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Yaoi Review: Little Butterfly by Hinako Takanaga

September 30, 2006 | | Comments 12 |

Art and Character Design: Quite nice. Panels are clean and uncluttered. With traditional big eyes and narrow chins, the characters are cute and charmingly expressive. Every character has a unique look, with plenty of engaging and beautifully rendered close-ups of our heroes.

Characters: Our heroes: Kojima — a friendly, energetic high school student who puts the “g” in genki (or whatever kana that might be…) — and Nakahara, fellow student and brooding outcast, just waiting to be brought out of his sulky cocoon. As in a lot of yaoi, our main character, Kojima, is emotional and angst-filled — but unlike a lot of yaoi, the emotions that consume him are mainly love and warmth and the angst he experiences almost entirely comprises concern for the well-being of others. Nakahara, starts off as cold and even a little bitchy, but as his friendship with Kojima deepens, we not only gain understanding behind the reasons why, we get to enjoy watching him come out of his shell in a believable way. They are characters that are a delight to spend time with. And while we don’t learn a lot about the background characters, they still feel like real people who have their own stories.

Plot: Engaging and not your standard seme/uke fare. Kojima pursues Nakahara, trying with all his cheerful might to start up a friendship with this loner, only to get more than he bargained for when Nakahara returns the affection with romantic interest. As in Takanaga-sensei’s Challengers, the characters’ motivations are believable and there is very little false tension. Nakahara’s backstory of family abuse gives depth to the romance, raises the stakes and adds conflict and challenges in a way that feels realistic and compelling. The book is a page turner.

Romance: So incredibly sweet. Both of our heroes are (ultimately) likeable and lovable — and yet only with each other can they find what they need. You want these two to get together and when they do, all you can say is “awwww…”

Sex: OMG! Fully clothed on the mouth kissing! Hard-core under the covers snuggling! And one of the characters might even get a — gasp! — erection! (We can’t be 100% sure because all the book says is “I could feel Nakahara’s body was responding.”) Hide the kids and lock up Grandma, this book is hot!

Overall: Not a book to get for explicit sex, there is still lots and lots of sweet, physical affection contained in its panels. The guys are likable, the plot is interesting and the art is good — if smart and very, very sweet yaoi is your thing, you owe it to yourself to buy this book.

Rated by the publisher “For Mature Audiences 18+” for reasons that defy human understanding.

Read the full review below the fold:

Plot summary from the publisher’s website:

Kojima seeks to befriend the class outcast, and soon learns of Nakahara’s troubled family life – of his uncaring, abusive father and mentally unstable mother. As Kojima yearns to somehow comfort Nakahara, he gradually becomes aware that his feelings for the other boy arise from more than mere sympathy. When Nakahara declares his own romantic feelings for Kojima, their relationship becomes one of sexual exploration as they face their first steps into adulthood together.

Here’s some personal sharing: I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. While I do enjoy a tasty pastry or apple crisp every now and then, when I have a food craving, it’s almost never for dessert. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. But I make up for this lack of interest in sugary snacks with an incredible passion for sweet characters and romance. I just can’t seem to get enough of guy-on-guy affection and warmth and, while I make a lot of noise about liking clueless boys, in truth, it’s the sweet guys who capture my heart.

Thus, I decided to give another of Takanaga-sensei’s works a try — and, as you can tell, I was not disappointed. This book is from the June imprint of Digital Manga Publishing and the fit and finish are quite nice. It’s printed on high-quality newsprint with a dust jacket, the art is clean and the type is well laid out. (These ancient eyes especially appreciated the larger font in the word balloons.) And Sachiko Sato’s translation did a great job of conveying Takanaga-sensei’s wit and moments of poetic romance.

I do need to warn you, though, that the plot summary’s claim that “their relationship becomes one of sexual exploration” is very misleading as is the 18+ rating of this book. Now, I can understand a publisher wanting to err on the side of caution when it comes to putting out a comic — public opinion and the law tend to have a double standard when it comes to mature themes and sequential art here in the U.S. — but it’s a sad state of affairs when a publisher feels two guys hugging and kissing on the lips must be labeled “18 and over” while the video game industry is assured decapitation is just fine entertainment for minors. Perhaps the book gets a lot hotter later on as the trilogy continues, but really, I’ve seen spicier episodes of Cheers than what is shown here.

