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

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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!

Top 5 Favourite Reads on Futekiya

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It should come as no big secret by this point that my absolute favourite subscription service of the last year has been to the amazing site Futekiya, an online library of legally acquired and released yaoi and boys love content! Whenever I have a chance to legally support the genre that I adore so much I will do so and it is for this reason why I want to share my top five favourite reads so far from the site.

Now this is a list of favourite, so these are to my personal reading tastes and if any of these titles need tw warnings I will mention them within the list, I am also limiting this list to one per author because otherwise a certain author would be the bulk of this list and I wanted to use this as a chance to write about some titles I have yet to write about here on Yaoi Playground.

5. I Want You So Much That I’ll Let Him Violate Me by Funa

This title is why this post features trigger warnings so before I go into what this title is about here is the list of trigger warnings for this title that will not be for everyone; dubious consent, Rape and incest between cousins. I should have hated this title, no really I should have. It encompasses so many yaoi tropes that I have stated I hate including I rape you because I love you and yet… The tragic love triangle found within this title drew me in as well as the fact it is a yaoi story that features one of my biggest kinks that being older men in suits.

The manga tells the story of Kimichika who ever since he was a young boy has had a crush that turned into love for his grandfathers android butler, but when his grandfather passes away and leaves the android to Kimichika’s cousin, well things get complicated when he reveals he knows how Kimichika feels for the android, so he makes an offer to him that if he wants to android he must do something for him in return and with a tag like love triangle you know where this story is going and the bitter ending that could almost be seen as either sweet or sad is up to the readers interpretation of what they just read.

4. Cherry Boy Tiger and Hot and Cold Rabbit by Miwa

My most recent read on this list, I must admit I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this series. I have always had a soft spot for bunny boys in my yaoi but have also had a strong dislike for the tsundere personality type when it comes to characters so titles that include these kind of characters can be a real hit or miss for me. I love how the first few chapters of this manga introduce you to the world you are stepping into with this manga, a bunny boy host club that offers extra services for a price. How the place works is easily introduced like how host boys are white rabbits and security are men in suits with black rabbit ears. Then the meat of the story begins with a strained relationship between a reluctant security bunny and a mischievous worker who takes offense to being accused of having it easy. The relationship does involve a bit of dubious consent, which can be a big no for some but this is also a manga that plays with a few kinks you do not see too often. These include bunny boy outfits, men in suits, stockings and foot play to name a few. I myself found it to be an amusing read and is worth checking out if this sounds to your taste.

3. The Midnight Association for Broken Hearts by Minamoto Kazuki

Sometimes you do not want to read a long story but you want that yaoi fix and when that happens to me I love a good yaoi anthology series, one of my all time favorite’s of these is the Yaoi Hentai series from Yaoi Press released in the 2000’s, and I have noticed in recent years I have seen less and less anthology collections so when I found The Midnight Association for Broken Hearts I was very happy to see it was a collection of various yaoi stories. Out of the stories in this anthology my favourite is most definitely the first. To heart broken men eating away their sorrows late at night at a family restaurant only to find they are both heart broken and what starts as a friendship soon turns to love, the only problem… in the bedroom they are both bottoms! The other stories are just as adorable except for the third one for me, not a fan of blackmail and dubious consent most the time… but being an anthology if that is not your taste you can just skip it!

2. Can I Buy Your Love From a Vending Machine by Yoshi Haruaki

I absolutely loved reading this manga’s chapters daily as it came out last month, if fact I loved it so much that I started my review for it the same day I finished the final chapter which you can read right here. As stated in the review I am not usually a fan of the will they won’t they romantic comedy and quite often find them downright annoying but this sweet tale of a salary man and a vending machine stocker is just so many levels of adorable and will keep you hooked from start to finish and is a perfect choice for a read if you are looking for something that is more fluffy than sexy.

