I’ve Entered the Hype Train

Rotten Boy’s High School life is the series I am most excited for this upcoming Summer 2016 season, I mean come on it’s a comedy series about a male fan of yaoi of course I’m going to watch it!

As soon as I heard the concept for this one I will admit I have gone out of my way to avoid the source material because this was one series I wanted to go in blind for, which I have done. I just cannot wait to see this one and recent news has also anounced that this one will be streaming on Crunchyroll so that means yay I can watch. Sadly due to not being a premium member I will have to wait an extra week for each ep but I don’t mind as long as no one out there spoils it for me.

Cyberpunk Yaoi Classic part 1

This is part one of my three part review of Ai no Kusabi. This first part will cover my introduction to the series through the OVA released in 1992 and 1994 in Japan, the second part will cover the light novel series and the third will cover the 2012 four episode anime OVA. Also Spoiler Warning! These reviews will discuss the plot of the series so if you don’t want to be spoiled go out and watch the animes at least before reading this review. there are places online where you can watch the first OVA’s.

cyber_city_oedo_808-cover_frThe cyberpunk genre has been home to many a masterpiece within anime and the community surrounding it since the eighties. From the boom in popularity of anime that stemmed from the classic manga and anime movie adaptation Akira to the popularity of shows like Bubblegum Crisis and Appleseed. These stories hold a common thread of the early history of cyberpunk stories with a focus on a dystopian future with a story that centers around corruption  of power and the fight for survival in such a world, and this trend would continue with series like Cyber City Oedo 808, an over looked gem in my opinion that sadly does suffer from a… let’s call it amusing dub which seems to stop a lot of people looking at it seriously.

Later cyberpunk titles like Ghost in the Shell and Serial Experiment Lain would add to the genre a new subject for discussion with the introduction of philosophy, morals and ethics in the undertone of these still cyberpunk stories and this trend has continued even into the two thousands with series like Texhnolyze and Psycho-Pass, not to say that these themes were not there in earlier titles they just became more prominent in the narrative in the nineties verses the eighties.

In between all these classics and re imaginings of classics such as Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 and the Appleseed movies, lies a true gem within the yaoi community and a cyberpunk  story too often overlooked by fans of the genre because of it’s roots in the yaoi genre. I am of course talking about Ai no Kusabi.

The first OVA was released to Japan in August of 1992 by Anime International Company and was for many their introduction to the world of planet Amoi, the grand city of Tangura the slums of Ceres and of course the Blondie known as Iason Mink and the slum mongrel Riki.

tumblr_inline_o1hck9foq01ter8a5_500The opening to the first episode is the perfect introduction to the ‘lovers’ of this story with it opening with a voice over as Riki wanders the streets. In this voice over we hear what Riki has heard time and again in his life. The gossip on how he is not good enough and that he will never be anything but a mongrel. We then see Riki attacked by another gang calling themselves the Elite Guard who corner and attack the mongrel. Just before the final strike is landed however the fight is stopped instantly by the appearance of a Blondie by the name of Iason. (Blondie the term given to the elite class in the society which can be distinguished by their platinum blonde hair) Upon the arrival of the Blondie the other gang runs off. This however angers Riki and we see the fire within him as well as his pride as he tells the Blondie he might not have much but he repays all his debts and then asks the Blondie to follow him and that he is sorry he does not have a car.

5688-1527769062It is at this point that we see the first real interaction between the two as Riki repays his debt to Iason with his body but not in the way he had expected, with the whole incident ending with Iason referring to Riki as nothing more than a pet. Master and pet is the relationship between Riki and Iason and though Riki won’t admit it, it is the only way the two can be together because of the world they live in.

Ai no Kusabi explores a world of social boundaries, corruption, societal standards and a world that will just never accept a love like that which is shared with Iason and Riki. Is their more than obsession between the two and can obsession turn into true feelings of love? When love is found what are you willing to give up to protect that love? Will you risk it all for love? These are the questions that plague both Iason and Riki throughout both episodes of this anime and as we the audience watch it play out you can not help but root for the lovers to get their happy ending.

Raoul03Riki is like a wild beast that has been tamed by the Blondie Iason and longs for his freedom and yet once he has that freedom he comes to the realization that perhaps that is not what he wants anymore in his life, sadly as he is making that decision it is made for him with betrayel within the ranks of the slum, someone has it out for Riki it seems.

Meanwhile in high society Iason has become the centre of gossip with his mongrel pet that he seems to be obsessed with to the point that those around him worry especially his friend Raoul. Raoul’s worries however come to fruition when Iason out right asks him ‘How would you react if I said I loved him?’ His shocked expression at this very moment speaks volumes to the level of social taboo that Iason has broken in speaking those words.

7540-1611625147There is a constant space between the two lovers with a world that is trying to tear them apart, Riki is willing to be a pet to be with Iason which in turn disgusts his best friend and former lover Guy. When Riki leaves to be by Iason’s side once again as his ‘Pet’ Guy becomes obsessed with the idea of saving Riki, going as far as to kidnap his friend when he is away from the Blondie but when Riki confronts Guy with the truth he denies Riki’s feelings for Iason to the point of being disgusted by them. In an act of revenge against the Blondie and in his own insane way of one last ditch effort to free his friend from the Blondies grasp Guy does the unthinkable and mutalates the part of Riki to return a certain item of ownership to the Blondie.

Obsession is an overarching theme of the story between these two episodes and understanding the difference between obsession and love is something both Iason and Riki must come to terms with to move forward pass the past. Guy is a part of Riki’s past and freedom away from Iason, but if he stays a caged pet he can stay by Iason’s side. This is a story that can only end in what I would like to call a happy tragedy. In the end the lovers get each other despite all those around them not wanting them to have each other and it is in that happy moment of deciding they want to be with each other that they sadly meet their end.

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It is however not this ending that draws on me emotionally, it is a scene after this that breaks my heart but to understand why it does there is one more character in this tale you must understand. A servant that has been loyal by Iason’s from the very beginning when Iason first rescued Riki. Someone who worked with Riki to help him keep his sanity while Iason’s pet by giving him another job as well. This character is Katze a former peice of furniture owned by Iason. In this universe furniture is even lower than pets as they work as servants to the pets of the elite for a price that I will get into with part two of this review as the novels go into greater world building for the series. Throughout the entire anime we never see any emotion out of Katze, not a smile or frown he remains neutral the entire series, just smoking a cigarette. Upon returning to his office after the demise of both Riki and Iason we see Katze sit in his chair, open the draw to take out a packet of smokes, grabs a smoke and then drops it from shaking hands as he breaks down in tears.

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The character with the least emotions shown on the outside breaks down because he is the only one that knows how beautiful the love that was just lost is and that he has just lost the two people closest to him. It was Katze tears that brought tears to my eyes and made me realize just how tragic this tale was.

Wow I did not realize this review was going to be so long and this is only part one. Thankyou for reading part one and I hope you look forward to reading part two once it is online. What was your introduction to the Ai no Kusabi series? Why not tell me down below!

I Delved Too Deeply Into Property Brothers Fanfiction So You Don’t Have To — pudding shot

 

This was too fascinating a read to not share with the rest of the yaoi lovers out there. I must admit this gave me some giggles and I don’t mean towards the author oh no, just the sheer hilarity in knowing…. well I’m not the only one who thought that when watching the show lol

Anyone who knows anything about TV will no doubt be aware that there is a network called Home and Garden Television—hereafter referred to as “HGTV”—on which there is a show called Property Brothers. The titular brothers are attractive dark-haired male twins in that vague late thirties-early forties age range who possess some talents for home […]

via I Delved Too Deeply Into Property Brothers Fanfiction So You Don’t Have To — pudding shot

 

She and Her Cat, Me and My Cat

Sometimes it is the simplest of moments that can be the most profound and precious to us and from the work of Mokoto Shinkai I get the feeling it is these precious moments that are the message of his films. How precious but a moment can be is something we don’t realize till that moment is gone and this was a message that was clear to me upon first watching Voices of a Distant Star. In this review I will be talking about two other works by Mokoto Shinkai that are bound by a common narrative but were released 16 years apart from each other. These are the short five minute film from 1999 She and Her Cat and the recently released 4 episode mini series She and Her Cat Everything Flows.

tumblr_o3uaku6rju1ta0o05o1_540The original five minute ova is a sweet story of a young women finding a stray cat and bringing it home with her and the cat instantly falls in love with her. How do we know as the audience that this is the case you might ask? Well that is where the whimsy of these two stories comes into the play in both iterations of She and Her Cat, the story is not told by she but he the cat. We see the love and adoration of a pet who has been taken in from the cold but there is more to this short tale than this, we see a choice in love as well as a show of loyalty and contentment. This is a feeling of adoration that any pet owner has felt before from there pet, or at least this pet owner that being myself can relate to.

