some thoughts

Since I really wanted to talk about this for a while now, I think its best to actually say it here rather than in my personal blog/s since this is pretty much BL-related in most ways.

I don’t really know how to start but this is just a more in-depth background of me when it comes to (BL) fandom and why I’m not being able to update most of my BL sites recently. I know I only have very few people who actually reads my post but you guys don’t know how much I appreciate every one of you. I mean, I started this blog early last year and didn’t know that much people online yet. Then I eventually got to meet wonderful people through Tumblr (which was then genkihoshi—that was solely for BL manga snippets until it became a fandom blog). Because of Tumblr, otakutofujoshi gained readers. Of course for the first few months no one really responded to my posts and I actually thought of quitting right away since I thought it was just useless. But still, I came back again and continued posting release updates since my “genkihoshi” was still gaining followers and that is the reason why I still kept going because I know that at least there’s a possibility those followers are reading otakutofujoshi.

Months passed and I already had comments, frequent asks and e-mails. What was great is that I got to meet a bunch of new people and gained experience in the whole BL community—I felt like I had a place where I can talk confidently without having to be so paranoid as to what they’ll think about me since we share the same interest. Honestly, I don’t have that much friends who I can actually express my true self with. I only get to express myself through my tweets (read: I tweet a LOT) so I express myself more with online friends rather than real life ones. But of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my real life friends. I’m thankful to the people who are a part of my life, or in some way a part of it. ;;

So anyway onto the main point. Recently I haven’t been updating since I realized BL is already taking over my life and unfortunately to say, I’m not happy about it. I don’t have anything against BL in general—I mean, why should I? It’s already a big part of me and the fandom will stay with me for eternity, lol. But what I mean is, keeping up with BL is becoming a pain. All these shiny new releases from tankoubons to anthologies to doujinshis and BLCDs—it all gives me emotional pain. Why? I don’t have enough money for it. Some of you might be thinking, “So why bother buying?” well let me tell you something about me that I think most fangirls has—addiction. When you get obsessed with something, you’ll eventually ask more of it, right? That’s one problem with the BL fandom and any other fandoms for that matter.

Believe it or not, I once had an emotional break down when I couldn’t buy these certain tankoubons I’ve been dying to get since it’s release was announced. I was thinking, “If I don’t get my hands on those and it gets sold out online, I rather just die (literally).” Although it’s quite extreme, that’s how I actually think when I don’t get what I want which is the worse negative trait I have. I even thought of actually selling stuff in our house just so I can get my gay porn manga fix. It was literally like a drug to me. My addiction became worse and it actually affected the way I handled my money. I rather buy BL than buy stuff I need for school as well as other stuff. My aunt noticed and we had this big fight and she threatened me that she’ll burn all my BL manga and books if I don’t fix my attitude. Things like those occurred even my mom who supported me with this whole BL collection of mine scolded me and stopped sending me allowance. After that, I started to reflect about it so I announced a purchasing hiatus on my blog/s. I still got to update otakutofujoshi with a few BL releases during my purchasing hiatus. though. But then that was when I realized if I still keep on checking for release updates, my little “BL rehab” (as my close friends called it) won’t be effective so I quit looking at BL sites.

Another thing was it got in the way of what I needed to do most and that was improve my drawings. Although BL became a big influence on my drawings, but when I look at them for reference, I end up reading and leave work unfinished. Also, because I tend to look at BL sites all the time, the time I’m supposed to make good use for drawing practices goes to me looking for new BL releases and read blog posts of my favorite mangakas. I tend to complain a lot to myself too when I see pretty drawings and never really realized it was my own goddam fault why I’m not good at drawing because I just keep on ogling at other people’s works and not focusing on mine. When I then focused on my drawings (which was only recently), I got to leave behind my BL blogs for a very long time and at the same time, I realized I kind of lost touch with some people I usually talk to in the fandom.

So from now on, I’ll try to keep things balanced. As for my BL addiction, it became a lot better during those few months of not buying anything online. My aunt accepted me liking homosexual men, my mom supports my art which involves a lot of gay men, and my friends, eventhough some of them are grossed out with man on man action, they still support me and my undying love for BL.;; I now understand the difference of “want” and “need” in BL sense, lol.

