Insight: Kojima Lalako

At long last, my very first mangaka review. Initially, I planned to do this last year but then stuff happened so… .___.

Anyway, for this very first mangaka review, I’ll will briefly be talking about one of my favorite mangakas, Kojima Lalako.

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Perspectives on BL manga Part I: BL manga as an esoteric fandom.

It’s only been a year since I got into BL and I admit that I’m still not that experienced with the fandom. Yes, as I said before, I’ve been into yaoi for the longeeeeeeest time already but when I got into BL, it’s a totally different experience.

Just the other day, my friend Yee Hun and I met up with Ms. Khursten Santos, one of the organizers of the BLush Convention, to get our own copies of the very first BLush Anthology. The meeting was also for us to discuss further plans with the anthology which then lead to a more in-depth fujoshi talk—which I enjoyed very much! We talked about the old and new BL fandom, the difference between yaoi, BL and their stereotypes. I loved how similar our views were about BL fandom; she was able to enlighten me with words I long thought of but never had the chance to express or explain it clearly especially here in my blog.

When I was into yaoi before, I never called it “BL”—I didn’t even know what BL was.

My BL fandom all started because of a random BL blog I stumbled upon while looking for some new manga. The blog was in Japanese so at first, I had no idea what she was talking about when I saw posts about BL magazines and anthologies. I thought to myself, “Wow, so stuff like this actually exists in yaoi fandom” since I only knew about Shonen Jump before, lol. After reading a few posts from her and discovered new blogs and fujoshi friends along the way, I now succumbed to the very obsessive fandom that is BL.

So what’s the difference between yaoi and BL anyways?

For me I think the right word to describe BL is that it’s such an esoteric fandom that most fans don’t give time to actually understand what the fandom really is so they just tend to only have knowledge about the general facts. Although, before I also used to think yaoi is more on the obscene side while BL on the other hand is just pure love. But it seems they both have matching descriptions which explains a lot since technically, they’re the same. As to what I understood from further readings about the term’s origin, it just depends on how people got used to calling it. In the end, it all differs on how much the fans understand the genre itself.

Up to now I’m still trying to get the right words out of my head in order for me to properly explain my thoughts about what BL really means and how it influenced me as an artist. All I can say is that it greatly influenced me not only for my art but also my perspective in life. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but that’s how it really is for me, haha!

BL greatly changed a huge part of my personality since it provided me personal guidance. Most of the BL mangas I got to read had a very realistic storyline and because of that, it really made me realize what life is all about—as cliche as it may sound. Since BL tends to lean more on the shojo and josei demographic, it often has a mature feel to it. 

My views on eroticism also changed because of BL. To most people, eroticism is pornographic which often leads to negative impressions. I remember Araki Nobuyoshi (a very famous Japanese (erotic) photographer) saying this in one of his interviews:

I think people should be positively dirty-minded and if you are positively dirty-minded, you end up in the most lively and energetic place. 

The quote seems simple but it actually depends on how you understand it.

Other than those, most of what I learned are too complex to include it here. Right now, I’m still trying to expose myself with more BL so let’s just see what further realizations I’ll get to have in my next post regarding the topic! ;v;)/

I hope this short(?) post gave you guys some realizations of your own!
Don’t hesitate to share your own opinions. ;v;)/

P.S.
Cluttered thoughts as always. Sorry if my words seem out of place in every sentence!

BLush Con + a certain BL anthology

I always say this but I’m terribly sorry for the lack of updates. ;; As always, uni gets in the way of everything but on the brightside, I’m actually pretty relaxed since I’m now an irregular student. Although I really can’t spend that much time on the PC these days since my major subjects just became harder to handle even with my very free schedule (I only go to uni 3 times a week, so).

Also, I’m pretty much busy preparing for the most anticipated BL convention here in the Philippines—BLush. As I said in my previous entry, my circle and I will be part of the marketplace. We’ll be selling pins, bookmarks, cellphone straps and prints! ;v;

We recently made a tumblr—click!
It’s still quite empty but we promise we’ll update as much as we can! We’re quite new with selling stuff especially in this upcoming BL con where we’ll be selling prints and other things on the spot ahhh. ;; Oh and if you’re attending the BLush Con and currently reading this, since most of us do digital works, we won’t accept on-the-spot commissions that day. We’ll ask you to just write your request on a sheet of paper (but we’ll most probably just put it on our cellphones) and discuss payment process after.

2 weeks left until the said event so hopefully all our preparations will be done earlier considering we’re all busy with our own personal works. orz;

As for this blog’s current status, I’m already frustrated about not being able to update this (and homodesu@tumblr) that much but as I always say (like, for the 10000000000000000000000000th time already), I’ll try my best to update both of them. I was actually doing a couple of review drafts I can’t remember when I started though but yeah. I was actually excited to show you guys my last purchases a couple of months ago but meh, uni happened. ;;

I haven’t really mentioned it yet before but have you guys heard of Right BL he Youkoso?
I was reminded by a friend when I saw her post it on Tumblr. I was actually curious about it when I got to read it on the release list before but I only got to see the title and didn’t really know what is was about, lol. The title is written as “ライトBLへようこそ” (Raito BL he Youkoso), I was actually wondering at how Raito is read—Light or Right—but then when I read the description I guess “Right” it is?

