Hey, guys! I was going to do a normal post about life and whatever, but then I read this cute Boys Love manga this morning. Which is actually pretty rare for me, most BL manga out there doesn't strike me as particularly interesting. BUT HEY, it was decent enough and thought WHY NOT SHARE WITH TheO?
And by share, I mean do a full-out critique of it. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I DO.
But no, I sometimes think that I should do BL reviews b/c it would be fun! :^D But then I remember that a lot of them are either boring or basically just porn and. Hm. Reviewing porn.
BUT! This one is not porn, it is just a nice little 4-chapter PG-13 ish story, so I WILL REVIEW AWAY.
The manga in question is called Ai Ga Love Shite You Nanosa, by Jaryuu Dokuro. The title has a lot of wordplay that I don't exactly understand. It looks like it's based on some sort of weird phrasing like "Ai (watashi) ga rabushiteru nanosa" which I think means something like, "It's like, I'm in love." "AI" here can mean the English word "I" (as in me), but is also the Japanese word for love (愛). Also in the title is the English phrase "I love you" (AI RABU YUU).
Basically: confusing title.
Yaoislife translates the title as "I, like, Love, um, You, and stuff," which is pretty cute. Idk how accurate it is to the original title, but who cares.
As far as the author, Jaryuu Dokuro, goes, her work tends to be pretty alright. I remember reading her one shot Call My Name some years ago, and remember liking it. :V (I'm also sure there was a prequel to it, but I can't find it...?? WHATEVER.) I like her art style well enough, and it's usually pretty expressive... Also kinda sketchy, but I do like art on the sketchy side. She also tends to add this sort of quick, snappy humor into her works. It's kind of rare for the kind of humor she uses to appear in BL mangas; A lot of BL kind of relies on a fantastical, dramatic tone, and when there is humor, it's usually kind of cheap and unnatural.
(...I don't really have any evidence atm to show what I mean by "cheap and unnatural," but I CAN FEEL IT. ONCE I COME UP WITH A CONCRET WAY OR ILLUSTRATING WHAT I MEAN, I'll let you know.)
Anyway, on to Ai Ga Love Shite You Nanosa.
When I first saw the cover, I thought it was going to be a Teacher-Student Romance (I-I WAS SO READY TO READ IT AND JUDGE IT HARD;;;), but it's not. They're both high school students on the cover. Ai Ga is a 4-chapter story about the relationship between student council member Oono (left), and delinquent Takeuchi (right). There's also a bonus story at the end about a different set of characters, but I won't be talking about it. One notable thing about Ai Ga is that the two main characters get together in the first chapter.
Another notable thing is that they're both butt-cute little idiots.
I ADMIT, IT WAS MOSTLY THE OPPOSITE-PERSONALITY-DYNAMIC THAT WON ME OVER. I am weak. It's true that there isn't much of a storyline, the dialogue flow is a little odd at times, and the characters aren't particularly well developed. But there's a definite light and warm tone that starts to shape the more you read it. Plus, both of these characters ended up being rather cute and felt genuine, which was nice. Takeuchi's tough-guy-but-obliviously-cute act worked pretty well with Oono's strict-but-actually-really-shy act.
One hilarious thing I'd like to mention really quick is the chapter 1 cover art:
OONO, YOU'RE NOT...
THAT'S NOT YOU ON THAT CHAPTER ART.
The only things I can offer to explain the reason for this hilariously inaccurate chapter art is the possibility that 1) the artist drew it before she decided the character personalities, or 2) her editor or someone wanted her to draw something with a more conventional seme/uke dynamic.
Oono, you are not mysterious and brooding. You are a cute little blushing baby.
