Yuri!!! on Ice (not that kind)

 

Bet you would not have guessed that after Yaoi my favourite anime genre is Sports. I have always been a lover of the story of an underdog fighting against the odds and coming out on top.

I don’t watch or know much about American Football but I love the movies ‘The Blindside’ and ‘Remember the Titans’. These are real character driven stories and as I have stated countless times already on this blog I am a lover of character driven stories. My favorite kind of stories are the ones where as your watching you are right there sitting on the sidelines cheering the characters on and loving every moment of it. You experience the highs and the lows.

Some of the most fun I have had within anime in the last few years was binge watching a lot of sports animes including Hajime no Ippo, Eyeshield 21, Kuroko no Basket, Baby Steps and of course Free! to name a few.

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As a teaser trailer this anime has my interest peaked, the art and character designs already look gorgeous, as for plot I could not pick up much about it from this one trailer alone, well except that it’s about figure skating. I must confess as a child I myself enjoyed watching figure skating on tv whenever the winter Olympics were on. I was always in awe with the grace and beauty of the sport so here’s hoping for a beautiful anime series.

The Other Shounen Maid Anime

Well I suppose I opened this can of worms with my last post Shounen Maid Trailer Reaction so let’s talk about the other Shounen Maid anime, Shounen Maid Kuro-kun.

A yaoi / hentai / shota anime released in the later half of 2010 the anime tells the loose plot of Kuro, a young boy who has to work off his father’s gambling debt by working as a maid for the loan shark Miisu. There is also a very small tidbit of back story about Miisu meeting Kuro when he was younger in the anime but when I say there is little plot to the series I mean it.

The anime big surprise was produced by Natural High the company who’s only other anime series to their name is the Boku no Pico series. Everything else made by this company is in the japanese porn industry and I don’t suggest looking it up, just don’t and trust me on this one.

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As for my opinion on the subject matter, well I watched it out of curiosity when it came out, found the character designs pretty and the animation was fluid amoung other things. As far as I am concerned shota in the yaoi community is a very very dark grey subject matter.

There are those within the fandom that like it for the adorable plus sexiness I suppose, but I can also understand why to a lot of people it can be a very taboo subject as it can border on child pornography something I hope no yaoi fan supports.

But again this is a very very fine line within the community. Especially when we look into things like the fanfiction community. In these fantasy stories we see scenarios that we know in the real world we would never support and would disgust us rightfully so, but at the same time sometimes partaking in something taboo can have it’s own enjoyment as long as you know where that moral line is of course.

In fantasy we need to place a line in our own morals and social values and not cross it, there is a reason certain subjects out right disgust us. That being said I must admit one thing about the Kuro anime, before the anime was released another sort of visualized drama CD was released with a theme song that I guarantee will get stuck in your head.

Shounen Maid Trailer Reaction

 

So let me ask an honest question to the fellow yaoi fans out there… I’m not the only one who immediately thought of Kuro when I saw the title of this series right? Then I looked at the synopsis of the series and I found myself asking ‘So this is Shounen Maid Kuro-kun minus the yaoi?’

I’m sorry to keep making references to the shota anime that was brought to us by the same company that made the infamous Pico series but that is where my mind immediately went, internet you have corrupted the.

The synopsis of the series is as follows, we have a young boy by the name of Chihiro who is very good at house hold chores thanks to his strict mother but then the mother dies and a mysterious stranger shows up offering Chihiro a home if he will do the house work… as a maid.

The synospsis for Kuro is very similiar to this as I will explain, in that yaoi series the little plot we do have is this Kuro’s father is in debt and Kuro has no where to go but then one day is summoned to a mansion to work as a maid. Ok maybe not exactly the same.

I will probably watch Shounen Maid in the upcoming anime season on AnimeLab (this is not a plug or anything I just like using this particular streaming site) and see where this series takes me.

Super Lovers Anime Trailer

 

So it look’s like for the Spring 2016 anime season we will be getting a brand new boys love series. The series is an adaptation of Super Lovers by Miyuki Abe and I must confess it is manga series I am not familiar with.

So this is the first time in a long while that I will be going into a boys love series based on manga blind when watching the series. All I really know going into this series is that it has been handled by Studio Deen, which has been behind some of the most popular animes in the yaoi genre for the last decade including Gravitation, Junjou Romantica, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi and Hybrid Child.

I do hope I find this series as enjoyable as I did the other series but I’ll have to wait for the series to release and sit down and watch it to find out.

The last few years I must say have been a good time to be a yaoi / boys love fan. Last year we got the third season of ‘Junjou Romantica’ last year and of course from the winter season just gone we had ‘This Boy is a Professional Wizard’. Let’s hope that Super Lovers continues this trend of fun and emotional boys love animes!