So basically it’s a BL guidebook. I’ve seen a lot of similar guidebooks in the past but haven’t encountered a comic one like this? I usually see novels so this one is pretty interesting—not to mention the mangaka lineup!  I checked today on HMV and it’s already available! (I was trying to pre-order before but it wasn’t on their website D:)

If you already have a copy of the book please do tell me how it is! ;v;)/

Some small things I find “pretty-interesting”.

Literally “pretty” and “interesting”, that is. ;;

→ For the past few weeks, I’ve been spazzing about a newly discovered mangaka that eventually forced me into buying Canna’s volume 16. Guess who?

It’s Yamada Torico! *u*

I just can’t get over her art style. When I first saw Canna post some previews in their twitter account, Yamada Torico’s work really caught my attention. It’s looks so adorable and her coloring is pretty as well! For the story, it’s basically about a boy named Miyamae-kun who has an enormous love and inspiration for his grandmother. He even go to such lengths as growing up pretending to be a girl — until his grandmother died. But even if he stopped pretending to be a girl, he still followed one trait — again, inspired by his grandmother, and that is finding his own “prince” — just like how his grandmother found hers (which was obviously his grandfather). Continue reading

Because I really think Arii Memeko’s adorable.

For me, cute covers are srs bznz, lol. And Arii Memeko’s cover for “Hanpa na KOI Nara Yame ni Shiro!” is just that.

I actually saw this 2 days ago but wasn’t able to make an entry about it earlier. ;w;

Just like her “Hitorijime Boyfriend“, this new cover of hers is just as cute! (*´▽`*)

I haven’t been really keeping track of her works but all I know is that she mostly works for S-lash2 (her ‘Apron Series’ mobile comics) and her debut tankoubon (Hitorijime Boyfriend) which was released through Gateau comics last late November 2010. As for doujinshis, she had a couple of works from popular series such as Persona (mostly P3 and Trinity Soul), Starry Sky and Code Gayass– I mean GEASS, sorry. (/□\;) Her art style is very adorable and I really love her choice of colors! ( ´∀`)

Anyway, “Hanpa na KOI Nara Yame ni Shiro” will be released this 27th of May. For those who already pre-ordered this, I envy you guys so much! (T▽T)

I hope Amazon posts a bigger version of the cover soon. ;u;

Plan on future reviews + insight on Sekaiichi Hatsukoi – I love it too much.

So yesterday while thinking about what to post in my next update, doing a series/OVA review suddenly occurred to me. Since not all of you can buy Japanese tankoubons off online stores and personally appreciate it by being able to read it than just reading my reviews, I thought of posting series/OVA reviews from now on. But please don’t expect me to post the download links here. I pretty much assume you guys already know where to download, right? ( ̄ー ̄)

Okay so anyway, moving on. So as I stated before in this post, I’m really in love with Shungiku Nakamura’s Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. I mean seriously, it pwns Junjou Romantica BIGTIME. I love it so, sooooo much. \(;A;)/Also, this series has some kind of sentimental value to me. I’ve always dreamed of working in a manga publishing company and this series made me realize a lot of things about manga publishing – especially the “cycle”, lol.

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Persona 4 Anime Adaptation + random illustration

I know everybody’s been waiting for this. Ever since the mysterious video and countdown site appeared, everyone’s been talking and patiently waiting for its most-anticipated announcement. I was actually expecting a P4P release rather than an animaton, though. But nonetheless, it’s still exciting. Also, Souji’s name is changed to “Narukami Yu”. (o__o ) I really think “Seta Souji” is cooler, though. D:

I really waited for the TV to turn 00:00:00. And when it finally turned 0, I turned it on and… well, nothing happened. Good thing a friend of mine sent me another link then there it was – the announcement of an anime release. So, I waited for nothing basically. Hopefully something turns up tomorrow in the TV.

Also, Takarai Rihito and Yamada Nichome were also tweeting about it a while ago!

Takarai Rihito’s tweet is so cute! She let her friend borrow her P4 game that’s why she still couldn’t play it. I don’t know why I find that cute, though. /lolbiased

So anyway, in celebrating today’s most-anticipated Persona 4 announcement, I TRIED to make a fanart but failed. I really fail in drawing Yosuke’s hair everytime so I just turned it into a random BL illustration, lol.

‘Til the next update!

mixed feelings.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking if I still love the works of Shungiku Nakamura and Takanaga Hinako. I really felt like I was drifting away from them just like what I did to Murakami Maki (Gravitation) a few years back. Before, I used to only like mainstream mangakas and hardly knew any other mangakas like I know now. But lately I’ve been telling myself that there’s more to yaoi fandom than Junjou Romantica, Koisuru Boukun, Finder Series and the like. What saddens me is that I grew from these mangakas and discovering a lot of new mangakas and (absentmindedly) replacing them kind of makes me feel disloyal to my yaoi roots. (.___.” ) Yes, I’m this sentimental when it comes to my BL fandom.