That said, if sweet affection rocks your boat, you will not be disappointed. Both the leads are good people with warm hearts and there are plenty of kisses and hugs throughout the book to keep you smiling. Even though Kojima’s initial interest in Nakahara at first seems superficial, the more we get to know these guys, the more worthy of each other’s love they seem. The obstacles thrown in the way of their romance make sense and rarely seem forced — or a product of annoying, narcissistic teen angst that can so often be used (in my opinion artificially) to create conflict.

Again, I never felt like Takanaga-sensei was insulting my intelligence. Easy conflicts that lesser writers would run with — a future plan being kept “secret” from Kojima; Nakahara’s dream threatened for the sake of a parent — get resolved quickly and realistically so we can be faced with more interesting developments. The characters, while believably young, feel as smart and capable as you or me, and thus they are easy to identify with.

Plot-wise, things flow smoothly. The chapter breaks feel satisfying yet make you want to keep reading. Plot twists happen at the right moments. Takanaga-sensei is a confident and skilled storyteller and even when she breaks a rule, such as telling not showing, it adds to our understanding as opposed to being a cop-out. For example, in narration, Kojima describes Nakahara as “eloquent, gentle and romantic” but only after we’ve first seen ample evidence of this with our own eyes. Compare that with Brother, which also makes use of narrated descriptions of characters, but there, instead of being a confirmation of what we have been shown, the author’s expects us to take her word for it and thus the technique merely feels like a shortcut to true characterization.

In the free talk section, Takanaga-sensei calls this work “a whole different flavor” from her comedies (and “close” to her heart). While it isn’t the laugh-a-page work Challengers is, her fine sense of humor and timing still shine through, and I found myself chuckling at least once a chapter. In general, there are so many warm feelings, warm characters, hugs and all around sweetness, it’s hard not to smile and chuckle your way through the story. This being my my second Takanaga-sensei book, I can’t help wondering if she doesn’t have the same sort of sweet tooth I do. I look forward to finding out.

It’s a charming feel-good book and, if you share my passion for extra sweet romance, you should definitely buy it.






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About the Author: Filmmaker by day, yaoi creator by night, Alex has dedicated himself to helping cute guys fight evil and find love.

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  1. nara says:

    I love Little Butterfly it's high on the 'squee' list.
    I think the logic behind the ratings is that parents fear that if straight teenagers are exposed to gay romance, then they'll become gay. Because when gay teenagers are exposed to straight romance they become…straight? ^_^ :shrugs: We live in a country where Harry Potter is one of the top ten books people want to ban.

  2. Yes, I suppose, LB is high on the "squeeable meter". 😉 As I said, I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff — at least when it is intelligently written.

    And I think the ratings are there for a lot of reasons. While I agree that there would be some parents who might fear the "gay conversion factor", I think it's a general fear of exposing kids to sexual situations that is at the base of this. And a fear of legal liability on the part of publishers and retailers that requires these kinds of ratings — a fear that is completely justified in this country, IMHO.

    Despite how sex-focused we are as a culture, we still have kept a lot of our Puritan values regarding sex. I find it very telling that only sexual content can fail the Miller Test and thus be labeled "obscene" and thus not considered "speech" protected by the First Amendment. ("Excretory" functions are also mentioned — and what parts of the body do they connect to?) You can show people being murdered in horrible ways and that is protected speech — show people making love and the government is well within their rights to punish you.

    Add in the evergreen "for the sake of the children" argument — and we all know that comic books are "just for kids" right? — and you have a legal climate that puts publishers and retailers in a very dangerous spot when it comes to publishing romantic comics. Yes, I do think that there's a bit of a double standard at play here — would DMP have labeled a work of hetero kissing and snuggling "18+"? I can't speak for them, but I imagine not.

    But then, I don't blame them in the least. They need to protect themselves and they need to protect the retailer. The legal threats are very real. When it comes time to publish my book, I know that I will err on the side of caution. I'd love to have it be "16+" but if there's even the possibility that a retailer could get in trouble for selling it to a 16 year old, it's not worth it.

    If this at all seems unfair to anyone reading this, I strongly recommend checking out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and ideally giving them some money. They are at the forefront of this battle, fighting to protect creators and retailers from very real threats. If you believe that comics shouldn't just be for kids, if you believe that it has the power to take on adult themes and subject matter in a compelling way, you should help these guys out.

  3. jen says:

    I know we talked about this a bit via e-mail, but when can I ever resist the opportunity to share my views? XD

    I wasn't so fond of Little Butterfly. There was nothing *wrong* with it per se, but it just felt like there was nothing *right* with it either. You say it's "not standard seme/uke fare," and I disagree.

