Meet the Fans – Liz

meet the fans

It would seem there is quite the large yaoi and BL fanbase over on TikTok even though the app is notorious for not liking adult content, that being said there is a thriving BL community over there many with a strict no minors policy. One BL TikToker I have already interviewed and that is the amazing DynamicDylan then I got the chance to interview one of my favourite TikTokers which turned out to be an amazing interview!

Could you start of by giving us an introduction to yourself?


Hi, I’m Liz and I am a BL/Manga collector on TikTok known as @itslizmangacafe. I have been collecting for 15 years, though my collection has grown exponentially in the last year due to the pandemic. I hadn’t collected in a very long time and with the manga community on TikTok, I recently got back into serious collecting. I currently have over 500 in my shelves. Personally, I’m 29 years old and identify as queer. I live in Kentucky with my boyfriend and his daughter, and our zoo of 4 dogs, 5 cats, a lizard, and a chinchilla!

Wow that is an impressive manga collection. I have heard you say before on your TikTok videos that your favourite boys love manga is The Tyrant Falls in Love… a title I am somewhat infamous on my blog for hating, so I guess my question is what about this title appeals to you?

Ha! I fully acknowledge that it is a very problematic series. Any time I recommend it, I always provide a disclaimer that it is not a happy story. I fell in love with the characters and Hinako Takanaga’s art style in High School. She to this day is my favorite mangaka, and I have most of her works in my collection. What appeals to me specifically is that despite how toxic the relationship is, we know Morinaga cares for Soichi, and I’ve enjoyed the development of the series. It is one I’ve kept up with for well over 10 years. I admit when I initially began the series, I also did not like how their relationship began. Both are problematic characters but seeing the growth and development of their relationship has really appealed to me

Brb going to reread for the 500th time and cry

This is one title I will never be a fan of…

Well I always say in this fandom we love what we love and should not pull those down for having a different opinion.

Exactly! We are all adults and at the end of the day, it is fiction. I also love Soichi. He’s just a mess but also really a strong character

I will give the author some credit he is hot…

Funny that you mention we are all adults as that leads into my next question as I am curious if anyone else in the fandom has this issue, I myself have been accused in the past of ‘gate keeping’ for saying that 18+ material is not for minors. As someone who is part of the TikTok community I can only imagine the amount of minors who try to interact with your videos, how do you deal with this?

I personally do not allow minor interaction on my page for multiple reasons. I acknowledge I’m not the “purity police” and I myself got into BL and explicit manga when I was 15/16. However my boundary is because I am nearly 30 and choose not to discuss adult content and media with minors. It makes me very uncomfortable and I stand by this rule. I also get a lot of horrible comments from minors that I as a female BL fan am fetishizing gay and MLM relationships because of what I choose to read. Many minors can’t tell fiction from reality and it’s a waste of time and mental energy trying to engage them.

Yes, I can agree with that. Would you believe I have actually been accused of being homophobic for being a yaoi and bl fan?

That’s horrible and absolutely not okay. I’m so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately I’ve also been called a fetishizist and a pedophile on several occasions purely for even mentioning the classic Yarichin Bitch Club. Again all from minors who don’t understand.

Problematic?

Oh yes I have been called the pedophile in the past for admitting to watching a certain infamous anime once when younger. And then rewatching for research purposes to give it an honest review.

There is so many other problematic series out there. Even beyond anime and manga. Most of my hate is sadly from gay and MLM teens. I know I am cisgender but they fail to acknowledge I am on their side as a fellow queer identifying person. As I always say, at the end of the day… if you ain’t paying my bills, I’m paying you no mind. I am 30 and can choose to read as I wish. Intimacy is a part of most peoples’ lives so who cares if I am reading 18+ content?

What we do to relax is our own business as long as we are not hurting anyone or doing anything illegal.

Exactly!

Speaking of legality here is a big question within the yaoi and BL community. What is your opinion on scanlation sites? I know many of us within this fandom have used them before but with yaoi and BL media being more readily available over the last few years do you think we still need them?

My opinion of the scanlation sites may be different than most but I will say this. I don’t shame people for using them or say that it is “wrong.” I don’t gatekeep. However, I personally want and enjoy supporting artists when I can. I buy a lot of physical manga, and have a Lezhin subscription. In the past I’ve also had a subscription with Futekiya (I just didn’t utilize it enough so I temporarily stopped) and on my page I promote sites like Tapas, Webtoon, etc. I have used scan sites in the past but do try to avoid when I can. Only times I use them are when there are legitimate and no official English translations or print. If I can though and I enjoy the story enough I’ll buy the physical Japanese copy so I am still supporting. But I know this is not realistic for some. I do want to have artist support so I personally do not promote scan sites, though we know it’ll still happen.

