“Fujoshi Baton” Meme

Queen passed on a fujoshi baton, which is a survey-like meme asking about your manga and mostly BL-related fandom history and preferences.  So I gave it a shot.  I am disturbed that I can’t name the first BL work I ever read. /senile old lady

(When did you become an otaku (non-yaoi) and a fujoshi (yaoi)? Answer each respectively.)

This question and the title raises some problems in me—I don’t consider myself an otaku and I don’t consider myself a fujoshi.  I don’t like labels that define narrowed scopes.  I’ve loved animation all my life—not just Japanese.  Same with comics.  I consider myself a fan of manga in general—I read so many different types that at some point, a specialized label just doesn’t accurately describe it and I see no point in it and don’t identify with it.  I’m a manga fan, no need to call me anything else.  Now that’s off my chest, I can talk about the types of manga I enjoy.  :-p

I started reading manga in 1997 when Tokyopop released Sailormoon in English.  By 2000, I started to buy and read raw manga, with 3×3 Eyes Vol 6-11 being my first purchase.  3×3 Eyes also become my first (and only) cosplay, first UFO catchers, first pencilboards, first artbook, and first OST and drama CDs (before I knew what a drama CD was).  It’s also the longest series I own (40 volumes–G Defend will soon overtake it).

For BL, I’m not sure.  I’m senile, lol.  I had a common upbringing with “loaded” shoujo series, like CLAMP (X/1999, Tokyo Babylon), Cain/God Child, Yami no Matsuei (a manga masterpiece to me for years) and the popular authors of the day like Higuri Yuu and even the still current love of my life, Sugiura Shiho.  I was around for the rise of the BL scan groups like Nakama, Shi-ran, Obsession, etc., so all the titles they released as well.  They introduced me to some great authors I like even now, like Takashima Kazusa (Wild Rock) and Tanaka Suzuki (Aitsu no Daihonmei)!  Also Naono Bohra, who I actually hated back then lol.  I leeched from them, bought lots of stuff myself from jpqueen (I MISS YOU) and bk1, followed Tokudane… good times.

(What was the first series you liked slash for? Please tell the couple.)

Slash, huh.. I dabbled in some fandoms (like Gundam Wing and Final Fantasy VII), but never really got into it due to lack of interest/plausibility.  I’m not a big slash reader.  I did get into Goku/Sanzo from Saiyuki and Hikaru/Akira from Hikaru no Go.  If they had passionate rival sex on a Go board, I might just forgive that awful manga ending.

(What was your first actual BL series?)

Hmmm.  Uh.  I don’t know, lol.  CLAMP probably got me rooting for boy/boy first.  I don’t remember the first pure BL series or if it was even one I bought or something from the scan groups.  This was years ago.  :-p  I answered this mostly in the first question.

(What is the first BL game you played?)

Gakuen Heaven.  A friend passed it on to me, saying I should try it because it was illustrated by Higuri Yuu.  I did.  And I liked it and learned dirty  new vocabulary.  This was soon followed by Apocripha/0, a shoujo fantasy story with BLish hints (gotta stay true to my roots).  I was really active in the gaming scene 2007-8 and even posted a few of those available on aarin to this day~

(What’s the first BL drama CD you bought?)

I actually bought two Gakuen Heaven CDs for Kazuki (Sakurai Takahiro).  For the most part, I don’t buy them.  I was into them for a while, but interest has waned in the last few years.  Damn expensive too.

(When was your first doujin event debut?)

Never been to a doujin event.  They don’t have them in my country.  The closest thing was my first regular anime con, Anime Central 2003.  The biggest con I ever went to was AnimeExpo when they had CLAMP and Koge Donbo (have a signed picture!).

(Do you have a doujin site?*)

Nope.  It’s amazing that I even have this site (amazing how I let the dust pile up~).

(Concerning the ‘seme’: Assign them to your preferences.
[◎=Something I love!、○=Like relatively well、△=Don’t like very much、×= give me a break!])

