Boys’ Love, anybody?

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I love Ouran High School Host Club because the comedy is so on. Compared to the manga, it's actually funnier – and this is a rare case where the anime is actually better than the manga. (The manga tends to take the fun out of the humour a little by overexplaining the humour.)

One element of Ouran that I have to get used to is the "twincest" between the Hitaiichin twins. In case you straightaway rate the anime as an R-rated show, rest assured that for the twins, it's just an act to pull in the girls that they (cough) "service". And nothing goes beyond a teary-eyed look and embrace. πŸ˜›

But like the character Haruhi, I really don't understand the appeal of having twins showing, er, romantic love towards each other. Its still ick to me, but I laugh anyway when the Hitaiichins do their thing because, in case anybody doesn't know it already, Ouran makes fun of the whole boys' love genre to the max.

The twins represent the brotherxbrother "genre" that appears in yaoi sometimes, while Mori and Huny represent the whole "shota" deal. Shota – and I'm probably oversimplifying it – is where the seme – the dominant guy – is this massively huge guy and the uke, (the submissive guy) is shorter, more effeminate and here's the rub – they often look like children. Eventhough it's almost always stated in the story that they're 18.

It's hilarious how Ouran tapped into the shota genre with Mori and Huny. Huny looks like a six-year-old, but he's actually 18. Apparently the author jokingly said (in the manga) that since Huny's birthday is on Feb 29, he grows only once every leap year. That could explain it! ;D

I personally just hate the shota genre. It's just too unrealistic and it reminds me too much of paedophilia. Sorry to shoto lovers – no offence, yah? But with Huny and Mori, it's all played out so … subtly … I can handle that. πŸ™‚

This post is sparked off by a post at Sama Zama: Boys' Love: Yo-go or No-go? where he asked whether you'd stop watching if Haruhi never turned out to be a girl. To be honest … I will. Not because it's too shonen-ai as a result, but because where's the fun of it?

Because Haruhi is a girl, we see Tamaki's antics, we see his jealous streak and hopeless attempts at trying to win her – that's why Ouran is so hilarious!

And about Boys' Love – yaoi and shonen-ai and all that. To be honest, when I first heard about it, I was like, Oh my God, are you serious??

It's not that I dislike gays etc. It's just that I find it absolutely weird that girls will be into this. I am a girl, and I am so not into seeing two guys making out.

Well, at least, was. hehe.

My best friend is really into yaoi and shonen-ai. Her favourite series is Gravitation, followed by Fake. I used to tease her so much about it, but seeing that she's fed up with me making assumptions about the genre, I decided to do my little investigation.

What I found out there was … yikes. πŸ˜‰ I disliked shota-slanted yaoi immediately, didn't like gakuen settings and didn't like how 60% of the time one guy is drawn as a massive hulk while the other is frail and girly. My main complaint about these yaoi is that it is so unoriginal, silly and unrealistic. (That's why I don't really like the shonen-ai aspect of Yami No Matsuei either … it doesn't seem very realistic at all.)

Then I found Takanaga Hinako's Tyrant who fall in love or Koisuru Boukun and I was smitten. (DramaQueen has licensed it, and to my utter relief, is naming it The Tyrant falls in love. I've been dying to insert the "s" after "fall" for ages.)

Both of the guys are drawn in a realistic fashion (meaning, they don't look like underdeveloped 18-year-olds, and both behave in a realistic fashion – no weepy ukes here! The weepy one is the seme, hehe.). Then it's absolutely hilarious as well! I thought – well, if yaoi can be like this, I don't mind.

I understand why girls dig yaoi now. As a girl, I find it romantic that guys can be so 'emotionally open' to each other. Some girls say it's because they can see two bishie guys having 'fun'. But I also understand it as a fulfilment of a girls' desire to see their guys as sensitive and emotionally open as the men they see in yaoi. And oh yeah, that they're sexy, desireable and all that as well. πŸ˜›
Well, so far no yaoi out there has topped Tyrant, and I don't expect any to. Perhaps my taste is just far too narrow (or fussy and spoiled, as my friend says) for me to enjoy the yaoi genre properly, so I'll call myself a "dabbler" more than anything else.

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10 Responses to Boys’ Love, anybody?