That’s a really good answer.

I am though very happy that BL is becoming more popular and readily available. We didn’t have scan sites when I started getting into manga, and I didn’t really use them anyway.

To finish this interview do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share with those new to the fandom? Also feel free to use this section to promote any BL related projects you have.

Words of wisdom, particularly to those who are new and old to BL. You are allowed to enjoy what you want, and shouldn’t feel ashamed. Collecting and reading is a lifelong passion and there is no age limit or cap. Find fellow adult fans who enjoy as you do, and be open to reading new things as well as sharing what you love. There’s so many terrible things happening in the world, so find comfort in what you like. For those wanting to get into serious collecting – do research, be patient, and try to not follow FOMO. Stick to your budget and just have fun! Collect what you want, read what you want, and live your best life.

Wise words from a fun fujoshi! A big thankyou to Liz for letting me interview her here on Yaoi Playground and if she sounds like the kind of person you would love to follow make sure to check out her awesome TikTok and join the fun discussions on all things BL and Yaoi, till next time I am your Mistress of Yaoi!

Our Kickstarter needs help! — Y Press Games

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We are not far from the end of the Vampire Slave Kickstarter and we still have a long way to go to reach the desired goal. We need your help as much as possible to be able to give you the best experience! You can learn all about the game’s history, rewards and more by […]

Our Kickstarter needs help! — Y Press Games

Working my way through the demo for Vampire Slave and omg guys don’t sleep on this one! If you love boys love and classic vampires you need to support the Kickstarter for this one! This is a title that needs your help to get released!

Dick Fight Island – Manga Review

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Oh how this yaoi lover wished they could have a hold of a physical copy of this title but due to high demand it sold out so quickly that I myself had to purchase it digitally through Amazon (And physical copies are still sold out)! Set on the fictional archipelago of Pulau Yong’Unda, every four years a great tournament known as ‘The Great Wyrm Tournament’ to name the new king of the land, with each of the eight clans within the archipelago putting forth their greatest of champions to battle it out. As you might guess however, with a title like Dick Fight Island this is no ordinary tournament, instead of battling in fights of brute force and power the clans fight a different kind of battle that shows their true strength of a man, with armor that covers their most sacred of jewels and shows of the barest of asses in honor of their manliness! Strap yourself in my yaoi and BL lovers because you will not be disappointed if you choose to pick up this title that has taken the manga world by storm in the last month.

Whether you love yourself a cute little twink or a burly older gentlemen or anything in between believe me you will find your type within this title

With a title like Dick Fight Island I was honestly expecting this manga to be nothing but fanservice with just enough plot to get the characters to do the deed, so when I began reading this title and found that not only did this manga have some absolutely gorgeous character designs but it also had a very intriguing and at times hilariously melodramatic storyline. Each of the competitors in the competition has their own motivations as to why they are competing. From proving that even though they are from a mostly female clan they are just as manly as any other man at the tournament, to fighting for love after all this is a romance manga and it delivers very much so on the romance as well as action!

Believe me this is a title where you will come for the ridiculous premise and action but you will stay for the romance. From forbidden love between clans, classism and culture shock from the point of view of an outsider looking in as he watches his lover compete in this competition there are plenty of moments that will leave you on the edge of you seat. Do I wish some characters got a bit more of a spotlight? Yes. Am I hoping we get another volume to continue this story? That would be a hell yes! It’s not that often I say a title is a must read for a yaoi fan but this title truly is a must read! And if you want to see some awesome artwork from the creator Reibun Ike then you really want to follow their Twitter!

This Fluffy Love – First Impression

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If you are looking for a light and fluffy boys love to read, then my latest favourite read over on Webtoon might just be the title for you to read. Sarith just wants to spend his school life having fun with his friends and having a peaceful school existence but when the class delinquent Ashen pushes his way into his life by chance, he can not help but notice he is kind of cute and as he is forced to get to know the other boy more he begins to think maybe he is not as bad as people say.

How is this for an adorable first impression?

