Wowie Yaoi

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Okay, it’s not quite pronounced the same. It’s pronounced ya-oh-ee. But if you say it fast it’s close. What is it you ask? Yaoi is a Japanese graphic form of m/m romance, often referred to as Boy Love or BL. Think comic books with more nekkidness. :-)

I’m certainly no expert in the genre, I only discovered it about a year ago myself thanks to Kris who offered to send me a book and I was totally hooked. I thought I’d share my thoughts as a relative newbie to the medium with you and maybe someone will give it a try or some of the “experts” in the house can share their recommendations with us.

Format: Generally yaoi is read back to front and in the shape of an S, you start in the upper right hand corner and end up in the lower left. It took me a couple of books to get into the groove but now it’s “normal”. Some books are also a collection of 3 or 4 shorts rather than one longer story but there are also many series out there.

Artwork: There are numerous styles like any art form, some I adore such as that by artist Ayano Yamane above or Košen (on the right). Unfortunately the books are mostly black and white. I would kill for a full-color version of Crimson Spell or Saihoshi.

Characters: Yaoi heroes fall into two categories – the alpha male (seme) who is ALWAYS the top and the beta male (uke) who ALWAYS the bottom. There are no switches in yaoi. A seme would never take it up the butt. He’s usually taller, stronger, more aggressive and sexually experienced than the smaller, prettier, virginal uke.

Themes: I haven’t read that many books but the over arching theme tends to be opposites attract or power imbalance.  The poor orphan and the rich benefactor, the boss and employee, the popular boy at school and the quiet artist/nerd, the teacher and student, older man and younger boy, the warrior/wizard and prince, etc. etc.  Rarely are the couples of equal social status or socioeconomic status. Of course there are variations on the theme, but I’ve seen these ones come up over and over again. Gay for You (GFY) or straight (bi?) guys who suddenly decide to have gay sex are also common. In a few books the characters identify as gay, but I find that less often.

Sex: Oh yes, there is smexin’, plenty of it and in some books it’s VERY graphic, in others it’s more discretely drawn. However much of it starts off with dubious consent or “dub-con” which may border on rape and go on for several scenes or an entire book/series. There is also plenty of underage sex, by North American standards. Teenagers in high school or younger (14 or 15) are often the protags and adults with younger teens is not uncommon,  be sure you check the blurbs if that’s an issue for you. (The little brownhaired boy on the left looks about 12 but he’s 18. They are often drawn to appear younger.)

Lube & Condoms: Lube is like a yaoi version of a blue diamond. RARE! You rarely see lube in yaoi and from time to time the self-lubing ass crops up. No, not in a paranormal sense. 0_0 If lube is rare, condoms are non-existent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in anything I’ve read.

Anime: Yaoi anime that can be found on-line and Junjo Romantica is a great one which is not very explicit but follows the books really well. Hey, I learned to say “I love you” in Japanese thanks to that show. Sensitive Pornograph is another one that is very faithful to the book but is definitely NSFW.

Fantasy: I am not a huge fan of epic fantasy, swords and sorcery type books. I’ve never read Lord of the Rings (fast forwarded through to the battle scenes in the movies to get to the elf – yes, I’m shallow). However in yaoi form I adore it. Who knew? Maybe because it moves quickly. The first book I read was Saihoshi by Košen and I fell in love with the artwork and the story. Another amazing series is Crimson Spell by Ayano Yamane. Here’s an example of finding the appeal of a sub-genre in another format.

3 Dislikes: 1) I find the over-reluctant seme annoying and some authors draaaag it out. I don’t mind “no, don’t” a couple of times, but after 6 months, either stop having sex with the guy or just go for it . 2) Sometimes I don’t “get” the Japanese cultural mindset that can be part of the books. Doing anything, including having sex with someone, to protect your honour is difficult for me to understand. I find this more in yaoi novels than manga. 3) It’s not cheap, in a $ for minutes entertainment sense it’s overpriced compared to a novel.

3 Likes: 1) Part of the appeal is I know exactly what I”ll get. The seme always behaves the same way more or less as does the uke.  2) Some of the artwork is beautiful, and some of the smexin’ is pretty hot for a graphic novel. 3) It’s a fast read, great for carrying in your purse to appointments. (People shouldn’t be reading over your shoulder anyway. Give them the evil eye or let them get an eye full.)

Please share some of your favourite books and websites in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.  I think Ingrid is a bit of an on-line yaoi guru. :-D Perhaps she’ll share some of her secrets with us. I know some people have given yaoi a try and just don’t find it works for them. I never would have guessed it’s my thing but I really do enjoy it.

Where can you get it? Book Depository is an amazing source, of course there is Amazon and other on-line retailers and I’ve found larger comic book stores in my city carry a fair bit but it’s more expensive than BD. If you’re a newbie I’d start with some of the recommendations I’ve listed below and I hope others will add to the list. ETA: Ingrid had kindly volunteered to compile a list based on the comments left which we will then publish in the site. Thanks so much Ingrid for taking that on. Mwah!