  1. hopeless says:

    I adore Ouran in a way that I’ve seldom felt. I’m not a fan of yaoi, apart from the obvious mainstream shounen-ai titles like Loveless and Gravitation, but Ouran is just so amazingly good at making fun of it my lack of knowledge in that area doesn’t really matter.

    I agree with you that the genre of shounen-ai (and shoujo-ai, for that matter) is rife with clichΓ©s – the wild, cheerful and weak one and the passive, manipulating one, or the younger innocent one and the dark horse, or the one who gives love and the one who doesn’t return it. I’m sure it puts many off the genre, since these stereotypes can only be carried so far.

  2. Kitty says:

    Ooo! Hopeless Sensei visited my blog! =D

    Yeah stereotypes can be only carried so far … am reading Fake and Gravitation now. Fake was only okay … dislike the art a bit, but the story is okay. Average actually. Though Sanami Matoh manages to cook up the UST pretty well πŸ˜‰

  3. Saria says:

    >>”…where *he* asked…”

    T^T But I’m a GIRL…

    I am still not sure if I like Haruhi better as a girl or a guy. Having her as an apathetic heroine does provide for some pretty awesome mild tsundere, though, in the sense that seeing her indifferent composure melt into love-love mode will be most interesting.

    Basically, OHHC rocks. The end.

  4. bordge says:

    THEY LICENSED TYRANT BEFORE I READ IT!!! HUHU….

    anyway….i stumbled on your blog thru googling for some ouran.

    yah i like ouran too… and most especially yaoi. actually thats why i watched it, thinking it was some yaoi anime that’ll save me from boredom but well… it has its tendencies and suggestiveness. i also like the fact that the whole anime is so much like a “Revolutionary girl Utena meets Fruits Basket” with all its metaphores and humor. ive seen the 21st episode in youtube and i still cant absorb the fact that haruhi is a girl. i bet im not the only one who could say “she doesnt look like a girl at all”. and im simply amazed at how human hikaru and kauru (well kaoru molsty) are.

    i work in our schools publications office and i have to admit my workplace is very similar to the host club…not that we’re hosts… but its fun to compare the characters to my real life friends due to similarities in personality.

  5. Uzumaki says:

    Shota is about 1/100th as scary as the loli fetish that is being embraced and encouraged among anime fans, Japanese and otherwise.

  6. rawr says:

    i like yaoi/shounen ai because i like seeing guys open to each other..and all sweet and stuff…but i hate seeing hot anime guys with girls…b/c it just reminds me of how i cant get a super hot guy like that…

    plus, when theres two guys, its double the fun! since you can see two guys being open, kind, etc

  7. CatzCradle says:

    I usually dislike most yaoi and I’m also really picky. But there are only two yaoi series I like, one is as you know, the Tyrant Who Fall in Love and t Okane ga Nai (No Money). Unlike other yaoi, It’s more realistic becuase the uke doesn’t fall in love with the seme no matter how many times they do it (He’s straight). It is also hilariously funny while the main couple shares a complicated relationship.

    All I’m saying is how about trying out the manga for at least three volumes before giving your verdict?

  8. B. says:

    Well, I agree and disagree.
    Yes, Shonen-Ai doesn’t… agree with everyone, but it isn’t morally wrong to many/most people (unlike yaoi or pedophelia, as mentioned, which some have very strong feelings against). I, personally, have no problem with the genre, although there are certainly more tasteful ways of portraying it…
    As for examples, I only have seen the Ouran series, which I believe is really just a “fanservice” in itself. To answer your question, if Haruhi hadn’t been a girl, the whole storyline would have been different. After all, it is in the first episode (to go by the anime) that all of the characters learn to like her and it notes that they all saw she was a girl.
    I do, however, have to state that when you speak of the cliches in roles, you say so as if this only partains to gay relationships. It is sometimes very blatant, but it must be recognized that this is not uncommon in “straight” relationships depicted in manga/anime.

    Well, I haven’t much else useful (as if all of that was) to say,
    So my only suggestion would be: yes, there are things that you will find annoying or that you disagree with, but you can aavoid those things if you’d like.
    Thank you.

  9. Nice subject area that you have chosen.

  10. Maki-chan Yaoi Desu says:

    I love the Hani/Mori thing, even though I notice how pedophile-like it is ^^ While my girlfriend says she would prefer Haruhi as a guy I think that the confusion makes things interesting, Takamachi didn’t seem put off when he still thought Haruhi was a guy, which gives fangirls hope =3

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