I originally meant to update my fantasy/supernatural BL manga list on a more regular basis. Oops. Well, you have to start somewhere. I thought of covering Mauri to Ryuu more extensively, but decided against it. However, it’s still worth a short recommendation, so here’s a few additional fantasy BL manga that I particularly enjoyed.
Mauri to Ryuu by Moto Haruhira
This collection of short stories features wandering gods who enrich the land. During their travels, they observe humans and sometimes fall in love. If that affection is returned, the gods take the human form of the one who loves them. The tone is simple and warm. At least until mpreg is clumsily shoe-horned into the last 2-3 panels or at most few pages of several stories. Or that the act of sex is there solely for baby-making purposes since the gods have more animalistic instincts or something. That was chilling. Ignoring that, overall, I enjoyed the work. My favorite story was about a small bird whose song calls forth the spring season. He meets a taciturn hunter who saves him from his captors. The hunter continues to protect him while he sings and leaves a trail of flowers and spring in their wake.
Tenkousei Jinno Murasaki by Tanaka Suzuki
With a single punch of his left hand, Jinnai Midori can purify all evil and malciousness from people. Even the nastiest delinquent becomes a honest person after one hit. However, it doesn’t seem to work on the new transfer student, Jinno Murasaki. There’s something really off about the guy: he’s kinda creepy, really strong, seems dangerous, and is oddly obsessed with Midori.
The manga is all about the two and the supernatural trouble that finds them. Jinno follows Midori around like a protective puppy, including the part where he tears up anyone who threatens Midori into bloody shreds. Jinno is the vaguely threatening, strong, self-appointed boyfriend Midori never asked for but gets stalked by anyway. The manga has a horror feel to it, with dark, violent encounters with supernatural beings that possess people. Shit really hits the fan in the surreal last volume of the manga: everything goes batshit insane, many characters die (slowly and while being tormented), Jinno goes full yandere.. so yeah, typical Tanaka Suzuki fun. I really liked the end. I would have never guessed the last volume would have gone in that direction based on the beginning.
Konya mo Nemurenai by Yamamoto Kotetsuko
In a desperate moment, college student Rikiya calls for help and accidentally summons a demon. Since Rikiya has no immediate wish for the demon to grant, Endo decides to stick around in the human world and many comical shenanigans follow. Endo is an impish, arrogant short guy, yet he can be supportive and insightful at times. The romantic aspect is not abrupt and allowed time to develop. This work is a good example of Yamamoto Kotetsuko’s ability to make cute and charismatic characters.
Shinseigokumon by Kuku Hayate
This is a collection of short stories with two of them having fantasy/supernatural themes. The title oneshot is about the guardians at the gate which separates the worlds of the living and the dead. There’s a black bull guardian and a white horse guardian who watch over opposite sides of the gate. While they work together, they can never be in contact with each other for long since the worlds must remain separated. It’s a short story with great character designs you’d expect from Kuku Hayate.
There’s more nice character designs in another oneshot, Foehn phenomena. It’s about a mountain spirit and a wind spirit. The wind guy is pretty pissed at the mountain guy for being all big and blocking his winds. Being a mountain, he tends to lay around and not move, after all. Soon enough, they get all friendly. Oh and those hot, dry Foehn winds? It comes from the two having sex up in the mountains, making the people who live below suffer the heat, ha.
Onigari no Mori de by Miyamoto Kano
Misono Kazuki wants to write a supernatural novel, but lacks the experience and imagination to make it very compelling. So he visits an old shrine to gather some ideas and ends up getting far more than that! Kazuki discovers a parallel world where a natural disaster poisoned large areas of the world, creating a very different world from our modern Japan. After that incident, their two worlds became connected through certain holes. These gates happen to be guarded by really hot guys. The two sides form a tentative alliance to stabilize the gates and their worlds. As expected from Miyamoto Kano, the art is beautiful and detailed with strong character designs and lots of attention given to the backgrounds to develop the surrounding environments and atmosphere of the manga.