Yaoi that I enjoyed

Crimson Spell 1 & 2 – Ayano Yamane (3 not yet translated to our dismay)
Saihoshi: The Guardian - Košen
U Don’t Know Me – Rakun (this is actually a Korean version of yaoi and this book is hard to find or expensive)
Junjo Romantica Vol 1-10 – Shungiku Nakamura
Love/Knot – Hiroko Ishimaru
Love a la Carte – Haruka Minami
Chocolate Surprise & Mr. Flower Bride – Lily Hoshino
Black Knight Vol. 1-4 – Kai Tsuragi

Yaoi Anime

Junjo Romantica Season 1 & 2 (Covers most of the series)
Sensitive Pornograph (NSFW)
Veoh has a gazillion links if you search “yaoi” but unfortunately I don’t recognize any of the titles, but some are short clips if you just want to try it out.
YouTube you’ll also get a lot of yaoi videos, but again, it’s a bit hit and miss.

78 thoughts on “Wowie Yaoi

  1. Ingrid

    So I am the yaoi guru? I guess I’ll have to prove my reputation right then.

    My source for online yaoi is: http://www.thespectrum.net/manga_scans/yaoi/
    Some of the above mentioned stories are there so you can read them online first before buying (the cheap option).
    Or here: http://www.mangatraders.com/search/?term=Yaoi&searchGenre=1&showOnlyGenre=1
    I am not that familiar with this site but is has a lot to offer.

    As for anime I also love: Okane ga nai ( http://www.animeseason.com/okane-ga-nai-episode-1/) and Ai no kusabi.

    For pictures there is : http://yaoiandflesh.tumblr.com/
    Those are not work safe *grin*

    1. Tam Post author

      See Ingrid. I KNEW you’d be a perfect source. :-) The advantage of a book over on-line is you can turn it around to figure out what’s what during the smexin’ and you don’t get a crick in your neck. LOL But on-line is a great way to try it out. Thanks.

      Oh and thanks for volunteering to compile a list Ingrid per Wave’s message below.

  2. gwenny

    Have you tried Love Mode? It’s not for everyone with some of the protagonist being 16 or 17 but I love it to bits!

    Eerie Queerie is also good, imo. Tho, I don’t think there’s any smexing, just some teenagers in love, ghost, and cross-dressing. :D

    Also, Fake! I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some Fake. It’s the first manga I ever read.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for the recs Gwenny. I don’t really mind when they are teens. The oddest one I read was Dark Walker (a novel) which I enjoyed but the one kid was 14 and had his own apartment and everyone thought it was “normal”. LOL I was like “huh?” That cultural thing again I guess. ;-)

      1. gwenny

        I think you’re right about it being a cultural thing on acceptance of teenagers/kids living on their own. Whether it’s reality I can’t say, but the current anime I’m watching, Bleach, has a female character whose parents died when she was young and then her older brother, her only family member, dies and she’s left living on her own in their apartment and everyone doesn’t seem to find it out of the ordinary at all.

  3. Alexi

    HUGE Yaoi fan. Huge. Can’t even explain how obsessed I am. Yaoi is what brought me to M/M. I have too many favourites to list, but tops for me:

    Fujiyama Hyouta – GORGEOUS artwork, really well written. Lover’s Apartment, Love Spell, Sunflower, Freefall Romance, basically everything.

    Kamo Nabako – Ukes are a bit wimpy, but the artwork is ridiculously cute. I especially like Suteki na kegawa ga nakute mo and Koi wa Ichiya ni Shite Narazu.

    Mishima Kazuhiko – probably my number one favourite mangaka. Unique, lovely artwork, and she does the reverse seme trick – the uke is usually the older, taller one. My faves: Love Neco, Reverse and Miwako no Ringo.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for those recs Alexi. We’ll definitely add them to the list and I’ll have to go shopping with a list in hand. Right now I find it’s just kind of hit or miss and some are definitely misses.

      1. Alexi

        Mishima Kazuhiko and Fujiyama Hyouta are *safe* buys – I don’t think either of them have ever written a dud. They have varying levels of heat in their work, some quite explicit and others more sweet, but their artwork is always so pretty that it doesn’t really matter.

  4. simsala

    I`ve started years ago with reading yaoi but stopped almost enterily as I dicovered the m/m romance genre.If someone is intersted in yaoi and wants to know something about stories,authors etc. you`re welcome to ask me.For now I would recommend all books by Myamoto Kano.Very mature and “adult” artwork and stories for yaoi. (Beware;not every book of her has a happy ending !).
    You don`t have to buy the paperbacks.Most of her work is downloadable for free at http://www.mangatraders.com or http://www.liquideros.com.
    Mangatraders has more than 1400 downloadable yaois on the site.
    Try to avoid the whole teacher/student- crap.It`s not worth it.
    More yaoi translation-groups on the internet are – for example:
    http.//z12.invisionfree.com/Fantasy_Shrine
    http.//www.blissful-sin.com
    http.//community.livejournal.com/afascinante/
    http.//dpscanlations.deathsvertigo.com

    Other recommended authors/artists:
    contemporary-Masara Minase , Takashi Kanzaki
    suspense-Ayano Yamane
    Japanese historicals-Mizukami Shin
    Tough stories/hot sex (*g*)-Mika Sadahiro

    Have fun
    s.

