Event: No.6 Doujinshi Convention

My loot.

This is my first time writing an event post so I’m still trying to figure out the direction of how it goes generally. I’ll try not to bore you with the general details tinged with a certain narcissism, but more of my observations of the fujoshi community, certain things to look out for if you’re going for such conventions in Japan etc.

So I went to the No.6 doujinshi convention with the lovely fencer-x from September Scanlations last Saturday on the 7th of September. The date has special significance because because it’s the exact date—September 7, 2013—when Shion and Nezumi meet in the anime. You don’t have to buy a ticket to enter the convention, but you have to purchase the programme booklet which costs 500 yen and looks like this:

Apparently, this is pretty standard procedure for most doujinshi conventions so do take note. Within the programme booklet are various details on the doujinshi circles that are attending and the convention is segregated by pairings:

Left: Shion X Nezumi, Right: Nezumi X Shion

The doujinshi artists will generally be the ones selling the doujinshi, so yes you get to see the artist that’s drawing your porn. Most of them are in their 30s and above and some of them look as though they are in their mid 50s. Which is particularly interesting because while a huge number of the customers are around in their 20s, I’d seen some really old obaasans in the crowd as well. In contrast, the only Caucasian that was present in the convention was fencer-x herself, while fencer reminded me that I was the only male customer present there. It’s interesting though, I would have expected a more international crowd considering this is the biggest No. 6 convention around and I would expect at least a few gay guys? And No.6 does not have a strong BL focus anyway.

Lastly, they have some limited edition No.6 goods that are limited only to this event. You cannot buy these items anywhere else:

Which is…. a muffler towel and 2 files.

I’m a sucker for limited edition goods so I bought the towel:

Anyways, I probably will be selling some of the doujinshi at reduced pricings for anyone who is interested in future. It’s probably going to be around what, 5 bucks for one doujinshi? Let me know if anyone’s interested. 😀 And if there’s any convention that you want me to go take a visit, let me know!

 

FAQ Part 1: On Becoming a Fudanshi.

As I’m waiting for Psycho-Pass and Magi to finish loading and am considering whether to follow Shingeki no Kyojin, I thought that this will be a great time to answer some of the questions that some of you guys has asked me. それじゃ、始まります!

Q. I’d like to know the story behind how you personally/publicly first ‘became’ a fudanshi.

A: Well, I think it began when I saw Junjou Romantica when I was 18. Note that this was during the interim period after I finish high school and about to enter army so I was in this liminal stage where I’m caught between the end of one phase of my life and about to enter the next phase. At that particular time, I was devouring all forms of queer representation in media: Queer Eye, Latter Days, Eating Out and it’s all nice and good but I didn’t really like

1) How homosexuality is almost always diffused through a western, anglo-centric perspective. As a result of that, the dominant image of ‘homosexuals’ is always usually a white, middle-class male individual who usually faces some form of institutionalised oppression that is motivated by A) religious bigotry or B) misogynistic ignorance. As an asian male, living in an Asian society where Christians make up only a less than one quarter of the population, I struggle to identify how homosexuality is portrayed in the West as compared to my own personal experiences living here in my tiny little island in Asia. I also note that there is little black or latino queer representation in dominant gay discourse which is an entire different subculture from how white gay men live their lives. (Paris Is Burning is an excellent documentary on black and latino gay subculture by the way, if any of you are interested. 🙂 )    

2) How homosexuality is always conceived beyond a sexual identity, but also a process of cultural formation. I’ve always pictured homosexuality as just same-sex romantic and/or sexual attraction in its purest form. However, there’s always a series of cultural baggages that is attached to homosexuality especially in Western media. For instance, how male homosexuality is conflated with effeminancy, an ability to recite Bette Davis lines by heart, a natural inclination to Broadway and theatre and how there’s always a fag hag running around in the background. I’d always find this particularly fascinating on how a sexual category can evolve into such multiplicity and convergences of cultural identities. However, I guess I had (and still have) this desire to read a nice novel or watch a movie about just two guys falling in love. Without the baggages. 

And in this sense, that’s where shounen-ai comes in. Yes, granted there’s still a lot of cultural baggages as well: the seme is always masculine, tall with giant yaoi hands and the uke is always portrayed to be dainty, delicate and very feminine which is generally a reflection of how Japanese view gays in modern contexts. (Just that in Japanese society, the seme-uke relationship is known as tachi-neko.) I usually don’t like these stereotypes and I think it can be rather problematic as it perpetuates various untrue stereotypes about gay life and the power/gender dynamics within a gay relationship. But once in a while, you hit a rare story about just 2 guys falling in love with each other without any of such baggages: No.6 for instance. Zetsuen no Tempest is another. 

But yes, back to Junjou Romantica! It was the first time that I’ve seen a gay anime and I thought the portrayal of that gay relationship between all three couples were so… real and honest and it’s all about navigating through a world where there’s so much hurt and betrayal and unrequited love that is unrewarded and I love how Nakamura twists it all around. That for every tear you shed, for every hurt that you experienced, it all adds up towards a certain vulnerability that allows you to become more susceptible to love, and that love will always come back to you, no matter how much you think your love that you had given is in waste. That being hurt is part of a greater journey of being in love and there is beauty in the conflation of suffering and love and that is life. 🙂 

Coming soon: FAQ Part 2: On Sociology and Yaoi. 

 

 

I apologise for the lack of updates

So here’s some gratitutious smut in awaiting Season 2 of Kuroko’s Basketball. 😛

But I’m really overwhelmed with university projects and exams which all end by the first week of May or so. To make up for it, I promise that I’ll give a review on the hottest two anime of the year: Magi and Psycho-Pass. (I heard there’s loads of mind-fuck in Psycho-Pass but hey, it’s Urobuchi who directed Madoka and Fate Zero, what do you expect? XD) I’m thinking that if I have the time, I may go into some introductions of seiyuus, the seiyuu work culture, the anime industry as well as the politics behind what gets screen-lit and what not.

Also, I’m thinking of analysing the sociological implications and the power relations between ruler and subordinate, king and citizen in Magi as well. I’m not doing as much hard commentary as I had liked (and also, I’m not sure if that’s what you guys want) so do tell me what kind of commentary or reviews or posts that you are interested in and if it’s in the interest of this blog to do so, I’ll gladly comply. 🙂

Stay awesome,

Fudanshi Harem, I mean Haven. 😛