Also, I have met a lot of friends online and I get to enjoy everyday with them via twitter or tumblr. I got to be part of a BL doujinshi circle which is just starting but I know we can make it big someday! ;v; and thank God I still have the first online friends I met before all those BL drama happened.;;

Right now I’m focusing on improving my drawings but at the same time I’ll try and update as much as I can. School hasn’t been kind to me recently either.;; But then again, thank you for those who have stick with me and my senseless ramblings up to now! I know I always thank a lot but in all honestly I am very thankful to all of you. ;v;;;

I guess that’s it! Until my next post which I hope won’t be like this one anymore orz;

8 thoughts on “some thoughts

  1. First of all: Hi! and nice to mett you ^_^!
    I truly understand what you mean: when you are a “fan” you also need to “possess” things related to what you like.
    Just reading the scans of your favourite BL is not enough, even if you can have them for free: you NEED to have the real thing in your hands…It’s truly an “addiction”…
    Since I was a teenager, I’ve always been a huge manga fan: however, no one around me did accept my “hobby”, my mother in the first place; she considered it as something to be ashamed of.
    So, I had really few money to buy what I liked, and I had to be very thrifty.
    Nowadays, I’m an “adult”, I’ve got my job and my own money and so this is the time of my life when I can finally buy what I want, but sometimes I also think to be a “compulsive” buyer (maybe to compensate what I couldn’t do in the past).
    There are some manga series that I bought because I “had to”, but I still hadn’t the time to read them: if you stop and think about it you realize how much it is ridiculous.
    If I have to choose between a new pair of shoes or a BL, I’ll choose BL without any hesitation.
    However, as I said, I’m a grownup (it’s so strange for me to say that O_o), so I have to make some priorities: my job, my house, billings and so on…
    I’m telling you my story because I want you to know that you’re not the only one, and at the same time I hope I can give you some advice: for what you say, I guess that you are younger than me, and probably it’s a little bit difficult to make the right priorities, but this is something that will change as time goes by; what I mean is that when you are young, you totally put yourself into something, without seeing (and peraphs missing) what else is around you.
    Maybe, now it’s good for you to “take a pause” from buying; when you’ll restart to do it, I’m sure you’ll be more focused, and probably you’ll buy something because you really like it and you want it, and not because you need it.

    I hope I didn’t annoy or bored you T_T

    Also, English is not my mother language, so I apologize if what I wrote “sounds” too difficult or complicated: maybe there was a simplier way to say what I said but..I just don’t know how to do it TT_TT.

    • First of all, thank you for taking the time to actually read this shameless blog entry ahhhh //////
      My parents always tell me that this is just a phase I’ll eventually get over once I grow up. Well, I think that’s true but not in the sense that I’ll forget BL completely. Maybe I’ll just stop buying manga but I will never stop loving BL since as to what I mentioned above, it’s already a big part of my life.
      And yes, I totally agree with the compulsive buying habit. I realized it when my collection is already growing and I noticed I haven’t read like, 40-50% of them yet. And some I still haven’t finished but I still buy when I get to see a release especially if I like the artist or I’m curious about her works.
      I’m actually very frustrated as to how I’ll be dealing with this habit of mine when I finally get a job and live by myself in the future. I already got to imagine the worst case scenarios like, what if I run out of money every after pay day since I’ll be going to the bookstore to buy nothing else but BL—I’ll seriously turn into a hobo, lol.
      I tend to overthink things that are meant for the future, which is also a negative trait of mine according to most of my friends since I don’t get to see what’s in front of me now which is, well, college. I’m focused on what I’ll be doing in the future and that is making my own presentable illustrations and hopefully, my own manga. I dwell on preparing for those rather than my academics which is obviously not a wise thing to do since even if I improve now, what will become of me if I don’t graduate college at all, right? You know how most people think, you need education to get around easily. Or worse, what if I don’t improve at all? Then I’ll lose everything. I’ve been reflecting on those recently and thank God the people around me are actually making me realize all of this.

      And no, you didn’t annoy or bore me at all! Thank you for sharing your experience with me ;u;
      Your comment is really helpful and I really appreciate it! ///// and no, your English is fine!❤
      I apologize for the long reply sob ;;

  2. I feel for you. I used to get really jittery when I couldn’t read my books, which used to affect even my grades since I used to sneakily read instead of listening to the teacher. Thankfully, while I still love to read, my addiction has gotten better. Nowadays, my bl addiction means that I buy a bunch of Japanese books even though I can’t really read Japanese yet. But since I’m currently unemployed, I have had to distance myself a bit from bl news to not fall into temptation.

    • Glad to know your addiction eased up!🙂
      I don’t get to bring my manga to uni often but if I do, I see to it I just read during breaktime sincce it’s a bit dangerous to read while the professor is discussing something he/she might confiscate or worse, BROWSE IT IN FRONT OF THE CLASS. orz;
      Hrmm as for the buying Japanese books even if you can’t read, I suggest you study first so your money won’t go to waste? ;; although you can still make use of them for references (especially if you’re an art student like me). 8)
      But it’s good you’re at least doing something to help you ease up the temptation!

  3. Hachi-kun I totally understand how you feel towards BL… While reading your blog post all I could think was “Omg, parang ako!!” —seryoso.