In fact, all the characters were pretty cute, not just the main characters. I'm a fan of this chick:
I don't remember her name, but the manga's so short that I don't remember anyone's name. Having a female character that sticks out as a good, likable character is pretty impressive in BL mangas. BL manga tends to make boring or antagonistic female characters. But even putting aside all of that, this girl's great! I MEAN... SHE CALLS TAKEUCHI OVER USING TELEPETHY... AND IT WORKS. (???) Also, there's this:
SUGGESTIONS OF GIRLS LOVE??? IN A BOYS LOVE MANGA??!?!?!? Okay, this isn't specifically GL, she does say "We're friend's now." But I mean, considering the heart and the fact the dude on the buttom panel says "Just like Take-chan (who is clearly in a same sex relationship with Oono)," it seems like the author kind of maybe wants us to read into it a little. Maybe. Idk.
BUT YEAH, as far as the side characters go, I liked that the side characters never treated Takeuchi and Oono's relationship as odd, or anything; usually side characters in BL manga hint at the idea that same sex relationships are seen as "weird" and so on. Which, at times, can work--but other times, it won't. I think Dokuro's decision to make everyone GREAT FRIENDS instead of causing lots of friendship drama was a good decision for how short the manga was. That said, I do wish Ai Ga was a little longer; all of the characters could have used a little development, but especially the side characters like Dude With Hairclips and Beard Ponytail Guy.
Another thing I want to talk about is the art. It started out pretty standard in art style (especially the hilariously bizarre chapter 1 cover art, that looks like a fairly standard BL art style). As the story went on, the art seemed to get a bit more experimental. It turned pretty cartoony near the end, with less screentones and a kind of more sketchy/doodle-y art style compared to the first chapter. It wasn't a bad thing, and I like how the art looks in both the beginning and the end, but it was just kind of a weird thing to happen in such a short manga. HM? HM.
I really love how expressive Dokuro manages to draw everyone, though! BL has a bad reputation for its weird anatomy, but I think the lack of diverse expressions is an issue, too. Dokuro pulls of anatomy pretty well (except she sometimes draws heads a little big which makes the characters look randomly young), but expressions are really her art's winning feature. It's so refreshing to read BL manga with expressive characters, in a land where BL manga is dominated by bored looking dudes.
Like, look at this guy from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi:
It's. Are you happy, or. Pitying someone, maybe. Condescending, perhaps. I have no idea, he just looks kind of bland. Yeah, I'm being kind of harsh. I've never liked the way Nakamura Shungiku (who wrote Sekaiichi and Junjou Romantica) draws guys. I've never read any of her works, so I can't really say anything about her storytelling or anything else in her manga.
But it's not just Shungiku who does this weird emotionless thing; here's a chapter art from Super Lovers:
Yes, can you not see the love I harbor when you look into my emotionless, dead eyes...
But no, I literally cannot see either of these characters as having any sort of emotions in this picture. They're just sitting and staring. Indifferently. I'm not trying to say that there isn't a place for these sort of blank, emotionless expressions in BL manga. I'm not even saying that Sekaiichi or Super Lovers is bad--I've never read them, I wouldn't know. It's just that with these sort of faces, it's hard for me to really care about the story being presented because clearly, the characters themselves don't care.
Dokuro on the other hand works with varying expressions, and from the pictures of her's that I've already posted, I'd say she manages to pull it off. She draws very cute emotions, I really like it. *3*b
Look at these cute losers, it's great. She also draws pretty nice kissing:
Cute and simple, and the characters actually look like they're feeling emotions rather than like... kissing a wall, or something. And seeing emotions in characters makes them seem so much more relatale and likable.
Though Dokuro does a good job with faces, there was a definite lack of backgrounds in the manga. She definitely could have put a bit more effort into that department, because there was a lot of white space in several of the panels.
To conclude, here's my final thoughts on Ai ga Love Shite You nanosa:
-The plot is simple with no real conflict, and doesn't require a lot of thinking. Yet there's a light and cute tone to the story, which I found likable.
-All the characters are cute and fun, but pretty flat. Their lacking depth did add to the lightness of the tone, though.
-A little short, could have used some expansion.
-Cute art, but could've used a bit more detail in the backgrounds/etc.
-Dialogue was a little plain at times, but the cute moments and funny moments got me liking the manga after all.
