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Happy Birthday kispexi2!

I hope you're having a wonderful birthday. kispexi-san!

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chomiji
May. 6th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)

My Mr. reads the manga, although it's vaguely disheartening to hear them summed up as "pretty funny"!

I'm glad it was a good birthday!

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chomiji
May. 6th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)

He's so funny with some of the manga I get! I had left Antique Bakery in the bathroom. I don't know if you're familiar with that one - it's basically a witty soap opera about 4 men running a French pastry shop in Tokyo. The chief pastry chef is a "gay of demonic charm" (actually, he's a complicated character who seduces other men as a means of filling the emptiness he feels inside), and the Mr. once commented that it was nothing but "guys making eyes at each other." But he read all 4 volumes anyway ... .

As long as a story has some decent plot to it, I think he can appreciate most of them on some level. The only one that's completely put him off thus far, I think, is the teeny-bopper-ish one I got purely because one of my LJ friends did the script, and I wanted to support her. And he lost interest in Fruits Basket fairly quickly. But there are times that I get fed up with Fruits Basket myself!

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smillaraaq
May. 7th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Hee, and AB really isn't even that much of a yaoi-fest, either -- aside from Ono, two of the guys are totally straight, one seems to be bi; and their love lives are really only one strand of the plot. It's as much about friendship and dealing with the ghosts of the past, and lavish foodporn, as anything else.

(Now, the manga-ka has also done her own post-series "official" doujinshi, and those are a very different story indeed so far as the proportion of BL content goes. *fans self*)

Oh, and belated birthday greetings! :)
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chomiji
May. 7th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)

Have you read Fake - which we're pitching to avierra in my Shaman Warrior thread-snarl down-LJ - ? It's a short (7-volume) BL series about a pair of cops in (a rather fantasized) New York City. Dee is an openly, cheerfully bi guy who instantly develops a crush on his new partner, shy, half-Japanese Randy. Most of the story is about their developing relationship both as partners and (at the very, very end) lovers. The UST simmers along nicely and makes the final scenes pack a lot of punch.

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smillaraaq
May. 7th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
FAKE is a big favorite of mine, but even as a fangirl of the manga I never give the OVA more than a half-hearted recommendation; it's pretty faithful to the characterization and plot of the second book, even if the animation is a little crude. But the big problem is really that it's just that single disjointed storyline taken out of context, and the real appeal of the series is watching how their friendship and attraction develops over time; you don't get to see the funny, awkward beginning, the slow growth of trust and revelations about the past, and the eventual steamy, emotional conclusion.

Speaking of new manga, do I remember rightly that you're a Viewfinder fan? I *just* got sucked into Yamane's Crimson Spell (and have been pimping it out madly to Cho and others), and I'm loving the art and characterization enough that I'm quite curious about her other work...if rather disheartened over the dire things I'm hearing about the availability of the Finder books in English.

(As far as stretching the ol' manga budget goes, have you seen Bookmooch already? I've been very happily clearing old stuff off my shelves and getting test bites of new stuff there, and there's definitely quite a bit of manga in circulation on the site, and a lot of members in the UK if you want to avoid the extra expense of international shipping!
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smillaraaq
May. 7th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, yeah, I've mostly been ignoring mine for years because they've tended to be unhappy occasions. Bah.

And I'm with you on being of two minds of the explicit-vs.-subtext debate; they've really both got their merits, and I've got favorites on both sides of the fence. Subtext-only is much more inspiring for fanworks, IMO, since you have so much more imaginative room to play with without fear of contradicting canon; but at the same time it can just be so deeply satisfying to see a favorite couple get together in canon when there's been a long buildup of UST and subtext to ramp up that delicious tension.

And the tension is definitely a major factor for me, too, in what series I like; even in something like Crimson Spell or Under Grand Hotel where the sex starts pretty much in the first chapter or so, there's still huge amounts of tension over whether it means anything, unspoken emotional content, misunderstandings, and so forth; there's still plenty of unresolved tension to keep the plot spinning, even if it's mostly not UST!

(But I'm a real sucker for the UST when it's done well, too. One of my favorite series has been in somewhat-irregular publication for over thirty years at this point, with the pursuit and tension between the boys still cheerfully unresolved...)
chomiji
May. 8th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)

(Hee, your birthday's about a week after mine, lion-child - that should make it easy to remember! For the last several years mine have been mainly celebrated along with Kat's hubby's, up in Cape Cod, because his is a couple of days before mine. So we eat out, share a Kat-made, girls-decorated cake, and exchange a gift or two each direction. It's low-key but pleasant.)

smillaraaq
May. 8th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Same date as Robert Plant and H.P. Lovecraft, which seems strangely fitting in a twisted sort of way.