Sarith is one of the most adorable BL leads I have seen in a long time and I also love the fact that he is well, an adorable chubby boy! All too often in a lot of escapist media we see a main character that is what society would deem the ideal ‘body type’ and I just love that this series on webtoon breaks that trend, because can I just say we need more BL with chubby boys! I also love that the opening chapters of the story establish that even though he is a bigger boy it does not mean he has an issue with food or is a depressed person wanting to change as it is established early on that he comes from a loving family that just loves food. Being big does not mean you are miserable or dirty or unpopular and I just love that positive message the story has.

Then you got the character Ashen who is easy on the eyes and from the outside looking in looks like he could have anything he wants. His father is a powerful politician and he is surrounded by ‘friends’ all the time at school and the teachers even let him get away with breaking the rules in fear of his father, but the truth is he is a really sad and lonely boy who at times can be a bit of an air head and because of that those around him take advantage of him. He almost seems shocked when he receives genuine kindness from Sarith and it would damn near break your heart when he puts on the most adorable pout.

As the friendship between the two boys grows their relationship also evolves and begins to become something more and seeing these two adorable boys work their way through their new found feelings for each other will keep you coming back to read more, but do not let the title fool you yes this is a fluffy love but no relationship is perfect and watching the two of them grow through the pitfalls is what will keep you coming back every Sunday for the next chapter. If this sounds like a story you would love to read follow this link to read it over on webtoon to support the creator.

BJ Alex – Manhwa Review

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I decided at about mid way last month that all the reviews I posted this pride month on Yaoi Playground would only be titles with good LGBTQ+ representation and when I finally finished reading BJ Alex a few weeks ago by the end I came to an amazing conclusion. This is a hardcore boys love title that shows a very realistic romance between its leads as well as realistic social commentary of the ‘gay experience’ in the modern age. This alone takes this from an amazing title to a modern masterpiece in my opinion when it comes to boys love. Though sex comes quickly in this story and it is the hot scenes that will draw you in, it is the growing romance and character development throughout the series that will keep you coming back for more.

The opening chapters of this manhwa almost feel like a cautionary tale of never meeting your idols, because reality can never live up to the fantasy we have in our head, and in a way this theme continues throughout the entire series. Reality can be harsh and cruel and so can love. First love can be even more complicated when we are still learning about ourselves and who we are and this is certainly true for Nam Dong-Gyun. When it comes to sex he is very naïve at the beginning of the story, but also quietly curious. What starts as an arrangement with his idol BJ Alex as just ‘sex friends’ with the term friend used very loosely soon snowballs emotionally for him when he comes to realize he wants more than just sex and that he has broken the one rule he was given when the arrangement started, don’t fall in love.

BJ Alex, Ahn Jiwon and even the person Ahn is out in public could not be more different from each other, even though they are all the same person, just different masks worn by him. One is the online streamer personality loved by millions of fans for his raunchy livestreams and has a loving attitude towards sex and his own sexual conquest. Ahn Jiwon on the other hand seems perfect to those around him, with his gentle smile and helpful attitude to those around him; but like the mask that BJ Alex wears during his livestreams Jiwon hides the real him behind his smiling mask of perfection. Hidden underneath is a cold angry man who keeps everyone around him at a comfortable distance. As the story continues Ahn Jiwon is the character that gets the most development throughout the story. Through learning about his past, we learn why he keeps people at a distance, why he hates love and why the visage of perfection he hides behind could be doing him more harm than good.

It is the last quarter of the manhwa however that the story goes from amazing to brilliant and there will be spoilers from this point onwards. So if what you have read so far makes you want to go read this manhwa over on Lezhin then please stop here and read the manhwa because I will be spoiling a huge plotline in the later half of the story.

My Top 9 LGBTQ+ Manga You Should Check Out This Pride Month!

lgbtq+, pride 2021

If you were looking for manga with a positive LGBTQ+ message behind it or even representation over a decade ago it would have been near impossible to find, but in recent years there has been a rise of amazing manga that feature a full spectrum of different LGBTQ+ themes and experiences. Some positive and others not so much, but I want to focus on some of the positives for today’s post so I want to share my top 9 LGBTQ+ manga, sadly not all the manga featured here have official English releases, but for those that do I will leave a link to where you can purchase these titles and support the creators, also I have avoided any Yuri or Yaoi titles in this list to let series that really focus on the LGBTQ+ experience shine, but do not worry my readers I have a review coming of a popular yaoi manhwa that I believe has some of the best gay representation I have seen in the genre!