1. It’s Fine If It Is Just a Dream by Ayu Yamane

The one thing I have loved most about being a subscriber to Futekiya, is finding titles and authors I would never have found before, and if I had not limited this list to one per author then every single entry on this list would have been her work, so I decided to go with the title that got me hooked on her work. The art style of their work is very different to anything else I have seen in the yaoi and BL genre and the artwork reminds me a little of a children’s picture book, but these are stories that can tackle heavy themes of loneliness and being treated as an outcast and maybe perhaps finding a happy ending with other outcasts or lonely souls. I have already given a full review of this title and it can be found here, other manga’s of theirs I can highly recommend include The Stray, Necktie and Praying Mantis and Moja & I.

I hope this list has given you some great recommendations of titles worth checking out over on Futekiya and if you have yourself have read anything on their not featured on this list let me down in the comments below and why you recommend me checking it out. Also if you would like to see more list posts like this from me let me know! And if you want to know what I am working on, currently reading or what yaoi vn’s I am currently playing check out my Twitter, but only if you are 18+ because I post and share a lot of naughty stuff.

Meet the Fans – Mary Dumas

meet the fans, yaoi

Welcome to another installment of Meet the Fans here on Yaoi Playground today I want to share a very special yaoi fan today who is also a yaoi author who’s work I love, one work of which has been on the back burner of reviews for me and who is living proof that a love of yaoi is not just a teenage fad!

So let’s start with you introducing yourself?

I’m Mary Dumas, I’ve used A few aliases in my time. Marina, Bishounen Judge, and Dirty Old Lady being the recent ones. I have lived outside of Boston for the past 18 years, before that Virginia and California. My sister is married to a Japanese-American, and they lived in Japan for many years. Way back when VHS tapes were the thing I would tape favorite American TV shows for them. My bro-in-law would send me manga in return. I cannot read Japanese… but the pictures were great. He sent BL as a joke once… I was officially hooked. Then he figured out how to send VHS tapes with fan subs. I have a husband I’ve been married to for 38 years. I have a son 22 and daughter 25.

What would you say is your favourite yaoi?

Okay, here’s where I have to differentiate between anime Yaoi and manga Yaoi. The anime Ai No Kusabi is the best Yaoi and the best mlm sci-fi story. The manga Banana Fish is my favorite, and I’m truly disappointed with the anime adaptation. And the manhwa Let Dai is another that was transformative.

A fellow fan with very good taste if I say so myself, nothing beats the original Ai no Kusabi anime

Being an older fan what was the fandom like when you first became a fan?

When I first discovered Yaoi I was already into Tom of Finland. Yaoi was a huge breath of air, real stories, not just sex. Of course, I’ve always been considered something of a weirdo among anime fans because of my love of Yaoi but my near hate of fanfic doujinshi.

Intriguing I must confess I have never found someone in the fandom that was not a fan of fanfic or doujinshi could you go further into why you are not a fan?

I’m not a fan of fanfic because of the ruination of a friendship in high school. It was 1975, Norman, had written a pretty good story in English class, a fantasy with a bit of romance. It won an award and it got published in the newspaper. It was a big deal, and we’d all known about it. Sheila thought it would be hilarious to rewrite the romance part so it was about Norman and his friend, Mark. She made copies and distributed them around. This was homophobic times, and to say this was a joke is to put it mildly. It ruined their friendship, and Mark moved to another school. I’ve always thought, from that time, that no one has the right to alter any other person’s creation. No matter how trivial it may seem.

Wow I can see how that would leave you with a negative taste for fanfiction. To finish this interview is there anything you would like to say to those new to the fandom? And also feel free to plug any of your own projects within the genre

Those new to Yaoi or BL will be in for a lot of fun, some great conversations with other fans of the genre, and then will no doubt add in some great reads from the MLM fiction romance novels for a wonderful ride. Now, somewhere along the line there will be someone judgmental or just uncomfortable with your choice in reading. That’s on them, they’re the ones missing the fun. Don’t let it bother or embarrass you because it just doesn’t matter. As with all things there is some BL/Yaoi that is frowned upon because of it having currently not PC content, but those stories are not the majority of the genre, so don’t let that be a label put on all of it, or you for reading it.

My own contribution to BL/Yaoi is a comedy graphic novel it took my five years to complete. “Romeo X Julien” is only available at Amazon currently, and it’s independently published. It’s hard Yaoi… lots of sex. I’m currently working on a historical Yaoi set during WW2 in Europe. That one is a soft Yaoi… you know they’re doing it, but it’s not blatant. It’s working title is “The Lucky Ones.” Thank you for allowing me to be involved in your research. It brought back some good and some difficult memories. Mary Dumas the D.O.L.L. Head… that’s Dirty Old Lady’s League.

If you would like to check out Mary’s very own yaoi title please check it out on Amazon right here to support this amazing author and fellow yaoi lover! Till next time I am your Mistress of Yaoi.

Can I Buy Your Love From a Vending Machine? – Manga Review

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I must confess I am not a fan of one popular trope that can be found in many romance stories and that is the will they won’t they story. It’s why I very rarely enjoy romantic comedies. I’m not saying I hate all stories with this trope. It just feels very over played for me, especially when it comes to romantic comedies. There are some exceptions to this for me though and today’s manga which I read on Futekiya is one of the most adorable boys love titles I have read in a long time.

The manga tells the story of salaryman Ayumu Koiwai and his little crush on the man who refills the vending machine in his building and for Iwai this is a crush that is driving him mad, he can not even talk to the man without blushing, little does he realize the Yamashita also has a little crush on the cute salaryman.

Now if this story had gone down the route of the two of them constantly trying to ask each other out only for the punchline of a joke being for them to constantly be interrupted, I would have lost interest in this manga very quickly. Lucky for me and many other readers the story sees the two of them begin a cute romance of dating, getting to know each other and even a little bit of drama that is just enough to bring a little excitement to the story but not enough to break the adorable slice of life aspects of the story. It

It’s a comfy read that leaves you wanting to keep reading at the end of each chapter with a very satisfying and adorable ending and with each chapter originally being released daily the story kept me coming back each day to see what happens next. The whole story is now released and is a cute read I recommend for those new to the BL genre but also has enough of a touch of spice near the end that will keep veterans of the genre satisfied as well.

Meet The Fans – Dynamic Dylan!

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And we are back with the second installment of Meet the Fans! For today’s post I got a chance to talk to one of my favourite fudanshi content creators on YouTube the amazing Dynamic Dylan!

Let’s start this off with you introducing yourself

I am Dylan, a vlogger of ten years who talks about yaoi, manga and books. I use my channel to talk about the media I love, with the hope that it helps people smile and find something new.

What first got you into yaoi?

I was visiting my sister when I was still questioning my sexuality, and we went to Powell’s Books. I stumbled across the manga section and found myself in the boys love section. I found two titles Border by Kazuma Kodaka, and Only Serious About You by Asou Kai. I immediately gave them to my mom and she bought them for me, not knowing the content inside.

I read them alone upstairs and it was like my sexuality started to blossom. I cried reading Border, it’s still very special to me to this day. To see two men fall in love with each other and date was so validating. Back then, being a lonely confused teenager, seeing a gay couple in a form of media I love was so important to me.

Wow that kind of already answered the following question, but I will still ask anyway. What title has had the most emotional impact on you?

That would actually be Twittering Birds Never Fly. The discussion on trauma left me reeling. I didn’t think a yaoi could ever stare deep into my soul, but this one managed to do just that. Victims of trauma have different coping mechanisms. For Yashiro, he becomes a masochist who turns his pain into pleasure. I find that very empowering as a former victim myself.

Now, there is a lot of negativity out there for problematic tropes found within yaoi, are there any subjects you have seen in yaoi that will make you stop reading a title?

If you asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would probably have a different answer. I think context and intent is very important when talking about dark subjects. Rape is often a no go for me, but I’ve also read titles that handle the sensitive topic well, either as a crime or exploration of trauma. But when a title glorifies the subject, that is when it bothers me. I also recognize that these kinds of stories aren’t written for me and would never shame anyone who chooses to read them.

