Yuri!!! on ICE and Boys Love?

Hey, everyone! Someone over on tumblr asked me what I thought of Yuri!!! on ICE, the imitable, the incredible, the sensation that rocked anime fandom, and I’m pretty happy with my reflection on the relationship between the series and the BL genre, so, crossposting! Let me know in the comments if you have any additions, fact-checks, alternate perspectives, or if you just enjoyed the post! Thanks so much everyone.

yoi ask

Hi! Thank you for this question–I adore Yuri!!! on Ice. It’s a little embarrassing how much I love it, actually. Since I’m answering this question on this specific blog, it’s important to me to be clear that I don’t think YoI is BL; the anime is TV-original, so it’s not marked for a specific demographic the way most manga are, and neither Sayo Yamamoto nor Mitsurou Kubo have previously worked on BL projects. Also, Yamamoto in particular has depicted same-gender sexual and romantic attractions/relationships in her previous directorial works Michiko and Hatchin and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, so to me it seems more likely that she’s continuing in that vein rather than having…suddenly developed an interest in BL.

Matt Thorn, an awesome translator and shojo manga scholar, has actually said that YoI feels more like yuri than BL to her. I can’t say whether I agree, as I just…don’t read yuri (I wish I did!) but I think it’s a fascinating take on the series.

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No. 6: A Queer Rejection of Boys’ Love’s Normative Sexuality?

no. 6 bateszi
I wanted to share this post the usual way one goes about these things on WordPress, but share links were nowhere to be found! Screenshot and hyperlink it is.

Hi, everyone! To get straight to the point, I found this fantastic essay excerpt from Kiara of Bateszi Anime Blog today, and it got me thinking so many exciting things that I wanted to share it with all of you! One argument it makes in particular about how the anime adaptation of Atsuko Asano’s No. 6 functions as a queer text really struck me, so I want to dissect that here and offer my own alternative perspective regarding No. 6‘s relationship to both BL and its queer potential. If my comment on the post itself makes it out of moderation (as the blog hasn’t been updated since last August, I’m not sure anyone’s still paying attention!) you may see a few points recycled from there, but I’ll try not to make this post too repetitive.

To briefly summarize the post, Kiara begins by describing the ‘paranoid fan,’ an audience that is suspicious, actively looking for hidden meanings in the media they consume in order to fit these texts within their own expectations and desires. The post then links the paranoid fan to BL via engagement with the construct of the seme and uke pair, arguing that the paranoid fan (usually, but not necessarily, straight women consuming and creating fandom content), so badly want texts to conform to their pleasure that they flatten all interactions between male characters in media into homosexual romantic-sexual couplings, regardless of whether this interpretation is supported by the text. Kiara argues that No. 6 rejects and disrupts this mentality by having no clearly defined seme or uke, and through the ambiguous nature of Rat and Sion’s relationship–the portrayal of their feelings for one another as irreducable, impossible to categorize, and, contrary to the genre conventions of BL, non-sexual.

Our current society believes that “if you don’t love someone romantically, you love them “platonically,” which means that you want to be friends and not a “couple,” because only romantic-sexual pairs can be couples with a primary relationship” and this is very problematic.[4] This is the very reason why No. 6 is not labeled as BL, because even in softer BL, actions are laced with sexual tension and there is no such thing happening in No.6. It is because of this habit to expect sexuality that Asano took it upon herself to do make a queer series that breaks the romantic-sexual/platonic dichotomy.

This is a SUPER interesting reading of the anime (Asano’s original novels more heavily suggest that Sion’s feelings for Rat include sexual attraction); I’m especially intrigued by the post’s analysis of how Sion’s socialization to interpret his own emotions through a medicalized lens defuses situations which might otherwise suggest sexual desire. Kiara cites the scene where Rat pushes Sion down onto the bed during their first meeting as an example of this, and although, if I remember correctly, this specific form of defusion doesn’t appear after Sion and Rat escape No. 6 in the first episode, the anime still resists clear confirmation of whether or not their relationship includes sexual desire. For example, after Rat and Sion dance in episode 5, Sion reaches out and touches Rat’s neck, expressing how much he cares for Rat and causing Rat to swallow. In another series, this might have been a tender, romantic moment, with the gulp indicating strain from suppressing sexual desire; here, it is ominous. The music, camera angles, and Rat’s expression all create a sense of unease rather than one of sexual intimacy. 

Rat gaping in horror and disbelief after Sion reaches out to and touches him

However, I’m not sure I agree with Kiara that this absence of sexuality represents a queer refusal of the overly strict, normative sexual models inscribed in fandom engagement by the ‘paranoid fan.’ For one, on a more nitpicky note, I lean more toward characterizing fans who “[constantly] search for the homosexual” as playful rather than paranoid–Patrick Galbraith has done some great ethnographic work in this vein with fujoshi in Japan, and his essays “Fujoshi” and “Moe Talk” are great reads if you can get access to ’em.

I also believe that in addition to the hypersexualization of gay identity in society (e.g. gay people being characterized as inherently sexual and predatory; Tatsumi Kanji’s Persona in the Persona 4 visual novel is a good example of this what this stereotype looks like in Japanese media) gay relationships are often desexualized in order to portray same-gender desire as ‘safe’ and ‘normal,’ or in order to erase its significance altogether. We can see examples of this in the treatment of gay & bisexual women in Japan, where romantic affection between young women is viewed as a non-sexual, non-threatening, natural phase which will inevitably give way to properly heterosexual performance in adulthood, as well as that of gay & bisexual men in a Western context. I’m definitely not an expert on how, or to what extent, this issue manifests in Japan, and would welcome any insight from commentors more knowledgable about this issue than I am, but I just don’t quite buy that the absence of sexual attraction in the No. 6 anime is subverting an influential media paradigm regarding gay relationships, even specifically in contrast to BL–that it is necessarily or inherently queer.