9 – I Wanna be Your Girl by Umi Takase

I would have loved to have put this amazing manga higher on the list, but sadly it has no official English release so I had to put it at the bottom which is a shame because this is one amazing read about being true to yourself and standing up for your friend. It tells the story of Hime and Akira who are childhood friends. At age 12 Akira reveals to her friend Hime that they identify as a girl and starts dressing as such at school which begins a cycle of bullying from the other students with Hime fervently standing up for her best friend. I like this manga for its realistic depictions of the bullying that someone can face when being true to themselves and how things can be just a little bit easier when you have a great friend by your side and I also love the blossoming romance between the two leads.

8. I Think Our Son is Gay by Okura

This is a really cute slice of life manga about a very normal family, the hard working husband, the doting wife and their two boys. The manga is told from the point of view of the mother of the boys who is quite sure her oldest son is gay and she is ok with that, even if her son has not openly come to terms with it yet. This is very much a slice of life comedy manga with the punchline of each chapter being I Think Our Son is Gay. Not every piece of LGBTQ+ media needs to have a deeper meaning behind it, sometimes its just the struggles of a young gay boy as witnessed by his mother who still loves him no matter what his choices in life may be and that in itself is such a positive message. You can purchased either physically or digitally on Amazon.

7. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

This manga, hits in a different way or at least it did for me because it is not just about a lesbian experience it is a deep dive into the stigma of mental disorders and the mental health system Japan and it is also a title I put off reading for so long because I myself have my own stigma when it comes to reading stories that are female to female romance and not just yuri because of my own past baggage. The story follows the tale of a woman coming to terms with her sexuality in a society that shuns not only her for that but also mental illness and is a very powerful read. It can be purchased from Seven Seas Entertainments official site or from or bought physically or digitally from Amazon.

6. The Bride Was a Boy by Chi

This autobiographical manga is one I do not see too many people talking about anywhere online which is a shame because it is such a beautiful story. Like My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness this is a manga based on the life of the author, though it is a more uplifting story in my opinion. It reads like a manga diary telling the story of Chi as she learns who she is finds acceptance within herself and finding her loving happing ending as the beautiful bride she always wanted to be.

5. Love me for Who I Am by Kata Konayama

As soon as I found out this manga was about a non binary character I got so excited because I had never seen a character like this in a manga and if you have read my review for the first volume you will know that yes I do love the characters and discussions on the different spectrums of gender that come up in this title, but it is not a perfect title. It is a good start for non binary representation though and that is why it is on this list. I bought my copy of this manga digitally through Bookwalker but you can also buy a physical copy through Amazon.

4. Our Dreams At Dusk by Yuhki Kamatani

Being a teenager is hard, it does not matter what sexuality you are it is hard; but being not straight can make it a hell of a lot harder. After being publicly outed after his classmates find gay porn on his phone Tahsuku Kaname is ready to just end it all, he is standing on the edge ready to jump but then he sees someone else jump and this is what begins his journey into finding that much needed support system that everyone needs in their lives whether they be gay, straight or otherwise.

3. Wandering Son by Takako Shimura

I can not talk about positive LGBTQ+ representation without mentioning Wandering Son and the next entry on the list, in fact I had a hard time originally deciding whether this title or the next one would be number 1 on this list until I discovered the manga that took the number one spot at the beginning of Pride month. The main focus on Wandering Son is of the character of Shuichi and Yoshino two trans kids one wanting to transition to a girl and the other boy. What I love most about this title is the fact that we see the journey of two different trans kids and the differences that can come from transitioning between male to female and female to male. I do not know if it is just me, but I do feel that trans boys and trans men are really under represented in stories of transition in fiction as well as when it comes to docuseries about transgender kids. Many of the trans friends I have love this series in both the manga and anime though I have to agree with one of my friends in that you get a more complete story with the manga.

2. My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

I love this manga. Not only is it one of my favourite manga, but it is also one of my all time favourite pieces of literature. Written and illustrated by one of best bara manga authors there are Gengoroh Tagame it tells the story of single father Yaichi and his adorable daughter Kana as they both meet the Canadian husband of Yaichi’s now deceased twin brother Ryoji who Yaichi had grown distant since his brother’s coming out. Through Yaichi and Kana’s eyes we see the stigma that homosexual men face in Japan and the different in perceptions generations can have when seeing something new in their lives. It is a manga with a very positive but realistic message behind it with lessons in bigotry, homophobia, acceptance and learning to see the world through the innocence of a child again when it comes to accepting others, a theme I explored when I wrote about the manga a few years ago now. I bought my copy of this amazing manga through an Australian site called Booktopia which is a site I use to buy a lot of manga here in Australia besides Amazon, and speaking of Amazon you can buy the series digitally there for you Kindle.