It was a fun read and definitely had lots of cute moments, so I do recommend it. *u*b It's not extraordinary, though, and doesn't have any sort of depth or striking originality to it. But it is enjoyable; I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would.
And that's that! Thanks for reading, if you did, I know it was kind of long. Haha. If you like reading these sorts of reviews or whatever, I might do another one sometime. :V You can even suggest something for me to review! WANT ME TO READ SOME BAD YAOI? I'LL READ SOME BAD YAOI... or whatever you want, haha.
Anyway, I'll post some art stuff up sometime this week, probably. And I'll try to have a life update soon so I can tell you 'bout plans for Katsucon and whatnot! *u*b HAVE A NICE LIFE.
Mood: I hunger.
REMEMBER WHEN I USED TO DO THESE CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRES ALL THE TIME? The time has come again.
I was actually just super bored last night, and it looked kind of fun. :^D BUT YEAH, here's a couples quiz with Stefan and Gabe because WHO ELSE WOULD I HAVE ANSWER THESE, LET'S BE REAL...;;;; So yeah, the answers to this thing takes place while they're dating.
The first third has questions answered by Stefan, the second third answered by Gabe, and the final third answered by both of them.
1. What exactly was it about this partner that he was attracted to?
I'm not entirely certain if this question is asking what I find attractive about Gabriel, or what Gabriel finds attractive about me; I'll answer the former. I suppose you could say that I find Gabriel's carefree take on life attractive... I admire how he can find enjoyment in most things, and that he is able to maintain a positive attitude. He's also fairly entertaining, as in the way he talks and his mannerisms in general. I enjoy spending time with him, is mainly what I'm trying to explain.
2. So, here’s a scenario for you: some guy is hitting relentlessly on your significant other? What do you do?
Assertively ask him/her to stop and/or leave.
3. Where did they take their significant other to on their first date? Details plz!
Incedentally, we went on our first date as a sort of joke... I lost a bet. I left everything up to Gabriel as part of the bet, though. We went to the movies, to the mall, ate dinner... nothing out of the ordinary, surprisingly.
4. So, do you think of yourself as possessive?
Not particularly; the both of us try to be fair in our relationship, and not hold an unhealthy amount of control over the other.
5. Do you regret taking in your significant other?
No. Though I was uncertain of what direction our relationship would go, initially.
6. Any angry Ex’s we need to be aware of?
No. There was a time when Gabriel's friend Danny was interested in Gabriel, and thus had negative feelings toward me. We've cleared up our conflicts, for the most part.
7. What physical traits do you find most attractive about your significant other?
Ah... Well, there's no denying that he has a nice body. Though I do like his face quite a bit. Particularly, his smile. He has that pretty boy celebrity sort of smile, it's very handsome.
8. Are they hot?
Aeh, well, I suppose... I think so...;;; [translation: yep, imo.]
9. Do you think YOU’RE hot?
? Not particularly, though I wouldn't say I'm unattractive... What does this have to do with our relationship, anyway? :I
10. Have you met your significant other’s family? What was the outcome of that meeting if you have?
I have indeed. Initially, I was actually rather nervous about meeting them... I've been in relationships in the past, but this was my first time meeting a lover's family. He has a very warm family, though, and I enjoyed my time with them. I'd be happy to visit again, sometime.
11. So, having read the above questions, what do you think about the way you’re significant other answered them?
Classic Stef. So formal. -u-b
12. Okay, so some young, supple woman is hitting on your man. What do you do?
UH WELL UH damn, if it's a girl, I guess I'd just come over and be like, "YO, EXCUSE ME BUT HE'S GOT A MAN." Or like... yeah, something like that. I DON'T KNOW, MAN, I'VE NEVER ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THAT...
