Whenever I submit proposals to my old university, professors will always ask me “Why historical manga?”
The whole world believes that comics are just comics. They are a shallow form of entertainment that exists to amuse us and that in itself is not bad but what I look at is to what degree are we amused and how does our amusement affect us.
It’s a little harder when tracing the effects of a particular manga to a particular population however, I realize, that as long as a manga exists, its values, mores, style, and art remains timeless and continues to be influential.
All the more when it’s historical manga.
So before I make the reveal on this, I first want to thank the following lovely ladies who replied to my call for BL Webcomics on time (meaning before 3 PM NY/Easter Time – 3 AM in Manila): Lamborg (@neuromantically), Jocelyne Allen (@brainvsbook), Melinda (@mbeasi), Ellestrois (tumblr), Kimiko (@ShroudedDancer), Cathe/Tiny Taikodrum (tumblr), Elibard/Corallini (tumblr), Anne Lee (@apricotsushi). Thanks to all of you, we made an awesome list and more and more people are even suggesting that I should look into other titles!
At the same time, I want to thank those who gave their recs much later than the contest time: fishydotlove (tumblr), montflorit (tumblr), tachixneko (tumblr), @Oshioki_koneko, @Kanzen_Ron. Do know that recs came in time and I will actually append Parallet in a few minutes!
So ladies, without your efforts we probably would be in the dark as to where we will turn for our BL webcomics. And for those who are just chiming in, you might as well bookmark that list because I’ll try to update that post for any recommendations. Maybe I’ll be doing this as a yearly thing.
Anyhu, on to the winner (the first girl in the randomized list as randomized by Random.org):
So congratulations to @neuromantically!! I’ll probably be calling you or DMing you in a minute to arrange how we’re going to bring your bacon hoem!
Again! Thank you so much for all your recs and keep on recommending BL webcomics you’ve been reading online!
Fujoshi. Fujojo. There’s no denying that I am all of this.
It’s already in my blood. I don’t think I can ever unsee life without fujoshi lenses and I must confess that my fujoshi vision has given me nothing but pleasure in life.
Until, that strange awkward moment when you’re introduced to an esteemed colleague as one. See, last year, we had a guest who was giving a talk about Japanese manga and its presence in real life, and here comes my adviser introducing me as a fujoshi. Better put your bad foot forward, right?
I have issues going public about my fujoshi-ness. Don’t you? It’s my realm of fantasy and as much as possible, I’d like to keep this part of my life to people who won’t judge me for my manXman needs. I have had strange experiences that in the face of a general population, the mention of homosexual suggestion will only mean awkward silences and people’s hasty conclusion that I am a perverted person.
I know — we know — that liking BL, yaoi, slash, and permutations thereof is partly a perversion and as much as one would like to think that we are past the concepts of sexology and that these preferences are not in anyway sexual deviances, a good portion of the world still thinks I’m weird. Thus, I’d like to keep my fujoshi life a secret identity only open to friends who are happy with the batshit insane.
And I’m not alone on this. I have friends in prestigious positions, from doctors to lawyers to academes who shy from “coming out” with their fujoshi life.
Thus, when said adviser introduced me as a fujoshi, I immediately backpedaled and corrected him in saying I was into gender studies. That sounds a lot more respectable, isn’t it? Strangely, this esteemed colleague was not fazed by my fujoshi title and simply said “Oh just say you are a fujoshi. It’s something to be proud of.”
At that moment, I questioned if the time was right to come out as a fujoshi. I tried to admit to this colleague, with a sense of shame, that I was indeed a fujoshi but again she empowered me with supportive words that fujoshi are a powerful lot and there should be no shame in being a fujoshi.
And in hindsight, you know, she’s right. In the last century, the earliest of “fujoshi” have been shaping the face of comics. Thanks to the Magnificent Year 24 Group, we were able to explore shounen ai. They’ve also pushed the sci-fi genre, the josei genre, and finally managed to develop comics for women and their fantasies.
As fans, fujoshi have been most conscious about gender. Their fujoshi vision have made many fujoshi gender aware and have pushed gender debates to many directions.
Despite its “rotten” roots, there’s something beautiful about being a fujoshi.
And while the world masks boys’ love behind bromance, unresolved sexual tension, etc. etc., the fujoshi would probably be the first of the lot who would come out and embrace many men and women who used to keep their sexual preferences private.
I think today’s a great reminder on the amazing things that fujoshi have done in this world.
I’ll be posting some articles in the next few hours in celebration of this day just for us fujoshi. I’m hoping the weather would be nicer! Right now, my office has no electricity and I’m stealing time at another office just to post this for this day!
That said, among my readers and fellow fujoshi, are there still many of you uncomfortable in “coming out” as a fujoshi? Share me your stories and your experience and also, do you think it’s time to “come out” as a fujoshi?
I think there are times when we dreamt of having lived in a manga.
Erin F. posted on tumblr this funny post of two characters from Nana with a caption on how you should think twice on living in an Ai Yazawa manga. Just imagine your life in Nana, where you may possibly fall with a rock star, get played, get preggers, find a hot not!girlfriend as your roomie and live the dream with great tears.
No. I’d rather live in Gintama where life is carefree and I can hire someone for the price of sugar.
The image eventually sparked a wonderful exchange with twitter folks! Some wouldn’t mind living in an Ai Yazawa title while others had their own suggestion. I ran down a list which isn’t enough since I’d like to live in most of the manga I enjoy until a friend turned the question around and asked “Which mangaka would you pick to illustrate your life story?”
Now, isn’t that a dream? Now who out there can make my most “boring” life amazing?
It’s been a long dream of mine to see manga widely distributed in the Philippines. In fact, if people asked what I would do if I won the lottery, I will say that I will establish a manga publishing firm in the Philippines.
Not that I have issues in seeing manga in English (I’ve been thankful that this is available to me), but see, I’m a little envious that our Southeast Asian neighbors have easy access to manga.
Meeting people online as well as traveling to places has shown me how late the Philippines is in the manga game. Almost every major Southeast Asian nation has a manga industry. Ten years ago, I managed to go around the region thanks to my father and back then, localized manga from Thailand and Malaysia were thin tankoubon formats printed in newsprint. The Chinese editions were a little different, with paper closer to a thicker version of parchment.
In my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I took a shot in buying manga from a 7-11 store. It was the Malay version of Gokudou Twins and I cannot vouch for quality of the translations but I can share that the publishing quality is quite good. It even mimicks Japan’s double cover! The best part yet was it was sold for RM7, just a little over PHP 98, or $3.50.
Upon seeing that edition, I return to what I had reflected on about the five years that came and went since I started this blog. In it, I had high hopes that manga is on an upswing in the Philippines however, can it be as widespread as it is in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia?