Confessions of a Fujoshi: Realism in fiction.

NB: Fujoshi (腐女子, lit. “rotten girl”) refers to female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men.

I wasn’t always a fujoshi. Somewhere down the road it just happened; symptoms of fanaticism had stricken me after much exploration through the wonders of the internet like daggers of sharp icicles that eventually melt into your skin. With thanks to Mangafox, the cause of my incurable sickness, curiosity had gotten the better of me. But I wouldn’t say that it was for the worst.

I have to admit, there hasn’t been all that great stories under the shounen-ai/yaoi demography, particularly the latter. While there’s been a few that’s enjoyable, it’s the obvious lack of realism which leaves you craving for a different touch after reading pile upon pile of manga. Perhaps this is because the majority of yaoi mangaka are female hence series such as Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and the works of Minami Haruka, the supposed crème de la crème, are no better than generic story lines and spicy sex scenes. If the only difference between steamy smut-filled shoujo and yaoi is the gender of the love interests, then this is a lacking distinction.

The gift package from yaoi manga: nosebleeds.

Homosexuality has never seemed so mundane nor has the female population been so insignificant. Where is the angst, the utter disappointment in the cruelty of humanity and the realization of one’s inability to let others adorn our worn out shoes? If only we could control living people like a mummer’s puppets, then surely heart-throbbing romance would never have to come hand in hand with troubles deeper than simple jealousy at your boyfriend’s ex or potential lovers.

But don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean I hate cliché yaoi stories (a bit of an overused term here since originality nowadays is arguable). Possessive lovers, silent protagonists and student x teacher relationships are enticing concepts but seeing something different sure won’t hurt my eyes.

No, no – I’m not talking about Bara manga. That’s taking it a bit too far. I still prefer heterosexual-esque relationships with the masculine seme and feminine uke types. Nitro+chiral’s ero games and Jigoku Meguri are the best I can handle when it comes to two muscular men doing this and that.

Seinen wa Ai o Kou and Konbini-kun are series which I read not too long ago and am rather fond of. The first, in particular, addresses the issue of homosexuality in a way which I feel is rather lacking in other yaoi stories. The use of pathos is empathic. Though the happy ending is perhaps too good to be true, too much angst would have resulted in fans pouring their tears out at the sight of a pitiful tragedy. But being only three chapters long, this leaves little room for character development.

Konbini-kun presents a similar tragic experience on the protagonist’s behalf. Tormented by the scorn and repulsion others hold towards his sexuality, it’s not surprising Hiroshi resigns himself into hiding. But tripping on a small stone and knowing the pain of grazed, bleeding skin leaves one no choice but to limp the rest of the way home. Another short series but worth the read.

Yuri fans are dominantly men and I’ve always wondered whether thoughts like mine ever across their minds.

In the end, does realism matter when it comes to fiction and do the publishers even give a damn? No, probably not. But I would still like to see my yaoi stories with an intricate and realistic plot than just steamy bumsex.

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About Kirakuna

A+ in procrastinating
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7 Responses to Confessions of a Fujoshi: Realism in fiction.

  1. Cely_belly says:

    A yaoi crazy fan girl too?? XD
    Yes it would probably be nice to see more realistic stories. Although, I don’t mind the steaminess . . . eh he.

    • Steaminess is good, but better when accompanied by a brilliant plot that’s intricate, innovative and emotive.

      Nevertheless. steaminess is good. Very good.

      • baka-neko says:

        Authors like the steamy action better than the historical context behind those actions? Yeah, yaoi manga needs more development. LOL thinking back on my complaints about Shoujo Manga being slow ‘n all, I guess the authors are trying to make it a little more interesting and perhaps meaningful?

        Other than that… Sebby ♥ LOL

  2. ojisan says:

    Do male watchers of yuri share your thoughts? I enjoyed your post but I couldn’t really pick out a firm position that I could compare to mine – correct me if you like.
    I actually like a lot of ‘lite’ crossover BL, like Antique Bakery & Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. which granted is odd for my demographic (like my scotch, I’m straight & aged). But I’ve spent a lot of my social life around gay men and lesbians, and tender, wacky, somewhat unrealistic variations on their experiences make wonderful story fodder, what can I say?

    There’s 1) material that needn’t qualify or justify itself in any way – stuff like Aoi Hana or Hourou Musuko. It’s just good, end of story.
    Then there’s 2) good stuff with odd yuri premises, like Simoun. It’s not entirely standalone – you need a bit of a kink to really enjoy it, which I guess I have. I think of Rose of Versailles in this area as well.
    Then 3) the entirely predigested yuri-for-fanboys flavour, which is mainstream, and therefore free to be awful or good like any other mainstream flavour. Mai-Hime, Mai-Otome and Railgun are like this – they don’t suck, I enjoy them, but no kink is necessary, and they’re basically mainstream stories that use yuri like MSG, to artificially enrich a story.
    And then 4), the awfully sweet who-could-deny-it yuri, like MariMite, which is absolute cheese and almost presexual, yet entirely addictive. Maybe it’s a gateway drug?

    But pretty much all of the above are seriously character-driven and plot-heavy. The ones nearer the top of the list leave in the contradictions & complexities of human emotion, and the ones near the bottom have a simplified, self-contained quality where the struggle is between two people’s emotions, not between yourself and the views of your society.

    Sorry for nattering on – just found your site & I like it –

  3. shrutianime says:

    There are some great new Yaoi mangaka out there as of late who offer unique plots.
    I personally prefer simple a simple story line over something that is intricate and complicated. But asking for an element of realism is understandable, reading the manga just turns into a drag otherwise. ^^” Predictable endings are fine if they come along with an interesting enough story.
    :)

  4. ndqanhvn says:

    It’s funny how the image you pick to illustrate yuri is a guy (Maria – blonde) and his maid…

  5. crimson613 says:

    dont know if youre looking for recommendations (or if I even got this right) but theres this short two volume manga that’s pretty good (though rather dark/angsty), it’s called Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume o Miru/The cornered mouse dreams of cheese. It’s by Mizushiro Setona and they seem to have some really neat stuff (idk if you’ve ever read Afterschool Nightmare but yeah)

    I was able to read the first volume on MangaHere but had to go to MangaCat to read the second one

    Really enjoyed reading this :)

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