.
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When it comes to sweet stories with feel-good endings, Juné Manga always deliver the right kind of boys love. Flutter is a one-book story about two men that work for the same company, but generally not together. Asada ...

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Shungiku Nakamura is full of anime projects


Mar 02
// Kristina Pino
Apparently I completely missed the memo last year when it was announced that Hybrid Child, another one of Shungiku Nakamura's popular BL manga titles will be adapted into anime, and that there is another one in the works for...
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Final Impressions: Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi 2


Jan 04
// Kristina Pino
Back when the first half of this series ended, I felt a little disappointed with the pacing, and was hopeful for the best once this second part fired up for this season since it picked right up where the former had left off. ...

Final Impressions: Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

Jul 13 // Kristina Pino
Now that the season has abruptly ended, I could give you better general cliff notes. There are three couples represented in Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, although season one basically adapted Ritsu no Baai, or basically "the case of" Ritsu Onodera, the boy who the show focuses most on. The love of his life, and his first love is one Masamune Takano, who he'd been estranged from for ten years before he ended up working under him at a publishing company. The other two couples are comprised of one boy who works in the same department as Ritsu and Takano, and a person on the outside (in one case, a mangaka, on the other, a college student). We follow their love stories (as they are, first loves). The whole premise is beautiful, hilarious, heartbreaking and frustrating all at the same time. A few episodes in, we find out that Ritsu and Takano separated abruptly over a misunderstanding, one that could have been cleared up, and both of them were hurt instead. When they reunite, Ritsu had completely blocked the memory away, and Takano spends all his time trying to "make" Ritsu fall in love with him again. Hilarity and frustration ensue. I found the other couples much sweeter and more interesting. The quiet guy that works at their department (Hatori) who is childhood friends with the manga artist he edits (Chiaki), terribly in love with him and viciously jealous of all the other men around his beloved. The dimwit Chiaki doesn't realize it until, of course, the viewer watches things unfold, and they establish a cute (although sometimes overly, even unhealthily possessive) relationship. I wasn't too fond of this one, until Hatori actually exhibited emotions beyond whatever words he had to say. That image above: that's the most emotion he ever showed, except one other episode that his eye twitched. The last is the one with the least air time (like Junjou egoist), an older guy (about 30) who looks quite young, falls in love with a shop clerk who is much younger and in college. They start going out. What's most interesting about this last couple is, most of it is viewed introspectively through the eyes of Kisa, the shy, older man that falls in love watching Yuu. It might seem stalker-ish, but how many shoujo do we watch where the girl stalker gets her man? Anyway, it's adorable. Ridiculously adorable. I wasn't sure whether or not I should expect the show to make references to Junjou, and if they did, whether it would be to excess or simply enough to make you crack a smile when you noticed it. While slightly heavy-handed towards the beginning, throughout the series these references were very few and all very subtle, placed deliberately in front of the audience to be noticed but only in passing, only enough for you to recall where you've seen that name or thing before, and move on with a little fuzzy feeling inside. I am pleased to say that in general, this series completely stands on its own as its own different set of stories aside from Junjou, although they take place in the same world (and presumably before or waaaay after) as the original. And that's all you really need to know about the situations and the story. I expect a season two to happen, because honestly, things didn't end at a definitive note. I don't feel Ritsu and Takano got any closure, and as in Junjou Romantica (Misaku and Usagi), they won't even get that closure until the end of season two or well beyond it. In the manga, after each chapter featuring the two of them, there is a little note that has a countdown, "xxx days until Ritsu falls