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Monday, August 1, 2011

8/01: Yaoi Day!

What Is Yaoi Day? Put simply, it’s a day to celebrate the boys’ love genre of anime and manga that is enjoyed by fujoshi and fundanshi all around the world. That’s it!

Why 8/01? It’s a pun on ‘yaoi’ itself. To quote the always superb Yaoi Review:
“Another term for yaoi is 801. "801" can be read as "yaoi" in the following form: the "short" reading of the number 8 is "ya", 0 can be read as "o" – a western influence without doubt, while the short reading for 1 is "i" (see Japanese wordplay). For example, an Internet manga called Tonari no 801-chan, about an otaku guy who dates a fujoshi, has been adapted into a serialized shojo manga and a live-action film. 801-chan, the mascot of a Japanese shopping centre, is used in the manga.” 
Explains why 801 Media is named what it is, non? Thus, Yaoi Day falls on day ‘801’ of the year! Read on after the jump for more about Yaoi Day.





I am, without a doubt, a rotten girl. Yes, Nagareboshi Reviews is run by a fujoshi. A fujoshi who reads yaoi, watches yaoi, writes yaoi, and works at a yaoi convention in Saint Louis (Bishiecon, represent!). Ergo, it would only be natural to celebrate this day of all days as the fujoshi blood runs through me so thoroughly. It’s practically in my DNA! No, really, my mother and sister are both rotten girls too! After all, the family that reads BL together . . . you know. (No, not that kind of ‘you know’, we aren’t the Lannisters for goodness’ sake!) So today is a very cool day for me, someone who has been a fujoshi certified since a very young age.

For those who wonder how to celebrate, the answer is astonishingly easy: read yaoi! Watch yaoi! Write and draw yaoi! Talk about your favorite yaoi series/pairings with fellow fujoshi/fundanshi! Below is a list of my personal favorite BL-flavored manga and manwha that I’ll certainly be revisiting before the day is over. And if you like this post, I can assure you that this blog will be getting weekly BL injections very soon (can't say what yet!)

Let Dai by Woon Son-yoon:  My most favorite of all boys’ love media, hands down. Set in a Seoul that is hopeless and run by the allure of drugs and guns, two unlikely young boys are pulled to each other by the power of fate: gang leader Dai and naïve school kid Jaehee. Over a series of tumultuous, violent events, Dai and Jaehee are drawn further together to the point that their attraction cannot be denied. I’d go on, but seriously, just read this book! 18+

Descendants of Darkness by Yoko Matsushita: In which being a God of Death is a desk job! An office of bishonen working to shepherd the dead into the afterlife seems like natural BL bait, doesn’t it? The main shonen ai pull absolutely has to be co-workers Hisoka and Tsuzuki – a straight-laced young man and a goofy older man. They bicker and tease and save each other’s bacon time after time. Plus, the doujinshi of them is hot. Notice: the series is on hiatus. Sad face. 18+

FAKE by Sanami Matoh:  The renowned love story between two New York City detectives – the quiet Ryo and the arrogant Dee – and how their relationship develops throughout their work is well known in BL circles. Not only is the Ryo/Dee material wonderful, the series itself is thrilling and worth reading for the individual stories. Only 18+ in the last volume.

Casino Lily by Youka Nitta: Casino Lily is the nickname of an international playboy and gambler who is infamous for winning cards and stealing hearts. This manga is packed with high stakes drama and steamy sex scenes galore. 18+

Midare Somenishi by Kazuma Kodaka: Sexy samurai! It’s a heartbreaking drama about a samurai and his brother who is kidnapped by bandits and forced into sex slavery to save his sibling from death. Unlike a lot of BL manga, this handles the sex toy trope with tact and taste and is not so melodramatic that it hampers any genuine moments of emotional turmoil. 18+

The Cain Saga/Godchild by Kaori Yuki: Earl Cain is the 1990’s Ciel Phantomhive, down to the horrific family history and ever faithful manservant. The Sebastian to his Ciel throughout all of this is his valet, Riff, who like Sebastian also has a secret back story that colors his relationship with Cain. 18+

Pet Shop of Horrors by Matsuri Akino:  Stories of Count D’s mysterious pet shop are always entertaining – but even more so is the constant cat-and-mouse game between him and Detective Leon, who is dead set on turning him in but somehow always ends up helping him in the end. Plus, the UST between them is outstanding. 16+

Think I've missed an essential BL title? Tell me about it in the comments. Happy Yaoi Day, everyone!

Also: Think you are the master of knowledge when it comes to yaoi? Digital Manga Publishing is holding a trivia contest on Twitter - and the prize is free BL manga! If you've got the time - and the know how - come on by DMP's Twitter page and give it a go!