yaoi

Japanator supports love!

Jun 27 // Josh Tolentino
Artist credits to: Minako Komahara wwtwj Yoshinaga Masahiro  
Japanator supports love! photo
#LoveWins
In a historic decision Friday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state barriers to same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing the institution for same-sex couples nationwide. Naturally, social me...

Finder photo
Finder

Digital Manga Inc. forms a Kickstarter to restock Finder


It looks like DMI is trying something new
Jan 09
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like Digital Manga Inc. has made an interesting move recently. Instead of starting a Kickstarter to fund a license a manga series, the company is starting a campaign to restock Finder's first six volumes. While ...
Manga sale photo
Manga sale

Yaoi imprint SuBLime celebrates its anniversary


50% off select bundles for a limited time
Jan 18
// Tim Sheehy
If you're big on boys love, or just feel the occasional urge to stock up on some yaoi, Viz Media has got you covered. Their specialized Yaoi-centric manga imprint, SuBLime -- oh, the BL is capitalized... I see what they did t...

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Yaoi

PSA: You have to pre-order BL for B&N to stock it


Booksellers don't put much faith in Yoshinaga's What Did You Eat Yesterday
Jan 09
// Brad Rice
With Barnes and Noble and Books a Million as the only major chains remaining in the US, publishers have a harder time getting less-than-mainstream titles (BL, for example) onto store shelves. Ed Chavez of Vertical is calling ...
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Manga

SuBLime Yaoi manga now available for Kindle


An extensive collection goes digital
Dec 24
// Tim Sheehy
I won't pretend to read, or even truly understand the fascination with Boys Love genre, but I know there's a fair amount of you out there who do, so some of you may be really excited by this bit of news. VIZ Media's yaoi mang...
Tableau Numero 20 photo
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 ...

A look at: In These Words vol. 1

Aug 03 // Kristina Pino
In These Words (vol. 1 - a collection of the first five chapters)Rating: 18+Published by: 801 MediaBy: GUILT | PLEASURE (Artist: Jo Chen | Writer: Kichiku Neko)Translated by: Digital Manga, Inc.Release date: June 26, 2012MSRP: US$15.95 This book begins with five full-color illustrations (one for each chapter), and then a prologue in which Asano is being stalked by an unnamed man. Eventually, he gets drugged and dragged away, taken to an old building and raped - repeatedly. The first portion of the prologue is in regular novel format, but once they get going with the explicit stuff, the illustrations begin. It starts pretty light (putting aside the fact that Asano is being legitimately raped) - just the physical things (completely uncensored, by the way, which puts this novel at the 18+ rating) and plenty of crazy-man dialogue from the still unnamed person. Asano wakes up in his own apartment, confused and with a migraine. We find out that he's headed over to some remote building to talk to a killer and get a full confession. The killer was profiled by Asano, and curiously enough, requested him personally. At this time, Asano is only "dreaming" about the kidnap and rape incidents, and for the first few chapters, assumes he is merely empathizing with the victims. After a few days with the killer (his name is revealed to be Shinohara Keiji), the dreams get worse. Asano dreams he's being cut, just like Shinohara's other victims, who were all kept wounded but alive for a full month before being disposed of in pieces. The novel ends with a scene where Asano is looking for the security guard in charge of Shinohara, finds him slumped in front of the TV and is assaulted from behind by the killer himself. Dream or reality? I guess we won't know until the next volume. The things that are good about this novel: It's kind of a mind-killer. Psychologically, what's happening to Asano is intense. He doesn't know what's really going on, and so far the story points to a scenario where he really was raped and tortured by this man, and blocked it out completely after being released. It was made a point in the dialogue that Shinohara might have only maimed the "lovers" in places they couldn't see the scars. Shinohara emphasized a difference between people he killed by just causing them pain for a month (no sex), and people he simply loved and killed for the sake of knowing nobody else ever could afterward. The things that are bad about this novel: I'm not really into having these rape and cutting scenes illustrated for me. I don't feel that this is a novel that most folks would really feel "pleasure" reading - it's more like something out of the Saw series or Hostel. I'm not squeamish, but I don't like watching people (real or made up) being raped and tortured either. I don't know if I'll continue reading it, but if I do, my hopes for the series are that it doesn't turn into a "Stockholm Syndrome" situation, and that Shinohara is brought to justice. Regardless of the outcome, the premise is tragic, and I realize that there is a place for that in story-telling, and that some folks do enjoy it. If you're the kind of person that likes the shock value of this kind of thing, this might be the novel for you. Otherwise, don't be fooled by the yaoi label into thinking this might be a romantic novel. Steer very clear.
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In These Words isn't romantic in any way whatsoever. In this horrific suspense yaoi novel, Asano Katsuya is a psychiatrist who profiled a killer, and is then assigned to go be the person who extracts a full confession in some...

