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First off, this thread is to discuss Yaoi as cleanly as possible. That means no graphic images, no links and no graphic explanations from the mangas. If you want to share any of that information, please do so through Private Messages or Emails.
Second, my goal with this thread is to expand people's horizons, those of the appropriate age, to explore and try Yaoi. Also to talk with those who already like Yaoi and share which titles they like.
So here goes.
These are the titles I own and have read:
Level C volume 1-6 by Aoi Futaba and Kurenai Mitsuba, Published by Biblos (Japan) and Kitty Media (America)
Passion volumes 1 &2 by Shinobu Gotoh and Shoko Takaku, Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Only the Ring Finger Knows by Satoru Kannagi and Hotaru Odagiri, Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Desire by Maki Kazumi and Yukine Honami, Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Love Mode volumes 1 & 2, by Yuki Shimizu, Published by Blu Manga
Golden Cain by You Asagiri, Published by Be Beautiful Manga
Wild Rock by Kazusa Takashima, Published by Blu Manga
Shinobu Kokoro by Temari Matsumoto, Published by Blu Manga
The next one I'm looking into is Earthian by Yun Kouga, Published by Blu Manga
When I get time, and if allowed, I'll post short descriptions of each of the previous titles and my comments on them.
Images are actually okay, as long as they're not guys *censoring* or nudie pics... y'know. Feel free to post covers and such.
Thanks GD. Cover images will be good to show people the art styles.
First though, I guess I can post up some info for anyone who might not know what Yaoi is. The below info is all from Wikipedia.
"Yaoi is a publishing genre, which originated in Japan and often encompasses manga, dōjinshi, anime, and fan art. It focuses on homosexual relationships between male characters and is generally sexually explicit.
Some Westerners consider yaoi to be synonymous with shōnen-ai or BL, which contains similar themes; however by definition this is incorrect, and shōnen-ai material is not sexually explicit. The yaoi phenomenon has spread beyond Japan: yaoi materials have also now been published in America and Indonesia, to name a few places.
The English letters form a backronym of the Japanese phrase 「ヤマなし、オチなし、意味なし」 (yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi), often translated into English as, "no climax, no punch line, no meaning," or as the catchphrase, "No peak, no point, no problem." It has also been rather affectionately termed "Yamete! Oshiri ga itai!" or "Stop! My butt hurts!" in English.
The term appears to have been originally used in Japan, perhaps as early as the 1970s, to describe any doujinshi that was a bizarre, playful parody; however, it has come to refer solely to sexually explicit male-male homosexual material. Yaoi is not a common term in Japanese; it is specific to the otaku subculture.
Usage of the term yaoi varies. Some purists insist that it should only be applied to doujinshi, while others claim it refers only to material printed by Japanese publishers who specialize in yaoi. The majority of fans, however, apply the term to any of a broad range of male-male sexually-themed manga and anime.
Though yaoi is sometimes used to refer to any male homosexual content in film and print media, particularly in works created by females, that is generally considered a misuse of the term. Professional Japanese artists, such as Kodaka Kazuma, are careful to distinguish their works as "yaoi," rather than "gay," when describing them to English-speaking audiences.
Seme and uke
The two participants in a yaoi relationship are often referred to as seme ("attacker") and uke ("receiver"). Although these terms originated in martial arts, they have apparently been used in a sexual context for centuries and do not carry any degrading connotations. Seme derives from the Japanese verb semeru (to attack) and uke from the Japanese verb ukeru (to receive). Though gay males are often referred to in English as "tops" or "bottoms," seme and uke are more nearly analogous to "pitcher" and "catcher."
The seme is often depicted as the stereotypical male of anime and manga culture: restrained, physically powerful, and/or protective. The seme usually has a stronger chin, shorter hair, smaller eyes, and a more masculine demeanor than the uke.
The uke is usually more androgynous or effeminate in appearance and demeanor and is often smaller and sometimes unrealistically girlish in behavior. The uke generally falls in love before the seme does.