The Gravity of Gravitation

My first viewing of Gravitation began a shift in me as an anime fan. As stated in Why Yaoi? it was the first yaoi (or more to the point with the anime series at least Boys Love) series I watched and sought out to watch. What can I say? The show had a gravitational pull over me and it’s fans.

This anime for many older anime audiences was the gateway into the boys love genre and if you read the manga and then also happened to track down the doujinshi by the author you probably saw more than you thought you would when it came to yaoi.

The manga was first released in Japan to the public through Gentosha’s Kimi to Boku magazine from 1996 to 2002 and then getting a manga release not long after. For English audiences we got the series initially from 2003 to 2005 with it still occasionally getting reprinted today due to the series popularity with western yaoi fans.

In 1999 the manga received a two episode OVA series released by Plum, Animate Film, SPE Visual Works, Sony Magazine and Movic. The series as well as an adaptation of part of the story of Eiri Yuki and Shuichi’s relationship also featured the now fan favorite songs ‘Blind Game Again’, ‘Smashing Blue’, ‘Spicy Marmalade’ and ‘Shining Collection’. The songs Blind Game Again, Smashing Blue and Spicy Marmalade were composed by Mad Soldier and performed by Kinya Kotani. Kinya Kotani would later go on to sing the songs ‘Blaze’ from Tsubasa Chronicles and the theme song from The Princess from the Birdcage Kingdom, ‘Ariel’ as well as the theme song to the second season of Tsubasa Chronicles.

2000 saw the airing of the full television series from Studio Deen, a studio I have noticed throughout the years has been attached to a lot of my anime favorites (although I have also noticed their work becoming at times a running gag within the anime community for animation errors). The theme song to the series ‘Super Drive’ was performed by Yosuke Sakanoue and unfortunately other than an official music video for the song on YouTube I have not been able to find very much information on him. Kinya Kotani returns for the ending theme ‘Glaring Dream’ and also provides the singing voice for Shindou Shuichi.

With all that has happened through the years and the stress I found myself in during my late teenage years I honestly cannot remember what year I watched Gravitation online, I think it was either 2006 or 2007 but honestly looking back I cannot be one hundred percent sure.

So what is it about this yaoi series that has fans constantly coming back? If it is the ‘hot yaoi action’ they are looking for, well outside the doujinshi by Maki Murakami herself you won’t find much if anything in the manga and there is next to nothing of that nature in the anime minus one dream sequence in the OVA. For me as a fan, it is the story and the characters that have kept me coming back to the series. All the characters in the series play off each other in an entertaining and enthralling way. When something happens you want to know how it is going to effect not only those directly involved but those who are close to those involved.

A perfect example of this comes in episode 6 appropriately titled ‘Shady Scheme’. Our main character Shuichi is tricked and attacked by a jealous rival and this one event begins of domino effect of character development. We see just what Shuichi is willing to go through to protect his lover Yuki and we also see in turn the reaction of Hiro, Shuichi’s best friend get pushed to a point of anger that we had not yet seen to this point. We also see a big change in the cold stand offish Yuki at the end of this episode as well as he shows his reaction to this news when Hiro confronts him on not protecting Shuichi. There is even more character development after this episode but to go further into this would move me into spoiler territory.

Though not always completely balanced the series does do a find job juggling both comedy and dark drama without going into black humor territory which could have easily happened with this story. There were many moments in the series where I got a good chuckle at the characters especially our lead Shuichi with his hyperactive and over the top personality but there were also moments that had me holding my breath and others still that had me on the brink of tears.

The Gravitation Remix and Megamix are defiantly something that I must talk about while reviewing this series seeing as I am a yaoi fan and this is where you will find the bulk of the yaoi in this series. The Gravitation Remix and Megamix are a rarity within the yaoi and doujin world in of themselves, because they were created by the original author of the series Maki Murakami. The creator made these works based on her own work because she wanted to push the stories more hardcore scenes with the characters from her series. Remix and defiantly the Megamix Doujinshi are not soft fluffy yaoi works, they are very hardcore;. with themes of masochism, sadism, abuse, incest and rape not to mention this was for me at least the first time I came across ‘internal shots’ during a sex scene in any form of media. Basically what I am saying is that if you don’t want to read this kind of material within the franchise you do not have to because they do not add anything to the overall plot of the series but they are there as a bonus for fans of the series that enjoy these kind of stories. If you are interested in reading these I do recommend starting with the first remix as it is the tamest of the lot, but is not exactly tame by yaoi standards, be ready for some hardcore yaoi.

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On the whole I believe that Gravitation is a perfect first yaoi for anyone new to the fandom, the anime series and manga can ease the viewer into these kind of stories and if they are left wanting to go further down the rabbit hole that is yaoi they can continue the Gravitation journey with the Remix and Megamix Doujinshi series which are easy enough to find online, if you know where to look of course. Also never watch the anime dubbed, just trust Mistress on this one folks. Till next time have a yaoitastic day!