Friday, June 22, 2012

Wowie Yaoi - Manga and Romance Blog Hop



Manga - It's Not Just for Comic Nerds

If I hadn’t started reading yaoi manga a few years ago I wouldn’t be writing m/m romance stories today.

For those that may not know, yaoi manga are Japanese comics depicting stories about men falling in love with other men. Like m/m romance stories, some yaoi is sweet with very little sex and some is much more sexually explicit. Many of the tropes, such as friends to lovers, opposites attract, unrequited love and enemies to lovers are common to both yaoi and m/m romance novels. 

People discover m/m romance in various ways. I’ve seen readers comment that they came across their first m/m book while browsing Amazon, or through fan fiction or after seeing Broke Back Mountain. For me it was yaoi. 

Finder Series

I’ve always been a fan of comic and graphic novels. I read the original Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles comics long before they became caricatures of themselves on a kids’ TV show.

So when I tried manga and stumbled across the Gravitation series by Maki Murakami I was hooked. Once I’d found Gravitation, I was amazed to discover so many other yaoi stories about men in love. Some of my favorites are Junjou Romantica,  Loveless, Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness) and Only the Ring Finger Knows.

Junjou Romantica

Through yaoi I discovered fan fiction. I never participated in any of the TV show fandoms. All my fandoms were for manga and often the fan fiction was slashed (m/m pairings of hetero characters) for manga like Bleach and Vampire Knight.

I’d always been an avid reader and I loved to write but I was too pragmatic to believe I could support myself as a writer. When I left high school, the chances of an unknown writer from small town Canada getting anything published by the big six were pretty much non-existent. So I set aside my dreams and channeled my need to write into my job.

But I met some great people in those fandoms and they introduced me to original m/m romance. I'd found my passion and I started to write again. 

Happily for me, this coincided with huge changes in the publishing industry. With the rise of electronic publishing and ebooks, smaller publishing companies are able to give unknown writers a chance. Writers like me. 

Yaoi filled a void in my life. I met new friends, learned about the Japanese culture and language. I even visited Japan. And most important of all, yaoi gave me back my passion for writing.

Do you read yaoi? What’s your favorite series?  If you don't read yaoi, now that you've toured the yaoi manga blog hop, will you?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win the blog hop grand prize. Make sure to leave your email address so you can be contacted if you win.

And since my story, Wishful Thinking features two university students (a common yaoi trope) I’ll be giving away a PDF copy to one lucky commenter on this blog.

Good luck and happy reading whether it's yaoi or m/m romance.

Manga and Romance Blog Hop Participants.




The blog hop and contest has ended.
Out of 391 entries in total, collected and numbered, random.org picked #328 so amilyn is the grand prize winner.
Here on my blog random.org picked #12 so the winner of a copy of Wishful Thinking was Emily!
Congratulations to both of you! Thanks to everyone who participated and commented. It was a lot of fun.

38 comments:

  1. I haven't read any manga yet but am getting info from all these blog posts so that i can make a considered foray!

    Suze
    Littlesuze at hotmail dot com

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    1. Glad to hear you're going to dip your toes in, figuratively speaking. :)

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  2. the first yaoi hints i've seen where in sailor moon *laughs* it was the first anime i've watched and i loved it. the whole bunny/seiya-thing was great.
    through the anime i found manga (at the time there weren't a lot of them, because the boom didn't hit quite yet). a few years later i've read a lot of manga - consisting also of yaoi and the lighter shonen-ai.
    i loved gravitation too ^^ i think that was actually the first of the genre i read. it just blew me away - mostly because of it's humour and craziness. Only the Ring Finger Knows is also one of my favourites - totally cute.
    i should totally try loveless - there was such a hype about it, but that kinda made me wary about it, so i never tried it out. as we seem to have some favourites in common i'll definitely go and check it out now ^^

    witchvela at web dot de

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    1. You may like the DVD better than the books. I found it was a little lighter, but that's just my personal opinion.

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  3. I have not read any Yaoi yet but will be checking out everyone's suggestions. I am a fan of M/M so I think it will be worth it.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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    1. I'm glad to hear it. There's a lot of similarity so I hope you enjoy it.

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  4. Ooh, university students--the story sounds great! LOVELESS always sounded so dark, but anything named after an MBV album has to rock. I love the first few GRAVITATION volumes, but SHOUT OUT LOUD is my favorite.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Loveless appealed to me in part, because Risuka is so independent. As I mentioned to Yto, you may find you like the DVD better.

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  5. Awesome post, Pender. Gravitation was Hot! Loved the anime of that too.

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    1. The anime was great too. I even have the soundtrack. LOL

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  6. I have the same yaoi favorites as you, except Lovelss; I've never actually watched that one. :3

    Awesome post! ^__^

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  7. Thank you for participating. Reading about how people got into yaoi (like it's a gateway drug) is making my night brighter lol.

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    1. No worries. :) I'm having lots of fun. I just need to make more time to visit all the other blogs.

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  8. I haven't read any yaoi, but would like to after reading some of these blog posts. Not sure which one though.

    Jbst
    strive4bst at yahoo dot com

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    1. There's lots of suggestion lists on Amazon and Aarinfantasy's a good place to check out of you're comfortable with forums. I'd suggest something sweet to start out, like "Only The Ring Finger Knows" or "Desire" by Maki Kazumi & Yukine Honami if you want something a little more sexual. Neither is a series so you won't immediately feel compelled to buy more yaoi. Or maybe you will. :D

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  9. Hi! I have to tell you, your picture choices are wonderful, and great mangas for Yaoi beginners. And I absolutely fell in love with Zero from Vampire Knight. I think he is my favorite male character thus far in hetero manga.