Do you take part in the shipping side of the fandom or have you ever in the past?

Absolutely! I used to draw fan art of Gundam ships I had. Tiera x Lockon from Gundam 00 is one of my OTPs. I also love Rei x Nagisa from Free! Kazuki x Soushi from Fafner (shout out to the small community of people that love that show.) I think shipping is a fun way to form a community and make friends. Reflecting on it makes me want to draw more fan art again.

That’s wonderful to hear you have had such a positive experience in the community. A lot of people see the yaoi and boys love community as a very toxic part of any fandom. Have you yourself ever experienced this toxicity?

I haven’t seen it within BL fan communities. Though, I have experienced homophobia, both from random trolls and other Youtubers who are much more popular than I am. The male toxicity in our otaku community is very real and very disconcerting. To the point where I only converse with female fans whom I trust. I don’t understand why anyone would want to bring someone down for something they enjoy. They should take a look at their actions and think “Would I like someone to say this to me?” If the answer is no, they shouldn’t say it. Period.

Very well said. To finish this interview do you have anything you want to say to non yaoi fans about our community? Also feel free to plug any of your yaoi and boys love projects in this last section as well.

Yaoi is a genre for people of all different kinds. And there are so many subgenres within the media that more people should give a chance . It’s not all smut, there are some lighter content for those that are weary to give it a try. Some recent additions explore beautiful subjects ranging from parental acceptance of a gay child (Don’t Call Me Dirty by Gorou Kanbe) to making friends with the outed gay boy in your school (That Blue Sky Feeling by Okura and Coma Hashi). Give them a chance, you may be surprised by what you find. Some of the most creative people I know read boys love, and are inspired by it. You might be too.

If you want to see more of my content you can on my YouTube channel: DynamicDylan

One of my favourite videos by Dylan you can really feel the love for boys love and yaoi in this video.

Are you a yaoi / boys love fan who would love to share your story about the genre and help break the stereotype of the type of fandom we are? If so and you are over the age 18 and would like to be interviewed as part of the Meet the Fans project feel free to comment on any of the Meet the Fans posts or message yours truly over on Twitter @mistressofyaoi, till next time my beautiful fans have an amazing day!

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Legs That Won’t Walk – Episode 1 – 20 – Manhwa Review

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Now here is a manwha that I had on my to read list for ages and finally got around to reading and can I just say, hot damn I wish I had read this one sooner. This is a series that ticks so many boxes for me when it comes to yaoi and even the stuff I normally do not like within yaoi is treated the way it should be and touches on some very dark subject matters with the needed seriousness without romanticizing it!

Legs That Won’t Walk by Black Apricot tells the story of a very broken man that has not given up, even though with his lot in life you think that he would have by this point. Suyeong has retired or more like limped away from a sport he enjoyed, but injuries mean he can no longer be a boxer, but according to his world be lover Ji-Sung it will be ok if he just let’s him look after him.

It is made very obvious from their interactions that Ji-Sung is very possessive of Suyeong, whispering sweet words of love in his ear while threatening him at the same time and this is a powerful representation of an abusive relationship. Ji-Sung forces his feelings onto his so called friend who just can not fight back so all he does is take it, because he is a broken man but there are small glimmers of Suyeong fighting off his so called friend of lover, he refuses to stay with him but at the same time he knows he has no where to go and if things could not get any worse now there are powerful criminals after him because of his father’s debt to them. Even when confronted with these impossible odds he still bares his fangs and fights back.

Seeing such a broken man fight to just keep going is a very inspiring take on this kind of character and I must confess in a lot of ways Suyeong’s character within this story very much reminds me a lot of Riki from Ai no Kusabi. Both are characters fighting to survive in a world that has just used and abused them and though constantly backed up into a corner they will still fight with a powerful fire within their eyes and much like Riki, Suyeong is given savior of sorts in the form of a powerful man. Those gangster’s that wanted to collect a debt from him, their leader is a very powerful man and at what first seems to be a fascinated pity for the young man begins to bloom into something much more powerful, but also dangerous for the both of them.