Though these stereotypes are common, not all works adhere to them. For example, some of the anthologies published by Be X Boy feature stories on themes such as "younger seme" or "reversibles." The "height rule," the implication that greater height confers greater power, is also sometimes broken.
While most earlier yaoi depicted both seme and uke partners as slightly effeminate, there has been an uprise of "muscle yaoi," in which adult men are portrayed as more masculine and strongly muscled.
Yaoi vs. BL
In Japan, male-male homosexually-themed material is categorized as either shōnen-ai/BL or yaoi. This terminology is used both by publishers and by anime voice actors. In general, yaoi refers to sexually explicit material, while shōnen-ai and BL refer to sexually implicit or non-sexual romantic male-male relationships.
Typical yaoi doujinshi features male-male pairings from non-romantic, published manga and anime. Much of the material derives from male-oriented shōnen and seinen works which contained male-male relationships and are perceived by fans to imply homosexual attraction. However, yaoi fans may ship any male-male pairing from published manga and anime, even those involved in platonic friendship. Crack pairings and crossovers often feature impossible or improbable romantic couples, such as Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke from Naruto.
Though collectors often focus on doujinshi based on particular manga, any male character may become the subject of a yaoi doujinshi, even characters from non-manga titles such as Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. Video games have also been a target, including titles like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy.
Most doujinshi is created by amateurs who often work in "circles"; for example, the group Clamp began as an amateur doujinshi circle. However, some professional artists, such as Kodaka Kazuma and Maki Murakami, create doujinshi as well.
Yaoi fanon is common; some authors even create separate sub-universes in their stories and doujinshi. In some cases, these sub-universes, called "AUs" or "Alternate Universes," gain their own fan bases in which they are more popular than the original series.
Notable titles which have been the subject of yaoi doujinshi include the following:
Full Metal Alchemist
Lupin the 3rd
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Prince of Tennis
As Japanese yaoi gains popularity in the U.S., a few American artists have begun to create gay-themed comics referred to as "American yaoi." This new genre has become a small subculture in North America.
Though American yaoi writing and art can be more commonly found on the Internet, professionally-published yaoi manga include the implicit Off*beat by Jennifer Lee Quick, published by TokyoPop; and the explicit Incubus by Yayoi Neko, previously published by Bang. Incubus is now published by Kitty Media.
An example of an American Yaoi publisher is Mojocastle Press . Mojocastle utilizes the skills of the anime art group The Red Threads Art Circle  for the covers of their Yaoi written-word novels. Mojocastle opened its doors in September 2006, and has several titles currently for sale in ebook format, including the monthly series Through Neon Eyes, with many series contracted for release in 2007.
The Japanese publisher Biblos (which produces Be X Boy) was once considered the major source of professionally-published Japanese yaoi. However, their bankruptcy due to failure of their non-yaoi ventures has provided an opportunity for competitors to take up a larger share of the professional yaoi and BL manga market.
Several popular Japanese yaoi and BL works have been commercially translated and imported to English-speaking countries by companies such as TokyoPop, Be Beautiful, DramaQueen, and Digital Manga Publishing.
List of professional yaoi titles
Ai no Kusabi was originally a novel by Rieko Yoshihara. Although the anime has never been officially translated into English, fan-subs are available within the yaoi anime community. The property has been licensed by Digital Manga Publishing, and publication of the first volume in English is anticipated for autumn 2007.
Earthian, by Yun Kouga, is one of the earliest professional yaoi manga. Published in the 1980s, it is about gay angels from another planet who watch over Earth while concealing what they are. It has been adapted into an anime which is available on VHS and DVD in the U.S.
Enzai is an explicit BL game about a young boy from the streets who, after attempting to steal candy, is falsely accused of murder. An OVA of the same name was later released.
Eerie Queerie is a manga about a boy who can see spirits and the friends that try to protect him from them and a lecherious monk.
Fake, by Sanami Matoh, is a series about the relationship between a pair of New York City police detectives who work together and gradually fall in love with each other.
