10 Essential Boys Love and Yaoi Anime for Beginners to the Genre!!

anime, yaoi

The idea for the list came while I was browsing the yaoi subreddit group, a small but active yaoi community. A newcomer to the genre listed some of the yaoi and boys love anime they had already watched and asked for some recommendations on essential watching for the genre. I answered the question there myself of course but then I got thinking. Why have I not made a list for this already on my blog? After all, I am Mistress of Yaoi and this is Yaoi Playground! So I present my top 10 Essential Boys Love and Yaoi Anime for any newcomer!

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1. Junjou Romantica and Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

I put these two together because well, if you watch one you will most likely also sit down and watch the other, plus they do share the same universe so when watching one you will occasionally see cameos in the background of characters from the other.  Both of these series and the one that will be reviewed this Sunday I consider the modern gateway into the genre that is boys love and yaoi. Sweet and melodramatic both series will get you hooked right away and with each having three separate couples with their own relationship issues you are sure to find a couple you will want to root for while watching.

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2. Gravitation

Next we have my gateway anime into the world of boys love and yaoi, Gravitation. Telling the story of the up and coming pop star Shindou Shuichi and his band Bad Luck he finds himself accidently falling in love with the popular author Eiri Yuki. What follows is a series containing moments that will make you laugh, make you cry and at times really make you hate certain characters!

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3. Classmates

An adorable anime movie about the clumsiness of first love and growing up and an anime I really, really need to get around to reviewing. Sajou and Kusakabe could not be more different, one being an honor student trying to please everyone else and the other not really sure what he wants in his future. A chance meeting alone in a classroom turns into a friendship and then buds into something more that neither boy seems to completely understand or comprehend. This is an adorable movie and a must watch for any yaoi fan new or old.

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4. Legend of Blue Wolves

Also unfortunately released under the English title…. Hot Space Cowboys…. (I really hate that title) Legend of Blue Wolves is a classic that was cut short due to well, the company behind the anime going belly up. All that was released was a one episode OVA so there is sadly no complete story here. What is here, however, is a story of two soldiers falling in love, an abuse of power and a powerful conclusion to their love story at least that will almost bring you to the point of tears.

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5. Fuyu no Semi

Bring the tissues and be prepared to cry you yaoi loving heart out by the end of this one. A spin-off of the yaoi series Haru wo Daiteita, this anime literally is a movie starring the ‘actors’ from the previous series. Set during the Bakumatsu and early Meiji era of Japan it tells the story of two samurais who are on opposite sides of the political turmoil going on in Japan. It is a story that focuses on heavy themes of friendship, love, separation, and longing.

6. Kono Danshi Series

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Beginning with the OVAs This Boy Fights Aliens, This Boy Caught a Merman, This Boy Suffers from Crystallization and then finally the short series This boy is a Professional Wizard this series of sweet boys love stories focus on themes of loneliness in love. In fact, it is a common theme amongst all four stories. This does not make all the stories the same and the different fantasy element to each on makes each one an interesting watch. Also if you watch them in the order they were released you get to watch the series become more polished both visually and in the storytelling, as each one feels like an improvement of the one released before is I could be a bit bias on this one because Soubi Yamamoto is my current favorite anime director.

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7. Kaze to Ki no Uta

The original boys love anime that started it all, yes this is the first one ever officially released and for that fact alone any yaoi fan should sit down and watch this OVA at least once. It is at times a heartbreaking story of growing up in a world that will not always treat you right and learning how to cope in such an unjust and at times cruel world.

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8. Ai no Kusabi

Set in the futuristic world of planet Amoi, in a society where one’s hair color determines where in society you will stand, Ai no Kusabi tells the story of a complicated love story between an Elite of society in Iason Mink and his mongrel pet Riki. This is a gritty cyberpunk story that you do not see all too often within the yaoi genre but it works surprisingly well within the genre and leaves me wishing for more yaoi anime like it.

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9. Sensitive Pornograph

Yaoi in it’s purest form, which of course means it is far from innocent. When you think of yaoi this is what will come to mind to. Beautiful boys sucking and fucking each others brains out with a side of those fluffy yaoi feels.

10. Hitorijime My Hero

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This anime that has just ended has done so many things right for the genre and it a must watch! But to know my fall thoughts on this one, well…. You are going to have to read my review of it, of course!

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I do hope all you new and old yaoi lovers found this list useful! Till next time, I am Mistress of Yaoi and I say be proud to love what you love!

