Why I Love Boys Love

Okay. Has anyone ever heard the term “fujoshi?” No? It’s a term in Japanese that’s given to a female otaku in the yaoi fandom and it pretty much just means that you like boy/boy love. (yaoi = boys love with sexual intimacy in most cases). Akidearest on YouTube explains it in a really fun way, but basically: I am a fujoshi. (Also, if you’re a male who likes the boy/boy love, the name for that is fudanshi.)

Now a lot of what I’m going to talk about is related to manga series as most of the boys love that I read is in manga or comic form, but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy it in anime/movie/novel/life forms, either, because I do and it’s adorable and just I love it, okay?

But why is it that I think these things? I remember being introduced to yaoi back in my early high school days. I tried to resist as best I could with my friends, but I very barely got sucked into it. I wasn’t super into it in the way some of my friends were, but I still thought it was cute (and hot). There would be a seme (more masculine, alpha type) and an uke (more feminine, flamboyant type), a very basic plotline, and then sometimes sex, other time angst, and other times kissing. It was all very intriguing to me, but at the same time I wasn’t super into it then like I am now.

I honestly don’t know how it happened recently, but at some point this year, I read a yaoi and… well…

Goodbye normal life.

Hello fujoshi life.

Oh, let me also make it clear that I also do enjoy yuri and shoujo-ai (girl/girl love) and think that both kinds are cute (and hot), but I’ve been wicked into yaoi a lot more recently.

I got hooked on one yaoi, then another, and another, and eventually I found myself craving reading them. I couldn’t stop! And I started finding ones with better plots and more complex characters (and other times I was just looking for the sexy things or just a simple plot). And oh man, I have loved almost every second of it. Of course I’ve had to dig through the not so great ones to find the better ones, but many of the ones I’ve read have been to my taste.

So I want to talk about some of the manga and comics/webtoons that I’ve read that feature a shounen-ai or yaoi premise and that I highly recommend to you all.

Comics

attheendoftheroad

At the End of the Road by Haribo – After a car accident, Taemin finds himself in the body of Siwon, a victim of bullying at school. No longer a pushover, he starts standing up for himself but then meets Woojin, an old friend from the past. Somehow, Woojin immediately picks up Tamin’s ‘scent’ from Siwon. What happened between these two in the past and how will it affect their future?

Oh. My. Goodness. The art style is very good and the colors are simple but drive the emotions, and the story? So complex! And sad in some bits, and enraging in others, and funny in others, too. This is an ongoing series and I need to know what happens next and I need them to kiss more and omgomgomg.

outofcontrol

Out of Control by Bboong – Yuri, one of the school’s most handsome guys, and Jaerim, one of the school’s ugliest, collide! Or don’t they… Can’t understand what’s going on between these two! It’s out of control!

This comic is hilarious. So hilarious. But also sweet and dramatic sometimes? I’m really enjoying it, to say the least. It’s completed and I have just several more episodes to go before I finished, but I also don’t want it to end!

kingsmaker

King’s Maker by Haga / Artist: Kang Jiyoung – Wolfgang Goldenleonard, the 4th Prince of the kingdom, returns to the palace after years of living in hiding. He rejects everything about his new royal life, but is intrigued by the mysterious and dutiful Shin Soohyuk, a catamite of the King. As Wolfgang slowly opens up and learns the ways of the palace, Soohyuk begins to see something special about the wild, unkempt, and stubborn young prince. He might just be the one Soohyuk has been waiting for… the one who could light the flame of rebellion.

I love this comic so much. It’s probably my favorite that I’ve listed so far. The art is beyond gorgeous, and though there’s not any romance yet, I’m anticipating the moment they get together. There are some sadder and more disturbing parts, but overall it’s super funny and very interesting. Definitely recommend you checking out the free episodes.

Webtoons

crushed

Crushed!! by Himalyaa – A boys love triangle story.

Okay, that’s a very very vague and basic premise to this story. It’s got three guys whose views we cycle through: Crush (the one pictured), Scott, and Reuben. Crush is very openly gay, he’s on the hockey team with Scott and Reuben, and he enjoys sex. A lot. And Reuben is realizing his feelings for Crush (whom he’s had sex with), and Scott has a secret crush on Crush (whom he’s also had sex with) and there’s just a lot of love triangle drama stuff, but it’s also funny, and it’s steamy. Oh my. Definitely NSFW, but it’s so good!