Finder Series, by Ayano Yamane, is a yaoi series based on the relationship between an aspiring young photographer and a Yakuza boss. Though the manga contains scenes of questionable consent, the partnership turns out to be more affectionate and genuine than the early scenes imply.
Fujimi Orchestra is about a high school music teacher and concertmaster in a community orchestra. The group's Conductor admits his feelings for the violinist which leads to a very horrible misunderstanding.
Gravitation, by Maki Murakami, is a manga and anime centered around the effects of a relationship between a famous romance novelist and a pop star.
Haru wo Daiteita (Embracing Love), by Youka Nitta, is a manga and anime which tells the story of two AV actors who fall in love while working together.
Kizuna, by Kodaka Kazuma, is a manga about homosexuality within the Yakuza. Published in the early 1990s, it is one of the earliest professional yaoi works. Parts of the first few volumes have been adapted as anime.
La Esperanca is a manga about two high schoolers that learn about their pasts while learning the true meaning of friendship and love in an all-boys school.
Lies & Kisses, by Masara Minase, is a beautifully-drawn manga about the relationship between two long-lost step brothers. Its plot and characters are more developed than in most yaoi.
Love Mode is a manga about the romantic and sexual adventures of men associated with "Blue Boy," an all-male dating club.
My Sexual Harassment "depicts the rise of a young executive who prostitutes himself to his corporate superiors. The feeble plot is just there to string together the animated sex scenes." (Charles Solomon) This work, infamous for a corncob-porn scene, is both a novel and an anime which is available in English. Character designs are by Kazuma Kodaka.
Our kingdom, by Naduki Koujima, is a manga about two teenagers who fall in love while competing to become the heir to an immense fortune.
Papa to Kiss in the Dark, by Munakata Mira, is a two-episode anime about a high school freshman who is involved in a sexual relationship with his adoptive father
Selfish Love, by Naduki Koujima, is a two-volume manga which depicts the story of two students at a prestigious university: one a wealthy, overconfident freshman, the other a scholarship sophomore from a poor family.
Sensitive Pornograph is a yaoi manga anthology which contains explicit romance stories. An anime version is available.
Shout Out Loud!, by Satosumi Takaguchi, is a slice of life story about a father and son and is centered in the world of anime and yaoi voice acting.
Under Grand Hotel - UGH, by Mika Sadahiro, tells the story of Owari Sen and Swordfish, two inmates in the Underground Hotel Prison, which is called Under Grand Hotel by the prisoners.
Wild Rock, by Kazusa Takashima, is a yaoi manga which tells the story of Yuuen, a child of the Forest Clan chief, who is given the task of seducing Emba, the son of the Lakeside Clan chief.
Yellow, by Makoto Tateno, is a yaoi manga which tells the story of the love and adventures of two drug and weapon snatchers.
Zetsuai 1989 and Bronze is the story of a musician and his fascination with a male football player. The anime and manga are considered yaoi classics."
That's not a definitive list of yaoi titles, but I figured it was a good place to start. I'll try to get my comments up about the titles I have, then do some research on more titles.[br]Posted on: February 24, 2007, 03:46:43 PM_________________________________________________Here are some comments about some of the title I have. I'll post more comments as I have time.
Level C by Aoi Futaba and Kurenai Mitsuba, Published by Biblos (Japan) and Kitty Media (America) 6 volumes, rated 18+
Short Description: Mizuki is a popular male fashion model with a promising future. When the mysterious Haruno sees him, she wants to make him the centerpiece for her company's latest promotion. To lure Mizuki in, she calls on the talents of her twin brother, Kazo. He is quick to seduce the young supermodel, but things soon escalate beyond business as usual. As Kazo's feelings run away with him, it looks like true love for him and Mizuki.