In my opinion, where No. 6 truly shines as a queer text is in its critique of the state and the connections it draws between freedom of desire and freedom from state repression. It does not deal overtly with homophobia, the structural, systemic marginalization of people based on their sexual expression, but in specifically positioning the love between Rat and Sion as the keystone of a narrative about revolution and freedom from an oppressive state (one that attempts to sanitize and control human emotion, no less), it pursues a queer thematic project. In No. 6, the narrative gives credence to Rat’s insistence that boundaries between people matter, exposing Sion’s naivete and privilege when he proposes attempting to use the city’s own oppressive institutions to save the lives of its citizens, but ultimately validates his commitment to a destruction of No. 6 which acknowledges that “we’re all human beings.” Social differences imposed and encouraged by the state do have significance, but they are also arbitrary and can be broken down. What’s left in the world without a wall is not perfect, but it is potential. The potential for a society which can allow the freedom to feel. And to love whoever you choose.

Scarlet Beriko’s Jackass! Licensed by SuBLime

Very excited to see Scarlet Beriko getting an official English-language release! Jackass! is definitely not without its faults, but it’s also one of the few BL manga I’ve found that not only features a gay character, but a gay character who engages with gay culture. I am not at all an authority on Japanese youth gay culture, but Katsumi’s characterization does feel funny and honest to me, and the inclusion of both his lightly unconventional gender expression and his job working with other gay people in a gay district as more than a throwaway joke is kind of remarkable.

The main story, featuring the characters pictured above, has less feminist points of interest, but is also less problematic (no teacher/student relationship.) It’s a really fun romp, with lots of very teenage emotions and hormones, and a little bit of kink positivity. Definitely something to look forward to and consider purchasing if you can!

Ever-Growing List of 100% Consensual BL Manga

Exactly what it says on the tin. This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s growing all the time. For anyone and everyone who’s tired of “your mouth is saying no but your body’s saying yes” and other methods of ~forced seduction~.

This list wasn’t created to shame anyone for what they like, but it is meant to be a useful resource for people who may be triggered by or uncomfortable with the depictions of rape and sexual assault frequently found in BL, as well as anyone else who, for any reason, prefers stories that feature consensual sex.

I didn’t originally compile this list, but the OP would like to remain uncredited. I have read everything on the list and can personally vouch for its accuracy and general awesomeness. If you have any questions or concerns (especially if you’d like a warning added to one of the manga or you catch a slip-up) please shoot me an ask!

Also feel free to submit more titles and I’ll review them and add them on! The criteria can be found here. Enjoy!

Tenki Yohou no Koibito – The turbulent relationship between a straight-laced newscaster and his eccentric weatherman. baka-updates download buy

Free Punch – 1-2) Yamada runs away from home and goes to hang out at the school until things cool down. Unfortunately he runs into his homeroom teacher who takes him home. 3-5) Ikeda moves into his dormitory to find out his roommate Kazuma has a terrible personality. Note: The first story features sex with a minor and a teacher/student relationship, and therefore doesn’t make the list. baka-updates batoto buy

Mr. Mini Mart (LICENSED) – Shy Nakaba has been a shut-in ever since gossip at school destroyed his reputation. But when his mom snags him a job to help him break out of his shell, he’s forced to face a co-worker who knows a thing or two about courage and commitment! Can Nakaba stand tall and speak up for what he truly wants? Mr. Mini Mart serves up a sweet-and-salty story filled with brave confessions and bold crushes! Will the past catch up to a boy who wants nothing more than to hide away forever? Or will the future finally shine with the promise of brand-new beginnings? Note: tw homophobia, social anxiety

Mahoutsukai no Koi – Without worries about girls or money, halfheartedly living Nishizaki meets the love of his life on campus. A lover who bites his lips when happy… Araya is always troublesome, gloomy, and without desire. Thinking of him, Nishizaki’s teeth always hurt… baka-updates batoto buy

Kira Kira – Kaji Ryouta, who aims to be a cameraman, is currently living with his creative upperclassmen. This person who appeared at his studio appartment and unexpectedly ended up living in his room was someone Kaji admired in high school, someone he fell in love with, confessed to at his graduation ceremony, and was spectacularly dumped by – upperclassman Miyata Makoto. That person. And…? Kaji starts his second love in this omniverse series that details the sparkling emotions of those that surround the two. Note: ONGOING baka-updates batoto buy

Koko Kara Dousuru – What Hikaru no Go would have been like if everything had been less fraught and also not at all supernatural. Note: w/r/t story three (pgs 136-167) Touga is a god and initially quite pushy, and at one points says something along the lines of “if you kiss me, isn’t it understood that you want to go further?” After they talk it out, though, he cools down and resolves to wait. baka-updates availability note buy

Work In – Iizuka’s gay, and unfortunately for him it’s an open secret among his co-workers, who all but whisper about it the second he turns his back. Even worse, he begins falling for his new boss, Takase–at least until they go out drinking one night and Iizuka wakes up the next morning with no memory of what happened. Note: tw homophobia baka-updates scanlator buy

Sugar Code – When Takagi Akira, an owner of an apartment, was in town, he ran into a scene where a man, Oodoi, saved an old man from a gang. Akira fell for Oodoi’s manly courage and took him in his apartment. Oodoi found Akira’s apartment comfy and spent time there. Akira thought Oodoi’s manly act was now part of the past… But when Akira was harassed by mobs and about to sell his apartment, it was Oodoi who saved his life. Truth is, Oodoi is a yakuza and… Note: There’s a line in the omake (chapter 4.5) about touching Akira while he’s asleep; skip. baka-updates scanlator buy

Spell (LICENSED) – When second-year college studsent Takamasa Natori gets dragged to a double date by his friend, Takeda, he meets Junpei Kisugi. The two hit it off instantly; and while both are guys, they are soon getting along as if they have known each other for years. But when Natori hears that Kisugi is bisexual, he doesn’t know what to think. The two remain friends but things heat up when Natori runs into Kisugi’s current and slightly jealous lover Tohru?

