Yaoi Obsession

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Oh Geez! Totoro demonstrates how my baby sister looked when I caught her watching one of my yaoi hentai vids again!

The Day My Baby Sister Got a Surprise: a Preface of sorts to YAOI for Newbies

One very rainy Sunday afternoon, our parents and I were away on a day trip to check out a school I wanted to go to. This was many moons ago. Prior to our indoctrination into the world of YAOI, both my sister and I were very heavily entrenched into #anime and manga and when I finally got my license, we would make the weekly mecca to our local comic book store on Saturdays to see what came in. Back in the 1990s both manga and anime were beginning to see a surge of product coming in, however not everything was seeing its way to the US AND not all of it was getting translated or subtitled into English; at least not until the mid to late 1980’s. We needed to rely on our local comic book store for only a mere smattering of titles to choose from. Neither of us had a computer and until 1995 there was no internet. When we could, a group of us would make the long trip into NYC to the big sci-fi conventions to prowl around in the huge dealer rooms to get our anime or manga fix. I almost hate to confess this now, but most of my early anime collection was comprised mainly of bootleg VHS tapes and Japanese Laserdiscs. But back then, getting bootlegged copies was the only way we had to get some of the more obscure anime titles, like the earlier Mobile Suit Gundam series, Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City Urotsukidouji, and a whole slew of others. The internet helped tremendously in getting information on a lot of titles that were popular in Japan. But still much of what I was getting was not in English, at least not at that time. To make a long story short. It was through a random search on Google that I stumbled upon YAOI and shounen-ai, which was a sub-genre that comprised of very idealized male-male homoerotic, or homo-romantic anime and manga that was geared more toward a female audience, though there are some guys that get into this genre as well.

True to personal form I didn’t believe in just dipping a toe in to test the water. In true fujoshi style, I jumped in with both feet and watched for my first #yaoi anime, Legend of the Blue Wolves (aka, Legend of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). By the time I finished watching this one, I was in a curled up ball in my bed, crying my eyes out. I’ve experienced my fair share of anime death and the sorrow it brings to the audience when a favorite character “bites the hack” is just as devastating, the heart-break just as tangible, as any live-action tearjerker I’ve ever seen. But from what I’ve seen so far within the genre, there’s only two choices of endings available to a writer of yaoi/shounen-ai ending for a typical Yaoi/tanbi-style story: a sort-of happy for now or an all out tragic ending, a la Shakespeare where death to either one of the characters or both of them occurs. It’s a vastly different story outcome from the usual romance trope where the characters get to live happily ever after.  Well, as they say, the rest is history. And on that rainy Sunday afternoon, while I wasn’t home to supervise my little sister’s viewing, she found my copy of Legend of Blue Wolves and she watched it. When I got home several hours later, I actually caught her watching it AGAIN for as she would report to me, for the fourth time! Her very kawaii face was red and stained with tears. When I asked her what was wrong, she tearfully replied to me: “How could you watch something so sad? When _____ fulfilled ______’s request and killed him with dagger he had given him before he left, I couldn’t stop crying.”  Awww, I thought. She didn’t mention anything about the sex scene the two characters had….. What thrilled me most about my sister’s experience was that it was not  very different from mine. We found these films and books out of curiosity about them, either through our own searches on the web or by word of mouth from other fans. With every new story we read or anime we watched, we immediately got hooked. It certainly didn’t take much for us. There is so many titles out there, how does one possibly check out everything? It’s nearly impossible when new ones get released every day or month it seems. But if you’re new, where do you even start? It’s a valid question and I have often asked myself that question as well so if anyone were to ask me my opinion, I would be able to give them a well-informed answer. I just plowed forward, blindly, searching out those titles that were considered by many to be notable and worth a look. I’ll try my best to present the more important titles to check out first, with personal recommendations of those that have proven to be stand-out titles within the genre.

The pieces of content I’ll be presenting on this page will serve as a guidebook of sorts intended for anyone who is brand-new to YAOI/shounen-ai and is curious to learn more about it. Though the series is more geared toward total newbies and will have them in mind, more experienced fujoshis can browse this section, too.

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