My Comments: This is the most graphic of the Yaoi titles Ive read, but even then, it blurs/whites out the private parts. This also happens to be the longest series Ive read. And the story holds up pretty well throughout all 6 volumes, which is more than I can say about some of the one volume titles Ive read. It kept my interest and I always looked forward to the next volume. I like both Mizuki (the Uke) and Kazuomi (the Seme). Theyre both cute and endearing, and sometimes quite human. The art is good, nothing too special, but good. Maybe one of these days Ill get the short anime that was made.
Passion by Shinobu Gotoh and Shoko Takaku, Published by Digital Manga Publishing 3 volumes, rated 18+
Short Description: Hikaru, a second year high school student, is obsessed with Shima, a male teacher. Surprisingly, Shima is not averse to the boy's affections. He even convinces Hikaru to study hard so that when he graduates, they would openly become lovers. However, Amamiya, an ex-lover of Shima, steps into the picture and tries to win him back. Will Hikaru and Shima's passion prove great enough to hurdle all the obstacles stacked against them?
My Comments: I thought Id like this one more than I did. It was kind of awkward. The first few moments were sort of graphic - well, more violent and sudden. The Seme was Hikaru, the student, and the Uke was Shima, the teacher. Yet its the teacher that has power over the student. It just flipped some of the rules of Yaoi, which, in a way, is good. So that things dont get static. The introduction of Amamiya improved the story, changed the pace a bit. The art is good, realistic with details. This title is not high on my list, but solid. I also havent read the third volume, so that may change my opinions. It takes place when Hikaru goes to college. It may be more mature.
Only the Ring Finger Knows by Satoru Kannagi and Hotaru Odagiri, Published by Digital Manga Publishing 1 volume, rated 16+
Short Description: At Wataru Fujii's high school, it's all the rage to wear paired rings with the girl you love. Wataru wears one though he is single, and one day inadvertently discovers that his ring pairs up with that of tall, handsome and smart Yuichi Kazuki, the senior classman idolized by the entire school. Though Kazuki has a reputation for being kind to all, when dealing with Wataru, he is strangely harsh. Their paired rings somehow draw them together and the two alternately clash and attract, as they must sort out their budding feelings for each other.
My Comments: This one was angsty. Which is not a bad thing. It just surprised me. Theres a lot of angst between the two main characters, which was caused by Kazuki being so cruel to Wataru. It makes Watarus life miserable. Sure it all works out, after much dialogue and inner monologues. This is very much a talky manga. Thats not to say the art isnt there its good. Shows off how pretty the boys are. ^_~ Also this is more of a Boys Love than Yaoi since all they do is kiss at the end.
I have friends who read yaoi and like it, but I never understood the attraction myself. I have skimmed through some yaoi manga before and didn't find it particularly interesting. So my question is, why do you like yaoi? What makes you want to read it?
I hope I don't sound anti-yaoi in any way; I'm simply curious about what draws readers towards this particular genre.
Well hopefully I can help contribute some to this thread since yaoi is where I got my start in doing scanlations. I am familar with most of the titles of you presented and a heck of a lot more.
I've read stuff from the light and very non-graphic Only the Ring Finger knows to the hardcore and intensly graphic Undergrand Hotel which makes Level C look tame by comparison.
I would have to say my favorite yaoi title is Haru wo Daiteita by Youka Nitta. It's a very long (for a yaoi series) running series and is currently still being serialized in B Boy Phoenix. Scanlations are released through chapter 44 with chapters 45 & 46 unscanlated as yet but published. The art work is great and the story is very touching. There are 2 OVA's with a third on the way titled Winter Cicada which is one of the more touching arcs in the story. This manga is plenty graphic at times so it's not for those that want things mostly left to the imagination. It's also not your typical Seme/Uke story as there are times when Iwaki-san and Kaito switch roles. This story does have a plot and that plot keeps me wanting more. Here are a couple of covers and a pic all very tame behind spoiler tags.
Plot Summary: Life reflects art for Iwaki and Katou, two adult film stars who are considering retirement from their sordid careers. However, when theyre invited to audition for a new erotic film, they realize that this may be their last chance to achieve mainstream success. Unfortunately, things sour quickly when the director asks them to make love to each other and determine who will get the lead role. What follows next is romance, and passionate sex that will alter their careers.