    1. simsala

      Very important !!!
      The downloads are NOT illegal.
      The translation groups delete their translations when the book is published.

    2. Tam Post author

      Wow, thanks for all that info Simsala, and for clarifying about the downloads. Lots for me to check out and we will add that info to the list.

  5. Lilli

    Where are Asami, Akihito and Feilong?!

    *lol* Great post Tam! The first pic immediately caught my eye. *sighs* I love Yaoi although I don’t own many of them and have read even less if that makes sense. I’m truly picky and only go for those that I like the artwork of – yeah, I’m that shallow.

    You didn’t mention Ayano Yamane’s Finder series! *shocked* :) I’m sitting on pins and needles here waiting for at least a tentative release date for the 5th and last part. Proud owner of the first 4 parts, especially the first one that has found its way on the index in Germany and therefore isn’t available anymore. Heh.

    Love “Crimson Spell” and own all three parts to date. Need to do a reread!

    “U don’t know me” is one of my favourites, Rakun’s artwork being on the same level as AYs, imo, just wonderful. Great story too. I adore Seyun.

    My very first Yaoi was “Wild Rock”. Gorgeous artwork, very typical Yaoi-ish.

    Then there’s one other, not really Yaoi but Shonen-Ai – the story focuses on the romance more than on sex, so it’s usually very tame: “Little butterfly” by Hinako Takanaga in three volumes. Some serious stuff going on with one of the protags but a nice, realistic and at times funny build-up of the romance with one or two rather discretely drawn sex scenes. It’s a comfort Yaoi for me. ;) Very sweet.

    In terms of anime I just know Weiß Kreuz – not Yaoi, but Manga, if that’s correct; I’m far from being an expert – and that only thanks to Jet Mykles who wrote some great Yaoi fanfic about the guys. *fans self* One of my first m/m reads and one of my favourites to this day. I then went to Youtube to watch as much of WK that I could find just to learn the background.

    The one by Kosen, that you hinted to, looks cool and I have some on my TBB. But I’m always very careful before I buy a new one. As you said they’re expensive, kind of.

    Oh my, never thought a Yaoi post could get me so excited. *lol* I’m really not a regular Yaoi reader but now you got me in the mood, Tam.
    Thanks! :)

    1. simsala

      Hi Lilli,
      You don`t have to wait for Viewfinder part 5.
      Go to mangatraders.com – Ayano Yamane – You`re my Love Prize in Viewfinder – part 5 + the first chapters of part 6.
      I´m sure it doesn`t bother you that it`s in english *lol*.
      The translators site of most of the Finder-books is
      http.//club-vogue.livejournal.com

      1. Lilli

        Thanks for the info, simsala. :) Does that mean there is a 6th volume in the makings, too? I’ve always thought it’s only 5 volumes. *bounces up and down excitedly*

    2. Tam Post author

      We are all wildly jealous that Crimson Spell 3 is only available in German so far. Grrrr. Not fair! LOL Ayano Yamane is going to be at Yaoi Con in San Francisco this fall when a bunch of us are going. I’m kind of hoping they’ll have it in English then, kind of a release to honour her being there. I can hope right?

      I have read so little, that is why your must have’s aren’t there. LOL We’ll definitely add them all to the list. Thanks so much.

      Forgot to add that I’ve read a fair number with no smexin’ at all, just sweet romance between teens. I think I had about 4 in a row at one point, I was starting to wonder what happened to the body parts. LOL

      Kosen is actually two Spanish women and the books are “western”, you read them like a western style book. I bought Stallion (great art but a meh story with two more-meh stories in the back) recently and it threw me off having to read it the normal way. :-)

          1. simsala

            Sorry,little mistake with the second link.
            http.//club-vogue.livejournal.com/
            That`s better.

      1. Lilli

        “We are all wildly jealous that Crimson Spell 3 is only available in German so far. Grrrr. Not fair! LOL Ayano Yamane is going to be at Yaoi Con in San Francisco this fall when a bunch of us are going. I’m kind of hoping they’ll have it in English then, kind of a release to honour her being there. I can hope right?”

        Well, this is one of those very rare occasions when some story is available in German first. Very rare. So I know exactly how you feel about it. ;)
        You are going to Yaoi Con?! That is so.cool.! I wish I could go there too. And meeting AY?! Hope you all have a blast, with volume 3, autographs an’ all! :)

        I don’t have many Yaois, too, so I’m quite overwhelmed by all the recs. Usually I read them like “in-between-treats” during times when my brain is not up to anything more than nice pics. ;)

        Thank you everybody for all those links and thanks Ingrid for putting together that list! :)

  6. Tracey D

    I adore yaoi. I started a discussion on Amazon on 11/28/2007 and we have over 7400 posts. As a matter of fact, many of the posters enjoy m/m novels, too, so our conversations have strayed off topic quite often.

    I’ve read about 114 yaoi manga and enjoyed 98% of them. Some of my favorites are Love Pistols, Junjo Romantica, Hybrid Child, Brothers, Lover’s Flat, and Black Knight.