Suyeong has gone from the world of boxing into a pit of vipers, and though he may not be a snake himself he is more like a mongoose waiting to strike and willing to fight for himself, he does not want to be some kept man, he wants to walk on his own legs, they may be broken but he will keep taking it one step at a time, but like any good story this is more than just the tale of Suyeong.

The leader of the gangsters Park Taesong is an extremely intelligent but violent man, who grows very protective of Suyeong and may god have mercy on anyone who lays a finger on him without his permission whether they claim to be friend or foe. Then there are his underlings one of which has become quite infamous within the yaoi fandom. Min-Hyuk can be described as looks like a cinnamon roll but will fuck you up. He has such a sweet and innocent face and demeanor for a gangster but as the story moves forward it is hinted at that there is something very dark beneath that pretty smile and when it is revealed how sadistic this man can be you will never trust that smile again.

This is the face of a man that will fuck you up

The art for this series is gorgeous and I must confess that the scenario for this dark tale ticks a box for one of my biggest kinks, a powerful man in a suit. That’s right I find a man in a suit so much sexier than even the hottest naked of bodies. From a nicely tailored suit that shows off the best of a man’s assets to a suit and tie ripped open in a moment of passion these are some of the hottest of scenes. Those who follow me on twitter will quite often see me retweet artwork or just images of men in suits – what can I say I know what I like.

If you are looking for a dark yaoi manhwa with a very similar feel to that of Ai no Kusabi then just maybe Legs That Won’t Walk is the manwha for you, as long as you don’t mind themes of rape played out very realistically and violent characters being just that in a realistic way then perhaps this is the manhwa for you and you can read it right here over at Lezhin Comics. If you do choose to read this title, please know that this is the only site where you can read it legally and support the creator and seeing as the story is currently on hiatus now is a great time to start reading.

Meet the Fans – Mistress of Yaoi

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Greetings and salutations my fellow yaoi and boys love lovers, and welcome to a new series here on Yaoi Playground I am officially calling Meet the Fans. This project began as a simple thought I had last year. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the kind of people that love boys love and yaoi. Many still see us as the loud an obnoxious fangirls starting flame wars over our favourite ships and attacking the creators of the media we claim to love when they do not make our favourite ships canon. Now I am not going to turn around and say that this kind of behavior never did or never does happen, but I do want to say not all fans are like this, in fact it is a very small very loud minority. Through this project I want to give a voice to the other part of the fandom.

As much as I hate this pic from FunnyJunk.com this is still how many people picture a yaoi fan to be like

There is so much more to this fandom and genre beyond the surface level of fluffy love stories and hardcore smut and of course more to the fans that love this genre than those scary fangirls. I want to change how people see this fandom, to let those outside see the wonderful community that I love so much. To do this I put the word out that I was looking for fellow fans to interview so that I could share their very own fandom stories and experiences with those outside and within the fandom.

I want to start this off with a great big thankyou to everyone who has chosen to take part in this project. With so many others sharing their stories I decided that the first story I would share would be my very own journey within this fandom so welcome to the first ever Meet the Fans with me, your Mistress of Yaoi.

Can you start with a brief introduction of yourself?

Hi, I’m Jamie and I identify as nonbinary, but most people online will know me as Mistress of Yaoi. I am thirty three years old and I have been a fan of yaoi and boys love since I was about nineteen, yeah I was what one might call a late bloomer within the fandom.

That seems a bit hard to believe with an online name like Mistress of Yaoi, can you explain your journey into the world of boys love and yaoi more?

I have always been influenced by LGBTQ+ media ever since I first saw The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert as a child. I loved that movie so much as a child and was never shunned away from accepting those who were different by my parents. I enjoyed stories about those who were seen as the other and was fascinated by seeing a view of the world I had never seen before in media. Then later as a teen I found the tv show late at night called Queer as Folk and it was just a big wow moment for me. As I got older and started spending more time online I discovered the world of fanfiction and fanart and started seeing fics and art of characters that were not canonically together and was like, oh people can do this?