1. Until I Meet My Husband by Tsukizuki Yoshi and Nanasaki Ryosuke

Activism for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community is what started Pride, we all know about the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969 and of Marsha P Johnson and the work this amazing trans woman of colour did to begin bringing civil rights to the American LGBTQ+ community, but what do you know about the activists that have fought for those same rights in Japan?

Telling the story of a young man from the time he realizes his gay to his wedding day, this is a manga about self acceptance and fighting for your rights and someone please pick up the license for this absolutely amazing manga! If I had to choose one manga that is a perfect representation of pride it is this manga right here! I just wish I could find out more information in English about the man who this manga is about. It tells the life of a young gay man’s journey through life in Japan and his path to gay activism in the country and that is why it is my number 1 pick for a read this month!

Welcome to Pride Month 2021

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Hello my fellow LGBTQ+ yaoi and boys love lovers and welcome to pride month here on Yaoi Playground. To those who I new here, even though online I go by your very own Mistress of Yaoi that is only one part of me as I also identify as non-binary, so of course that means this month I will be sharing some of my favourite positive representation this month in the reviews and posts I share and I want to start of this month with a great big thankyou to Nickelodeon and to those in the know you will know why!

As a millennial I grew up watching the original Blue’s Clues on Nick Jr as a kid and teenager, yes I watched shows like this as a teen because I have younger siblings. Anyway I was unaware that the show had recently been rebooted for a new generation as Blue’s Clues & You and that a certain clip from the show has recently gone viral. They made a song about Pride and family representation and from what I am seeing online I am not the only one who near broke down (and in some cases did) in tears at the level of representation in this song and the positive message it is spreading of families coming in all types. I would have been happy with it showing families with two dads, two mums and supporting there trans kids but it is so much more than that. The song also includes representation of ace and non binary as well as chosen and found families!

I never would have thought as a kid that I would see this level of representation in a kids show and the fact that it is in a show aimed at such a young audience just makes me even happier!

Of course not everyone is happy about this inclusion in a kid show. You have the typical homophobic groups accusing the show of showing themes that are inappropriate for the target audience. To them I say, what is so inappropriate about representing all types of families? We live in a day and age where not all children come from a household with a mum and a dad. This is not just about representation for the adults who make up these kinds of families but the kids who grow up in them.

So once again I want to give a big thankyou to Nickelodeon. You were such a big part of my childhood growing up and to see them with such progressive content like this for a new generation is such amazing work!

Exploring the Fascinating World of Tintin Yaoi Fanfiction

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I want to do more this year than just recommend fanfiction worth reading in different fandoms and after giving it much thought I decided it might be interesting to take a dive into different fandoms and see the kind of yaoi fanfiction I can find within and see what are the common tropes and themes explored within that fandom. At first I was actually going to start with a fandom I have been quietly a part of for many years with the Invader Zim fandom because there are a lot of interesting overarching themes shared and explored within that fandom, but as you can see this is not a post about Invader Zim, but I will get that fandom don’t you worry.

Like many a heavy fanfic reader in the new year I hit a stagnation within many of the fandoms I follow fanfiction for. If you read fanfiction you will know the feeling of your favourite current read coming to an end or being on hiatus during the holiday period. I had nothing new within my usual fandoms to read. So I was just pushed the watch something random option on Netflix and the show that came on was something I had not watched for a few years that I have always loved, that show of course being Tintin a cartoon series that I am referring to in this case is the short run 90’s adaptation of the series that which only ran for one year originally all the way back in 1992-1993 but had countless re runs on television throughout my childhood and the cartoon series itself is based on a series of European comics that were first published back in 1929. Knowing this it can be easily guessed then that many of the young reporters adventures take place in the early 20th centaury which explains a lot of the themes that are explored within the fanfiction for this series, but I am getting ahead of myself there so let’s just put a pin in the series time period for now.