    I loved your post and completely agree with you that (even though I am a comic freak) not everyone that is addicted to Yaoi has to know everything about comics. Yaoi fan girls become like a family in a sense, we're all a pretty welcoming bunch, even if you're brand new. Again, thanks for posting this and I love your work. :)

    ~NightTempest♥

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    1. Zero is probably my favorite too. I have a real soft spot for him. Glad you like the pictures. I debated about the Finder Series one as that series is probably not for a novice reader. The artwork is so beautiful though, I couldn't resist.

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  10. I fall into the category of will read manga after the bop. I've always wanted to but have been too intimidated by the form, and the sheer amount of options! But will all the reccomendations and glowing reviews- how can I stay away?

    Thanks for posting!
    Lillywriting@gmail.com

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    1. You can't. Bwa ha ha. :)

      Yaoi's much more accessible now for Westerners than even a decade ago. Amazon and Chapters (Indigo) have hundreds of choices with reader reviews, and suggestions. I'm sure other online bookstores do too. And if you're not sure if you want to read yaoi, many stories are now in DVD too so you may find you prefer to watch. Oh, I just realized how rude that sounds. LOL

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  11. I'm a big Nakamura Shungiku fan. I loved Junjou Romantica, but her Seakiichi Hatsukoi is even better. I also like Koisuru Boukun by Takanaga Hinako and there are just so many more. I love manga. I've always been interested in manga, but it was only a couple of years ago that I discovered yaoi. I went from there to m/m romance, like so many other m/m romance writers in this hop ^.^

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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    1. I didn't realize how many of us came to m/m romance from manga and yaoi. :) Thanks for the recs. I'll have to check those out.

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  12. I started reading yaoi before I read m/m romances. I love pretty much anything by Ayano Yamane, Masara Minase, and Mizukami Shin. I love Okane Ga Nai as well, Ayase is one of my all time fave ukes. I'm also a fan of the series Love Mode. Aghhh, I need to stop now, I have so many faves and now that I'm thinking about them, I deep remembering more and more. Anyways, thanks for sharing and participating!!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome, Emily. I'm having fun and discovering a few new stories to try.

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  13. Mine was anime, then yaoi, then m/m. The one manga I try to keep up with is The Tyrant Falls in Love. About time for me to hit the manga site to see if any new translations are up. ;)

    lina7391(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I've heard of that one but haven't had time to check it out. *sigh*. So many stories, so little time. :-)

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  14. I enjoyed the post; it was a great read.

    I'm a big yaoi manga and anime fan. I also love m/m novels, romance, mystery, fantasty, etc.

    Two of my favorite yaoi manga are Junjo Romantica and The Finders series.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

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  15. Gravitation was one of my favorites! I really liked the anime series for it, too. Have you read any of the Gravitation doujinshi that the author did on the side? Some of them were pretty crazy. ;)

    My favorite is still Yami no Matsuei, even though it's more of a fantasy with yaoi elements than it is a yaoi manga in itself.

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    1. I have read most of the other Gravitation doujinshis and that's wild and crazy stuff. Those boys love video games (like Togainu no Chi) are pretty wild too.

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  16. Though I consider myself an avid yaoi fan, besides fanfic I've only read the first volume of Gakuen Heaven and Earthian... But (and technically it's not yaoi so maybe it doesn't count) I've read all volumes so far of Loveless, and it's one of my favorite series in anything ever.

    chibiminty@gmail.com

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    1. Loveless is one of my favorites too though I think I prefer to DVD to the books. (It doesn't cover the whole series though.)

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  17. This has been a lot of fun. I'm discovering all sorts of m/m romance writers I had no idea were out there.
    It's interesting that you mention Gravitation which is one of my daughter's favorites. From what I've read, it has many gay characters in it, but they all have different personalities, lives and desires- other than the person they're in love with.
    Anyways, thanks for taking your time to participate.

    sinkopation8@hotmail.com

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    1. Gravitation was my first introduction. The artwork isn't quite as "beautiful" as other some other books, but the story is great with lots of humor.

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  18. I do read yaoi, and have more recently started reading mxm romance. I kinda managed to miss the fan fiction phase, I'm not sure quite HOW, but I always manged to find the 'original fiction' on the fansites. I am really glad that you were able to point out the similarities between yaoi and mxm fiction. I know they are different, and a lot of other 'hoppers' have been pointing out the differences. But I appreciate your take on it. "friends to lovers, opposites attract, unrequited love and enemies to lovers" Love is love, in yaoi or mxm form. It's love. <3

    Manda
    Krowhop@gmail.com
    (11:24 Sunday PST) ^_^;;;

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    1. There's definitely differences but the enough similarities that, IMO, if you like yaoi you'll like m/m fiction and vice versa.

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  19. I started reading yaoi seriously just this year and I have to say I loved Haru wo Daitte Ita, Home Tutor and a lot more. I bookmarked Desire and Only the Ring Finger Knows and I will read sometime soon.
    But do you know why I went searching yaoi mangas to read? Because of Vampire Knight! Started reading ZeroxYuuki fanfictions and, while looking for more, I found myself amused by the number of KanamexZero/ZeroxKaname fics. Then, out of curiosity I read some and got addicted! (I love Zero seme and Kaname uke.) Started with YenGirl and, some time later, I found you!
    Can I say that I loved all your VK fics? I've already read them a lot of times and I never get tired. I cried when I finished all of them for I knew there would be no more. And now I'm visiting your site and wanting to read your original works!
    I hope you are happy and well! Thank for writing those amazing fics that made (and still make) me so happy!
    Love,
    Aiasaka

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    1. Wow, Aiasaka. Thank you for taking the time to look me up and comment. I am happy and having a lot of fun writing my own stories. I hope you get a chance to check out some of my free reads. The links are all available here on my blog. It was lovely to hear from you. Thanks again for you lovely comments.

      Pender

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