 Maybe I’m writing this review as an excuse to talk about my own experience with the unconditional love I feel for my own feline companion. I got him during a rebellious time in my youth and in all honesty now he is the only connection I have t that time in my life and the people from back then that if it was not for him I would much rather forget.

she-and-her-catMoments move as forward and can be forgotten so easily and yet as we form connections to these moments memories are born. Look at me getting all philosophical when I should be writing about this anime, I apologize for that. Though if you want me to write more reviews like this be sure to let me know. After all I don’t want to be like every other anime blog out there. In each review I try to put a small part of myself into the review to make the review less humdrum I suppose. I get bored easily you see when I read or watch reviews that follow the formula of talking about story, character, music, enjoyment then over all score. There is just something so sterile and boring about this to me, it is why I wanted to write something different.

Back on subject about She and Her Cat Everything Flows this new story of a cat and her owner tells the story of a girl out on her own for the first time and the cat she her mother bought her as a child. She did not like the cat at first but grew to love the feline just as he grew to love her. My own little companion has helped me myself through many a hard time and perhaps this is why this story resonates with one such as myself so easily. This short series is a small comfort for me in an otherwise crazy world at the moment. A moment for me to sit back and reflect and make new happy memories.

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Might as well use this as an excuse to show off my little companion, meet Kane everyone!

Let’s Talk About Orlando

I know this is an anime blog, but I feel as an ally and supporter of the LGBT community here in Perth, Western Australia and as someone who myself identifies as non binary , I feel I need to talk about what happened in Orlando.

At first I honestly did not want to say anything about this, but after seeing the crying mother outside the club begging for her son and my mums reaction to that as well as the anger I have seen in my partner, I decided I need to talk about this.

I cannot describe how disgusted this news had me feeling, it was a a dark pit in my stomach that has been sitting and stagnating through out the day today. It feels like humanity is trying over and over again to out do just how cruel we can be to each other. I’m not going to go all social justice warrior on how we all need to treat others better or else, because I have my own set of problems with the whole SJW movement online, the biggest of which being I think a lot of them are far to idealistic and are not realistic enough on the real problems.

What terrified me the most about what happened in Orlando was the background of the gunman and no I don’t mean his ‘Muslim’ religious background. Interviews with his father have stated that he was not a practicing Muslim and acted more like an extremist. Not all Muslims are extremist / terrorist. This broad spectrum of Muslims that a lot of media and people are trying to project is no different than say, saying or white people are skin heads or all German’s are Nazis.

The act of shooting down a group of people just because the thought of seeing people like them angers you to the point you want to do that is not healthy, the gunman clearly had mental health issues, and this is not the fault of all of the Muslim community. It is a small group that radicalizes the fractured minds of a few individuals and it is those people we should be angry with not just a whole community.

The loss of so many young lives is beyond tragic in any way, whether is be a shooting in a club, a school or in a third world country. People fight for equality but when tragedies like this strike the idea of equality is quickly tossed out of the window to see what kind of spin the media can put on the story. I’m not trying to down play the tragedy of one situation over another but all lives matter not just a few.

The gunman was a sick man who needed help, but that need for help in no way excuses what he did. If he had gotten the help he needed could this have been prevented? Their is no definitive answer to this question. If there had been tougher gun laws in America like what we have here in Australia could this have been prevented? Maybe, but then again maybe not, if not a gun and he wanted to still make a statement he could have just as easily ran in there with a machete or made a home made bomb.

I find myself however more disgusted by what has happened after this atrocity more than the act itself if I am completely honest. People online turning the gunman into some martyr, a hero for wiping out all these ‘gay’ lives. When I see this families torn apart by this whole situation, I don’t see gay lives lost, I see the lives of people lost. To celebrate the loss of innocent lives just goes to show how far humanity has really come in this age of technology.

Have all these shooting in America made us so cold to what is happening? Has it gotten to the point now where we are no longer shocked by such atrocities, and instead of being shocked when we see it on the news are we getting to a point where such horrendous events begin to feel like a normal news story?

No different to the latest sports results and this weeks weather,  and if so I have to ask; when did we become so numb?

Super Lovers Season 2!!!

So it would seem the season finale of this seasons Boys Love hit Super Lovers had a surprise at the end of the episode for fans and no need to worry this is not a plot spoiler!

The series has been confirmed for a second season to air next year in January. I don’t know about you guys but I will be looking forward to seeing more of this amusing series. Also if you wondering about my opinion on the series as a whole, while you will have to wait until next month when I release my review of the first season!