Okane Ga Nai The Beauty and the Beast of the Yaoi World!

anime, yaoi

63a04b2e4d29b3e353ca00117a650e98c7e4d6db_hqWhat would you say if I told you, my readers, that, that tale as old as time you think you know was originally a lot darker and has more in common with the yaoi manga Okane Ga Nai than any Disney re-imagination? A beauty with a greedy family and a selfish beast, both these elements are in the original story and ties into the narrative of Okane Ga Nai. Of course, Beauty and the Beast is not the first fairy tale done by Disney that had a darker origin.

In the tale of Cinderella told by the Brother’s Grimm the step sister’s go as far as cutting up their feet to fit into the slipper for the prince. The original tale of The Little Mermaid had no happy ending for the little mermaid, for the prince marries someone else and she turns to sea foam and the prince does not get his happily ever after either. There are other examples of Disney changing these classic tales to make them more family friendly for the modern age but that does not make their versions of these classic stories wrong, just different. A re-imagining for a new generation. If any of my readers ever get the chance I would highly recommend looking into reading the classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grim and Hans Christian Andersen and see the origins of many of the fairy tales we love today. It’s also interesting to see how standards of what is appropriate for a family audience change through time as these were stories told once to children.

tohru_kousakaBut I am getting off topic as this is to be a review of the manga and anime Okane ga Nai and I thought it might be an interesting change to make a comparison to a classic work of literature. Ayase is a naive beauty of the world who wants to believe that the little family he has left will look out for him and care about him as much as he does to them, unfortunately for him his cousin is not the most honest of men and hands him over to an auction house to cover his own gambling debt. Kanou is a beast of a man and young loan shark that buys Ayase at the auction and takes Ayase away from his family to make the young man his own. Now, this is not to break some cure that has befallen the beast, no in the story of Okane Ga Nai there is a shared past between the beauty and the beast and because of this past event our beast has fallen for the beauty. Unfortunately, the beast is not very good at expressing such pure emotions in this not so pure world.

There are many moments of questionable consent throughout both the manga and anime for Okane ga Nai. In fact, the first ‘sex scene’ in the anime is a rape scene. However unlike in The Tyrant Falls in Love, there are consequences for this action and throughout the story afterward, Kanou has to work in earning trust with Ayase because the young man is traumatized by what has happened to him, and so he should be! This is what I meant in the previous reviews when I said rape can work in a narrative, actions have to have consequences. By the end of the anime, both characters do have a positive effect on each other. Ayase learn’s to come out of his shell through many tragic and emotionally difficult moments but through it all, he does not lose his kind heart and that makes him a very strong character. That kind heart even begins to melt our tough beast which makes for some adorable moments between the two.

Okane Ga Nai is one of the true classics of the yaoi genre and a must watch for any yaoi fan and the manga delves even deeper into themes of coming out of one’s emotional shell and letting others in, a lesson perhaps we can all learn from. Till next time, love what you love my fellow yaoi lovers!

 

September Update!

blog update

It has been a busy month so far for me I must confess as I have been putting work into a few different projects, but don’t worry mistress won’t burn out this time as I have a great distraction at the moment to help me chill… thanks to the PS4 release I am finally playing Undertale! And I am already in love with how adorable Papyrus is!!! His personality is just way too cute!!

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I’m also working on completing the second Danganropna game, Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair so that I can review it for the blog. I know I said I would not be doing too many game reviews for the blog, but gaming is a part of the yaoi community as well as manga and anime and I want to cover as much to do with the yaoi community here on Yaoi Playground. I also have a few other projects on the back burner at the moment that I have been working on for the last couple of months but they are not completely related to the blog. Namely I have been working on a long running fanfic of mine for the last few years… yes you read years and well I have started a project of rewriting the fic due to my writing style improving and changing. The other one is a secret.

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Now onto other news, I have decided to interact more with the yaoi community through my blog so I will be doing polls every now and again on Twitter to ask what you guys what you would like to see reviewed right here on Yaoi Playground. The first poll has already decided that the next yaoi review will be Okane Ga Nai. I will admit this is an anime I have been wanting to cover for a while but i was not sure if anyone would be interested. If you want to take part in the next yaoi poll make sure to follow me on Twitter!

Till next Time, love what you love my fellow Yaoi lovers!

Danganronpa The Animation – Anime Review

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While playing through the first Danganronpa game I came to the realization that I had seen the anime adaptation of this game years ago and I also remembered that at the time it felt meh. I don’t remember it being bad but at the same time, I did not remember if it was any good or not. Upon completing the game which the anime is based on I decided to sit down and marathon the anime for the purpose of reviewing it alongside the game and well….. it was disappointingly mediocre, which I am beginning to feel is a trend with visual novel anime adaptations.