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Be proud: Tokyo Disney allows same-sex weddings


May 17
// Josh Tolentino
If you keep up with the news, you'd know that the last few days have been fairly good to folks looking out for public expressions of support for same-sex rights. The latest happy news comes straight from Glorious Nippon, home...
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Into Yaoi? VIZ might have a job for you


Jun 20
// Josh Tolentino
There's always a few promising otaku looking to break into the industry, but getting on America's Greatest Otaku or being a translator isn't always an option.  But! There are always opportunities, and this particula...
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Update on Yaoi titles being pulled from Amazon


May 12
// Kristina Pino
Last week, Josh updated us that a bunch of yaoi titles were being pulled from Kindle for reasons unexplained. I was upset to know this, because as has been stated in the linked post's comments, there are more explicit things ...
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Hey Kindle, why are you dropping your yaoi content?


May 05
// Josh Tolentino
Because that's not cool! Now, granted some of the titles removed from Digital Manga Publishing's Kindle catalog might have fallen afoul of Amazon's content guidelines, but that wouldn't have been true for its milder June impr...
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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...
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Junjou Romantica's second season DVD set is coming soon!


Jan 27
// Kristina Pino
Last year, the first season box set for Junjou Romantica was released and Colette gave it a great review. I, as well as many other fans have been waiting for this second set to finally get some dates. I am pleased to announce...
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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 ...