    Granted, it's probably due to my background– being an anime fanatic for ten years leads to seeing a LOT of those too-sweet-and-cute-and-naive-to-be-true characters (be the male or female).

    And being an HP fanficaholic back in the day means that I have read more "Harry (or Draco) is an abused child who finds love and support with (insert character here) yay!" fanfics than you can shake a stick at it.

    Child abuse– emotional or physical, passive neglect or active hatred, whatever –is, in my mind, a classic contrivance for stirring up angst and pushing the abused character to their romantic couinterpart.

    There are titles who manage to use child abuse in a more different, engaging manner– for example, The Judged (released by DQ this year) talks about two orphans who were friends who were later separated; the abuse of one of them leads him to be desperate to cause trouble for the other once they're grown up.

    In Little Butterfly, they do manage to connect the abuse to the plot so that it isn't 100% pity plea, but I still wouldn't call it anything new or different…y'know?

    On a completely unrelated note:

    (In case the image doesn't show up– it's here.)

    Genki 😀 The first kanji is read "gen" and means origin, basis, or foundation. (The second is "ki" and it means spirit, mood, or feeling– like in "kimochii," "it feels good," or "ki o tsukete," "be careful.")

    </nerd> 😀

  4. Hey Jen,

    I know we talked about this a bit via e-mail, but when can I ever resist the opportunity to share my views? XD

    Opposing views are certainly welcome here. 🙂 For a different take on this book, I suggest readers check out Jen’s review directly at YaoiSuki.

    I wasn’t so fond of Little Butterfly. There was nothing *wrong* with it per se, but it just felt like there was nothing *right* with it either. You say it’s “not standard seme/uke fare,” and I disagree.

    I believe that you have a much wider breadth of experience with yaoi works than I do, so I won’t argue with whether we’ve seen this sort of pairing before. Here are the reasons I felt it was different from other brooding seme/perky uke books I’ve read:


    ***WARNING: SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS BELOW***

    When I think of seme/uke pairings, I think

    seme: initiator, aggressive, unemotional, the driving force behind the sexual encounters, the “top”

    uke: passive but ultimately receptive, emotional, the resistor to the sexual encounters, the “bottom”

    While these characters definitely evoke these roles, I found that, for me, they didn’t fit them.

    Even though Kojima is in some ways naive (and Nakahara is definitely brooding), it’s clear from the start that he is pursuing Nakahara out of sexual interest. Yes, he “doesn’t know it yet”, but with the frankly aggressive way he pursues the friendship, it’s clear what’s going on. During this time, Nakahara resists him, finding the unwanted advances “creepy.” The first third of the book has Kojima actively pursuing an intimate relationship with Nakahara, with Nakahara resisting — which for me blurs the line of Kojima being the “uke” here.

    Later on, yes, Nakahara is the first one to label his feelings as romantic, and after that reveal, Kojima avoids him for half a chapter. At this point, Nakahara does clearly want the relationship to be physical, Kojima seems not to — but Nakahara doesn’t push it (and in fact gives Kojima nothing but space) and, again, it is Kojima who tries to hunt Nakahara down to reconnect with him. When they do reconnect and spend the night together, Nakahara makes all the verbal noise about his romantic feelings, but seems ultimately willing to just be friends — and it is Kojima who gets out of his own bed of his own free will to initiate under the covers snuggles in Nakahara’s bed.

    True, Nakahara is able to admit “I’m in love with you”, Kojima isn’t as clear about his feelings as Nakahara, but they both initiate, with Kojima carrying the bulk of that load. They both work to be physical with each other and the closest we get to resistance to that from Kojima is a “Not that!” when their consensual making out goes too far for him. To me, that feels less like a “seme/uke” dynamic, and more of a “coming out” dynamic, with one partner clearer about his sexuality than the other.

    As for emotionality, yes, Kojima is slightly closer to tears, smiles and outbursts than Nakahara — but not by much. Both boys cry, pine for each other, smile often (once Nakahara has Kojima in his life), freak out and are each “gentle” souls. The personality differences that do exist seem to be just natural differences in character and life experience as opposed to a reiteration of the standard seme/uke script.