    Some online stores to buy yaoi manga, besides Amazon, are rightstuf.com, justmanga.com and akadot.com

    1. Tam Post author

      Junjo Romantica was one of the first books. I’ve only “read” Vol. 1 and 2, but I watched the TV series and I think it goes up quite high in the books. I watched something last night called Sweet xx, it looked like the same style as Junjo, but had no smexin’ at all. Same voices though I think. LOL

  7. Wave

    Hi guys

    You should know that this post is Tam’s but it seems that I should put together a list of Readers’ Favourite YAOI books and include it with the rest of books in the Readers’ Favourite Gay Books. I will need a volunteer though – do I see a hand up?? I can’t ask Tam (she will kill me because she’s already doing enough for the site) so if there are any YAOI experts out there you would be doing a great public service for your fellow YAOI fans.

    Tracy has already sent me a list of books. :)

  8. LadyM

    There are, actually, couples with reversible roles in yaoi. Not many – but there are. Haru wo daiteita by Youka Nitta, Haito Diamond and Neji no Kaiten by Sadahiro Mika, The Man of Tango by Okadaya Tetuzoh, Dog Style by Motoni Modoru, etc… I actually prefer switch yaoi. What I really, REALLY hate in yaoi is whining uke. I like them feisty. XD

    As for my favorites: Yamane Ayano’s Finder series, almost anything by Kazuma Kodama, Sadahiro Mika (you MUST read Under Grand Hotel), Masara Minase (this one for artwork, mostly), Kawai Touko, Zetsuai 1989 & Bronze by Minami Ozaki, Ai no Kusabi anime… I can do this all day, lol.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for the links LadyM. Of course there are always exceptions to every rule I put up there, but they definitely aren’t so common. One twist I read was in Sensitive Pornograph where the bottom was sexually experienced and more agressive and the top was a virgin. So it happens but less often. Whiney = no good, yaoi or real life. LOL

  9. Vivia

    Nice, Tam, I was taken by surprise and oh, this brings back memories!

    It’s so great that yaoi is widely known now, not like back in the old days when I had to send a pic of my passport to confirm my age to join an online yaoi comm. When was that, 1998? I’m 31 now. :D

    The love hasn’t died it has just evolved into m/m, I’ve grown away from the uke/seme and the cutesy stuff but I’m happy to say that yaoi have evolved immensely, now there is hard yaoi and muscle yaoi. XD

    I strongly recommend anything by You Koneda and Higashi Nishida if you can find their stuff in English. Unfortunately a lot isn’t available in English.
    Yakuza in Love:
    http://www.mangafox.com/manga/hanagumi_ninkyouden/
    It’s available in English on Amazon, I think. Very good.

    I can’t recommend y!Gallery highly enough:
    http://yaoi.y-gallery.net/
    It’s like Deviant Art but for yaoi/slash lovers, I’m a member and it’s one of my favourite places online, love it so much. :D
    It isn’t only art in y!Gallery there is plenty of original fiction and fanfiction.
    Yaoi and slash have many male fans, very nice indeed.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks so much for the recs Vivia. The internet is not quite so vigilant these days that’s for sure. M/m is obviously my first love but yaoi is fun for a nice light snack every now and then. Doesn’t take much of a time commitment. :-)

      1. Vivia

        You’re welcome and thank you for this wonderful post.
        Yaoi is no longer obscure and I’m so happy so many people love it around the world. It’s popular here in Sweden too.

        Forgot to add, y!Gallery is definitely very NSFW, much nudity and man-parts. :D

  10. Wave

    I have a volunteer who will put together a list of “recommended” YAOI books. Ingrid has offered to do so. If you would like to leave your list of recommendations here on the post (I want to stress the books should be your “recommendations – not just books that you’ve read) she’ll list them alphabetically and we’ll set up a new listing of Readers’ Recommended YAOI books. Tracy you only have to go through the list you sent me and update it.

    Thanks everyone. (I guess Tam is still asleep)

    1. Tam Post author

      I’m up, I’m up. Sheesh. LOL Up too late chatting last night. Thanks Ingrid, I appreciate her doing this for us. It’s great to have a list when you aren’t sure.

  11. Sonia

    Sone of them will always be in my heart, Love Mode is a classic I love to reread it, Kazuma Kodaka’s Kizuna, Yamane Ayano or the unforgetable Youka Nitta; Keiko Konno and Yamada Yugi have quite realistic plots

    1. Tam Post author

      Love Mode sounded familar Sonia and I wondered if I’d read it but I’ve read Love Knot, Love a la Carte (a fave) and Love Quest. LOL Too many “love” books. We’ll definitely add those to the list.

  12. vampkiss

    I’m a HUGE yaoi fan. Alot of great recs here, but I didn’t see Totally Captivated by Hajin Yoo. (http://www.netcomics.com/comic/totallycaptivated.htm) And I love most of Takanaga Hinako’s work (You Will Drown In Love, Bukiyou na Silent). Naona Bohra has some great stuff too (if you don’t mind a little gore in some) (Fingertips Love, A Bird in a Dream).