    BL has become a big big part of my life now and it has become my refuge whenever I’m feeling down which makes me even more attached to it. Especially now that I gained access to buying actual books compared to when I was still in the Ph. (I couldn’t buy at all!) I rather buy BL manga than anything else. I’ve been spending lots recently, too and while I know it is not good, it’s so hard to stop so I salute you for being able to restrain yourself from buying! I am trying to limit my purchases though… Maybe I should undergo a BL rehab, too? xD But on second thought… I might not be able to take it. I’m seriously living a not-so-happy life right now and I just… need it OTL And I agree on you with the “addiction” part, I have no vices at all but I have a “serious” BL-addiction… “SERIOUS” 8DDD It makes me high and all, so hard to stop— lololol

    I can’t believe there’s really someone like me who’s head over heels in love with BL… (aside from another friend I know) Because most of the time people wont just understand and would even judge after finding out how much I’m into BL—- Some even consider it as simply a hobby/past-time. But for me it’s of much great importance.

    I don’t really know what I am supposed to say but I just want you to know you’re not alone xD and whatever you choose to do we, your friends, support you~ Maybe after your hiatus, you could limit yourself like… a book or two every other month. Or pour all your BL love into creating your own characters/story/comics. It helps a lot!

    When I was still in the Ph. I do have BL books with me pero di sila nadadagdagan. Yung number nila as is lang, di ako makabili—- Then inspiration hit me 2 years ago; I started writing my own BL stories just so I won’t feel the “hunger for BL” that was always haunting me whenever I desire for a new book. I focused on “my” stories rather than my favorite mangakas’ stories… For some time I was so into my own story—-ideas are popping out of nowhere, and the next thing I know I was writing down scenarios, coming up with names, and of course designing characters.

    As for improving your drawing skills… I could relate as well. I always end up admiring other’s works than trying to focus my time on my drawing. It causes both inspiration and frustration D: such a complex feeling. But you can do it! And your drawings are already nice so don’t feel bad! And in continuation to what I was saying about creating your own story is that when it comes to designing characters and/or drawing the actual story into a one-shot or actual comic… it helps a lot as a practice. I don’t know if this will work but I thought I’d share. ^w^

    2 years ago I started my first BL webcomic, and to be honest… despite not being good in English and a complete amateur when it comes to comic-making I still continued with that story until now. That webcomic is embarrassing to advertise, it’s just so… cheesy and lol and full of mistakes I don’t know. I received a few not-so-good critiques/comment on it and it made me disappointed but I still continued😄 LOL I always tell myself, I’ll do better on my next comic.

    Working on your own comic gives you opportunity to enjoy drawing BL scenes and practicing your drawing skills😀
    It helps you stray away from thoughts about wanting/needing some new pro-manga works XDDD (in my case)

    Anyway, I’m so sorry for the super long comment.
    We understand if you won’t be updating much nowadays but I hope we could still talk from time to time even though I rarely go online nowadays D: //forever alone.
    I wish you good luck and be safe always❤

    • Aww Himitsu-saaan. /hugs
      First of all, I really, REALLY appreciate everything you said! I’m really having a hard time when it comes to telling people about this addiction so I’m very happy to know I know someone who has the exact feeling and situation. ;u;)/

      I also try to make my own manga but then laziness always wins over me so I often drop it. I do have a list of potential stories already (LOOONG list) but then still don’t have the motivation to actually make it as a manga. ;n;
      Also, time management. I’m still attending uni so my schedule’s pretty tight and I can only work on single artworks if I have extra time.;;
      Hopefully I’ll be able to make my own manga too someday even if it’s only a short one; the type that I can just put online for people to read then sell if I get nice comments ;v; /pangarap lang haha

      And no worries I really loved reading your thoughts on this!
      I got to buy myself a couple of manga as a reward for actually surviving the whole hiatus months so I might update if I have extra time from uni.
      Ahh I noticed it too! I don’t see you online often and wondering how can I reach you since I miss talking to you! ;n;
      Don’t hesitate to @ me anytime in twitter if you feel like talking to someone! My Japanese may not be good as yours but you can always talk to me in Japanese (or Tagalog!). ;3;

  4. I read your entry ages ago. I wanted to write something then but held off. Somehow I feel like writing this, though I don’t think the people whom I intend it for will read this. I don’t have a tumblr or a LJ or a blog or anything now haha. To preface this, I used to be with acme, as ac. I scanned a few things and took care of the chapter to chapter running of the group, not a leader or anything – it was a shared responsibility. I left and have no ties with them whatsoever. I don’t read anything they put out or most other yaoi for the matter.

    The addiction – checking 40 blogs a week, news outlets, stores, working your ass off for some extra cash to supplement a hobby that goes no where, saving up every extra dollar of allowances, cutting school to take care of scanlation business… All for a hobby takes you to no place important, something you can’t put in a job resume or even tell people in public and doesn’t give you satisfaction – I was living that for a very long time. Work suffered massively when I was working, school suffered even worse because I couldn’t take care of a scanlation group and the personal things. Looking at what other people bought, what I missed out and the very major “Learning Japanese”. It’s a massive drain on attention, doesn’t give fruit straight away when you are used to instant gratification, the need to get approval/disapproval instantaneously.