    These characters read to me as two boys with different life experiences, at different stages of coming out (but with a similar romantic nature) who are responding to their mutual attraction to one another. Yep, one is more cheerful, the other is darker; one’s blonde and shorter, the other’s dark haired and taller — but if that’s all it takes for a “standard seme/uke” relationship, then that description doesn’t seem all that, well, descriptive.

    In Little Butterfly, they do manage to connect the abuse to the plot so that it isn’t 100% pity plea, but I still wouldn’t call it anything new or different…y’know?

    Yeah, I can’t argue that the abuse subplot is groundbreaking stuff, either for yaoi or mainstream lit.

    It worked for me because, yes, it was connected to the plot and, as opposed to being a pity plea for the character, the author used it to show us how Nakahara was learning to grow out of the shadow of his parents and be his own person. His opportunity for growth in this story was the potential for him to overcome the darkness of his background — and with a little help from “true love” (this is a yaoi romance, after all), we are shown he’s starting to be able to do just that. If Takanaga-sensei used it as an excuse for Nakahara to randomly push Kojima away due to “intimacy issues”, that would have felt like false tension — we would know that if the book is to continue, eventually Nakahara would have to get over it. But here, the problems are still ongoing — we don’t know how they are going to play out, all we know is that Nakahara is going to try to be his own person in spite of his past and in spite of continuing pressure from his parents to tow the line. For me, that ups the stakes as opposed to being “a classic contrivance for stirring up angst.”

    So, while I could see how this book wouldn’t be for everyone — particularly those who’ve had enough of “super sunny ukes-who-don’t-know-it-yet and… dark, morbid semes-with-a-dark-past” — it still felt refreshingly different from what I’ve read before, particularly from this publisher. (*cough* Our Kingdom *cough*)

    Genki 😀 The first kanji is read “gen” and means origin, basis, or foundation. (The second is “ki” and it means spirit, mood, or feeling– like in “kimochii,” “it feels good,” or “ki o tsukete,” “be careful.”)

    And nerd-on, you crazy diamond! Thank you very much for the cool Japanese lesson. 🙂

  5. nanya says:

    seme: initiator, aggressive, unemotional, the driving force behind the sexual encounters, the “top”

    uke: passive but ultimately receptive, emotional, the resistor to the sexual encounters, the “bottom”

    Hi Alex, although you and Jen present seemingly contrasting views, both of you are right to a certain extent IMO. It is true that character setting wise, this manga is very standardized so there's nothing "wrong" but there's nothing "new" either. In fact, one problem of Takanaga sensei is that she tends to like very traditional seme/uke pairing – the type of pairing you have in mind. Her seme is usually quite initiative and almost always aggressive in bed while the uke vary from cute to quiet to violent :D. And the pair in Little Butterfly is almost the textbook standard seme/uke pairing.

    However, I think Little Butterfly still feels fresh because of the mood and atmosphere of the story. It's not a story you read with speed but it's a story that you must "feel" with your heart. It's just like her other work "Kimi ga koi ni ochiru" where the story is traditional but there is a unique atmosphere. Once dramatized (without the artwork), even the same dialogues feel completely different. Compared to that one (about archery), Little Butterfly's world is even darker, even stonger, and the portrayal of Nakahara is very well done. Unlike her other manga where the tension build up and then collapse at the H-points, Little Butterfly doesn't break because there's no clear-cut H-points. There are kiss scenes but they're different. I don't know how to put these in words but Little Butterfly has a lot of energy stirring within the story and it's my favorite of all Takanaga's work and still very highly acclaimed even to this day. I actually like it better than Koisuru Boukun… I think it's Fall in love with a tyrant or something like that in English… that one is too commercially oriented (just riding on the tsundere boom in Japan). Little Butterfly is more artistic, romantic, and stylistic for me.

  6. Hey Nanya,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I'm glad to hear LB is one of your favorites, too. 🙂

    Perhaps you'd be willing to elaborate on a couple of the things you said?

    And the pair in Little Butterfly is almost the textbook standard seme/uke pairing.

    As you know, it felt a little different to me. What aspects of their relationship (particularly in the first book) convinced you it's "almost the textbook standard seme/uke pairing"?

    Little Butterfly has a lot of energy stirring within the story and it’s my favorite of all Takanaga’s work and still very highly acclaimed even to this day.

    Ah, so, it's done well in Japan… From the (all of two!) books of hers I've read, Takanaga-sensei seems to write smart, witty, sweet yaoi. Do you know how popular her work is in general over there?

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    Alex

  7. nanya says:

    Hi Alex again.