13. Where do you like your significant other to take you on dates?
Oh I dunno, I'm pretty fine with anywhere... Though idk maybe I'd kinda like if we'd go do romantic shit like... walking around Paris at night... go see the Eiffle tower... or eat dinner at some random cuTE PLACE AAAAHSHUTUPILIKEDOINGCUTESHITSOMETIMES/// *hides face*
14. What is one thing you wish you could change about your significant other?
Uhh... huh. I dunno, maybe I wouldn't change anything? Though like sometimes he gets annoyed pretty easy at little things, like at restaurants or when he's driving. :T Idk, it's not really too big a deal, though.
15. Disregarding the laws of physics, nature, and gravity… what would the children of you and your significant other be like?
HAHA, OH UH... I HAVE NO IDEA, DAMN. MAYBE LIKE... my hair, and his eyes, and named Gabe jr. and grows up to be a rock star. Yeah, good plan. Nice work, Gabe jr., very proud dad I am.
16. As a follow up to the above question, do you want kids?
Nah... I mean, I do like kids and stuff, but I dunno if I'm really responsible enough or whatever to actually take care of one. I don't think Stef really likes being around kids that much, either, so I wouldn't wanna force him into that. A-AND ANYWAY IT'S KINDA EARLY TO THINK ABOUT KIDS, Y'KNOW, HA HA...;;
17. So… Who is really in charge of the two of you ^_~
Hahaha, I dunno... like, I don't think either of us is really in charge, we just talk out things if we need to.
18. So, have you or are you living together? If not, would you want to? If you are, are you happy?
Nah, we're not, but we both stay at each other's place pretty often. I mean, I'd like to live together... I dunno if he's ready yet, though, and I'm kinda nervous about asking him 'cause it's like... what if I freak him out;;; 'CAUSE LIKE, IT'S A PRETTY BIG DEAL, Y'KNOW... and I don't wanna ruin everything by asking a stupid question, gah. orz
Whoa, sorry for getting real on you. Just had to let that out...;;
19. So, what do you like most about your significant other?
oh, uh... I dunno, I like everything about him...! I guess I really like... his eyes... and his laugh... and everything hhaaaa why is this SO EMBARRASSING FOR ME ALLOFASUDDEN... Stefan's just a cool guy, okay? And I just... like him. OKAYNEXTQUESTION.
20. Vanilla or Chocolate?
Uh... Vanilla, I guess? Haha, what the hell?
Alright, so now you get to answer some questions together! =) This should be fun…
21. Alright… what movies do you enjoy watching together and why?
G: CHICK FLICKS
S: DON'T... TELL THEM THAT. ....it started as a joke, but I think at this point we both enjoy a romantic comedy every now and again, with a degree of honesty;;;
G: Hey c'mon, The Proposal's a good movie.
S: You only liked it because that Ryan Reynolds fellow is in it.
G: Ry Ray is bae.
G: UH, AFTER YOU OF COURSE.
S: Of course, of course.
G: I LOVE YOU, STEF! *u*/ <3
22. So…what would be your nightmare date? ^^
S: Nightmare date? I'm not sure... *to Gabe* That rock band you took me to see was a rather terrifying experience.
G: Haha, c'mon, it wasn't that bad. You were having fun by the end. :D FOR ME, IT'D BE.... *to Stef* yo, actually, I think our nightmare date would be like... if we went out somewhere, and your parents had to chaperon...
S: OH GOD WHY
G: Actually, your dad might be pretty chill, but your mom... no offense man, she kinda sometimes scares the shit out of me a little bit;;;
S: She tends to have that effect...;;;
23. Okay, as a follow up to the question above, what would be your dream date?
S: Just spending time with Gabriel is enough for me--
G: AW STEF STOP I'M BLUSHING. *smooshes Stef's face* But actually, hear me out: lamplit walk around Paris at night, go see the Eiffel tower all lit up, then go eat dinner at some random cute place...
S: ...I'm not opposed to your saccharine plans, but you're going to have to be a bit more descriptive than "dinner at some random cute place."
24. AWKWARD QUESTION TIME~! <3 How is your love life? (No graphic details plz…)
G: It's great, Stef's great in be--
S: STOP IT IDIOT YOU CAN'T TELL THEM THAT.