I was probably too young when I first saw this movie but I remember being glued to the screen the entire time, which was rare for me as a kid with ADHD

I even remember the first ship I started shipping at 16, it was Shinji Ikari and Kowaru Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion which I had recently watched. Then when I was either 18 or 19 I purchased my first boys love manga from store in the city, this manga was The Paradise on the Hill by Momoko Tenzen. This manga pulled at my heart like nothing I had ever read before and I was a big bibliophile and comic nerd by this point. I wanted more stories with canon couples like the two in this manga and this is when I fully dove into the rabbit hole that was and still is the yaoi and boys love genre.

What Yaoi or Boys Love title has had the biggest emotional impact on you?

For me that has to be Ai no Kusabi. I first saw the original OVA series in my late teens early twenties and I was instantly in love with the cyberpunk world of the anime as well as the characters within the story. Then by chance I found the first volume of the light novel series online and I purchased it. The first time I read volume 1 Stranger I read the whole novel in a single sitting and I fell in love with the world all over again.

One of my all time favourite pieces of fanart of Katze for Ai No Kusabi

I love stories of forbidden love always have, as well as stories of those fighting against impossible odds plus there are so many inspirational characters within the series. From Riki fighting against his low class mongrel status that he has simply because of where he was born and what he looks like, to Iason learning what it means to love and it does become a sort of love between him and Riki to a real love that is worth fighting for. For me though the most inspirational character is Katze a man whose own backstory and rise to power is proof that when you put your mind to it you can achieve what you aim for and never let those who underestimate you determine your worth in life. I have spent a lot of my life being underestimated by those around me especially when I was a kid and teenager. I have learned as an adult to accept that people are just going to underestimate what I am capable of because of my ADHD they think I am stupid and think they can take advantage of me because of that. I will admit it has not been an easy journey finding my place in the world and in a way I still am forging my own path forward but that is just it like Katze I will keep moving forward.

Have you ever experienced any negativity from being a yaoi/ boys love fan?

Yes, I have unfortunately experienced some negativity for being a yaoi fan, this negativity escalated within an offline anime fan community to the point that I was labeled by those within the group as a pedophile and I want to take this opportunity to share this story with my readers.

Offline I am very shy and awkward with those I do no know. At work I can put on a smile and act like an out going and very bright and happy person, but the truth is in social situations I am very awkward and this was even more so when I was younger. I joined a local offline anime group not long after high school and made friends within the group which made me very happy as I had very few friends during school because I was never interested in what everyone else was into. There were even other yaoi fans within the group and quite often we would talk about the latest anime fansubs we had watched online and other times we would talk about the ships we liked. I never put down others for liking different ships to me and being naïve I thought the others in the group would do the same to me. Little did I know at the time but some people in the group were not happy with the kind of ships I was a fan of at the time, in particular Orochimaru x Naruto which looking back now yeah I can see why that ship would be seen as problematic.

Things came to a head when Boku no Pico was released online and a conversation came up in the group many saying they would never watch it and I responded with something along the lines of “Why? It’s not that bad.” This comment got me some strange looks and after that many people within the group started out right ignoring me and others saying they did not want to be around me anymore. Then I got told by a friend within the group that they did not want me coming to the meet ups anymore because many within the group did not want me around the younger members within the group because they thought I was pedophile. I could not believe what I was being told and thought it was not true but when I finally got others within the group to talk to me they felt the same.

I knew I would never ever touch a child or anyone under the 18 in a sexual way, heck I myself do not even like being hugged by others unless they are family or very close friends. These accusations mentally broke me, to be accused of something so disgusting over something fictional just made me so angry. It took me a long time to put myself out there in any anime community again after that, but slowly over the years I did but even now I still have trust issues with others and letting them in.

To finish this off do you have a message for those out there about the fandom?