in love." It starts off with a ridiculously huge number, and the anime skips a lot of time to bring it down. It's there at the end of every chapter, taunting you, letting you know that you've got that much time to see pass before Ritsu falls in love. And will he fall in love with Takano, or someone else? One chapter even ended with a cliffhanger so bad, the counter wasn't even there (and it was at the end of a volume, too). One thing that frustrated me more than anything, though, wasn't even the pacing...I can deal with lousy pacing if I can see that there's a point to it, in the end. It was the lack of sex, or even the mention of it. The sexual encounters between the characters are part of the dialogue and a part of the story, a part of the complication, a part of the romance. I don't understand one bit why every scene and mention of anything beyond kissing was completely removed from the story. There were even lines changed that were supposed to originally reference something sexual. I'm not saying I need my show to be pornographic, I'm saying it's a major part of the story, and it should have been there. Part of Ritsu's conflict throughout the manga is that he continues to get close to (or later on, go back to) enjoying sexual encounters with Takano; without any mention of it in the animated series, some of his conflicts make no sense at all. Yuu and Kisa have an important discussion about their sexuality (cause Yuu isn't even gay, but fell for Kisa; it's that sort of situation) that was truncated and edited in the show to the bare minimum. It was just, "I think I could do it with a guy, if it's you," or something to that extent. I didn't like it, because we've seen work from this studio and seen animated adaptations to Nakamura's work before, which didn't ignore the sexuality involved in the stories, and managed it in a graceful way. Junjou was by no means pornographic, and whoever wanted more of the steamy stuff had to read the manga or listen to the BL Drama CD. I expected things to be handled in the same manner here, and it takes a lot away from the story to turn it into more of a shoujo (without the girls, of course) than a BL, though they are very similar genres the way I see it.  Moving on to broader, brighter points, I liked almost everything else about the show. The way it was animated, I didn't feel like they were moving pictures in front of me as much as it was a colored version of the manga, pacing and all, being shown like a slide show. The animation was pretty limited, without too much movement in general. I haven't really decided whether I like this aspect of it or not, considering that the major factor that brings all these characters together is that they work with manga in their cartoon world, and they're either manga readers, editors or writers. All the panning and pacing was what you'd expect in a manga, not an animated series. Clever? Maybe. Dumb? Maybe. Like I said, I haven't really decided. Even with the stiff movement, the colors were beautiful, and I love the soft look that came with the visuals. The music really complimented every moment in exactly the way it needed to as well. Sometimes, it even made me laugh harder because of the tune that was playing. I did a lot of laughing in general while watching this. Even with the lack of sex and the weird pacing, the main thing about this series is that instead of being tragic, it kept the funny factor on. It was surprising, refreshing and, obviously incredibly enjoyable to sit and watch this every week. I felt upset whenever Yokozawa had something mean to say to Ritsu about getting close to Takano. I felt happy whenever Kisa was thinking about Yuu and making funny faces on the screen while doing so. It's as feel-good as the opening song when you're not being berated by Takano's protective friend. I recommend this show, despite its flaws, for the reasons listed directly above: it's just a happy show in general. If you're not too picky about how steamy your BL is, you'll enjoy it. It isn't too complicated as BL tends to get, and it's light on the cliffhangers so you're not going to be suffering aneurysms and anxiety attacks waiting to see what happens next episode. Okay, maybe I exaggerated, but sometimes the way some folks talk about the week-long rage wait, it's like they're slowly suffocating without their [One Piece, Kimi ni Todoke, whatever] fix...
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I was ridiculously excited for this anime when I first saw that it would be happening. Most of the reason why, and you might remember if you'd read my First Impressions on the show, was because it is the work of Shungiku Naka...