Soko ni Suwaru na – Hayama was lovers with his roommate. He went on a trip abroad and when he returned he expected to be greeted by his lover but instead found a strange man named Namikawa. The stranger told him he was to be his new roommate. The truth is, Hayama had been abandoned without knowing about it. Namikawa felt sorry for him, and started to develop a feeling of love and jealousy toward the pure and timid Hayama… This is the story of a true love that helped heal the wound of being abandoned. baka-updates availability note buy

Sono Mama De – Tsuji and Aizawa have been friends for years—until one day, out of the blue, Aizawa kisses Tsuji and confesses that he’s in love with him. Tsuji wants to stay just friends, the way things have always been between them—after all, love can be messy, and things are just better keeping the status quo—but will they really be able to do so, or is it love-or-nothing between them? Note: tw homophobia baka-updates batoto Note: Out of print

Apple & Honey (LICENSED) – Natsuki sees the world through a lonely haze. So, why is strange and popular Komano suddenly circling him with a sly smile? Is his attention a cruel joke…or is something delicious bubbling just beneath the surface? Apple and Honey mixes summer heat and sweet desire into the perfect treat. Will the beach bring a secret couple closer together? And can the end of the world mark the beginning of lasting love? Note: first story continues in Apple & Honey: His Rose Colored Life

Apple & Honey: His Rose Colored Life (LICENSED) – Sequel to Apple & Honey. Note: rose to tumblr fame for containing the phrase “Mother, Father, I’ve become a fine young homo.”

Tear Drop – After breaking up, Kido Yuusuke decides not to get serious about relationships anymore and goes out with accountant Kamiyama Kouki just to have some fun with no strings attached. Kouki respects Yuusuke’s wishes and maintains his distance; it’s exactly the type of relation Yuusuke was hoping for, but after being touched by Kouki’s kindness, Yuusuke starts to want more than just a good time with Kouki… baka-updates scanlator buy

Sono Te no Netsu wo Kasanete – Nagisa Takakage just opened a restaurant, and finds himself with a strange regular customer. All the chefs agree that Kouga Nagisa is a real looker, and nobody minds that he shows up to ask them questions at work. After Kouga gets himself drunk at the restaurant though, Nagisa is forced to take him home, and finds things heating up a bit. Note: Takakage kisses Kouga while Kouga’s drunk because he thinks Kouga’s coming onto him. Kouga falls asleep like five seconds later though and*** the moment that happens Takakage s t o p s lmfao fuck there is something horribly wrong with the world when I get so excited when someone does what they are supposed to do i’m sorry i’m sorry!! baka-updates scanlator buy

Rinjin wo Aisou – Kazuhito is a model student and he has a troublesome neighbour who always sleeps during classes. One day, he sees him in the streets and without knowing why, he decides to stalk him…Note: the “stalking” is way less creepy and way more harmless than the summary makes it sound. baka-updates availability note buy

Soredemo Yappari Kimi ga Suki – Young couple Hirota Naoki and Yoshizawa Hiderou have a dog-and-owner relationship, with Hirota always taking care of the clumsy Yoshizawa. But when Hirota gets sick at school and tells Yoshizawa not to follow him home, is there anything “the dog” can do to be helpful to his “owner”? Note: Chapter four features an age difference of 24 to 16. baka-updates availability note buy

Merry Checker – Blogger, Shio, meets up with some friends he met online through his blog. He is going to meet Miya (supposedly female), a blogger he hasn’t met yet. He is surprised to find out that Miya is a very tall man who has a very calming effect on others. baka-updates scanlator buy

Mizuiro to Pinku, Sore Kara Daidai – Mizuki has started dating a reticent junior from his club, Momonari, and he is finally going to Momonari’s house. Anticipation and uneasiness, in the house with just the two of them, they try to ascertain their love but… It’s the prologue of a clumsy couple in love. – Note w/r/t to the end omake (pgs 214-222): Kitagami is definitely pushy here. The eventual sex is consensual, but I wasn’t entirely happy with how he acted there. baka-updates availability note buy

Non Tea Room – Renji and Kenta are musicians, they meet each other thanks to the friendship between their bands. Each musician has different reasons to play, be it love for the music, a strong desire to surpass their fears on stage or even just for someone’s approbation. While these bands are struggling to be known in such a competitive world, Kenta is struggling with a different problem in his love life; can he be a replacement for someone else? baka-updates scanlator buy

Lucky Number 13 – Satou Hiroshi is the kind of polite, innocent, cute boy who’s popular with guys and girls alike. But word-of-mouth has it that anyone who dates him will be plagued by a series of unfortunate events and near-death experiences – eventually being forced to institute a break-up ‘under pain of death’… Will bespectacled, ‘uncool’, baseball-crazy Tsumabuki Kasumi prove these rumours wrong or experience them first-hand? But after falling for Hiroshi’s cute smile upon their (rather weird) first meeting, he’s determined to tempt fate and find out whether he can finally break out of this unlucky streak and strike it lucky in his love life! baka-updates scanlator: v1v2 buy

Sore wa Isshun no Hikari Dewanaku – Quiet, sweet story of an emotionally shuttered university sempai and his conversationally clumsy junior. Sharing the same last name and a love for classical music brings them together a little. But will this be enough to bridge the gap between the sempai’s secret sorrow and the junior’s awkward naivete? baka-updates batoto buy