    About Takanaga sensei, she really likes a very typical form of pairing: cool seme x cute uke

    If we look at Nakahara, he's the perfect kakkoi+buaisou (the cool, handsome reserved, doesn't speak much) type and so fit the prototype of high school seme. Kojima on the other hand is your perfect tennen+genki (straightforward and energetic) uke.

    Takanaga's other works also feature the same pattern:

    #1 Challengers (uke is cute and outgoing and seme is … well quite cool and quiet too on the appearance).

    #2 Kimi ga koi ni ochiru (uke is cute …just not the outgoing type… and seme is very cool and quiet but devoted high school student).

    #3 Liberty Liberty…again cool seme and cute uke

    #4 Bukiyou na Silent … cool baseball star and cute uke … but this one has a very nice twist because the uke is cute and energetic only on the inside (this is my #2 favorite of hers all time and second best manga …I vote… of 2006 ^^;;)

    #5 Forgot the name (read ages ago) but the one about a very smart boy who got jealous when the cute cute uke he loved seemed interested in a relative who's getting married and who's also very intelligent … actually similar setting Kimi ga koi ni ochiru.

    In short… ALL HER WORKS are one pattern EXCEPT Koisuru Boukun and that’s why it’s a mega hit in Japan. Technically Takanaga Hinako sells very well in Japan and her manga (upon release) usually can rank within 100 on Amazon JP. Her breakthrough really comes from Koisuru Boukun though because it has all the popular elements of today BL’s market: hetare wanko (useless doggy seme) x (tsundere queen uke) the current BOOM.

    Back to Little Butterfly. Hard core critiques may claim this piece is half-way and incomplete in a lot of ways because even by volume 3, the feelings between the two seem undetermined yet and once they get to college, it’s likely that this relationship is going to vanish. That’s why I really want to see the college years of this pair. Also, it’s half-way because there’s no really clean-cut H and somehow H serves as a kind of evidence of fruit of a relationship… but then it’s highly acclaimed because it’s quite poetic.

    For example, in volume 1, when Nagahara is talking about the butterflies, or when he’s demonstrating sadness because his virginity was lost to a stranger… the mood is very lovely. That one look which seems far really synchronizes me – the reader – with Nagahara. Although the story is told from Kojima’s viewpoint, I somehow feel myself more aligned to the emotions of Nagahara. That’s the part I love most about Little Butterfly. Those tiny imagery are everywhere over the manga and it’s extremely important because many readers of BL seemed to have forgotten that BL manga is also literature. It’s not just about graphical smut. Even a simple story – with the right balance of metaphor, imagery, and careful choice of words – can become a masterpiece. I don’t like Koisuru Boukun as much (despite all the hype) is because it is more down to earth and commercial and lacks this literary romance that’s present in Little Butterfly.

    I hope I have answered your question but I’m not a very coherent writer myself I’m afraid ^_^;;

  8. Hi Nanya 🙂

    Sorry you had difficulty with your comments getting cut off — I've checked my blog settings and I'm not seeing anything that would cause that, but I'll keep my eye out. In the meantime, though, I've stitched your three comments back into one. 😉

    About Takanaga sensei, she really likes a very typical form of pairing: cool seme x cute uke

    You make an interesting case. If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems like you see the seme/uke distinction as being defined primarily through extroversion and affect (overall mood) as opposed to power/dominance — which is how I tend to define it. One guy is outgoing and sweet, so he's the uke, and the other guy is reserved and moody, so he's the seme.

    (I'm not sure I'm doing justice to your position, so feel free to correct me here.)

    Perhaps one reason Little Butterfly is a bit confusing in this regard is because, as you said, it lacks clear cut "H" (by which I am understanding you to mean "ecchi" or sex scenes.) In other works, often it's really easy to pin the uke label on one of the characters — he's the one on the bottom! In Book One, though, while it could be argued that Nakahara is the driving force behind the "sexual encounters" — I also feel that the opposite could be argued — or that, at least, his pushing for the physical has more to do with his emotional clarity than a dominant personality/character.

    Again, to me, for these roles to be meaningful in discussing a work, it does seem to need to come down to power. The relationships in Your Honest Deceit felt classically and clearly seme/uke to me because not only does the seme do the "topping" in each of the stories, he also has pretty much all the power in each relationship as well — which in both cases has been consciously relinquished by the ukes.

    In Little Butterfly, Book One it felt like both characters were on equal footing and had the same amount of power — hence my belief that, despite appearances, it's not a cliché seme/uke pairing.