Manga

hatsukoi

Hatsukoi by Kazuki Rai – Hirono Yuusa always believed he was special and destined for greatness–until tragedy struck in his final year of middle school. Now, jaded and disillusioned, he’s completely given up on ever trying to be anything more than ordinary. But when he starts to notice classmate Himekawa Ichigo struggling to do his best against all odds, he can’t help but want to cheer him on.

This is a doujinshi manga, which means it takes characters from other anime or manga series and throws them into different situations or worlds and gives them new plots, and this one in particular is based on the characters Kageyama and Hinata from the manga/anime Haiyuu!! And OMG this series so far? FREAKIN’. AWESOME. Like, I need the next chapters to be translated now because I need to see more cuteness and just… omg my babies I love this series so, so much.

kokorocontrol.jpg

Kokoro Control by Kazuki Rai – Kageyama can no longer focus around Hinata because of his unspoken feelings, and his volleyball suffers for it–so Hinata agrees to do absolutely anything to help get Kageyama back on his game…

Another doujinshi about Hinata and Kageyama and I HIGHLY recommend this one! It’s so cute, slightly steamy but not too steamy, angsty, and just has so much goodness in it that I can’t recommend it enough. Seriously, check this one out if you can because it’s really good.

ruttatokodama

Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko – Rutta changed from a delinquent to a nice guy because of his new roommate, Miyagi Kodama. Kodama was unsure of his own feelings after Rutta’s confession. After seeing Rutta’s injuries caused from excessive fighting, Kodama finally decided to face the truth and accepted him.

This one is a sometimes steamy yaoi with lots of cute goings on as well as funny and serious moments. It’s a more light hearted manga despite some of what goes on, but I really love it. I think I just love the “looks super scary but is actually nice” guy and the “looks like he could get overtaken by a grandma” guy pairing. xD


I think that’s good to start you off with some boys love stuff. I could go on and on and recommend more steamy things and whatnot, but I figured these aren’t too bad… Kinda. Haha!

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Do you read boys love novels/manga/whatever? Why do you like the pairings? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know!

Saga & Rat Queens Comics Reviews

Today I’m going to be reviewing three comic books! I didn’t want to keep them in their own posts because the reviews are kind of short.

sagavol6Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series: Saga vol. 6
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 152
Format: Purchased Paperback

After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series continues to evolve, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life: kindergarten. Meanwhile, her starcrossed family learns hard lessons of their own.

Compiles issues #31-36

In this volume we got to see Hazel grown up a little bit as she enters kindergarten. And it’s not exactly a picnic for her either considering all of the crap she’s been through and the fact that even though she’s with her grandmother, they’re still in jail, pretty much.

I enjoyed this volume because we got to see progress of Alana and Marko coming together to rescue their child, of Hazel’s teacher wanting to help Hazel when she reveals her wings to the teacher, and more on other side characters.

I thought that this volume really started to pique my interest again because I’m excited to see where the story goes next with all of the fun surprises that happened at the end, plus a little bit of happiness for the family.

It wasn’t the best volume, but I still enjoyed it and give it 4/5 stars.


ratqueen1Title: Rat Queens, Vol 1 Sass & Sorcery
Series: Rat Queens vol 1
Author: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Illustrator: Roc Upchurch
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Fantasy
Pages: 128
Format: Purchased Paperback

Who are the Rat Queens?

A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.

It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

Collecting Rat Queens #1-5!

This comic had a lot of buzz floating around it and I can definitely see why. The illustrations are absolutely lovely and detailed, even if the story in this first volume felt very jumbled to me.

There are four women who are part of the Rat Queens, a group of people who kill others for a living protecting the town: Hannah, Dee, Betty, and Violet. Each one has their own distinct personality, which I picked up on right away and appreciated, and each one brings their own abilities to the group. I found that, as a group, they all worked well together and did what was necessary to achieve their goals.

Despite that, I wasn’t super comfortable with the amount of profanities in this novel. It’s actually really obnoxious because for almost all of the characters they have some profane word to say almost every other word and definitely in every sentence, which I felt took away from the main point of the story.

I also felt that the story was kind of jumbled and hard to follow at times, because the sequences didn’t really fade out smoothly all that often, but when they did I found that I liked it more.

Other than that, I really did enjoy it. I thought that this volume was definitely more of an introduction into who the characters are and just what they’re meant to do.

I rate this volume 4/5 stars.

ratqueens2Title: Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth
Series: Rat Queens vol 2
Publication Date: May 6, 2015
Pages: 128
Format: Purchased Paperback

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far.