Interview: Tokyopop wants more sophisticated yaoi readers

Jan 17 // Brad Rice
Why did Tokyopop decide to include yaoi titles in its lineup, and what was the decision behind including/not including them in your main brand label?I’m honestly not entirely sure why we decided to publish FAKE and Gravitation, TOKYOPOP’s first two yaoi titles, back in the day (it happened right before I joined the company), but I think it was mostly based on fan requests. We’d seen a solid demand for slashy/bishonen-centric series already, and both titles had anime tie ins available here, which surely helped their popularity and our confidence that they would sell. The success of those two titles demonstrated that there was a clear market for this type of content, so we went forward with planning a full line of material. However, at the time we were working heavily with Disney and Nickelodeon as licensing partners, and this was in the wake of the 2004 election in a time when the political climate felt pretty socially conservative, so we were a little wary of being too obvious about our ties to what could be seen as controversial content.  That said, though, we probably would have at least put them under a new imprint regardless, just to make it easier for consumers who are into BL to find what they’re looking for, and to prevent accidental pick-ups by an unwitting reader. A curse of the manga section in bookstores in the US is that everything is still usually listed alphabetically by title, so we get Battle Royale shelved right near Card Captor Sakura, and people don’t always pay as much attention to the rating on the back of the book as they ought to. Being a larger brand, what sort of power do you have in selecting your titles? Is just about any artist open to you, or are you still limited by what partnerships with specific publishers you can create?Our licensing, yaoi and otherwise, is mostly dictated by our relationships with publishers, rather than direct author contact, in part because publishers are EXTREMELY protective of their artists’ time, and also because while we may be big here, that’s actually pretty meaningless to authors in Japan who are mostly focused on the home market.  So it was easier for us to work with publishers with whom we already had existing relationships (Tokuma, Kadokawa, BeBoy/Libre to some extent) than to forge new relationships.  Also, BL publishers tend to be small, so there were certain companies that ended up being off-limits just through a relative lack of resources on both sides (it’s not worth it for them to bother with foreign licensing, and it’s too much of a hassle for us to press the issue for only a handful of titles). If we really, really wanted to go after a title or an author, we can do that (and we did, for one particular title), but when it comes to yaoi, authors also move between publishers much more frequently than they do in other genres, so if we can’t get a title from one publisher, often we could get something else from that author from a publisher with whom we already had a solid relationship.   We actually did a lot of thought about what kind of content we wanted in the line, too, which is tied at least somewhat to the source publisher, but maybe that’s a discussion for another question down the line. :-) What are the sales expectations like for yaoi titles versus the rest of your catalog?BL/Yaoi sells on average about the same as a standard mainstream title, and it’s pretty consistent. It also breaks a few manga industry rules—ie. Mature titles are often a hard sell, and it can be tough to get any attention for one-shot volumes by lesser-known authors in mainstream manga, but none of that is a problem with BL! If it says BLU on the cover and the art is cute, we can pretty much guarantee a certain level of sales. And then we’ve had a few things that go above and beyond. Junjo Romantica has hit the NYTimes besteseller list for the past two volumes (which is also nice because it’s a longer series, and those often trail off saleswise as they go along), Gakuen Heaven is a solid performer, etc. What are you planning for the future of your BLU line?More of the same! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We have a really solid relationship with the publisher Gentosha, who do a lot of moderately-explicit one-shot stories, plus a few lighter series, which tends to work well for us. We raised our price in the past year, which always sucks, but we’re trying to compensate by doing things at a larger trim size, and always having color pages (which is pretty standard for BL in Japan, so it’s a nice bonus for fans). The next step is to increase the emphasis on digital releases, which is an interesting challenge for yaoi. On the one hand, the ability to buy and read privately is appealing (BL manga on cellphones in Japan is huge, and we average more sales through Amazon on BL titles than most mainstream series, which is also probably the subject for another email), but on the other hand, it’s tough to get people to pay for digital content when they’re used to reading on the web for free, I personally have yet to see manga on the Kindle that really looks as good as a print book (although I love my Kindle in general...), and iTunes is very restrictive on content, which is a huge problem when your fanbase likes it a little dirty. How exactly do you market your titles? Yaoi -- and other 16/18+ material -- has a fairly closed audience (at least I would think.) I understand promoting upcoming releases to let current fans know what's coming up, but how do you approach the demographic of people who don't already read yaoi and drag them into that abyss they'll never be able to claw free from?As with most of the rest of the manga industry, fans and word of mouth are still our best marketing tools. Whether its bloggers, or online communities, one person reads something, writes a nice review, and then other people go out and give it a shot. And this may surprise you, but librarians are often really excited about the lighter BL content as a way to get more LGBT-friendly (sort of) content out there for younger readers. Librarians are awesome. But I don’t think that getting beyond the existing core of readers is a goal that we’ve particularly set for ourselves, to be honest. It’s not like we’re out to convert hordes of people to the wonders of BL, or anything. :-) Trust me, the internet does that for us for the most part! Generally as people get into anime/manga fandom, they discover BL and then we’re there to serve that need, or else they’re just not interested and never will be. Our job is simply to find stuff that we think fans will enjoy, and get it out there for them in a way that they’ll want to pick up and pay money for. I’m somewhat interested in targeting the intersection of people who read slash fan fiction and people who read BL, to see if we could get any traction there, but fan fic readers