Twinkle – What sort of relationship do Andou and Ichinose actually have? Note: ONE-SHOT baka-updates scanlator availability note

Sumanai!! Masumi-kun – Shiraishi Shoutarou, a novelist, just learnt that his young and honest editor-in-charge, Osanai Masumi, would marry his precious daughter. But his daughter went missing right before the wedding! So now, Shoutarou is living under the same roof with the man who was supposed to be his son-in-law… Note: The end omake (Chapter 5, page 35 onward) features a panel of imagined non-consent. It’s told from the POV of a side character and is not necessary to the plot. baka-updates scanlator buy

Yorokobi wa Hizu no Ue – Orito Kouki was working in his mother’s pub and saw an unexpected customer, Mitsuru. Mitsuru was the elder brother of his college friend, Yuzuru. Mitsuru looked totally different from Orito’s impression of him. Mitsuru suddenly kissed Orito and asked Orito to keep his visit to the pub a secret from Yuzuru. Note: In the last chapter, there’s some surprise kinky sex that starts off badly; there’s no pre-negotiation and Orito is definitely a hot-headed jerk. It turns out fine, but still deserves a warning. baka-updates availability note buy

Nouka no Muko – Kawano went back to his hometown because his father fell ill. He decided to resign and stayed behind to take over the family farming plantations. However, he didn’t inform Nagaura, his lover, about his decision until much later. Feeling insecure about their future, Nagaura decided to do something about their long distance relationship. baka-updates availability note buy

Love Machine: Etowa (LICENSED) – Anti-social Kokuyo seems to always wind up in the hospital due to overwork from his busy writing career. Unable to bear Kokuyo’s lifestyle problems any longer, his friend Saeki gives him a “replicant,” a male android named Shiro, who can monitor his health and do his daily chores…among other things. At first, Kokuyo can’t hide his irritation toward the bumbling Shiro, but eventually his feelings begin to change. Will Shiro’s puppy-like devotion and dogged perseverance win over Kokuyo’s heart in the end? Note: Out of print in English

Otokogokoro – Average 30-something office worker Saki Hiroyasu finds himself dead on his feet with fever one evening, fainting into the arms and auspices of 18-year-old college student Shinomiya Jun. No frills, no bells or whistles, this is just the simple tale of these two lovebirds’ budding romance! Note: Saki gets pretty pushy in the first sex scene, as well as in ch5 of Tokimekigokoro, but otherwise this is great. baka-updates batoto (v2v3v4) buy

Soba ni Oitene – As far as Yuzu remembers, since his childhood, Icchan would always come to his rescue just like a Prince in shiny armour. But Yuzu has grown taller than Icchan! A huge Princess and ultra popular handsome Prince?! A story about schoolboys, will their love bloom? baka-updates buy in Japanese Note: Licensed by Juné but out of print.

Toki no Maigo o Sagashite – An orphan since his parents died in an accident when he was 16, Akito lives with Kou’s family, his childhood friend. But following an accident, Akito becomes amnesiac, unable to recognize people close to him, places that were familiar to him, or any events of his past. Kou, who had been in love with him for a long time, takes care of Akito like a mother, trying to help him recover his memory. What if the amnesia was a new beginning for their relationship? baka-updates scanlator, availability note buy

Rutta to Kodama – Rutta changed from a delinquent to a nice guy because of his new roommate, Miyagi Kodama. Kodama was unsure of his own feelings after Rutta’s confession. After seeing Rutta’s injuries caused from excessive fighting, Kodama finally decided to face the truth and accepted him. Note: The missing chapters for v1 on Batoto are a two-shot unrelated to the main story that don’t make the list. baka-updates batoto buy

Star-like Words – High school student Subaru wouldn’t reject a sexual favour, but dating is out of the question when he’s not in love. Stumbling upon a beautiful painting in school, he knows he’s found his first love – the artist behind the work. But winning the heart of his love interest isn’t going to be easy, particularly with his promiscuous lifestyle! Note: Warning for attempted rape; in chapter 5 two other students Subaru used to have casual sex with ambush and sexually assault him. He’s saved before they succeed in their goal and all sex between the main couple is completely consensual, but please be aware before you read! baka-updates scanlator buy

Does the Flower Blossom? (LICENSED) – Sakurai Kazuaki. At age 38, he’s single, overworked, and starting to feel a bit miserable about his life. One day a young college guy at a train station bumps into Sakurai and wrecks his magazine. Fate — or coincidence — has it, Minagawa happens to own the same magazine at home, and instead of apologizing for the damaged item, he invites Sakurai to his house and replaces it with his copy. “What an arrogant young kid he is!” Sakurai dislikes him immediately. Yet, despite feeling annoyed and frustrated by Minagawa’s rude and arrogant behavior, Sakurai soon finds himself a frequent visitor of the secluded household… Note: TW for discussion/mentions of suicide.

Bikkuri suru hodo Doji na Koi – Nao and Tom have been friends since childhood, Nao being the caretaker and Tom being the clumsy airhead. Their high school lives have been fairly uneventful—that is, until Tom suddenly confesses to Nao one night. Though Nao points out the obvious “but we’re both boys…?” The second story deals with two college students who’re doing a room share. Shimizu Mikio is in his second year of college, and has started rooming with the fluffy, energetic Sawamura Souta. But the more they’re together, the more Miki starts to notice something: Souta seems to like him. baka-updates scanlator buy

Metro Dog – Shinoda is still reeling from the sudden separation from his wife when one evening he’s lured into a peculiar little shop by the smell of coffee. There, Asukura, the shop’s proprietor, converses with him about the beauty and usefulness of broken things. Despite himself, Shinoda keeps coming back for coffee… and conversation. baka-updates batoto buy

Graduate: Winter, Spring (LICENSED) – Shards of memory with a brilliant radiance. As the seasons turn, two boys’ hearts are changing. Winter brings them close to each other, little by little.