Different people like different things even within fandoms. You can be a fan of the same franchise and get a very different enjoyment out of the series. Some people like shipping some don’t. Some people lie canon ships and others like to mix things up with crack ships or just ships that might seem a bit out there to others but that does not make them any less of a fan.

Some people will enjoy stories and games that tackle difficult and triggering subject matters, and this in no way makes them a supporter of the subjects tackled in these stories. Fiction can be a healthy and safe place to explore such subjects without anyone getting hurt. Yes there will be titles out there that you may not approve of, after all I have made my opinion of The Tyrant Falls in Love quite obvious over the years as a title I do not like, but at the end of the day I will not hate others for liking it or reading it and having a different opinion as me. We are all different, we live in different countries are raised in different environments but instead of hating each other for these differences we should instead embrace each other for what we have in common and a common ground a lot of us can share are the fandoms we choose to be a part of.

Judge a person for the kind of person they are and get to know those who are fans of something you might not be a fan of and you never know you might find a new fandom filled with new friends to make.

If you are a boys love/yaoi fan and would like to take part in this project as an interviewee and share your story and are over the age of 18 please feel free to contact me via Twitter @mistressofyaoi or email me with the subject title Meet the Fans at mistress_of_yaoi@hotmail.com

Killing Stalking Animated Series – Thoughts on the Latest Preview

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It’s been a while since I have talked about the ongoing project from mOss that being the upcoming Killing Stalking Animated series. Since the teaser trailers were released last year I have been keeping a close eye on this project. From the release of more teaser trailers, the latest of which sent chills down my spine because that dryer scene was one of the most suspenseful scenes within the first season of the comic in my opinion, to character models previewed and so much more. I have also had a good time talking with other Killing Stalking fans within the art livestreams for the project over on Picarto and it has been so much fun spending time with other fans who are still loving this series after it has come to an end. Plus slowly watching the world of Killing Stalking being built within these livestreams has been an amazing experience.

If you want to keep up with the updates on this project the best thing you can do is check out mOss’s twitter page which is frequently updated. In today’s post I would like to talk about the biggest update we have been shown so far. The storyboard preview for the first episode which can be watched right here.

Even though it is still just a rough storyboard it shows us a lot about the upcoming project. Not only showing us a preview of the stories opening coming to life before us but also demonstrates the voice acting and sound design that bring a whole new level of tension and unease to a story the fandom knows so well. The sound design in this preview has given me chills each and every time I have watched this preview which is absolutely amazing at how much atmosphere just the right amount of sound or lack there of can give to a scene. Also the voice actor for Bum captures just the right amount of creepy yet pathetic to his voice.

This preview has left me even more excited for this upcoming project.

Dramatical Murder – Demo Review

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On the surface this games world comes across as a cute cyberpunk aesthetic, with it’s bright colors and beautiful character designs that pull you in thinking you will have a cute adventure with some strange but harmless characters, but there is something darker peaking out from just below the surface. Behind the cute designs of the city and characters there is a corrupt and dangerous city where though things seem calm enough there is most certainly something sinister going on. This is the introduction we are given to the world of Midorijima in the demo for JAST USA’s upcoming English release of Dramatical Murder.

In this upcoming game you play as Aoba a young man who seems to be at a point in his life where he has calmed down from the crazy days of his youth and has settled almost comfortably into the responsible life as an adult. He works hard at his job, he spends time with his friends and he lives with his grandma, but his life is not as perfect as it seems. Rumors around his home town of people losing their minds in a game known as Rhyme is only the beginning of his adventure and there is also the mystery of the headaches that constantly plague him.

This poor boy will go through so much and I look forward to playing it, sorry Aoba

The demo gives you just enough of the story to hint that there is something more going on but leaves the mystery open and also gives a few introductions to important characters to the story. I did however through my own playthrough notice a few grammar errors in the translation the most obvious of which being the one below and I hope the team behind the game can fix these before the games full release.

My own playthrough of the demo has only left me more excited to play the full game once it releases later this month! You can order a physical copy from J-list here or pre-order a digital copy through Steam and Steam is where I downloaded the demo.