Collects RAT QUEENS #6-10

I’m going to admit: I definitely liked this volume a lot more. The plot really picked up and I didn’t feel that it was as jumbled and all over the place as the last one, plus we got to see a bit of back story for some of the characters due to an evil squid. Yeah. Seriously.

The characters are all trying to figure out just who was really behind their attempted assassinations, and even though they’re given a name, they didn’t know the severity of their situation. This volume packed in a lot of story and action, and though a few sequences had me confused, I felt that it was all very smooth and much easier to follow.

I really like that we got to have a little bit more of an in depth look at Dee, who ran away from her home and religion to find answers in the world, and how what is happening in this volume encompasses her religion entirely. It was interesting to see how she dealt with the issue and that she used logic and a sound mind to go through with it all.

Again, there were a few things in the story that I didn’t appreciate, but it’s more of a preference and whatnot (drug use and the profanities again), but I really did appreciate getting to see a bit more of where Hannah and Violet came from before they were in the Rat Queens.

I rate this volume 4/5 stars.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Outside Our Comfort Zone

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. This week’s topic is about the books that we’ve read outside of our comfort zone, or what we usually read. So the types of books I usually read are fantasy – adult and YA – and YA contemporaries. Those are the main types of books in which I read, and of course there are subgenres within those that fall out of what I normally do, but here I’m going to talk about a few books I’ve read (and some I haven’t finished) that fall out of my comfort zone.

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinder

This YA sci-fi book is very popular with a lot of people, and I thought it was okay at best. I really wanted to get into it because I love the idea of mixing sci-fi with fairytale retellings, but this first book just didn’t really do it for me, but I did still enjoy it. I do enjoy reading sci-fi books, but I don’t do it often and I want to change that.

4. Saga by Brian K Vaughan

sagavol1

This comic book series definitely falls out of my comfort zone because even though I’m a manga fanatic, I’ve never read a comic book series before. I may have dabbled here and there on them before, but this is the only comic book series that I’ve actually invested myself in – and I love it! Comics are very similar to manga in that they tell a story through pictures, but they’re very different because they’re generally smaller volumes, bright, colorful art throughout, and all of the art styles differ in some way. Not to say that manga isn’t the same, but the color aspect is definitely different.

3. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

myladyjane

Now I do enjoy reading historical fiction novels and period pieces, but I’ve never read a YA historical comedy retelling. It’s a mouthful, but it was such a fun book! I felt like the authors did a wonderful job not only retelling the story of Lady Jane, the nine day queen, and then incorporating their own twists and magical elements to the mix. It made for a fascinating, wonderful story about awkward teens in the 1600s.

2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy

thedeal

I’ve never read a New Adult story before, and as this series was my first in that genre, I’m really glad to have picked it up. Sure, it’s got a lot (A LOT) of sex, but it also has a story around it and I felt like I was becoming very invested in the characters. I haven’t really heard much about the NA genre except that it’s college aged kids, lots of sex, and drama. I mean, that does kind of sum it up, but I’m sure that there is more out there that’s different and explores more. This series definitely made me interested to read more in the NA genre.

1 . Asylum by Madeleine Roux

asylum

It’s a horror novel. I hate horror. I haven’t finished reading this book, but I started it a while ago for a readathon and I just… I can’t. I want to finish it, I do, but horror is just not something I’m comfortable with watching or reading (unless I’m in a weird mood). The thing is, I’m really interested to see what happens in the book but the pacing and story are creepy, and then the pictures inside it? Forget, I can’t.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What kinds of books fall out of your comfort zone? Have you read any that fall into mine? What kinds of books do you want to explore that you don’t normally read? What’s stopping you?

Saga Volumes 1-5 Review

sagavol1Title: Saga, Volume 1
Series: Saga volume #1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Pages: 160
Format: Purchased Paperback

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collects Saga issues #1-6.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I went into this graphic novel series, but I was quickly captured by it. The story of two races who are at war with one another, and one from each side who falls in love and have a child together, is not an uncommon story, but the way Vaughan weaves it alongside the beautiful illustrations of Staples makes it a spectacular story.

I thought that the art itself was beautiful in each volume, capturing the essence of the story while giving just enough to understand the emotions being emitted or the situation at hand.

Alana, the female heroine, is kind of a hot mess. She’s fiercely protective of her child and she loves her husband, Marko, very much and would die for either of them. She’s a headstrong woman, very sarcastic, and she knows how to kick ass.

Marko, the male heroine, is a solider who vows to never use violence again – it can overtake him and control him rather than him being in control. He loves his family intensely and would do anything for them.