G: ~*~But Stefan, I just want to tell everyone about how great you are at everything~*~
S: I WOULD PREFER PRAISE ASIDE FROM MY SUPPOSED EROTIC CAPABILITIES;;;
25. So, what are your plans for the future?
S: I'm not quite sure, I feel that the two of us are just taking the relationship wherever it goes. *to Gabe* Unless you had something in mind?
G: U-uh, well, uh... I mean like, I kinda sometimes think about when we should move in together, or if we should, and like...
S: Ah, I see. We could talk about it sometime, if you like.
G: You mean it... doesn't freak you out or anything?
S: ? Why would it "freak me out"?
G: HHHHH I'VE BEEN SO NERVOUS ABOUT THIS AND YOU'RE JUST SO CASUAL WHAT THE HELL--
26. MOAR AWKWARD QUESTIONS~! <3 What lies have you told your significant other?
S: I don't think I've lied to him, so I don't--
G: Aw eff that, Stef, you lie all the time.
S: What?! I don't!
G: You do! Like with little stuff all the time, you're such a hardass about things and don't like to admit when you screw up, so you just make up some stupid shit to save your ass.
S: Like what?!
G: Like, uh... if you cook something and it comes out shit, you'll be like "Oh no, the recipe called for 4 cups of sugar, when it should have said 1," or something, like... Yo, I dunno I can't think of anything right now. But stuff like that.
S: That doesn't even count as lying--
G: Chill, chill, it's not even a big deal. I actually think it's kinda funny. :D
S: I WILL NOT SIT HERE AND BE ACCUSED OF BEING A LIAR.
G: Stef, I'm just teasing youuuuu. ;u;/
S: >:T *pout*
27. Do y’all go on group dates?
G: Nah, not really... I mean, none of our friends are really dating, are they?
S: Tomato has his boyfriend, but...
G: Yeah, I think that'd just be awkward.
S: Isn't Jo dating Danny?
G: Yeah, but I'm not going on a double date with my sister;; Nah, just... nah, group dates, nahhh....
28. So, dates aside, what is your favorite thing to do together?
G: Eh, idk... just chilling is nice. :D
[ooc: I'M GETTING TIRED SLKJFSA maybe I'll come back and change this answer, later.]
29. Okay, last question. Are you and your significant other polar opposites, or do you ‘click’?
S: We're fairly different people. We do our best to make it work, though, aha.
G: Haha, yeah, it's actually pretty fun. *to Stef* I dunno, maybe its like I like being around you because you are so different from what I'm used to. I've never been close to anyone like you, before.
S: I, uh... *hides face* R-right, I agree...///
G: What are you getting embarrassed for? (hahaha)
S: Silence, I'm not embarrassed;;;;
...AND THAT'S THE END OF THAT! Stefan's section seems so boring. Answering questions with the both of them was fun, though. HEE HAW.
Have a swell day, my friends.
Yo! I'm back from Orlando! 8D
I forgot to mention I left to go to Florida for the weekend, but... yeah. We went to Universal Studios thing, mainly for the Harry Potter attractions. 8D I'm not really one for rides, but seeing all of the Harry Potter buildings and stuff was really neat!! But souvenirs were butt expensive. There were these Hogwarts house button down cardigans that were really cute, but also 80 DOLLARS. GHAHGHG. I should've bought like a Hufflepuff tie at least, though. :T They were like 30 dollars, which is actually about the same price as a normal tie...
Speaking of ties, I bought a 12 dollar tie from this random H&M that had a randomly huge men's section. I wish all H&Ms had HUGE MEN'S SECTIONS because their suit coats, ties, shirts and stuff are actually pretty decently priced for business clothing. >:V I've never actually tried on their jackets, but the collared shirts fit me pretty decently. THANKS, H&M, FOR HAVING CLOTHES FOR SMALL MEN THAT A SKINNY CHICK LIKE ME CAN FIT INTO.