    My favorite scanlation site is Dangerous Passion. Weekly updates and they usually pick pretty manga to translate. (http://dpscanlations.deathsvertigo.com/)

  13. Katrina Strauss

    My top yaoi mangaka — or hell, mangaka in general — are Haruka Minami (the visuals), Yamane Ayano (the tough love), and Miyamoto Kano (the *somewhat* more realistic approach to the genre). I also love Korean series The Summit by Lee Young Hee. Then there’s BDSM dungeon club fantasy Hoshi no Yakata (Palace of Stars) by Tori Maia — not considered “true yaoi” in a purist sense, but you’ll find it on the yaoi boards. All have been big influences on my own work and provided much happy yaoi reading!

  14. Katrina Strauss

    There are indeed switches in yaoi, and in more than just who tops or bottoems. My argument is that one appreciates those switches better if they’re familiar with the stereotypical seme/uke dynamic, as well as accompanying physical features normally assigned to each. There’s a scene in Haruka Minami’s “Bitter” where the uke is the one whose eyes narrow while he presses a suddenly wide-eyed and blushing seme against the couch. That scene came off to me as absolutely brilliant, mainly because it’s been portrayed the other way around so many times, particularly by Minami as she normally adheres to the tropes. It was fun to watch *her* have fun and twist the dynamic a bit! There’s also a deliciously sneaky twist in Youka Nitta’s Haru wo daiteita (Embracing Love) which another poster mentioned. But I’ll say no more lest I spoil the OMG moment. ;)

    1. Tam Post author

      It’s always fun someone can take the expected and then twist it on it’s head and give you a little jolt. You’ve got me curious about Embracing Love now. :-)

      1. Katrina Strauss

        There was sadly a “tracing scandal” behind Embracing Love, and the publisher pulled it, so I’m not sure how easy it is to obtain now. But it’s still a good series, and I’m sure you can still find it somewhere. ;)

  15. Kady

    Oh yeah Ayano Yamane, Mika Sadahiro, Fujiyama Hyouta, and many more. Love my yaoi.

    Some favorites off the top of my head not yet mentioned:

    Shiuko Kano ‘I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone’ and its sequel ‘Maybe I’m Your Steppin’ Stone’

    Fumi Yoshinaga ‘Ichigenme…First Class of Law’ 1-2.

    Saika Kunieda ‘Future Lovers’ 1-2

    Toko Kawai ‘Bond(z)’

    Yugi Yamada ‘Close the Last Door’ 1-2

    Yuzuha Ougi ‘Brother’ 1-2. ‘Darling’ is hysterical, but it hasn’t been published in English.

    and for OEL yaoi ‘Incubus’ by Yayoi Neko

    brain freeze, I’d have to get home to check my bookshelf and computer lol.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for the recs Kady. We’ll definitely add them to the list (which is growing wildly LOL).

        1. Tam Post author

          ROFL But I don’t even have to leave the house to cause trouble. The internet is a wonderful thing. :-)

    1. Tam Post author

      Some people never do become “rabid” Chris. I do enjoy it a fair bit but I’m not quite rabid. I still enjoy my traditional m/m more.

  16. Eden

    I’m taking notes, ya’ll. I haven’t really gotten into Yaoi yet, cause I was afraid to without some recs. Looks like I’ve got plenty now. Thanks!

    1. Tam Post author

      It’s hard when you are starting out Eden, there are so many books and I know I’ve looked at some on Good Reads and people give every single yaoi book they read 5 stars. Come on, that’s just not realistic so hopefully we can all find some “amazing” recs here today. It’s expensive too, $10 – $15 for a book you can read in about an hour or two, so making careful choices is necessary for most of us.

  17. Tam Post author

    I have to go out a bit later to pick up my daughter but I just wanted people to know that sometimes comments with lots of links go into the spam box or the approvals box. I have been checking the spam and approving the posts, but if you post something and it doesn’t pop up be patient and I’ll be sure and check the spam box regularly and get it up for you.

  18. Mary Calmes

    Ayano Yamane, as many others have said, is amazing.
    The Crimson Spell series is not to be missed. A Foreign Love Affair as well. The second story in that book about a nerdy university professor and his matchmaker I like even better than the first.

    Love Control 1 & 2 by Al Hasukawa
    U Don’t Know Me by Rakun
    The Devil’s Secret by Hinako Takanaga as well as her You Will Drown/Fall In Love series

    Wild Rock by Kazusa Takashima
    Two Of Hearts by Kano Miyamoto
    Shards of Affection by Duo Brand
    Sly Intentions by Syouko Takaku

    There’s also Ruff Love by Tamaki Kirishima and Man’s Best Friend by Kazusa Takashima if you like your seme or uke with ears and a tail (only ears and tail, everything else is man-parts).

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for the recs Mary. I haven’t read any yaoi with the shifter guys but I have read several short m/m stories by Misa Izanki who have those characters in them, guys with tails. :-) I’ll have to look for A Foreign Love Affair.