No Touching At All (LICENSED) – On his very first day at a brand-new job, shy Shima is trapped in the elevator with a hungover mess of a guy…who turns out to be his boss! Togawa’s prickly exterior definitely puts the rookie recruit on edge, but it doesn’t take long before Shima’s every waking thought is invaded by his overbearing yet totally thoughtful superior. Will Shima put aside a history of disappointment in order to take a chance on a complicated relationship?

Anata no Jinsei Hikiukemasu! – An elite businessman exerting himself at a publishing company is demoted to the manga editorial department, which is out of his field of experience. Moreover, his first responsibility is a comic artist that no one can handle… baka-updates batoto buy

Bitansan Renai – There’s a guy that’s been on my mind – Michinaga. One day he told me, “Taka, I have a crush on the teacher.” But it hurts me to see his pained expression. Forget about that teacher. Forget about love that’ll never bloom. Choose me instead… Taka and Michi, Michi and the teacher, the teacher and Taka’s older brother… Where will all their one-sided feelings take them? Note: chapters 2 and 3 feature implied, off-screen non-con (one of the characters is blackmailed into having an ostensibly sexual relationship with a stalker.) baka-updates batoto buy

Dear Green – Yajima Yukari and Otoumi Hiroshi know they must one day reveal the truth about their relationship to an important person: Ryouko. Especially after she sent invitations to a celebration of her upcoming wedding. How will she react when she finds out that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend? baka-updates batoto buy

Dear Green: Hitomi no Ounowa – Prequel to Dear Green. Eight years ago, Yajima and Outomi met in high school, through Ryouko, Yajima’s best female friend and Outomi’s girlfriend at the time. Ryouko remained in their home town, but Yajima and Outomi moved to Tokyo and remained close friends through university, and after Yajima dropped out. Yajima feels comfortable with Outomi – unlike with his girlfriend. Then one day Outomi kisses another guy just to see what it would feel like, and Yajima gets agitated beyond what seems reasonable for even a close friendship. baka-updates batoto buy

Sono Kuchibiru wo Hirake – Tamaki is in love with Shinji. He’s a spoiled, arrogant and self-centered guy and lately he’s been playfully clinging and getting too close to Tamaki to deal with tension. Thinking that this can’t go on, Tamaki is determined to distance himself from Shinji, but it just makes him want to see Shinji all the more… Note: ONGOING baka-updates batoto buy

Kimi Note – For some reason, Miyasaka finds himself absolutely enamored by the scent of his attractive male classmate Sawatari. But when he tries the cologne Sawatari recommends, the effect just isn’t the same–it has to be on Sawatari or the cologne won’t have the same effect. Note: the last chapter, a oneshot unrelated to the main story, features a few rape jokes and so doesn’t make the list. baka-updates batoto buy

Slow Starter – A story about two boys, Kiyo and Ino, who go to different schools but take the same train every morning. As time passes by they become aware of each other but never engage in conversation until one day when Kiyo oversleeps in the train and is awoken by Ino. From that point on they begin talking to each other and eventually become good friends… baka-updates scanlator buy

Kiss Blue (LICENSED) – When Tomosaka realized he was in love with his best friend Noda, it seemed the most natural thing in the world. He couldn’t even remember when he’d first started falling in love. He had his feelings, but he couldn’t express them… because Noda was his best friend. A story about the delicate thread that separates friendship and love.

Yabai Me de Minna Yo!! – The person Aiba Misao loves is an onnagata in taishuu engeki, named Yumedono Ginnojou. He fell in love when he saw this person on stage, believing him to be a girl. Thus, when the plain Oosato Ginji is transferred to his school, he fails to recognize him as his much-admired Ginnojou. However, Ginnojou finds love, becomes even more enthralling and makes a big break in a commercial. A long-distance relationship, a frustrating love… Complications turn these two people into adults! In addition to the title series, also included is a hard love story where East meets West on the streets of New York! baka-updates batoto buy

The Object of My Affection (LICENSED) – Wakamiya has been chasing Yasunari for five years! So in order to get closer, he joins Kanon University’s basketball team where Yasunari plays. As Wakamiya draws ever closer to his tempting teammate, will he realize the change that has come over him?

Kakko Warukute Kakkoii Kimi – Ever since they were little, Yukihisa and Takashi have always been together. However, Takashi recently started acting strange towards Yukihisa by refusing to come near Yukihisa, baffling him. Takashi offers no explanation for his actions, causing Yukihisa to be filled with doubts about their friendship. What can Takashi be hiding from Yukihisa that’s causing him to keep 1 meter away from him? baka-updates Note: this manga was licensed by DMP under the DokiDoki imprint but it looks like it’s expired/out of print.

Endless Comfort (LICENSED) – On the two-year anniversary of the death of his mother, Masaki Kuzumi returns to the beautiful manor home where she once lived. There, he meets the kind, devoted dog trainer Yuu Kanai and instantly responds to the younger man’s sweet nature…but something behind Yuu’s smile hints at a secret darkness that Kuzumi knows all too well. Can these two men band together and shine the light of forgiveness on all of their past regrets? Note: Major trigger warning for childhood sexual abuse–it’s represented respectfully but still potentially VERY triggering.

Merry Family Plan (LICENSED) – Typical school boy Shibutani has always had trouble staying interested in his girlfriends, but when mild-mannered Yoshizumi transfers to his class, his interest is strangely piqued. As Shibutani tries to get to know his new classmate, he finds Yoshizumi to be awkward and even hostile. Other delightfully-crafted stories include a high school boy with a bizarre mask fetish deeply in lust with his dentist; a boyfriend’s jealously over the close relationship between his lover and a best friend; and a couple who are overtly pouting over who should be on top in the bedroom. Note: Warning for homophobia in the first story, skip chapter 4 (it features a relationship between an adult and a high school student and, at least in the scanlation, an ableist slur and a joke about childhood sexual abuse–it’s n o t worth It.)