Anyway, there's that random tangent. Idk if I've ever mentioned my interest in wearing business clothing, but yeah.
It's Stefan's fault, basically. 8D
BUT UH. YEP. I'm on winter break, now! I've started working on my Secret Santa drawing, so HOPEFULLY! THAT'LL BE UP SOON! I'll try not to get it on like the 30th, like I did last year;;; and I'm also doing the coloring digitally, so I won't have to deal with my grandma's hilarious scanner. -u-b I'm having a lot of fun with it so far, though! *U* Soon, my Santaling... you shall see your drawing from your Santa....
(note: Santaling = person who receives a gift from a secret Santa, I guess.)
Hm. Not sure what else to say here. I guess I'll mention that my grades for the semester are looking decent so far! 8D I've only gotten two, but whatever. My British Literature 1 class was an A-, which is great because that class was hard as a butt. :I BUT YEAH. NOW I NEVER HAVE TO ATTEMPT TO READ PARADISE LOST EVER AGAIN...
My other grade was a B+ in Natural Psychology, which is decent. I had this professor last semester, and I got a B+ in his class back then, too. MAN. I wanted to at least get an A- this time. ;u; BUT OH WELL. SO CLOSE.
And uh... yeah. I think that's about it. I'll be traveling on Christmas Eve and Christmas, so I might be a little silent those days. BUT! I'll try to be active and comment and stuff this break. *U* My backroom's getting pretty active b/c of all the secret Santa stuff, so I'm gonna go comment on some of that stuff now.
Happy holidays everyone, and have a nice break!!
Mood: study butts.
I want to make a new icon for myself, but idk what to make it of! >:M I've been using this Stefan one that king-sama made for me for quite a while... which I still like, but I THINK IT'S TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW. *-*
Idk what to make it of, though. Most likely one of my characters, but idk which on.
Speaking of characters, I made a list of my currently "active" characters, the other day. :m (Active meaning I think about them and their story.) ...I guess I'll just post the list here, 'cause WHY NOT. This is my world.
Character list (by story)
* = fairly active
# of girls: 2
# of boys: 5
# of other: 1
=My Dear Princess=
=Teach Me Something Good + the college timeline=
-Amelia (Stefan's girlfiend)
# of girls: 4
# of boys: 1
=Nerdy and Jock=
-Brodney's Girlfriend (no name yet)
# of girls: 3
# of boys: 4
=TWEWY (not all related story-wise)=
-Jun Oomiya (O. J's real name/normal self)
# of boys: 13
# of girls: 12
# of other: 1
Yeah. So if you've been subscribed to me for a while, you might've noticed that the A Life Like This and Rock Band characters are missing. I've basically given up on those two stories, because I can't find them particularly interesting, anymore... Dare might stick around, but I can't really think of any sort of story that I want to invest in regarding him. So I left him off the list, too. :c
I also didn't include the Dreams characters here, either, because as much as I would like to work on that story, fantasy stories just require too much of my time. orz ONE DAY, I'LL FIGURE SOMETHING OUT FOR LULI, ALCOTT, MS. MARIGOLD, AND THAT WHOLE LOT...
So yep. There might be a couple characters you don't recognize in this list, but shmeh. I'll talk about them some other time. Or you can ask in the comments and I'll blab about my characters to you! 8D Hahaha.
I also included a male-to-female ratio here because idk, I was just interested in seeing how many girl characters I have. I'm actually surprised that it's this even. :U It's mostly Teach Me Something Good that's keeping it balanced, because Noland is like the only male character. (WHICH BOTHERS ME A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE IT CAN SEEM LIKE A HAREM STORY AT FIRST GLANCE, OR SOMETHING...!!!) There's actually one other male character (Chrystal's art teacher), but he doesn't have a design yet. I imagine him as this crusty old man who's in love with his cat. (??? this probably doesn't make any sense.)
...Anyway, I'm not really talking about anything anymore. GOTTA GO STUDY! Have a swell week, my friends.