  19. Cat Kane

    I did a post on some personal yaoi recs a few weeks back — http://catkane.blogspot.com/2010/03/but-what-are-your-thoughts-on-yaoi.html

    It’s great to see there’s such a crossover between yaoi and m/m despite their differences. I’ve often wondered (as you can probably tell from the post!) whether that overlap existed, or whether some of the more dominant yaoi tropes (e.g weepy girly ukes) would put off readers who liked their m/m more realistic. I’ve been attending Yaoicon since 2004, and it’s been really interesting to see more and more publishers setting up in the Dealers Room every year, and, from what I could see, doing very well there.

    1. Tam Post author

      Great minds must think alike Cat, or else Kris is just a bad influence. LOL

      I find I tolerate things in yaoi that make me batshit crazy in m/m. Even fantasy is an example of something I don’t care for in other mediums but in yaoi I enjoy it. I’m able to put it clearly in another box, or maybe I expect my m/m to conform to what I consider “realistic” representations of “western” romance and personality types whereas in yaoi it’s all so different I don’t have the same expectations and can just enjoy it for what it is. A bunch of us will be at yaoi-con this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.

      Thanks for the recs in your post. Hopefully others will have a look at it.

  20. Rowan McBride

    vampkiss mentioned “Totally Captivated” above and that’s one of my favorite manhwa. You’ve got the sexy/scary gangster and the funny how-did-I-get-into-this uke. Plus on http://www.netcomics.com I believe you get to read the first chapters of all their titles for free.
    -
    “Only the Ring Finger Knows,” is a great high school romance. No sex. I still maintain that it contains one of the best kisses ever drawn in a manga.
    -
    “Loveholic” tells the story of a corporate suit and the tempermental artist he often contracts with. I enjoyed how the mangaka incorporated both characters’ backstory into it, showing how they got to the point they’re in on the first page.
    -
    And “Hero Heel”! Oh my god. Volume one ended on one of the worst cliffhangers ever and publication just…STOPPED. It killed me. Then, years later I’m visiting a friend in another state and stumbled across volume two, which just happened to be released that week. It was the weirdest little miracle.

    But all three volumes are published now, so you don’t have to go through what I went through. :D
    -
    And then there’s “Tokyo Babylon,” which might not even be considered yaoi because there’s no sex, no kissing. But it’s one of the most tragic love stories of all time (and trust me, me telling you that doesn’t mitigate the tragedy at all). It concludes in “X/1999″ with…even more tragedy.

    Still, “Tokyo Babylon” is one of the best manga you’ll ever read.

    1. Tam Post author

      Thanks for those Rowan. Nothing worse than when a book with more to tell just … ends. Arrgghh. Luckily you found it so you won’t be haunted for all your days. LOL

  21. simsala

    It took a while to remember,but here I have some recs. ( to drive you all completely insane!..Heh.)
    Many of them have their original Japanese titles but the language is always English.
    As far as I know all of them are available at Mangatraders or as paperback.

    Author:Masara Minase(famous for the beautiful
    artwork)
    Titles:Empty Heart
    Uso to Kiss
    Gokujou no Koibito(The best lover)-
    4 volumes

    Author:Miyamoto Kano (real life-yaoi)
    Titles:Not/Love
    End of Youth
    Calling
    Amayakane Toge
    Aisanai Otoko
    Name of Love
    Make me Happy
    Lovers and Souls
    Please
    Vanilla Star
    Night Walk
    Moony
    The complete “Rules” series (maybe
    twenty books? I don`t know for sure)

    Author:Takashi Kanzaki
    Titles:Slave and Slave
    Retsujou Kyoumushitsu
    Junai Fetizm (Pure Love)

    Author:Momoko Tenzen
    Title:La Satanica

    Author:Yugi Yamada
    Title:Darenimo Aisarenou(No one loves me)

    Author:Mika Sadahiro
    Titles:Under Ground Hotel -3 volumes
    (Strong violence/rape)
    Shujii
    Innai Kansen
    Mukizu Ja Irarenee

    Author:Mizukami Shin(historical/fantasy/military)
    Violence,rape,crossdressing – the artwork
    is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!
    Titles:Ricara
    Made Koi Towa Shirazu
    Ryoshuu Reijin

    Author:Akira Norikazu (Mafiosi,beautiful artwork)
    Titles:Trigger
    Heart Strings
    Twins

    Author:Hyouta Fujiyama
    Title:Freefall Romance

    Author:Fuwa Shinri
    Titles:A Gentleman`s Kiss,2 volumes
    Gravity Eyes ,2 volumes ,my favourite
    yaoi!!

    Author:Azami Tojoh
    Title:Love Prism (Very hardcore/graphic. Including
    incest,BDSM,bondage,piercings….makes
    every porn actor blush *g*)

    Author:Ryoku Tsuneda
    Title:Ai Wo Doko Itta (Where has love gone)

    Author:Riyu Yamakami
    Title:Lover`s Name

    THAT`S IT

    You have enough to read for ages and I`m beat!!

    1. Tam Post author

      You’re a crazy woman Simsala. Go to bed. LOL Thanks so much though. I’m sure this will keep Ingrid busy as she compiles everything. She may wish she’d not volunteered now. :-D

      1. simsala

        *pout*
        I quit reading yaoi two years ago.So I`m not that bad (?).Most of the recommandable yaois are already mentioned here.The whole rest (two years and older)is more or less – crap!
        Sleep well !