Mine have, for reasons of plot, tended to be dull, lonely and disappointing at best, with a few actively traumatic ones at the worst; I could count the actual happy ones and have plenty of fingers left over, and that's even with including the ones in infancy that I can't actually remember. At this point I pretty much just warn people in advance that I'm likely to be moody and withdrawn to the point of vanishing outright for much of the whole damn month. *sigh*
chomiji
May. 9th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)

Well, we should just be back from Cape Cod that week ... I probably can't be prevented from at least sending you a card. But we could also take you out for supper that following weekend ... or I could just come hang out and bring some goodies ... that sort of thing. Think about it, anyway. Remember, it's never too late to have a happy childhood. Or to wipe out some lousy memories with some better ones.

> hugs! <

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smillaraaq
May. 8th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)
Unresolved Emotional Tension is great too. But it has to be logical/reasonable. Like say, if the lovers have vastly different agendas that keep them in conflict. Arguing for arguing's sake gets boring very quickly.

Yes, yes, yes! It's always so frustrating when ficcers (or published authors, for that matter) throw in really unbelievable misunderstandings or complications to try to keep the tension high; it's far too easy for that sort of thing to feel artificial and forced if the misunderstanding doesn't stem in part from the characters' own personalities...

You know I have to ask ... what is it? Cuz it sounds delicious!

Ah, that's one of my favorite crackfest comedic BL titles, and the same one I'm dreadfully worried will get dropped before the series is done because it's so old-school and odd: Yasuko Aoike's From Eroica With Love It's also one I've mentioned before in our discussions of the "balancing" tendency in fic -- the canon here is quite campy and cracktastic at times, and even when the characters are getting caught up in Cold War spy plots where their lives are at risk, the comedic elements are never far away -- so of course there are a TON of fanworks that just pile on the angst and darkness like crazy.

It's a very fun title, and if you aren't put off by the dated 70s-shojo style (which is considerably toned down in Aoike-sensei's more recent work, but this *did* start publication in 1976, and oh does it ever show) it's well worth picking up if you like your BL heavy on the UST and cracky comedy. If that sounds interesting enough to sample, I can point you at a couple of different communities where you can get low-rez scanlations for a taste, covering the entire series; the official English versions are fairly well done and well worth supporting, but the scans of the early volumes are a good way to see if the story and characters will click with you or not (and the official English releases are coming out so slowly that the scanlations are also pretty damn helpful in keeping up with the more recent stuff, as at this rate it'll be years before CMX is caught up with the Japanese storyline...)
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chomiji
May. 7th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)

I liked the first part of DeathNote, but L was my favorite character, so you know at which point I thought the whole thing went south! Since then, I've only read a few volumes - just enough to understand telophase's many snarky Mello references and icons. My favorite icon of hers:

AB is nice, but very different from most of the manga I've enjoyed, which are generally fantasies of some sort. And it ended after only 4 volumes ...   >sob<

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smillaraaq
May. 7th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not too worried about Saiyuki since by all accounts it's one of TokyoPop's top sellers, and probably got a boost here in the states by the anime running on a cable channel last year (hey, it's what sucked me in to the series!) But I know what you mean, I've had several more obscure favorites end up in limbo partway through their run, and I live in fear that other oddball titles like From Eroica With Love will end up the same way.

Death Note I've only been casually watching the anime as it's broadcast here, so I'm not up to any of the Mello stuff. It's definitely struck me so far as the sort of thing you watch more with your head, for the cat-and-mouse puzzles and watching the plot play out, where the characters are more apt to be interesting than likeable; but from the anime version, at least, it's been interesting enough for me to watch as it comes around, but not interesting enough to drive me to seek out more. I'd probably read it if it all fell in my lap, but I'm not at the point of spending money or even book-swapping points on it when there's so much else that I'm vastly more intrigued by out there...
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smillaraaq
May. 8th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
Not yet, on the LD front -- CLAMP's been on my to-do list for ages, but other than the RG Veda and XXXholic OVAs I haven't really dipped my toes in yet.

Purely plot-driven, I can deal with quite happily when I'm in the right mood -- that appeals to the same side of my brain that quite enjoys mysteries, even when they don't grab me emotionally, just to watch the plot spin out. But that's perhaps my near-even split on the T/F axis talking! ;)
chomiji
May. 9th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)

Yes - I loved Legal Drug! And like you, I preferred the older couple - the owner and his hunky bodyguard/houseman. If you look at my writeup there, sanada has a couple of comments on why it stopped - she reads enough Japanese to keep up with the manga industry press (she also does some scanlations).

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chomiji
May. 8th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)

Light is evil, evil, evil. L reminded me of a lot of brainy, not-quite-there-socially guys I knew. In fact, I have a couple of his tics myself, although nowadays I can usually control my temptation to build towers out of coffee creamers and such ... .

The only thing I could see sinking Saiyuki is Minekura's health. It's enough to make one want to try some sympathetic magic, to keep her vigorous and drawing.

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