633d693eeec4f9f26fdcb5e521db8fc3That left me with a thought. It’s the same plot as the game and in the game, it was really entertaining but here it just fell flat and then it hit me, the big difference between the anime and the game. It really should have been obvious to me from the start. Upon playing the game and a certain scene that happened well I came to fall in love with the ship of Ishimaru Kiyotaka and Oowada Mondo; which I ended up nicknaming to myself ‘The Ultimate Bromance’. Yet when I watched the anime originally I did not latch onto these two at all and as a fujoshi that saddens me because they are an awesome ship. Now one could just put this down to my tastes in ships changing between now and then perhaps, but I can tell you right now my readers that I still love the same ships I loved back when the anime first came out (heck I still love some of my first ships like Joey X Seto from Yugioh and Shinji and Kowaru from Evangelion). It is very rare that Mistress of Yaoi loses interest in a ship once she latches onto it. Then it hit me why the ship hit me in the game but not in the anime. Character development!

Now I get it the main story of Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc takes roughly twenty-four hours to complete just the main storyline and you are looking at roughly forty hours for a completionist playthrough of the game and there is no way you are going to fit everything from that game into a 13 episode anime series, but if you have not played the game you are going to miss out on so much of the story. The main plot points of the game are there in the anime but it leaves many of the interesting characters from the game feeling like very flat and boring stereotypes and this especially goes for the characters who are killed early on in the series. There just is not enough time in the anime to get attached to the characters that die early on.

If you want a starting point to get into Danganronpa then I have to say play the first game before watching the anime. As a stand-alone anime, it is very boring because it does not dive deep enough into the game’s themes of hope vs despair and leaves us with a very cliche battle royale fight to the death anime that has been done better elsewhere with anime like Future Diary and Deadman Wonderland.

 

Vote Now on Twitter for the Next Yaoi Anime Review! VOTE OVER

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Right now over on Twitter I have a little poll running to help me decide which boys love / yaoi classic anime I will review, Click Here to cast your vote! Which will it be?

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Will it be the unfortunately cut short by production hell Legend of Blue Wolves?

The tale of debt and power that is Okane Ga Nai?

A Harem anime I actually like that is Gakuen Heaven?

Or the unfortunately censored Level C?

Cast you vote now as the vote now!

Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc – Spoiler Free Game Review

video game

Trapped in a deadly game of hope and despair fifteen of the brightest students of the nation are trapped in Hope’s Peak Academy with only one way out. They must kill a fellow classmate and get away with murder, if they cannot get away with murder then for punishment they themselves will be killed and so begins the deadly game.

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The first visual novel I have played in a long time was one hell of a ride. Like all visual novels, this game was very dialogue heavy but the conversations and puzzles found within were just so exciting that it never gets boring… for the most part. There are some parts within the story that seems to really drag on but that can come down to the gameplay style of a visual novel.

Gameplay is divided into three different sections. These being school life, body discovery and investigation and then finally the class trial. Each is very self-explanatory and I found myself enjoying all parts for the most part. School life which is where I spent most of my game time has you interacting with your fellow students and with all their different personalities it was easy to find characters I loved and those I found hating. This emotional connection to the characters made sections like the body discovery and trials have quite the stab in the heart, I won’t spoil any of that for you but just don’t get too emotionally attached though it can be hard with how endearing some of the characters are.

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If you are already a fan of visual novels (and let’s face it most fujoshi are) then this is a game you need to check out! There is so much I would love to write about this game and franchise especially with the newest game coming out next month for Australia. So throughout the rest of this month, all the posts will be Danganronpa related! That being said I must warn many of these posts will contain spoilers and being a mystery game it is best to go in spoiler free. To those who are fellow fans let us enjoy both despairs and hope together this month!!!

Who is your favorite character in the first Danganronpa game? For me, I must confess that goes to the nerdy Hifumi!

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The Answers

anime, video game

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Monday – 4 5 19 16 1 9 18

 D E S P A I R

Wednesday – In the dark night flies a many-hued phantom. It soars and spreads its wings above the gloomy human crowd. The whole world calls to it; the whole world implores it. At dawn the phantom vanishes to be reborn in every heart. And every night it is born and every day it dies! What Is It?

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Friday – 06102017

6th of October 2017 – The Australian Release Date of DanganronpaV3: Killing Harmony

A Special shout out to the one follower who figured out the clues to the little game I played with you all this week! Congratulations to Mel in Anime Land! for playing along and figuring out the final answers to the clues!

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