  22. Lala-chan

    Ok im new here and I really dont leave any comment *shy* but I couldnt not comment here, damn, Ive been reading yaoi since I was 14yo, Im 21 now so… its been quite a long time lol and like Alexi, yaoi is what brought me to M/M. What is there not to like about yaoi?? Hot guys kissing and touching each other is wonderful *q* like simsala said the downloads arent illegal, groups stop translating ans sharing the scans when the manga is licensed.
    So here’s what I recommend:

    by Yamane Ayano: Crimson Spell (3 volumes/ongoing); You’re My Love Prize in Viewfinder (5 volumes/ongoing); Koi wo Suru DNA + (1 volume); Ikoku Irokoi Romantan (1 volume); Cat and Master Dog (oneshot); Baked Sweet Glasses (oneshot).

    by Fujiyama Hyouta: Dear Green (3 volumes); 1K Apartment no Koi (1 volume); Akutai wa Toiki to Mazariau (1 volume) and the sequel Akutai wa Ude no Naka de Futatabi (1 volume); Junjou (3 volumes/ongoing); Rakka Sokudo (1 volume); Warito Yokuaru Danshikouteki Renaijijou (2 volumes); Teppen no Himawari (2 volumes)

    by Hidaka Shoko: Signal (1 volume); Arashi no Ato (1 volume) and the sequel Double Line (oneshot)

    by Honjou Rie: Konna Otoko wa Aisareru (1 volume); Ai no Kotoba mo Shiranaide (1 volume); Ginchou Kidan (1 volume); Ikura Nandemo Suki Sugiru (1 volume); Welcome to the Chemistry Lab (3 volumes); Love Skit (1 volume); Yubisaki wa Koi no Aji (1 volume)

    by Kitakami Ren: Honenuki ni Saretai (1 volume); Signal Red Baby (1 volume)

    by Takaku Shouko: Gekkou no Rankan ni Kuchinashi no Nioi (1 volume); From Yesterday (1 volume); Passion (4 volumes) also the novel Passion – Forbidden Lovers (1 volume)

    by Tenzen Momoko: Aozora no Sunda Iro wa (1 volume); Junjou to Furachi (1 volume); La Satanica (1 volume) and the sequel La Satanica dj – Fluffy Thing (oneshot); Oka no Ue no Rakuen (1 volume); Sonoki ni Sasenaide (1 volume)

    by Yamada Yugi: Takaga Koi daro (1 volume); Darenimo Aisarenai (1 volume); Close the Last Door (2 volumes) and the sequel Into Your Heart Through the Door (1 volume).

    by Minase Masara: Aishuu (1 volume/ongoing); Mijuku na Kareshi (1 volume); Empty Heart (1 volume); Gokujou no Koibito (4 volumes); Lover’s Position (1 volume); Toiki Yori mo Yasashii (1 volume); Uso to Kiss (1 volume); Unbalanced Heat (1 volume)

    by Sakuragi Yaya: Calorie (1 volume); Koi Cha no Osahou (1 volume); Nee, Sensei? (1 volume); Renai Kyoutei Nukegake Nashi! (1 volume); Yume Musubi, Koi Musubi (3 volumes/ongoing); Soba ni Oitene (1 volume)

    by Kousaka Tohru & Shinozaki Hitoyo: Okane ga Nai (8 volumes/ongoing)

    Well… these are what I remember now, also Im tired of writting ^_^;

  23. Tam Post author

    Thanks for coming out of lurkdom Lala-Chan. Don’t be shy, everyone is very nice here and we love posters to chat with us. Thanks for the recs, we’ll add them to the list.

      1. Jb

        @Tam

        So true! I have hundreds of yaoi manga (and shounen manga) that I’ve purchased over the years in my efforts to support the industry. Not too long ago, I actually thought about taking out insurance on them, as some of those publishers no longer exists and the books are out of print.

  24. Jb

    I’ve been reading yaoi for many years, starting with some of the original scanlating groups like Nakama, Fushichou, Beautiful Soup, Desparate Love, Essence of Purity, LTBY, etc, long before English publishers even thought about licensing yaoi (except for ADV who only pub vol 1 of Kimera from Kodaka Kazuma).

    I’ve seen semes/ukes actually switch roles in some books. And I have seen the elusive condom in a few!

    For licensed materials (that I own), I can rec the following:
    JUNE
    A Gentleman’s Kiss
    Blue Sheep Reverie
    Close the Last Door
    Cut
    Endless Rain
    Hero Heel
    Hot Steamy Glasses
    Jazz
    Laugh Under the Sun
    Maiden Rose
    Red
    S (novel)
    Shards of Affection
    Strange and Mystifying Story
    Sweet Revolution
    The Art of Loving
    Vampire’s Portrait
    Viewfinder
    Yellow

    801 MEDIA
    Affair
    Black Sun
    I’m Not Your Stepping Stone
    Sensitive Pornograph
    Prime Minister’s Secret Diplomacy
    The President’s Time

    BLU
    Black Knight
    Gerard & Jacques
    Gorgeous Carat
    Innocent Bird
    Junjou Romantica
    Love Mode
    Shout Out Loud
    Tea for Two
    Wild Rock