As I sat there watching the show I found myself wondering if there is any good fanfiction out there for this show as well as what would be the most popular ship? Would be Tintin and one or both the twin detectives? Or perhaps it was the more obvious choice of Haddock and Tintin? I even had the thought, I bet someone, somewhere has even written something involving his dog, I mean it has happened in so many other fandoms, I have seen things in some fandoms I really wish I had never seen. So my dive into Tintin fanfiction began and luckily I did not come across anything involving Snowy.

I have seen things in fanfic communities my readers that I wish I had never read over the years, and the old saying read the tags before reading the fic is a valid warning in any fandom.

Two things became obvious as I dived into this fandom. One the most popular ship was that of Tintin and Captain Haddock and two one of the big themes explored within many of the fanfics was internalized homophobia, self hate for homosexual thought and an exploration of homophobia during the time period in which Tintin is set. Taking place in the first half of the 20th century this is a time in history when homosexuality was not approved of and a lot of the fanfics I found explored themes of what that can do mentally to a person. To have to suppress who they really are to fit into society, something that many people within the LGBTQ+ community still have to deal with today.

Believe me when I say yes this is a shippable pair!

Fanfiction like In the Closet by Delphi are short and sweet tales of sexual awakening for the young Tintin and follow a happier tone in the story by the end as well as exploring the theme of Tintin being what is referred to in the gay community as a cub who loves bears.

I know You Love Me by Mass_Effecting_Your_Pants explores what many would consider an over used cliché in fiction, the amnesia story but anyone familiar with Tintin will know that he is a young reporter with a tendency to get hit in the head and knocked unconscious quite often.

One last fanfiction I want to mention before ending this post is for a different ship of the series, that being of Tintin and his friend Chang. Both men share a strong friendship that grows throughout the series, from their first meeting in The Blue Lotus to one of the most emotional stories in the series Tintin in Tibet. The fic is titled A Bullet by Yeahyouwish and it explores the themes of social expectations and views of homosexuality during the time period in which the Tintin stories take place, as well as sexual exploration for both characters and is by far one of the best fanfictions I have found within this fandom.

I know this post has been very different from my usual posts about fanfiction, but as I have written in the past I am of the strong belief that the fanfiction writing and reading community is just as much a part of the yaoi and boys fandom as well as the publication of doujinshi works, fanart and of course manga, light novels, anime and video games. Plus I don’t know about many of you my readers by my own yaoi journey began decades ago within the web pages of fanfiction sites, till next time my fellow yaoi fans I am your Mistress of Yaoi.

Enzai Falsely Accused – Yaoi Visual Novel Review

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First released in Japan in September of 2002 and then just a few years later getting an official English release in 2006 followed in 2009 with an official release in China, Enzai Falsely Accused has over the years earned itself a bit of a cult following within certain yaoi and boys love circles as well as infamy in others. For in the west in the the mid to late 2000’s a new kind of yaoi fan was emerging and this game was for many a first step into the world of yaoi visual novels; and this wasn’t a light step into the shallows this is a title that dived head first into depravity and many from that era of the yaoi fandom have many a bad flashback to this game. That being said many playing the game at the time were still teenagers and not necessarily old enough for this kind of content. So that begs the question is this game as fucked up as many would make you believe? How has this game aged since its release in the early 2000’s and if it is so bad why does it still have fans today? This is Enzai Falsely Accused.

insert Vietnam flashback meme here

I went into this visual novel expecting some edgy yaoi story set in a prison with a lot of rape and torture; and yes, you will find those themes within this game. There are some truly horrific depictions of torture and rape in this game not unlike another title I reviewed here last year, however unlike Hadaka Shitsuji which is a game that is sadistic for the sake of being sadistic Enzai surprised me throughout my playthrough with the level of heart and sweet moments found within it’s many routes and some of the best written characters I have found in a yaoi visual novel yet.

The story of the game takes place in post-revolutionary France during the early 19th century though an exact date is never given. You play as Guys a young man barely out of his childhood who while out with friends one day is caught shop lifting and then charged with murder and locked away for life. It is not a stretch to say that many plot and story elements within this game can escalate very quickly within the game. One minute you are talking to your friends in the courtyard and the next minute you are being dragged to the torture chambers within the prison for some extreme torture that involves Guys being hung from the ceiling by chains.

Being just barely an adult Guys will come across as very naïve for the first half of many of the routes within the game and depending on which route you choose you will see him grow into either a confident man who over comes some horrible traumas and come out the other end with at the very least a happy ending or you will see him become an emotionally broken doll who wishes for death, the choice really is up to you, with the exception of your first playthrough.