    That said, your definition might be a lot closer to how traditional Japanese fans might define things. I'd be the first to admit that this might just be my special take on a genre that I'm still exploring and learning about. But it's always fun to get clarity about issues of character and genre — at least for a story-geek like me…. 🙂

    Even a simple story – with the right balance of metaphor, imagery, and careful choice of words – can become a masterpiece.

    I could not agree with you more — and I think my reviews reflect that (and hopefully my book will in some small way as well!) I have nothing against smut for smut's sake, but there's no reason that yaoi stories can't be fun, sexy and well-written all at the same time. That's why it's been such a treat to discover Takanaga-sensei's work — she seems to consistently write smart, engaging yaoi and it's, frankly, refreshing…

    Anyway, thank you again for your thoughts. Hope to see you around here more… 🙂

    Alex

  9. nanya says:

    Hi Alex, I think I realize the problem… I try to include < and > in the post and they'll cut off the comments T__T. Sorry about the trouble. About the seme/uke definition, it's a tough line really… I usually define them simply by their position in bed ^_^;; because if we talk about power/domination, then there's the problem of queen uke and hetare seme because 90% of the time the queen uke holds the power in the relationship but he's still uke… or maybe I misunderstand the concept of power/domination? As that's tricky too. Anyway, I love to exchange thoughts about manga I've read and I wonder if I can link your site to mine? I also offer reviews of BL manga/novels. Site is: http://nekoanime.net.

    By the way, if you are looking for something to read, I suggest Last Portrait (licensed by Drama Queen). It's slated to come out late this month and the cover story (which is from the description) is so-so…but the second story (I'm not sure how they translate it but should mean something like (Stairway to heaven) is extremely enjoyable…or I liked it very much. It's definitely something to watch out for and hope you will like it too. The art is the realistic type … so is the story :D.

  10. I usually define them simply by their position in bed ^_^;; because if we talk about power/domination, then there’s the problem of queen uke and hetare seme because 90% of the time the queen uke holds the power in the relationship but he’s still uke…

    I see — and that goes along with my previous thoughts that your defininition of seme/uke is probably much more in line with how Japanese fans would define it. You are using terms such as "queen uke" and "hetare seme" which are not familiar to me, but which I imagine that Japanese fans (as well as those dedicated Western fans who are able to name all their favorite manga in the original Japanese — a talent I envy 😉 ) are quite familiar with. I think on this site I'll continue to stick with my measuring stick of power and domination for defining seme/uke roles (with top/bottom sexual roles always trumping), but it's useful for me to be aware that my take on this might be unique and thus not as useful to the fans as I might like…

    Anyway, I love to exchange thoughts about manga I’ve read and I wonder if I can link your site to mine?

    Of course, I'd be delighted if you linked to Yaoi 911. I've taken a look at your site and I must say it's really nice looking. I especially like all the nice art/icons you include in your posts.

    By the way, if you are looking for something to read, I suggest Last Portrait (licensed by Drama Queen).

    I definitely check that out. Thank you for the rec. 🙂

    Alex

  11. JRBrown says:

    Commenting on nanya's post (two years late, but I can't resist..):

    "Kimi ga koi ni ochiru" is licensed as You Will Fall in Love from BLU. It's quite good; if you haven't yet, I'd give The Devil's Secret and A Capable Man (which I think is nanya's #5) a miss and read that instead. The best parts of the other two are the backup stories, particularly "Before Winter Comes" in The Devil's Secret. (It's my week to translate stuff, isn't it? 🙂 )

    For an exhausting and maybe even exhaustive Japanese typology of seme and uke, try these two pages, which show that, like all nerds, fujoshi loves them some impenetrable specialist vocabulary.

    Takanaga seems to like to play around with the stereotypes; the general consensus among anglophone Tyrant fans is that Morinaga would be uke if Souichi weren't so utterly in denial, and Turning Point (ターニングポイント, I think) has a bubbly cheerful blond seme in pursuit of a tall-dark-and-broody uke.

  12. @JRBrown

    For an exhausting and maybe even exhaustive Japanese typology of seme and uke, try these two pages, which show that, like all nerds, fujoshi loves them some impenetrable specialist vocabulary.

    Thank you for those great links — very interesting. And yeah, I was a bit disappointed about The Devil's Secret — I've been dragging my feet on its review for-EVER — and I found the backup story superior…

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