オヤジ (older men) → ◎
ショタ (shota) → △
鬼畜 (brutish) → △
強引 (pushy) → ○
へたれ (pitiful) → ○
ワンコ (devoted) → △ (if that means mushy and whipped, bleh)
ワイルド (wild) → ○
ツンデレ (tsundere) → ○
不器用 (awkward) → ○
メガネ (glasses) → ◎

(Concerning the ‘uke’: Assign them to your preferences.
[◎=Something I love!、○=Like relatively well、△=Don’t like very much、×=give me a break!]

オヤジ (older men) → ◎
ショタ (shota) → ×
女王様 (queen-type) → ○
誘い受 (‘inviting’ type) → ◎
襲い受 (‘top’ type) → ◎
ワンコ (devoted) → × (interpreting this as overly mushy and sentimental..)
ワイルド (wild) → ○
ツンデレ (tsundere) → ○
けなげ (pure) → △
メガネ (glasses) → ○

(Concerning the writing style and situation: Assign them to your preferences.
[◎=Something I love!、○=Like relatively well、△=Don’t like very much、×=give me a break!]

アホアホ (idiots) → ×
ダーク (dark) → ○
リーマンもの (salary men) → ○
学園もの (school setting) → △
幼馴染み (childhood friends) → ○ to △ (highly dependent on presentation)
主従もの (master/servant) → ○ (particularly servant one-upping)
時代物 (period drama) → △ (probably because it would be harder to read)
ファンタジー (fantasy) → ◎!!!
総ホモ (100% homo) → ◎
複数プレイ (threesome, etc.) → ○
リバ (role reversal) → ◎
下克上 (‘subordinate overtaking superior’) → ◎
女体化 (feminization) → ×
方言 (dialect) → ×
年の差 (large age difference) → ○

(Please tell us the hottest coupling setup, in your opinion!
i.e. no-good type x queen, superior x subordinate, etc.)

Out of those choices, I like subordinate overtaking superior.  I think of these like “power plays,” but it doesn’t necessarily imply a struggle.  My favorite example would be Chigusa from Silver Diamond.  If you’ve read it, you know his personality and situation—he wholeheartedly protects and serves a younger boy, but still takes the lead in certain aspects.  He’s smart and capable while being a bit naive, but he serves by choice and loves every minute of it.  It’s also important that the character with a higher standing be deserving of having such a great character beneath them—no spoiled, no-talent brats!  You gotta earn it!

(Please give a type that isn’t in the above list that makes you excited or dissatisfied!)

I hate the helpless princess uke that must either be saved or taken care of by the big, powerful, dependable seme.  Done to death and usually not well.  I’m an independent adult myself, so I tend to deride that in general.  And unfortunately, this was a common theme in quite a few old BL series, so it’s a tired theme to me.

I also dislike stories where everyone is magically gay and women do not exist, unless needed for a clumsy plot device to keep the two guys apart for a chapter or two.  /snore

I love big guys that are really cute and unassuming, but can take charge when they want to tame a feisty guy (*cough* Merry Checker).  In general, I enjoy a character that acts differently from their appearance/general BL stereotype, like a cute, cuddly little shota boy who turns out to be a mean sadistic top.  If anyone is wearing a skirt so to speak, I want it to be the one on top (or reversible).

(Do you currently have any authors that you seek out to buy? (As many people as you want!))

UH.  So this doesn’t go on forever, here’s just a few that I consider first tier buys  with a long proven track record.  So yes, I hand over lots of money to read their works on a regular basis.  They tend to be multi-genre authors with some honest-to-goodness BL works:

Yamashita Tomoko, Nakamura Asumiko, est em, basso,  Nishida Higashi, Yoshinaga Fumi, Takaguchi Satosumi, Eiki Eiki, Mishima Kazuhiko, Abe Miyuki, Hashiba Maki, Sugiura Shiho, Morimoto Shuu, Bikke, Suzuki Tsuta, Honma Akira, Odagiri Hotaru, Takatsuki Noboru… yeah, I buy a lot of books.