Amato Amaro – Economist Vittorio Conti wants to see what having sex with a man is like, and does what any reasonable person would do in his situation: ask his bodyguard if he wants to give it a try. Straightlaced Armando Pagani refuses at first, but for how much longer? baka-updates scanlator 1-4, availability note buy

Ashita Naku – Ichimura has just quit his job of eight years and lost his girlfriend. While feeling bummed out and uninspired, his best friend from college appears on his doorstep. But maybe there was more to their friendship than meets the eye… Note: ONE-SHOT baka-updates availability note

Nidome no Koi – Fujiwara is a man of unusual tastes—he finds plain-looking, borderline unattractive men appealing. And Karahashi, his lover and middle school teammate, has started to be insecure about this. What will he do to keep Fujiwara’s attention? baka-updates batoto availability note

Harapeko Usagi to Koisuru Ookami – Shirou wants nothing more than to pet a fluffy rabbit, but his cold and stern expression betrays him and he’s never had the chance. So when he finally gets his chance to hold one such fluffy rabbit, you think he’d finally be content, though now it seems his attention has been caught by the young struggling uni-student Kou. He’s cute just like a rabbit, but he’s not a rabbit, so then what is this feeling? Note: I have not verified whether the full volume makes the list baka-updates scanlator buy

Hana no Migoro ni – A short sequel for Hana No Mizo Shiru portraying Misaki and Arikawa’s life after the events of the main plot. baka-updates batoto buy

Kimi ga Iru Basho – A young man lives in a small town where he owns a small grocery shop and struggles through life alone with his small son. His childhood friend moved away after graduation and appears suddenly years after at the threshold of his shop without money or occupation and puts his life to utter chaos. baka-updates availability note buy

Me wo Tojite 3-Byou – Chibana Manabu has a habit of closing his eyes and counting to three whenever he finds himself stressed out, whether it’s about his drag-queen father or the feelings he’s harboring for his childhood friend. Kaji Hiroto is carefree and enjoying his days with Chibana, hoping they’ll last forever and maybe even turn into something even more eternal. But lack of communication and a fear of rejection can only lead downhill. baka-updates scanlatobuy aniya’s original dj

Invisible Stars (LICENSED) – (Sequel to Silent Voice) Seduced by sweet words from the upperclassman he admired and respected, Hikita fell for Imai. Through repeated kisses after baseball practice, they both fall more and more in love with each other but… 

Ouji Hiroimashita – Ginga, who comes from a poor family, picks up Ouji, a son from a noble family. Soon after, Ginga tries to avoid Ouji due to their different lifestyles, but Ouji becomes extremely attached to Ginga, suddenly kisses him, and says “I love you!” baka-updates batoto buy

Mazu wa Hitokuchi – Oda and Hasegawa are childhood friends bound by a very special secret: Oda’s a third-generation pig farmer on a farm that raises FLYING PIGS. But when a nosy reporter starts investigating tales of upward-mobile porkers in the area, the two must band together (and thereby grow closer in doing so) to protect Oda’s family’s livelihood as well as the good-luck-giving swine. baka-updates batoto buy

Waltz With a Black Cat – Hirose is mad. Once again his boyfriend Matsui has cheated on him, with the sorry excuse of: “Sometimes I wanna see a girl’s boobs more than a guy’s dick.” Crying at a nearby shrine, Hirose curses Matsui… And the next day, outside Matsui’s apartment, he finds a black cat with a scar just like Matsui! And Matsui seems to have disappeared… Note: ONE-SHOT baka-updates availability note

Lovers’ Doll – When Shin hears about a doll known as the “bloody doll” from his friends, he can’t help but be curious. Instantly falling in love with the figurine he decides to buy it, but there are rumors about the doll and how it got its name. It can supposedly move and talk and some former owners even claim it drank their blood. Unfazed, Shin buys the doll anyway, only to find out that the rumors might not be as ridiculous as they sound… Note: warning for physical assault–some punches are thrown but played for laughs and there’s one serious instance at the end chapter 4. baka-updates batoto buy

Hishoken! – Secretary Saito Yo was transferred to a new director named Nabeshima Hisatsugu after a recent reorganization. However, the supposedly “never worked a day in a company” Nabeshima had his new secretary totally wrapped around his finger! Not only that, Yo was further devastated when Nabeshima commented that Yo wasn’t what he thought a secretary should be. Shocked and frustrated, Yo carelessly blurted out while he was drunk one night that Nabeshima should “take advantage” of his services. Then the next day, Nabeshima totally changed his attitude—!? baka-updates batoto buy

Koi to Kaerou – Bad drunk, four-eyed tsundere Takahashi Kyouya returns to his hometown after four years of absence to find his childhood friend Hino Motoharu waiting for him. Oblivious to Kyouya’s feelings towards him, Motoharu is more than happy to have Kyouya back. However, the love that sparks one impassioned night in the midst of the Karatsu Kunchi festival doesn’t seem to have any intention of being suppressed. baka-updates scanlator buy

Koisuru Futari no Taion – Not a day has passed without a man for the handsome designer Kanbe. His absolute requirement in choosing a guy is their scent. He’s gone out with countless guys already, but has yet to find the one… Wait, there he is! Takahashi-kun, a delivery man, stole his heart and his nose, and Kanbe made a move on him right away. Takahashi-kun is like a puppy wagging his tail at Kanbe with all his heart, but Kanbe starts to feel guilty for what he has done…? Note: Kanbe makes a crack about STDs in chapter 4; unrelated b-story in last 2 chapters doesn’t make the list baka-updates scanlator buy