In order to get all the endings you have to get ending one first which is the most basic of story routes where you must prove your innocence by gathering evidence by any means necessary and survive your time in prison, do not focus on any romance options for this first playthrough is my best advice because once you get the first good ending for the game or ending 1 as the game calls it more routes are opened to you including a hidden romance option that will not turn up until you have completed ending 1. You can still get bad endings on your first run so be careful with your choices, it took me five attempts before I got ending 1 but once I did and started getting the other routes that is when my real enjoyment came from the game, including unlocking a secret character that will only appear after this ending and under very specific choices.

There are a total of eleven different ending within the game to unlock within the game with a mix of good and bad endings and I found all of them well written, I especially enjoyed that through playing through the different routes you find out more about not only the prison but as well as side stories that include political sabotage and war crimes and you don’t just learn about the characters whose route’s you are playing but also learn about others within the prison. One of my favourite characters which I was very disappointed I could not romance is an insane inmate called Belbet who when talking to others about the game I came to find is quite a popular NPC within the game.

Each character you meet will slowly open up depending on the choices you make, will you help your lawyer Lusca find faith in himself again as a lawyer, fall for the charming Evan or innocent seeming Io? Or will you be pulled under the wing of the delinquent Jose? Maybe you will survive by becoming an obedient slave to the sadistic guard Durer or maybe just maybe you have enough heart to help Vallewida? Whatever choice you make you will not be disappointed by the path you choose just know that with many of the routes you will get angry and you will shed a tear for these characters.

This game made me a crying blubbering mess on a few of its sadder endings, you just want to see some of these men get their happy ending

The last positive I have to say for this game is the amazing soundtrack that fits the mood of the game and the equally amazing voice acting that is on par with titles released today. That being said one thing that pulled me out of the moment in many scenes was the sound effects within certain scenes, really drag you out of the moment and sound very unrealistic and during some of the more deplorable moments that should have had me feeling sad for Guys I found myself laughing under my breath at how bad the sound effects were, especially the sound effect for the licking of anything but that could be because of all the mukbang videos I have watched over the last year and from that knowing how fake these sounds come across.

The artwork could also be an issue for some who play the game, being of an older art style it will not be to everyone’s taste. I myself found much of the character designs beautiful when they needed to be and down right vile when they needed to be and the option to turn on or off censorship of certain body parts while playing the game was a good inclusion.

Over all I enjoyed my playthrough of Enzai though getting the secret character was a bit of a challenge for me and I did end up looking up a walkthrough to find him I found the game over all very enjoyable. As I stated in the beginning of this review all the characters were well written even the ones I ended up hating because of was hating them for being shit human beings and not just a bland boring character. If you have ten to thirty hours to spare and lets face it in this time of lockdowns many of us do I highly recommend heading over the Jast USA’s website and giving this game a try as it is also one of the most affordable BL titles on there.

finding Shion’s route was annoying but well worth it

If the story has you curious about the world of Enzai but you are not a VN fan you can go searching online for the anime adaptation of this title. Unlike certain anime adaptations of yaoi games this one stays very close to the source material and pretty much follows the story to ending one of the game with a few easter eggs from other routes sprinkled in, sadly however the anime does not have an official English release unlike the game.

Dakaichi Movie Teaser Trailer

movie, news, yaoi

The anime tie in movie has been a main staple for anime watchers for a while now, a popular series will get a movie or OVA released on either Blu-ray or DVD and jut before the current pandemic cinema releases that were quite common in Japan were beginning to happen more often the west. That being said with how niche anime still is in the west it is only the big mainstream titles like anything from Dragonball or the next big Ghibli movie see a cinema release, but a yaoi fan can dream can they not?

I bring this up because the latest announced anime tie in movie, is from boys love series Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu or better known by western audiences Dakaichi: I am Being Harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year! Very little has been revealed about the upcoming movie except for that it will be getting an Autumn (in the northern hemisphere) 2021 release date and the tag line “The movie version is threatened by the first place man that wants to be held Spain Edition”

The artwork shown in this teaser trailer plus the beautiful Spanish guitar featured in this trailer as well as the tag line at least hint at the location this film will be taking place and I was so happy to hear the voice cast from the series returning to reprise their roles which made me a very happy fan and I can wait to here more about this upcoming movie!