Saturday, March 04, 2006

Boys' Love

So I finally got a chance to see Brokeback Mountain. I went with a friend from work. I absolutely LOVED it. It was an amazing movie, beautifully filmed, directed just perfectly. Jake Gyllenhaal was great, but Heath Ledger just blew me away. He definitely deserves an Oscar for that performance. When I looked at that movie screen, I didn't see Jake and Heath, but Jack and Ennis. I was so completely lost in that movie that someone could have bombed the theatre and I wouldn't have budged. I cried a lot too because it's a very emotional story. It's been a week since I saw it and I am still thinking about it.

My friend likes arty or literary movies, but I was still a little unsure over how she would feel about the love story, but she enjoyed it. She didn't like it as much as I did, because I think she was still somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of a homosexual relationship. It's just not something that's all that open or visible in midwestern America even now.

It's amazing to me how some people can watch a movie as powerful as Brokeback Mountain and only be concerned with the fact that it was two men in love instead of a man and a woman. Two of the other ladies at work saw the movie as well (separately from us) and they didn't like it, and that was the basic reason -- they had a hard time watching two guys. I just wonder why they went to see it in the first place. And it's pretty clear that they love each other. You don't choose who you fall in love with in life, so why not someone of the same gender as you? That doesn't bother me at all. The more love in the world, the better.

Anyway, the movie made me decide to finally try out some of the anime out there that deals with Boys' Love (or shonen-ai as it is called in Japanese). Here are a few of the titles I've watched or become interested in.

The beginning of this series is available on the Anime Network on Demand, which I get through Time Warner Cable. I've watched the first five episodes so far, and it's really good. I've heard a lot about this series from other anime fans and is a huge favorite in the anime community. I can see why. It's the story of a young man whose band is just starting to break out and his relationship with an older male novelist. Eiri Yuki (the novelist) is a great character, very realistic is the sense that you don't always know what he is thinking, that sometimes it's hard to read his actions that actually show that he has affection for Shuichi.

So far I've only seen one episode of Loveless, but if that episode is an indication of the quality of the full series, then I've found a new addiction. Absolutely gorgeous art, interesting characters, and an intriguing story. A brief description of the story -- "Ritsuka is an alienated sixth grader: his older brother Seimei died under mysterious circumstances; his mother is prone to irrational, violent rages. Two years ago, Ritsuka underwent a change he doesn't understand that's left him unsure of his own existence. Soubi, a mysterious college student, appears and announces he loves Ritsuka and will do anything for him--and that he knows how and why Seimei was killed. With Soubi as his protector, Ritsuka enters a supernatural battle against the forces of the sinister Septimal Moon."

Sukisho and Kyo Kara Maoh are a couple of other shonen-ai anime series that I am really interested in checking out.

If you prefer books, there is always shonen-ai manga. Loveless (there will eventually be six volumes) and Gravitation (12 volumes, all released) were both manga series' before they were anime series' and Loveless is finally being released in the U.S. by Tokyopop. I picked up the first volume already and hopefully will have some time to read it this week.
Demon Diary is a Korean fantasy series that deals with the relationship between a young demon lord and his mentor. I've read three volumes (of seven) so far and am really enjoying it.
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cathy said...

You might want to check out Fake - a seven volume series about two New York detectives - and Antique Bakery, too. Antique Bakery is a bit harder to describe, but it's charming and fun to read. There's a lot of lingering over pastry production, if you're also a foodie. :)

Beverly said...

I've heard of Fake, but forgot about it completely. And I'm pretty sure that at some point I read a review of Antique Bakery that was favorable. That is one that is published by one of the smaller manga publishers.

Michele said...

Not posting so much on BL, but to bounce in excitment that you've listed Kaze no Yojimbo as a favorite in your anime!

I was wondering if anyone but me had watched that series. I started with it on Netflix and then bought the whole thing so I could rewatch it.

And to make this pertain to the post subject, have you tried Mirage of Blaze? The main romance is m/m and it's all hot and angsty, though the story itself can be a little confusing.

If you have Netflix, you might give it a try by first renting the movie, Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge. It's self-contained for the most part, so you don't need to see the series first.

Beverly said...

Thanks for stopping by Michele. I only just heard about Mirage of Blaze, and it is definitely on my list of shows to check out. Thanks for mentioning it to me also.

And I love Kaze no Yojimbo, though I know it isn't one of the "hot properties" in anime anymore, if it ever was. I got interested in it because of it's base ties to The Seven Samurai, and really ended up enjoying it on it's own merits. It's a relatively mature anime series (not blood and sex, but issues and complexities) and I really love it.