Fan projects have always fascinated me. From parody songs and song covers, original and or animated music videos using footage from a show, doujinshi, cosplay and of course fanfiction, seeing what fans can add to what they are passionate about, the level of creativity is just so fascinating to me. One fandom I have been watching since late December last year is the Killing Stalking fandom, a fandom I myself am a part of but also have a morbid curiosity with.
A simple YouTube search of Killing Stalking will bring up many things. Reviews that can go from a very basic and boring review that does nothing but explain the story’s plot and say what the fuck, to in-depth reviews that pull apart the stories themes and asking if the content of the story goes too far or those saying that they are fans of it but are not sure if they would recommend it. A good video review on this manhwa comes from a fellow fujoshi Akidearest wherein she brings up a lot of interesting points on the story.
One point she brings up which I have to say I agree with and still to could cannot for the life of me figure out was why do people compare this to Yuri on Ice!!!? I’m a fan of both because I am a fan of many things but I don’t understand the comparison of the two at all. Then I recently watched a new video from A Fujoshi’s Kommentary titled 5 Killing Stalking Facts You May Not Have Known. On a side note if you have not read all of the first seasons of Killing Stalking and wish to continue reading spoiler-free come back to this video once you have finished Chapter 19 of the manhwa. In this video, Fujoshi Kommentary makes mention of the manhwa not initially being very well known until shared in a Yuri on Ice!!! fan page. This makes sense to me as I can see this happening, with the large number of fujoshi and fudanshi in the Yuri on Ice!!! fandom it makes sense that if one of them found something interesting to read after the end of the Yuri on Ice season that they would want to share it with fellow fans of similar content.
One thing that has come across as shocking to many is just how dark Killing Stalking is and I think a lot of this has to do with one of the biggest stereotypes around the yaoi / BL fandom. That it is all cute fluff for women with porn on the side and that porn though it can be hardcore still stays with that pretty boy character type, but dig a little deeper and there is far more out there than the fluffy fantasies of teenage girls.
Darker stories like Killing Stalking are not uncommon within the genre. My Sexual Harassment is an anime OVA that catalogs the sexual harassment of a young businessman who is groomed by his manager to be used as a tool to help push product for the company and shows the emotional turmoil the main character goes through as he comes to terms with his emotions of the situation and why he does not want to walk away from as well as the reaction of those around him. Koi No Kawaki (Thirsty for Love) is a manga that tells the story of three men mourning the death of the same girl who they all say was their girlfriend and find they share more in common than just the girl they all slept with, and I cannot forget the subject of my most recent review . Ai no Kusabi is one of the darkest novel series I have read and is more than just a yaoi story exploring themes of class prejudice and survival of the fittest.
As for the fandom romanticizing abuse… I have been on the outside looking in at an abusive relationship and there is nothing romantic about it. I do see the shipping side of the fandom as something else. Like I stated in my previous piece on Killing Stalking, though we might not want to think about it, there are people in this world that are trapped in abusive relationships. Whether they be like the one shown in Killing Stalking or something different having fiction like this does open up the conversation on these situations. Saying someone who is a fan of this series is romanticizing abuse would be the equivalent of saying someone who is a fan of horror movies is romanticizing serial killers and torture like that seen in the latest slasher film. As long as we distinguish fiction and fantasy from reality and have an open forum to discuss reality I see nothing wrong with stories like Killing Stalking.