are often drawn to relationships between particular existing characters, and so getting them to move into original territory may be more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, for people who aren’t already used to reading manga, the leap directly to BL may be too high a bar. On the note of Tokyopop's push into digital content, how has the crackdown on illegal scans been? We heard the cannons fire back in June, but since then, not much. I realize the legal process is never a quick one, but has there been much progress, especially in the Wild West of illegal smut translations?The process has been going slowly but surely, but the take-down of One Manga was obviously a huge deal. The US industry has always had a really complicated relationship with scanlators (some of our best translators came from scan groups!), but I don’t want there to be any doubt in anyone’s mind that the aggregator sites were a disaster for publishing on both sides of the ocean. And they’re still out there, and we’re still going to be going after them for as long as we need to. Lately, Libre, one of the main BL publishers in Japan, has been pretty aggressively moving into the Kindle space, too, and sending cease and desist letters to smaller scan groups doing their series, which has caused a bit of a stir, but hopefully as more content becomes available legally in these new formats (and the formats themselves improve and get more sophisticated) people will be less negative about the sudden attention from the publishers. As a fan myself, I completely understand the frustration about wanting new content faster, and in a more accessible format, and we’re all doing our best to serve that need, but because of licensing issues and the rapid pace of technology changing (without an established business model to support it yet), it’s not an easy task. That said, things have moved forward in Japan in the last 12 months at an increasingly promising speed, so I am hopeful that the (legal) digital floodgates will open sooner rather than later. Following up on your mention of digital content to iPad and Kindle as a sort of counterpart to Japanese cellphone BL, have you tried pushing on other handheld formats, such as Android and BlackBerry platforms? And could you give us a better idea of what exactly is pushing the tops of your sales charts in digital format?The digital movement for manga is all REALLY NEW right now, and we don’t yet have much BL out yet (especially on mobile), but iPhone is the low-hanging fruit, just because it, and probably even more importantly, the iTouch, have the largest market penetration. Android is still new, and so there just aren’t as many programmers out there working on it (yet), but hopefully we’ll see progress there in the near future—whether that has the audience to support BL (and/or the lack of content restrictions so that we can feature more mature titles there) is anyone’s guess, but I’m eager to see how that will all work out. As the system gets established, more and more content will be available increasingly quickly. So far Hetalia is the big winner digitally, which comes as no surprise to anyone, but our Priest app that we launched at Comicon, which features both the original manwha and a bridge story that we did to connect the original series with the upcoming film, is off to a solid start, too. Interestingly, while Hetalia isn’t actually BL, it often feels like the vast majority of the fan base is primarily interested in seeing the characters hook up with one another, so I personally think that bodes well for whatever we get out next in that space. :-) Plus, the BL readership tends to be slightly older than the average manga consumer, and more likely to have a credit card, so digital purchases are an easier leap for them than a 12-year-old Naruto fan. We see this in sales of print books through Amazon, for instance, and I expect that to carry over to some extent into the new space. If there's one dream goal for you folks at Blu, what is it?Dream for BLU... Hm... I’d say to have more readers get beyond the fluffy teen romance stories, and support more sophisticated content, both in regards to story and art style. This is true for the market as a whole, though—the taste range of your average manga consumer is pretty narrow, and I think a lot of readers are missing out on great stuff because they perceive an art style as “ugly” or “boring.” This is very much an industry where books are judged by their covers (especially when Mature books are shrink-wrapped in stores), so the superficial response can really hurt a title that genuinely has something compelling (and entertaining!) to say. Previews online are one way to get people to take a chance on a new title, but at the end of the day, there are some amazing books out there in English (from us, and from other publishers) that just aren’t as commercially successful as they deserve to be. Will it ever be possible to convince boys to read BL?Boys already read BLU! Some of them, anyway. And even some who are straight. If you think of BL readers as a subset of the shojo market, there’s a similar  subset of guys who read shojo, and then proportionally guys who read BL.  So it’s not a lot of boys, but it’s definitely a non-zero number. But anyway, this kind of goes along with question 8 in that I feel that the best BL out there does capture and explore relationships on an authentic human level, rather than just going straight for the libido (although that’s likely still going to be a part of it to some extent), so if you’re interested in good stories about people and their feelings, there’s probably some BL out there that you’ll enjoy. I don’t know if that’s the most worthwhile market for us to focus on expanding, per se, but when we came up with the branding and the initial title list for BLU, it was very deliberately designed to not automatically exclude male readers (by which I mean being too pink & purple, or having “girls only” type slogans, etc.). At the end of the day, though, BL is primarily female fantasy, so a even gay male reader who might otherwise dig comics about guys making out isn’t necessarily going to find a lot to relate to on average, either on a story, or even on an aesthetic level. BL stories can frequently be problematic from a feminist perspective, and that crosses over into general gender politics as well (especially in the US, where queer identity is often very politicized). So while we hope that we don’t unintentionally exclude or turn off a potential reader, neither are we going to go out of our way to push content on someone who is outside its intended audience.
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As part of our Ero Week, one of the things I wanted to understand was yaoi. I understand the principles of its attractiveness to female readers and all that, but just how it sells, and how it finds its space in store shelves....

