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. 

 

 

The Swimming Anime

A teaser made by Kyoto Animation has been made about 4 swimmers which from a BL scale of 1 to Kuroko no Basugay, is probably closer to the latter. The title is not “Ore to Omae No Sa O Oshiete Yaru Yo (I’ll teach you the difference between you and I)”; it’s just a tagline.

I’m really anticipating the anime if it’s going to be released. It looks really well animated; I just hope it doesn’t have a sucky plotline like K.

 

 

November 2012

So I just started this blog and it’s probably going to be awhile for me to build up my content and for it to even appear in google search I guess. So if this blog may seem rather dead… it’s not going to stay that way so do come back once in a while for new updates!

But just to give you a taste on what’s happening for the rest of November, these are the animes that I will be following and blogging about this season:

K: So I understand that all of yaoi-dom is mostly crying over this right now; however to be honest; I’m not as impressed with this anime as I should be. The plot direction seems rather haphazard and I’m rather turned off with the overt objectification of women in this anime (normalised in many shounen anime but that doesn’t make it tasteful). Though the plot is starting to pick up, the character developments are really starting to become intriguing and yaoiness is starting to kick in; I’m not holding my breath.

Erotic gaze + bitchslap = ヽ(;▽;)ノ

Magi:

I love this anime series probably because it appeals towards my sociological instincts and its portrayal of class-struggles and capitalist oppressions are practically begging to be analysed. Given that Magi is drawn by a female mangaka; she doesn’t really stand for all the bullshit/ 2 dimensional demeaning portrayals of females that is rather recurring in many other animes. Alibaba is really charming as the protagonist and there’s this natural and easy synergy that exist between the booby-loving magical kid, the spineless ex-prince who suddenly have a burst of character growth at the end of episode one, and the pink-haired beast-girl who kicks really really well.

And this of course, doesn’t hurt.

Shinsekai Yori: Haven’t watch it but this:

Gives this an instantaneous tick on the “must-watch” anime list.

The sensual butt-smacking/feeling doesn’t hurt either.

Looks to be a great season so far really.

Anyways, have a great November!