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A look at: Tale of the Waning Moon #2


Jul 01
// Kristina Pino
Oh hey, it's Kristina with that yaoi stuff again! Yes, yes it is. Tale of the Waning Moon is a really fantastical manga series with stuff like cat boys and moon spirits that I'm not used to seeing in my boy-on-boy stories. It...
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Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi Episode 12.5 for release in September


May 04
// Kristina Pino
Volume five of the Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi manga in Japan came bundled with an OVA, which told the...prelude? It gave you the background (between Ritsu and Takano, the main couple of the series), the story before the anime which ...
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First Impressions: Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi


Apr 13
// Kristina Pino
When I saw there was a BL show up for Spring season, most of you probably already knew I was going to snatch it up. Not only is it BL, its creator also brought us Junjou Romantica (which we totally recommend, by the way), whi...

Confessions 25: The rabbit that got away

Feb 14 // Kristina Pino
I've been watching him (not stalking, I promise!!) for months. He received a Kikukawa award for his latest novel. That had to be the perfect chance, cause so many people would be in and out that I could slip in and get some one-on-one time. I went to the awards ceremony and celebration conference, and instead of hanging around the gaggle of drooling women around him as he spoke, I wanted around the hotel exits. We all know that he doesn't like big parties and whatnot. I caught him by surprise on his way out, with my Valentine gift ready. I was so nervous, but it was my chance! When I looked though, there was a young man with him. I didn't think anything of it, and just put myself in front of them. I handed Usami a small white box with a rose and some white chocolate inside. I thought he might be a white chocolate sort of guy... I planted myself in his way, and asked him out on a Valentine date. The boy next to him blushed, but I didn't let myself be distracted. He fidgeted and turned away, and then an amused Usami replied "Alright, what do you have in mind?". I hadn't planned this far. I didn't even think I'd have a moment to talk to him, much less answer a question like that! "Uhm, er.." "Well? You're the one who asked me, so what is it?" "Er..well I just love ferris wheels..." "So it's settled then. Tomorrow, I'll be at the park at 6:00." I couldn't believe how easy it had been. Was it love? I can't say... All I know is that the young man who was with him looked like he was crying, and he walked away from us. The next day, I ended up at the park a hour early. At precisely 6:00 p.m., there he was. Usami showed up in some slacks and a button shirt with a loose tie. I could have melted at the spot. He waved as he got closer, but then I noticed another person trailing behind him. The same man from the day before was walking behind him, red as a tomato and looking down to the ground. "Who is this person?", I asked. "A very important person", said Usami. Drat. When I finally get a chance to be with Usami, he brings another guy on our date! What's up with that? Usami smiled and started towards the ferris wheel, the "important person" following. Usami took my hand and gave it a quick kiss, and that's the second time that evening I thought I'd melt on the spot. We got on the ride, and he sat opposite me with the boy next to him. Isn't there something wrong with that picture? Then, the worst thing possible happened. He leaned over, as if to say something quietly to me, but instead looked me in the eye and said, "Sarah, while I appreciate your feelings, you caught me so much by surprise that I couldn't help but take advantage of the situation. I never intended on going on a proper date with you, but to teach Misaki here a little lesson." What? Lesson? Misaki? Taken advantage of? What the... Before I knew it, Usami was back at his seat and he took the same chocolates I'd given him the day before, and held up a piece at the boy's, presumably Misaki's, lips. I don't know how, but he definitely looked several shades more red than he had already been the entire evening. He looked reluctant as he took the piece, and then as we were reaching the end of the ride, Usami did the most unexpected thing I could have asked for that night: he leaned over to kiss Misaki. Now I was the red one. This whole time, I'd only been thinking about myself, without even considering this man's feelings. I hadn't even considered that the great Usami Akihiko, my favorite writer, might have someone special in his life. I mean, those amazing romance novels don't just write themselves, he must have some sort of bridge between them and his real life. I was shocked speechless. Somehow though, it was all OK. Actually, it was pretty hot. You know, two boys loving each other. At that point, I knew there was nothing I can do about Usami and me, but I'm not upset. Somehow, I feel like I still won. I enjoyed every moment as Usami sensei fed my chocolates to his special person, and it made me happy to be involved in someone's Valentine's day, even if I didn't get the smooch at the end.  
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This Valentine's day, I, Sarah Pennington, decided it was my turn to be special, to shine, to make myself known. I will get the man, make him notice me, get him to go out on a date with me. I have sent him countless letters (...

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Delish, edible pretty boys coming to a drama CD near you


Feb 03
// Kristina Pino
If you're a foodie AND you like pretty boys, this is probably going to be right up your alley (ladies, of course). A new monthly drama CD series is coming out, called "Isshoni Gohan". I'd like that to roughly transl...
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The boy addiction: A Yaoi Experience


Jan 18
// Kristina Pino
So, I've noticed that yaoi (yOW-ee) is pretty under-represented on Japanator, and it's also the subject of much fuss and disdain considering our general reader demographic. For the girls, though. For those closet-freaks that ...
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Japanese IKEA features goth-lolita and otaku model rooms


Jul 29
// Bob Muir
I'm sometimes sad that there isn't an IKEA nearby for me to shop at - the closest one is across the Canadian border, so we rarely go. But if you've never been to the land where the furniture folds to a much smaller size, you ...
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Boys Love bar in Akiba does 'this and that' for customers


Jun 03
// Dale North
A BL bar called "Miracle Jump" is now open in Akibahara. A press release from the joint says that your servers are boys that are "doing this and that to create delusions in front of customers." I don't kno...

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