Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Blogger: J.R. Loveless

Today I have a guest blogger. J.R. Loveless gives us a treat into the world of yaoi. I'm over on her blog, so you can check out what I had to say about yaoi on her blog.


J.R. Loveless: What is Yaoi? How is it different from Western M/M Romance?

Yaoi, around since the late ‘70s, is a Japanese term meaning Boy’s Love, but the word itself actually has no meaning. It is a shortened acronym of ‘Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi’. Translation: No climax, no point, no meaning. Despite the translation, most Yaoi does have a point, meaning and a climax (sometimes many, LOL). Yaoi is mainly targeted to and written by women focusing on homoerotic or homoromantic relationships. The key factors in most Yaoi animes/mangas/etc. are the usual couple characteristics. The ‘seme’ (or better known as the ‘top’) is usually older, taller, more masculine and serious in nature. The ‘uke’ (or better known as the ‘bottom’) is usually shorter, feminine, outgoing in nature, and the younger of the two.

My own journey into Yaoi began in 2005 when I discovered the popular anime, Loveless. Loveless is the ‘softer’ side of Yaoi as it only hints at a relationship between the two main characters. There were only 12 episodes of Loveless aired in April 2005. The characters in Loveless actually have cat-like features such as ears and a tail which are lost when they become ‘adults’ (by losing their virginity). Aoyagi Ritsuka is a 12-year-old boy who’s brother was murdered a few months prior to the beginning of the anime. In the first episode, Ritsuka meets Agatsuma Soubi, who claims to be a good friend of his brother, Seimei. Ritsuka comes to discover the secret life his brother lived involving spell battles, paired up with Soubi. Soubi is considered the ‘Fighter’ and Ritsuka is the ‘Sacrifice’. The series ends before the manga and kind of leaves you wondering, but if you truly wish to know the outcome, you can pick up the manga volumes which the artist/writer intends to end at fifteen releases.

There are quite a few Yaoi animes available, such as Gravitation, Gakuen Heaven, Junjou Romantica, Kizuna, Kirepapa and many, many others. Although, there are many that some may find objectional so view with caution. Examples of these are ones such as Papa to Kiss in the Dark and Boku no Pico. These contain relationships between family members or between an adult and a younger boy.

Manga has a wider selection of Yaoi available than the anime. Most anime series or OVAs are based on mangas and may continue the story after the series has ended. Loveless is such a series.

What I’ve discovered since venturing into the world of western male/male romance is that there is a significant difference between the two. The main difference I’ve noticed is the characters. In the majority of what I have read, both of the characters are usually masculine, quite close in age, and either top or bottom or versatile. From what I have seen in regards to reviews written by the actual reader on sites such as Goodreads.com, western male/male romance readers tend to be more critical of novels written in the Yaoi style.

Yaoi themed novels that I recommend to those who may be interested in discovering the world of Yaoi:
Something For Nothing by Connie Bailey, Blue Rose by Sui Lynn, Undercover Sins by Hayley B. James, or Gatekeeper by Rayne Auster.
And for those who already love Yaoi, perhaps some of these western male/male romance novels:
Detour by Talia Carmichael, The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson, or St. Nachos by Z.A. Maxfield. All great stories and definitely recommended.


Discover the world of Yaoi for yourself by visiting one of the best sites on the net, Aarinfantasy.


Signing Off,
J.R. Loveless

You can find out more about me, enjoy free reads, or contact me with your comments at http://www.jrloveless.com. Follow me on Twitter @jrloveless or friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheJRLoveless. Or you can enjoy my blog posts http://jrloveless.blogspot.com.


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