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Till next time I’m Mistress of Yaoi

A Brief History of Fanfiction

This article was specially written for the third Blog Carnival, I hope everyone enjoys this post as it has been a work in progress I must confess for a couple of months. Research for this has been so much fun and I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks of this piece.

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As a lover and writer of fanfiction I know that fanfiction is one of those things within a fandom that can divide fans of any medium. Some like myself love it, as it opens our favorite worlds to new possibilities and adventures and then there are those who think fanfiction is the bane of the fandom and bastardizes that which they love. Which ever side you are on there is no doubt that as long as there are fandoms there will be fanfiction and also I will try and make this as unbiased as possible, but that might be harder said than actually done.

Sherlockholmesin22ndcenturyFanfiction is a way we can further immerse ourselves into the worlds we love as well as expand and shape those worlds into something new. One of the earliest fandoms ‘Sherlock Holmes’ had fans that did not like the way the stories came to an end with the death of the detective. Some hardcore fans even wore black to mourn the death of their favorite detective and others wrote their own stories to continue the fandom on, in a way we can even see this continued today with new iterations of the Sherlock story with series such as BBC’s Sherlock and the under rated in my opinion cartoon series Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Both of these series and even Elementary and the recent Sherlock Holmes movies from Hollywood can be seen as fan works and so to a certain extent can be seen as their own form of fanfiction.

Spockanalia2The next big move for fanfiction in the west came in the 1970’s and this came in the form of the fans of a still popular series around the world. I am of course talking about Star Trek! One of the first shared collection of fanfiction came in the form of the Star Trek fanzine ‘Spockanalia’. Here we had a collection of fanart and fanfiction written and collected by fans for fans. But this sharing of fanfiction was not the only big thing with the fanfiction that came from the Star Trek fandom. Western fanfiction readers and writers also wrote and shared the first ‘slash’ fanfiction, and in a time like the 70’s where homosexuality was seen by many as a mental disease that needed to be cured by either church or therapy the sharing of such stories would let fans partake in an almost taboo subject. Nowadays no one would bat an eyelash at the very idea of homo erotic fanfiction involving characters like Spock and Kirk in fact these kind of stories are almost expected when one talks about fanfiction. People expect erotica but that is not all there is as I will get into later.

9ced3eeb23c40c9bbe5f983d1c67fe68It would however not be till the rise of the internet that we would see a real boom in the fanfiction community and in 1998 the first ever fanfiction community was born online and still runs strong today, I am of course talking about Fanfiction.net. This for many people like myself and many still today would be our introduction to the world of fanfiction within our fandoms.

Fanfiction was my introduction to the yaoi genre through fanfictions of series such as Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Ultimate Muscle and of course the Naruto fandom.

Fanfiction has been a part of the anime fandom since I became a member of it in my late teens and as I come to the end of my twenties (god typing that makes me feel old) it is still a part of it for me. When an anime series comes to an end or I’m just waiting for the latest ep to come out or to save up for that next boxset fanfiction keeps my interest in the fandom and even gives me a way to communicate with other fans within the fandom. I cannot even begin to tell you about all the friends and acquaintances I have made throughout the years thanks to reading and writing fanfiction.

Fanfiction however can do more to a fandom than give it’s fans freedom, in of it own it can create it’s very own fandom within a fandom. Two examples that come to mind for me is one the yaoi side of any fandom which I know not every fan of a certain fandom will be  fan of yaoi within there fandom, after all this is probably why a lot of fanfiction websites these days have separate sections for yaoi stories. This is especially true for larger fandoms like Pokemon, Digimon, Dragonball Z and Naruto on many fanfiction sites.

falloutequestria2Another interesting case of a fandom born of a fanfiction comes within of all places the ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ community with a certain fanfiction simply titled Fallout Equestria. This one fanfiction has spawned so much within it’s own fandom. Spin-off stories by other authors that are as long as any best selling novel, music, art and animation. This one story has shaped its own fandom and that is just a perfect example of why fanfiction is so amazing.

That being said I know that within any fandom there are and will be purest of the source material and will hate anything that breaks the status quo of their favorite show, movie or otherwise. When it comes to people like this the sad fact is that they like everyone else in any fandom are allowed their own opinion on a subject. We cannot force them to love fanfiction just as they cannot force us to stop writing the stories we would love to see.

On a closing note to this piece I suppose I cannot talk about fanfiction without bringing up a recent and in my own opinion literary atrocity ’50 Shades of Grey’. I do not have the time or the patients at the moment as to go in why I hate this series of ‘novels’ so much, but I will give props to the writer where they are due, after all 50 Shades started as nothing more than Twilight fanfiction…