@deceptivesmirk: I can't say for sure what attracts me to yaoi aside from the fact I'm very comfortable with the topic of sexuality in most of its forms. A number of my male friends are gay and it's been that way since I was in highschool. One thing that the yaoi genre does is show males who are more intune with there feminine side and I think for some women this might be part of the attraction since in the everyday world men are taught to hold that part of themselves in, at least in the country I live in. And you don't sound anit-yaoi to me. I've seen anti-yaoi in some of its more nasty forms and your question is not that at all.
Yeah, I've found that girls enjoy being with men who are comfortable with their sexuality. That applies not only to gay people but also straight people as well. I'm not a fan of yaoi manga per se because I'm not especially interested in same-sex romance to start with, but if it's good writing and good story, and involves a dynamic relationship of any sort, I can see why people might enjoy them. It's for that same reason I don't mind trying out any manga as long as it has good characters and a decent plot. And especially, good art.
Sorry for not posting earlier, being the yaoi fan that I am. Shame on me! Maybe it's because I have to keep it clean and find that difficult. Just kidding!
I guess I'll contribute by saying which titles I own:
Yellow Vol 1-2 (didn't grab me in the end, too cliched and predictable)
Antique Bakery Vol 1 (couldn't stand this manga. Very cheesy and boring).
Only the Ring Finger Knows (good story, hated the art)
Our Kingdom Vol 1-2 (great story, some genuine surprises, reasonably well developed characters, reasonably interesting side characters, and fantastic sexual tension between them)
Desire - Excellent. The best yaoi manga I own. Gripping story. Very edgy. Some violence. Beautiful art - boys are drawn in proportion. LOTS of sexual tension. LOTS of conflict and angst.
Loveless Vol 1-3 (F**king amazing. Any yaoi or shonen-ai fan shouldn't just consider reading this; they must read it! Deserves its own in-depth review. Excellent anime as well.)
Peacemaker Kurogane Vol 1-4 of the manga - 26 episodes of the anime (manga is good, anime is brilliant)
Fake Vol 1-7 (classic shonen-ai police story. It's good)
I own more, but that's all I've time to post for now. At least I've made my mark in this thread at last!
I prefer the softer Shonen-ai or BL. Mangas or animes I like are :
Kyou Kara Maou
Descendents of Darkness
I prefer Yaoi/Shounen-ai titles with good plots ^^;
The ones I always recommend:
- Love Mode (Yaoi)
- Koori no Mamono no Monogatari (Shounen-ai)
Both manga art is considered to be above average and has very moving plots that will make your eyes roll with tears ;_________;
I think Yaoi is start from coterie manga for women's fantasy.
But now, Yaoi is separated genre. I enjoy some of them sometimes.
I like "cruel god dominte."(I don't know English's title
I have recently seen a Japanese drama, My Neighbour 801-chan, on a Chinese 'you-tube' website. 801 sounds close to 'Yaoi ' in Japanese. It is a comedy about a Fujoshi, 801-chan who is a fanatic of Yaoi stuff, and her relationship with her boyfriend. I heard that this manga is very popular too, has anyone seen it?
Woohoo Yaoi all the way!!! Explore the Fantasies of the mind
So far the only Shonen Ai I like was Kyou Kara Maou. I generally avoid any manga/anime labelled shonen-ai/yaoi. >.<
^ Amendments to the above post.
I suppose I've embraced shonen-ai, rather unexpectedly. An influence from a fren who's a hardcore. So I eventually gave it a shot and after watching gravitation and junjo romantica, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
I'm even looking forward to Antique Bakery anime that's coming out soon. (didn't read the manga though)
Last edited by Azurel; June 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM.
Actually I didn't like Antique Bakery (the manga). I stopped at the first volume because, honestly, I thought it was boring. Sorry! The anime might just be a bit better though.