Manga: Dame BL

Okay, so the thing I was pretty excited about was that I had actually planned to write something specific for the 10th day of NaBloPoMo. To me, 2010 was a damn interesting year. It was the year I started studying animation, the year I met so many new friends, the year I started thinking about a lot of things in a different light. 2010 might’ve been the most influential year I’ve had so far that has lead to my current personality.

It was also the year I started reading Boys Love manga, a.k.a. Yaoi.

So, today’s 10th of Nov post is going to be on a Yaoi. And not just any Yaoi, the manga I’ll be talking about is so unique, it’s not even one series, HAHA.

Manga: Dame BL 「ダメBL」

Dame BL cover

Dame BL cover

Dame BL is a COMPILATION of Yaoi / Shounen Ai one-shots written and illustrated by a number of mangakas, some well-known and some not-so-well-known. This compilation is a focus on less conventional settings, stories and characters in BL and Yaoi manga. Because there are 12 chapters in this one volume compilation and I am a lazy arse, I won’t be giving a summary on any of the one-shots. For a full list of mangakas in this compilation and the summary of the one-shots, see Baka-Updates Manga. In addition to these 12 one-shots, there are also columns where yaoi mangaka get to share some of their views and versions of ‘unconventional’ BL works.

WARNING: Guy x Guy relationships. Very mild NSFW. No hardcore sex is shown in any of the one-shots. The focus is on the unusual plots.

Whether you’re a fujoshi or just someone interested, you need to try Dame BL. It’s a huge break from the norm of Yaoi and BL manga.

If you’re familiar with conventional Yaoi storylines, there are some pretty on-going trends and unspoken rules that can be seen throughout a lot of works. You’d very rarely see fetishes, or old men, or a fat guy in a protagonist role throughout the genre etc. Dame BL includes all these weird, random, uncommon stories and more. It’s an extremely interesting mix. Some are cute, some a little confusing, some extremely amusing, and some just outright tragic… All in variety of art and story styles. I loved how these one-shots and ideas deemed ‘impossible to publish because they wouldn’t sell’ were compiled into an anthology.

Reading the comments, short ideas and 1-2 page works from other mangakas in the additional mangaka columns were one of my favourite parts. Some mangakas had some really interesting views and some even shared about downright weird stories that they had spoken about to their editors and friends before.

Totally wish there were more works like this out in the market. I’m pretty open about the kind of stuff I read, so unconventional BL is definitely a plus. Unfortunately, it’s understandable that the majority of the BL and Yaoi fan base would not be able to provide enough attention and support towards these unusual story themes.

Not as long an ‘essay’ as usual today. Starting my first Yaoi post about about a compilation of unconventional one-shots probably isn’t one of the smartest things ever, but I just really wanted to share about this eye-opening anthology. Here’s hoping you might pick this up and see just what I mean when I say this manga really influenced my view on the genre.



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