    TOKYOPOP
    Loveless
    Martin and John
    Vassalord

    DEUX (possibly defunct)
    Cigarette Kisses
    Future Lovers
    I Shall Never Return
    Mister Mistress
    Noodleshop Affair
    Red Blinds the Foolish
    Seduce Me After the Show
    Spring Fever
    Yakuza in Love

    BeBEAUTIFUL (now defunct)
    Casino Lily
    Embracing Love – example of a switch
    Viewfinder – being reprinted by June
    Kizuna
    Playboy Blues
    Samurai Love
    Yebisu Celebrities

    MEDIABLASTERS
    Crimson Spell
    Dog Style
    I Can’t Stop Loving You
    Pleasure Dome
    Rose of the Rhine
    Skyscrapers of Oz (one of the earliest BL books to be published in English)

    YAOI PRESS (original OEL)
    Saihoshi the Guardian
    The Lily and the Rose

    DRAMAQUEEN
    Allure
    Empty Heart
    The Last Portrait
    Lies and Kisses
    The Judged
    Virtuoso di Amore
    White Guardian

    YAOI GENERATION
    Breath

    YENPRESS
    One Thousand and One Nights – not really classified as BL, but has elements in it.

    NETCOMICS
    U Don’t Know Me
    Let Dai
    Love Recycle

    For Anime, there’s also (but not limited to):
    Ai no Kusabi
    My Sexual Harassment – very explicit
    Close the Last Door
    Embracing Love – Cherished Spring
    Embracing Love – A Cicada in Winter
    Hey! Class President
    Ikoku Irokoi Romantan
    Kizuna
    Loveless
    Maiden Rose
    Mirage of Blaze
    Sex Pistols
    Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru
    Bronze
    Zetsuai
    Fujimi Orchestra

    For scanlations, it’s just too impossible to list all that I’d like to recommend. There’s just too many :) But, a few off the top of my head based on recent readings/re-readings would be:

    New York, New York
    When a Man Loves a Man – whole series
    Border
    Bi no Isu
    Giglio
    Gravity Eyes
    Zion no Koeda
    Even if this is Love in Captivity
    Yatteraneeze
    Yojouhan Sweet Home
    Junk! (not scanlated)
    Vibrator Company
    Brother x Brother
    Mousukoshi yoru ga nagakereba
    Violence na Kimi ga Suki
    Fujimi Orchestra
    Hana to ryuu
    Yononaka wa bokura ni amai
    Usagi Otoko Tora Otoko
    Kishido Club
    Rikara

    *whew* I could go on, but my fingers feel like they’re about to fall off.

  25. Tam Post author

    Wow JB, thanks for the list. That’s pretty comprehensive. Lots for people to explore.

    1. Jb

      You’re welcome :) I’m looking forward to seeing any list that is put together from what everyone suggests. I have a lot that I like/love, and a lot that I don’t.

      Which stories one likes really depends on one’s preferences more than anything.

  26. Larissa

    Great post, Tam! :-) Gave me more insight into Yaoi books (cause they confuse the heck out of me). But if they are mainly graphic then why do is the label also put on novels???

    The Japanese culture is quite different. Just like the Chinese. They have this mindset that wasn’t unlike knights of old. Honour is pretty darn important and sex is menial compared to that. Some even cut of body parts to protect one’s honour or someone elses. They almost always put someone else before themselves. I never got quite used to that!

    1. Katrina Strauss

      “But if they are mainly graphic then why do is the label also put on novels???”

      Two reasons! :)

      1. The Japanese also publish “light novels”. These are basically prose novels with an illustration every so many pages. Mangaka (comic artists) are often hired to do the art, since that is the style that currently sells. In the case of a yaoi light novel,it would contain yaoi themes/tropes, with an established yaoi mangaka brought in to help boost sales.

      2. Certain western M/M authors are heavily influenced by yaoi. Our work contains yaoi themes and tropes (like seme/uke), while the visuals we depict are influenced by the manga aesthetic (such as beautiful men with pretty hair). Certain e-book publishers are aware of this and actively market such titles as yaoi, right down to appropriate cover art by yaoi-knowledgable artists (like PL Nunn or Anne Cain).

      So yes, yaoi is primarily a visual medium, but some publishers (including in Japan, where this all started) are marketing yaoi-inspired prose novels to the readership as well. I hope that answers your question! :)

    2. Tam Post author

      What Katrina said. :-) The novels are basically just fleshed out stories. You get the same themes, character types, situations but a longer more indepth version (with the occassional picture). You get more of the honour thing there because they have more time to explain a characters motivation. I prefer the graphic stuff myself but have read a few of the novels.

      1. Larissa

        Thanks both! That makes the picture a whole lot clearer. It’s still a really weird “genre” to me, but fun anyways! :-)

  27. Blymeyaoi

    I really love this article, it’s concise and complete.

    Could I translate the definitions part for my site with the proper credits? Thanks!

  28. Ingrid

    I noticed the yaoi tumblr yaoi&flesh has closed down. Fear not I am searching for a replacement !

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