I think that these two, along with several other that we meet along the way, are what makes this story incredibly unique and engaging. And in just the first book I was whisked away with feelings of surprise, sorrow, joy, and so much more.

I will say, though, that this comic series is not for an underage audience. I’d definitely recommend being 17+ when reading this series. There is explicit sexual content as well as graphic violence and language, so just remember that going into this series.

I highly recommend this comic series and I give the first volume 5/5 stars.

sagavol2Title: Saga, volume 2
Series: Saga volume #2
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Pages: 168
Format: Purchased Paperback

From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet… grandparents.

Collects Saga issues #7-12

I think this second volume really just made the series better. The plot is thickening as the family races into space to escape a lot of people who were hunting after them (not that that’s going to stop them from hunting them) when they have to rescue one of the ones who came on board with them while Marko deals with issues with his mother.

Not only that, we get more backstory into some of the characters’ pasts and why and how they got to be where they are. I think this is a crucial element to the story and one that I really enjoyed.

The Will (yes, that’s his character name) is a freelancer, someone who hunts people for a price, and he’s after Alana, Marko, and Hazel. But when he arrives on Sextillion for a little side trip looking for a good time (you know what I mean), he is given to a young girl – Slave Girl – who is six years old – and he is not okay with that. He wants to rescue the girl but ends up getting kicked out before he has a chance to. I think that The Will has a lot of potential in him for either good or bad, and I’m really interested to see where his choices take him.

I think that Slave Girl is very shy at the beginning and she’s quick to please. I think that partially comes with age and the fact that she was thrust into a very sexual world. But she doesn’t let anyone touch her in that way, at least not from what we’ve seen so far.

And then we meet Gwendolyn and she’s just all about the revenge on her ex. Very fierce woman.

I really enjoyed this volume and thought it was better than the last. 5/5 stars.

sagavol3Title: Saga, volume 3
Series: Saga volume #3
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Pages: 144
Format: Purchased Paperback

From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Collects issues 13-18.

Man, the plot just keeps getting more intense as the family is still on the run from pretty much everyone in the universe. Not only do they have their own people after them, but now the Robot Kingdom is after them, too.

There were some plot twists I didn’t see coming in this book. Plus I don’t like seeing relationships become severed over stupid things, but I understand that there’s a lot of tension going around and all of that.

There’s more and more characters being introduced, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of. As the story progresses, though, we really see more of just who and what these characters are about and what they’re willing to fight for.

I will say, though, that all of the sexual references and content I can do without. It doesn’t all have to be eliminated, just toned down a bit.

I still really enjoyed this volume, though, and I give it 5/5 stars.

sagavol4Title: Saga, Volume 4
Series: Saga volume #4
Publication Date: December 17, 2014
Format: Purchased Paperback

From the Eisner Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Pride of Baghdad) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thor, SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.

The family is trying to keep a low profile on a new planet as they try to make a living for themselves in this volume. Though there are a lot of struggles and a lot of bad choices made in this volume, there are some good choices made, too, but it still doesn’t stop from what the characters decide to do.

I think this was a good edition to the series, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. I was disappointed in the decisions that Alana was making, as well as Marko, but I think that it was a learning experience for both of them to see how strong they are working together rather than trying to get through things apart.

And Hazel’s growing up! So cute!

Of course there are still people are them, and then there’s even kidnapping involved in this volume. Lots of things going on, that’s for sure.

I enjoyed this volume and gave it 4.5/5 stars.

sagavol5Title: Sage, Volume 5
Series: Saga volume #5
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Format: Purchased Paperback

Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies. Collects Saga #25-30.

This one was just so much action going on and so many “what’s going to happen” gripping moments that I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. This volume had a lot more fear involved on the part of the parents, but it also had a lot of strength as well as fragility.

Yes, some of the characters keep making mistakes, or decide to do the wrong thing, but they do learn from them and I think that’s the most important part.

The plot in this one was following three separate stories that would all eventually come together, minus one of them, but it was still an important plot point nonetheless.

I think that this volume was a good edition, but it wasn’t my favorite. I am sad about what happens to a couple of characters and I’m happy with a few others, but I’m also really sad that I have to wait for the next volume to come out to see what happens next! Gah!

I rated this volume 4.5/5 stars.

So far, I’m really enjoying this comic book series as it’s also the first comic series I’ve ever read. The story is gripping and it’ll leave you wanting more. The art style is also really beautiful and it really helps to pull the story together. Just remember: for mature audiences.

Accompanying video: Saga Volumes 1-5 Review