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Media Blasters can't seem to quit yaoi manga


Nov 22
// Brad Rice
AnimeonDVD caught a tweet from the Media Blasters folks, citing that they're returning to the yaoi manga game in 2011, and that after New Year's, they'll be announcing their full lineup. Hooray, more boy's love! But what does...
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Digital Manga Publishing and TOKYOPOP bring 12 new titles


Oct 15
// Crystal White
Digital Manga is pairing up with TOKYOPOP in order to bring tweleve new titles from TOKYOPOP's BLU Manga yaoi imprint to eManga's online collection.  BLU Manga yaoi will be available for purchase on eManga's Website, whi...
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Kindle, now with 100% more boy's love


Sep 01
// Lauren Rae Orsini
This is surely what Amazon intended to be the Kindle's primary use.As of today, Animate U.S.A. is making five of their homolicious yaoi titles conveniently available on the Kindle. These five new titles all come courtesy of L...
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Ben vs. Brad: an update


Jul 01
// Mike LeChevallier
YEAH WE'VE GOT CAMERAS IN THE BATHROOMS SO WHAT. Apparently, Brad and Ben took a brief respite from dueling to take showers, but Colette's elegant aria of nameless Jboy tunage heard through the ventilation system of the girls' lavatory set them off and they started going at it all over again.I'm scared, guys. I really am.Keep voting.
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Hinako Takanaga to appear at Yaoi-Con 2010


May 20
// Crystal White
Digital Manga Publishing has announced that there will be a special guest at Yaoi-Con 2010, none other than Hinako Takanaga, creator of such juicy guy-on-guy action as Little Butterfly, The Devil's Secret, Challengers, Croqui...
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Japanator Recommends: Enzai: Falsely Accused


May 10
// Colette Bennett
As much as some of us may not like to admit it, we covet the fact that the Japanese get to play so many ero PC games (or maybe some of us don't mind admitting it at all). When I was in Tokyo I nosed around looking for more of...
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Japanator Recommends: Junjo Romantica


May 10
// Colette Bennett
First off, let's get this out of the way: in case you're blind, this is a review about yaoi. Yes, Junjou Romantica is about men falling in love and having sex. If this turns you off, I'd advise you march away in the other dir...
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Osaka lists more Boys Love publications as 'harmful'


Apr 28
// Colette Bennett
Did you know that reading yaoi is harmful for your developmental growth, guys? I always thought it was particularly useful in mine, but that outlook depends on whether or not you would consider sexual growth to factor into de...
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Animate bringing more manga to the Kindle


Apr 07
// Brad Rice
Animate, a Japanese company with their hands in many pots when it comes to anime and manga production and distribution, has been caught with their hand in another pot: publishing manga on the Kindle. Delivery Cupid, the title...
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Peach Boy brings 'sweet and fresh' yaoi to Amazon


Mar 19
// Josh Tolentino
If there was ever a place I'd have expected to become a good resource for those with more...diverse tastes in their manga, Amazon.com wasn't it. Then again, I'm glad to have been proven wrong.Alongside a new doujinshi by Yosh...
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Legendary yaoi manga Finder available Summer 2010


Mar 12
// Josh Tolentino
If you're into yaoi or looking to get into yaoi, it's best to start with the best, and according to Digital Manga Publishing and Libre Shuppan, they've got the right one for you.Finder, the seminal (no pun intended) yaoi mang...
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DO WANT: Junjou Romantica Petit Nendoroids


Mar 01
// Colette Bennett
Mmm, yaoi boys! Roughly a year ago, we spotted the first sketches for the Usagi-san Nendoroid from the anime Junjou Romantica, and I made a lot of squeaky noises and waved my arms around in the air. From what we had heard, th...
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Man Day: I celebrate hot Japanese men in vests


Feb 05
// Colette Bennett
Since it's Man Day today and I can, I am going to present to you this photo of Japanese actors Toma Ikuta and Yamashita Tomohisa that I discovered quite by accident last week. While I did my daily j-drama browsing, I stumbled...

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