I’m sure everyone has heard of (and probably watched) Sekaiichi Hatsuko’s preview release already. I remember last year when I finally got over Junjou Romantica, I tried reading this series for a change. IMHO, Shungiku Nakamura’s works are just simply lovely. Her works – together with Takanaga Hinako’s are actually the ones that led me into this devoted BL fandom of mine right now. So anyway, after reading Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, I started to love Shungiku Nakamura once again. I don’t know but I liked the story of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi more than JR. But I must say that I am forever supporting the cabbage couple of JR (Miyagi/Shinobu) and Hiro/Nowaki, lol. Imagine the happiness I felt when they announced an anime releases of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi a few months back – I was literally crying and nearly broke my mouse because of intense mouse-flailing. ( ̄□ ̄;)

Anyway, it’s been a while since I last read/watched any of Shungiku Nakamura’s works. So when I tried downloading Sekaiichi Hatsukoi a few days ago, I had some mixed feelings about watching it or not. I feel like not watching it because I’m afraid it might disappoint me in some way or another and the other uncontrollable part of me who really wants to watch it no matter what the cost. Then I finally decided I should watch it. And there I was just a few minutes ago, all teary-eyed because I can’t believe I am actually watching Sekaiichi Hatsukoi after waiting for months until its most-anticipated release. (T▽T) I really hope the series will be a hit just like JR.

So that’s it. I think I can’t outgrow Shungiku Nakamura’s works yet. Also, I’m waiting for a new OVA release of Takanaga Hinako’s Koisuru Boukun. Meh, mangaka outgrow fail. I really am just taking baby-steps into BL fandom, lol.

On another note, I’m currently waiting for 14 tankoubons to be delivered by this week – approximately 17 tankoubons in total for this month. Ah, I really can’t wait to get my hands on Kojima Lalako’s and Junko’s new titles. (;___;)

Reviews: Mei Sakuraga’s “I Want to Be Naughty” Drama CD

I was so happy to find out about the drama CD while browsing through Amazon.jp (*u*) I know I’m such a late bloomer for Mei Sakuraga’s Warui koto Shitai series, I regret not reading it last year since I was so hooked on Shungiku Nakamura’s Sekaiichi Hatsukoi series. (;__;)

So I tried listening to the drama CD (and will surely buy it after my current order arrives) and I must say – HIKARU MIDORIKAWA. My goodness. I was really shocked to know he was the seiyuu of Mikado Shirahane since I was only used to him using his very uke voice in Papa to Kiss in the Dark and Kirepapa. Although he did impress me as the seiyuu of Shiki in Togainu no Chi. So anyway, I was really pleased with the voice actors. Takahiro Mizushima, who voiced Towa Aikawa, really did a wonderful job! I really imagined Towa’s voice to be exactly like that. If you remember the annoying but adorable twins in Gakuen Heaven, Takahiro Mizushima was one of their seiyuu there, but I forgot which of the two. (^_^) I was literally all teary-eyed while listening to the whole thing while reading the manga. ❤

I still have yet to listen to the 2nd part of the series (Waruiko Demo Ii). I swear, when I heard Koji Yusa’s the seiyuu of Shirahane Nanao (FYI: Nanao is my ultimate favorite character in the whole series) I really went hysterical to the point of nearly breaking my keyboard and dropping my cellphone due to fangirling to my friends. (*A*) READ: If you’re familiar with Koji Yusa’s voice, he’s the seiyuu of Iku Mizushima from Starry Sky and Gin Ichimaru of Bleach. Imagine how shocked I was to know that Nanao has the same seiyuu as Iku in the drama CD! (TwT) AAH KOJI YUSA I LOVE YOU. SO MUCH. ❤ I really can’t wait for more news about the drama CD for Mujihi na Otoko! (;w;) It’s my personal favorite from the whole series!

There are still some other wonderful seiyuus in the whole drama CD collection, of course! (^u^) I will review them as soon as I got to listen to the whole series already.

You can buy the drama CD here.

Reviews: 天気予報ノ恋人 ~Tenkiyohou no Koibito~ (角川書店)

While I was busy looking for some new BL mangas (since I’m seriously flooding myself with Katou Setsuko’s works lately), I came across this adorable story about a love between two newscasters – a straight-laced news reporter (Koganei) and an eccentric weatherman (Amasawa). It’s definitely not your stereotypical BL relationship since there’s really no abusive seme and reluctant uke involved here – just pure love. The characters are extremely adorable! Also the supporting cast. The art is also lovely. Great story + nice art = perfection. ❤

As I mentioned in my “About”, I don’t usually read fuwa fuwa BL since I’m really into the hardcore romantic types but this is absolutely an exception – I LOVE IT. I only started reading this a while ago and I can already feel the ideal love I’m looking for in a BL story. The characters’ developments are just ❤ This is definitely a MUST READ.

From what I heard from reviews about this is that they actually dropped this manga. I’m not really that certain of that topic, though. I hope they can continue working on with the next chapters. ;__;

I’ll try to finish reading it later on after I finish some of my school works, lol.