Vanilla Resort – Mutsu is a famous mangaka in the adult manga department, but he’s extremely shy. Akiharu’s job is to look after him. When Akiharu catches Mutsu in a compromising situation, he offers his help. With pocket pussy in hand, jerking Mutsu off has become part of his job, and Akiharu is getting really aroused. baka-updates scanlator buy

Kira Kira no Hibi – 1-3) Every morning, high school student Nanami catches sight of this one surfer he secretly begins to admire. Incidentally, however, it is later on a certain day that they reunite in a classroom! Turns out that this one-year-older senpai, named Shuu, is in fact one who, while characteristically mature, is unsociable to the extent that he’s even notorious for being someone difficult to approach. Even so, for some reason, Nanami becomes the sole person that he can smile at and laugh with, over and over again… 4-5) In order to overcome his debilitating fear of cats, Natsumi Hayato goes to visit a cat cafe. But could his reaction to one of the staff he meets there be even more difficult to conquer than his phobia? baka-updates scanlator 4-5 buy

Sayonara, Itoshi no My Friend – Tatsuo is a makeup artist for a fashion photographer and is sick and tired of the models fawning over the new hairstylist, Haga. One morning, he comes across one of the models running out of Haga’s room with tears in her eyes and has a long talk with him about how rude and antisocial he is. That’s when Tatsuo realizes, Haga doesn’t really know how to treat others and doesn’t even have a single friend – until now? baka-updates scanlator buy

Omairidesuyo – Miza Yuuji is the so-called ‘beautiful priest’ of Uguisuzaka Shopping District, loved and respected by all not only for his skills as a Buddhist priest but for his demure demeanor and kind air. While he professes to have pledged himself to the cloth, vowing to remain unmarried and celibate for life…he’s harbored a crush on his best friend Saburou since middle school. Now that Saburou’s back in town, taking over his parents’ tofu shop after an eight-year absence, Yuuji must deal with feelings he thought he’d long since moved past—and that’s when he gets drunk one evening in Saburou’s presence. Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy

Tsuzuki wa Mata Yoru ni – Popular host Akusawa Fumi and renowned detective Futagami Takaharu have been classmates throughout high school and college, and also been lovers at some point. They met again two years ago, and have since rekindled their sexual relationship. And while it proved to be as hot and fierce as ever, in truth there might perhaps still be a little more to it than just that..? Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy 

1K Apartment no Koi – A series of stories about two couples in neighboring Tokyo apartments and how their friendships and romances develop. baka-updates batoto buy

Ai ga Matteru – Kiyohito continually cheats in all his relationships. One day, a man named Hisashi comes stumbling into Kiyohito’s bar. Hisashi’s got less morals than Kiyohito, but despite being a crazy guy, Kiyohito can’t bring himself to hate the guy. When they are together, everything feels good…?! Note: Hisashi’s ex uses a homophobic slur in chapter 2; in chapters 3 and 4, Kiyohito ties Hisashi up with packing tape to keep him from running away–this is mostly played for laughs and never gets sexual.

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So Cute? – 1-2) Morizono is a wine dealer. His daily routine consists of taking pictures of Mon-chan, his beloved cat, to post on his blog and harbouring an unrequited love for Onodera, the chef of an Italian restaurant he’s currently working with. As per usual, he goes to the restaurant but Onodera happens to find out that he’s the one running Mon-chan’s blog! When he thinks that his chance has come, he realizes that he loves Onodera so much that he can’t bring himself to confess!! baka-updates scanlator buy

Okubyou na Koi – Fujimori and Matsuda attended the same high school and college; unbeknownst to even himself, Fujimori had made it a habit to hang around his senpai under the pretext of enjoying the delicious sweets that Matsuda was so good at making. But after Matsuda moved to Toyko for work, Fujimori cut off contact with him. 5 years later, they reunite unexpectedly and… Note: TWO-SHOT baka-updates batoto availability note

No Color – Sakamoto is a serious and introverted law student. Iida works construction and is always making too much noise. The lives of these two drastically different neighbors are about to collide. baka-updates batoto buy

Canis – Kutsuna Satoru, a hat maker, picks up a man collapsed on the side of the road named Kashiba Ryou, who came to Japan to die. Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy

I Love You, Coward – Due to his scary face, Shougo has been alone since entering university. But unexpected events lead him to become close with Hina, from the same university. Shougo, elated at the fact he’s become friends with the cool and kind Hina, finds out that Hina breaks out into hives when people treat him with affection – a “love allergy”? baka-updates scanlator buy

Kou’un no Rihatsushi – Suffering from unrequited love, Todou Tsukasa, also called “the moody pillar”, walks into a barbershop. The cheerful barber not only gives him a sexy new haircut, but also advice on how to better carry himself. Tsukasa takes that advice to heart and goes on to fame and success. But he never forgets the barber who helped him when he needed it, and so, he keeps dropping by the barbershop. However, confidence didn’t come with the new haircut nor the fame and success, and his feelings are neither conveyed nor understood well. Note: ONGOING; skip chapter 6 (oneshot unrelated to main story that doesn’t make the list); in chapter 5 Tsukasa pulls a “I can’t stop myself/hold back” though the sex is still explicitly consensual; homophobia and references to sexual harassment of a minor in V2. baka-updates scanlator buy

Natsu Kimi ga Saku – Shinobu grew up in a town so small that he didn’t even have any classmates in elementary school. Without any friends his age, he spent his time learning about flowers with a local horticulture expert. Now that he’s moved away to a city, he still sticks to himself, since he never really learned how to make friends. That is, with the exception of Yukihito, who came up to him one day and became his friend. The trouble is, now Yukihito means the world to Shinobu, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Note: Chapter 2 features sex where one party is in significant emotional distress (unrelated to the sex itself.) Please use caution when reading! baka-updates batoto buy