If Kawachi Haruka drew a full BL series (there’s a bit in Cake wo Kai ni and Ohmi-sensei), I’d implode.

There’s others awaiting entrance into the inner circle, like Okadaya Tetuzoh, Natsume Isaku, Koneda You (she’d be there if I had tanks), Hiiragi Nozomu, Hidaka Shoko, Kusama Sakae, Takao Hiroi/Kamuro Akira, and more.  I just don’t fall all over myself to buy every single book they’ve published… yet.

(Around how many of the BL monthy magazines do you buy?)

None.  I don’t like reading things a chapter at a time—I find it highly dissatisfying.  I’m an impatient brat that forgets things.  I’ve owned a few and actually threw them away.  I own almost 4000 books, but didn’t want to waste the space and didn’t find them pretty enough to keep.  I buy themed anthologies every now and then, but only if they work as stand alone books.  Opera is the only magazine that tempts me.  So I buy all their beautiful tanks instead.

(Around how many BL comics do you buy each month?)

I don’t know, it varies and depends upon my BL–>shoujo reading cycle.  LibraryThing says I own 1300+ BL books (versus 1600+ shoujo OH SNAP).  I find the lists (and pictures) I post here pretty useful for tracking this, haha.

(Currently, what’s the ‘in’ genre (or work)?
Please talk about your thoughts on this trend.)

I don’t read fandom stuff enough to really know about trends, but I can certainly talk about types.

As for trends in art, I’m digging the fact that simply more artists draw pubic hair.  This used to be incredibly rare, but is fairly common these days.  I like it.  Looks good.  And it reminds me that they aren’t 10 years old.  Sexy.

I’ve also noticed the rise of the “general” oyaji.  Oyaji have always been around, but often regulated to certain stereotypes, like the devoted father who is divorced/widowed.  And he was often the bottom.  Or the dirty old man top.  Now we see so much variety.  Oyaji are treated almost just like regular people—fancy that!  A great trend.

I do like the ugly cute trend—if only because the author has to put more effort into making their personality and actions endearing to the audience versus making another generic pretty boy character.  It’s welcome variety to me and I don’t particularly think they look “ugly” either..

I’m also loving gachi muchi and gay comics.  Again, variety is great spice and I’ve read too many works with pretty, willowy boys over the years.  So I appreciate them toned/muscled and older these days.

【In Closing

(Please name five people you’ll pass the baton to.)

I wish I had 5 blogs I regularly read to pass this to, but I don’t!  Especially since Queen tagged me in the first place.  I tend to be insulated here.  Not really by choice, but that’s just how it is!  I want to poke rynisyou if she wants poked as we often have good manga chemistry.  :3  Although I’d need to be told, as I’m terrible at following livejournal. /incorrigible


5 responses to ““Fujoshi Baton” Meme

  1. Hahah forgot to write that! But you know, sometimes that dislike transform into an extra enjoyment. For example, in Clear Skies (Mainichi Seiten I think) almost all the brothers are gay…..I found myself laughing at this a lot. It’s like it comes with the genes there; same with Close the Last Door and the prequel XD.

    Oh and the skirt+top…mmm…we need more like these. If you read Touch me Again by Yamashita Tomoko there’s is a short story like that there (too short!) and one of Ootsuki Miu’s…I think it was called Kawaii Darling?

    • A magically gay *family* can be pretty funny, especially when everyone is lusting after the youngest pretty brother like one of Odagiri Hotaru’s series. Unfortunately, it’s usually a symptom of laziness or just not very creative!

      Skirt+top+muscled legs… uuuuh, do want. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those yet. I’m just letting my mind wander. But I did like that Yamashita Tomoko story!

  2. Ooh, I’ll let you know when I answer them (I’m pretty free today since it’s a Saturday, so 😀 )

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