    The second part is the external realm. I also used to frequent 4chan’s /a/ and /cm/, a few of your tumblr friends will be familiar with the place. In November/December last year I got the crazy idea to scanlate something, Endou-kun no Kansatsu Nikki. After asking all the major groups I could think of if they wanted a raw book to work with, I decided to just do some scans. Mind my scanner’s sh**tty and I am really sorry to all the people who had to work with it. Managed to get people on 4chan to help translate it and typeset it the whole works. It finally got done after much searching for staff in February. I suppose the internal conflicts with me and other people started then itself. I should have left the second it cropped up but I cared too much. I couldn’t let it all the time I spent on it go to waste.

    You get “thank yous”, readers saying they love the stories, I guess you when you want more than that, that’s when the trouble starts. Looking back, I honestly don’t believe I made people buy books that I helped scan for scanlations. I consider the major part of last year a negative and eye-opening exercise in futility. The few people who helped, I thank them for their time and hard work, even if they did turn against me in the end. The ones who drove me off of a place I held dear, it was like a final “f*** you” after all the work I did, or I think I did for them. I’m glad to see, in a really bitter way, that no one offers to scan things for them anymore, from the few threads I do watch. I’m glad more groups are closing doors and putting 3 passwords on each file, denying entry to lj users not belonging to other groups, have LJ entries and some even demanding you have a journal older than a certain time period. I’m glad to see English publishers being unpleasant to fans and vice-versa. It’s a strange dynamic that works for them, and as I learnt the hard way, not for me.

    “A terrible fanbase full of leeches deserves the terrible treatment it gets” I honestly and sincerely believe that now and understand why scanlators leave this business so to speak. I even understand them switching sides and working for the man, the DMG and the like.

    There is no love lost, I don’t read much yaoi now, I don’t even buy it much anymore and it’s pretty ridiculous how seriously I used to take those people.

    I remain a strange ghost. As always.

    • First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your experience and I think no one should be treated that way most especially if you’re the one who’s actually spending loads amounts of cash and having a hard time providing them with raw manga scans. I’m not familiar with them since I don’t really get to read scanlated stuff that much especially for the past few months since I already get to buy original manga.

      I don’t really get to feel the *full* tension when it comes to the tensions between scanlation groups or people and their concerns about the attitudes of some scanlation groups. Although I usually hear these kinds of issues when it comes to mainstream scanlation groups. People complain about the groups’ rules and how hilarious and impractical they can be most of the time.

      I can’t say that I can totally relate to you since I don’t really work all-out with scanlation groups; I provide translations sometimes but since I’m busy most of the time, I couldn’t help them with providing raws. Also, I’m the type who really takes care of her collection and is very OC about it. I’m aware that in the scanlating process, you rip out your manga—which is a total nightmare for me. I have a friend who told me I’m just putting my manga to waste since I collect but I don’t provide scanlation groups with scans. Now here I totally disagree. I collect because I want to read them and at the same time, share WHAT I THINK about it. That is what my blog is for. But of course sometimes I still look up to some scanlators who have the guts to rip out their manga just so they can provide their group/s and other people with great stories to share.

      I am aware that this hobby is somewhat pointless especially if you’re the type who’s low on budget but still you have to buy manga just so you can provide people something to read. To me though it’s quite different. I very much appreciate all the ‘thank yous’ and compliments I get. I really like the feeling of being able to help people when it comes to them wanting to have knowledge about what to expect when they enter this kind of hobby. But of course at the same time, I feel guilty thinking “What if one of them ends up like me being miserable” and all that. But in the end of course, it will still depend on the person as to how he/she will deal with this kind of addiction. When I made this blog, I really didn’t think of making profit from it. But of course thoughts like “Why am I even doing this when I don’t get paid and here I am complaining about money” is unavoidable. Although after those sleepless nights when I was battling my addiction, people around me made me realize I’m doing this thing because I want to inform people and not because I want to impress them whenever I get a hold of a new shiny release. Although honestly, I don’t have any intention of impressing people with what I buy—but I want(ed) to impress them about what I know and that shows whenever I get to buy new releases because it means I’m updated.But right now I don’t care anymore if people thinks my blog sucks for not being updated. I still buy but I’m not the type like before who has this needy attitude when it comes to releases. Thankfully, I have calmed down.

      I’m sorry if the reply deviated from your issue which kind of mainly focuses on your bittersweet experience with your scanlating team. But I am glad that you’ve already moved on with that kind of addiction and things got better for you.🙂

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