Tsumaranai Otoko – 1) A Boring Man After getting dumped, Hashimoto, an ordinary businessman, is approached by a popular and successful co-worker. 2) Sweet Room Kotobuki is famous on campus for his beauty and brains. Will he ever find a roommate who isn’t disillusioned when he sees what Kotobuki is really like? 3-4) Let’s Tie Hands Firmly When Atsushi quits his job in the city and returns to his hometown, he finds his younger friend, Satoru, all grown up and a little distant. 5) Always Hand in Hand Sequel to ‘Let’s Tie Hands Firmly’. 6) A Troubled Man (continuation of “A Boring Man”) Note: Story 3 features a relationship between an adult and a minor and a respectful depiction of sexual trauma baka-updates batoto buy

Focus – A young photographer, Hirami Yuichi visits an island for an exhibition and meets the gallery’s owner, Asahina Jun and fell in love at first sight. Even with a direct approach, it doesn’t reach the heterosexual Asahina. However, one day when Asahina talked about his past with him, he was moved and he hugged him. Getting closer or staying away, both of them make it hard to leave. A painful love story that will squeeze your heartstrings. It is Nishi Noriko’s debut piece! baka-updates scanlator buy

Smile, Kudasai! – Fast food part-timer, Tachibana Souta receives a love confession over the counter from one of the regulars, a salaryman named Kanzaki Tooru. Because he was causing a scene over the register, Souta relents and gives him his email. After that, he gets messages from him every single day. He thought nothing of them at first, but they’ve been coming in persistently and Souta slowly came to anticipate these messages. But one time, when Souta rejects Kanzaki as per usual, the man tells him, “I won’t come to see you anymore.” Before he knew it, he had fallen for him. ❤ Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy

Shiro no Koro – A city boy transfers to a country school. Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy

Sex Friends – I was reunited with an acquaintance from my college days at work. If I were to listen to him, he made a career in showbiz based on nothing but lies. So we had sex like he was using it keep my mouth shut, and just like that we became sex friends… Note: ONGOING baka-updates scanlator buy

Neon Sign Amber – An expressionless club doorman meets a flashy boy at one of the many parties the place gathers. As someone who’s always been considered quite boring or an emotionless person, Saya-chan with his clumsy personality will make this man a more vivid one. baka-updates scanlator buy

Kimiiro Eden – Iga is a famous landscaper. But for some reason, he was left out of a big project and was appointed to be foreman of a small garden in the outskirts. Growing tired of it, Iga couldn’t accept that fact but when he met a client named Asakura, something in him is starting to change… baka-updates scanlator buy

It’s Only Love (LICENSED) – Izumi is a dedicated single parent haunted by his past while trying hard to make a future for him and his son. First suffering the crippling loss of his closest friend after their junior high graduation in what was an ego destroying personal rejection of their friendship, he then went on to lose his young wife due to complications of childbirth. Thankfully, his seemingly tough yakuza brother in law, Sawaragi, was there to lend a hand when he needed it most. Things seem to be going swimmingly well until his childhood friend makes a sudden reappearance, throwing Izumi into emotional turmoil. Just what is Takatsudo playing at, wanting to hang out like close friends again after all this time? Izumi’s determined to find out just what is going on before his heart is crushed beyond repair this time… Note: Features drunk sex and drug trafficking.

Seinen wa Ai o Kou – 1-3) Hiding the fact of being gay for years, high school student Kaede has a thing for his friend, Okuda.”I must never let him know about my feelings,” decided Kaede deep down in his heart. Where will this mixture of feelings lead to? baka-updates scanlator buy

Yoake e no Senkou – Tozaki is a university student who aims to be a lawyer and works as part-time staff with Kuze who is Tozaki’s boss. Tozaki needs to get his essay back from Kazu so Kazu asked him to get it back from his house!? baka-updates batoto (ch7) buy

Koi to Kedama to Otonari-san – Ichinose, who is not very good at socializing, meets his next door neighbor, Tsuchiya, and his pet cat. After becoming good friends, Ichinose is extremely grateful to Tsuchiya. However, Tsuchiya, full of feelings for the other, desperately tries to hide his desire…!? baka-updates scanlator buy

Hashire! Ouji-sama – A kingdom’s ruling faction sends out a secret agent to find the kingdom’s missing prince. Love begins to grow between the missing prince and the agent sent to find him but political intrigue intervenes upon their arrival in the kingdom. Note: Unpleasant gag in the last chapter where Dyun hires someone to take pictures of his partner in secret. Also: BL, now with bonus democracy! baka-updates availability note buy

Heart o Nusumu no wa Dare da – The love story between a policeman and a man on the wrong side of the law. By day, he’s a gentle coffee shop owner; by night… A charismatic master thief?! Note: Police officer doesn’t know cafe owner is the master thief during 1st sex scene baka-updates scanlator buy

Doushite Namida ga Derunokana – Jr. high student Izumiya is surprised by a sudden kiss from his handsome classmate Hayakawa. Leaving him completely confused, Hayakawa suddenly leaves town, but the two reunite again in high school. As the two continue to part and reunite, Izumiya’s feelings start to stir… Note: Recurring slapstick gag where Hayakawa non-consensually kisses Izumiya and gets punched for it baka-updates availability note buy

Ever After – A collection of oneshots based on fairytales/folklore. However, in this case the main characters are all men. Drawn in the accustomed gorgeous style of Est Em, Ever After brings us an interesting and sensual twist of all these classics.Note: Skip chapter 2 baka-updates scanlator buy