Review: The Guy I’m into Is a You-Know-What!

This week I want to talk about Nanae Chioka-sensei’s work, “The Guy I’m into Is a You-Know-What!” (Japanese title: その推しは××につき! Sono Oshi wa XX ni Tsuki). The art is super clean and Chioka-sensei is really good at drawing both harmless (and kinda scary) girls and very manly (and sometimes very scared) men like our protagonists, Sakiko and Masayuki.

Title: The Guy I’m into Is a You-Know-What!
Author: Nanae Chioka

Page link: https://www.ebookrenta.com/renta/sc/frm/item/140091/

It’s Thursday and that means I’m back with another review of a series that I think you all should check out. This week I want to talk about Nanae Chioka-sensei’s work, “The Guy I’m into Is a You-Know-What!” (Japanese title: その推しは××につき! Sono Oshi wa XX ni Tsuki). The art is super clean and Chioka-sensei is really good at drawing both harmless (and kinda scary) girls and very manly (and sometimes very scared) men like our protagonists, Sakiko and Masayuki.

Each chapter has its own cover art! I especially like this one for Chapter 3 based on Alice in Wonderland (the actual story does not have anything to do with Alice or Disney though)!

Sakiko is a normal office worker with a big secret: she loves, loves, LOVES her yaoi. Maybe you can relate? Of course, during the day she’s forced to hide her kinda scary devotion to, ahem, the finer pleasures of life. Even so, her secret joy at the office is staring at Masayuki, the high-profile son of the CEO. He’s diligent, extremely hard-working, and cold, and best of all for Sakiko, he looks scarily like Reiji, her most favoritest, most dominating-est top. When a twist of fate leaves her alone with him in the same room, their passion and misunderstandings almost run wild at the office.

Even though Masayuki seems cool and collected on the surface like Reiji, he actually has a lot of insecurities about women and has no idea how to react when they get close. He really wants to get to know Sakiko more, but his lack of experience with women and his elite upbringing keep getting in the way of making rational decisions.

Will Sakiko be able to find Masayuki’s true personality under his Reiji-like surface? Will Masayuki finally be able to live up to the expectations of his wacky father? Throughout the series, the two characters just keep getting into more and more trouble, and you won’t know what misadventures they’ll end up in next! Every chapter they keep getting closer and closer to actually doing it, but there always seems to be some crazy thing that gets in their way.

Later chapters introduce a new character, Sota, who is either doing a great job of sabotaging their relationship on purpose, or doing a really bad job of keeping them together. It’s… kind of hard to tell?

I especially think Sakiko is a great character. She doesn’t spend every chapter just endlessly worrying about stuff, but she gets distracted by things and cracks jokes. She really loves her yaoi and her Reiji, but she also wants an actual, blossoming love with the real-life Masayuki. A lot of the series deals with how much of her fantasy she’s willing to give up for a “normal” relationship. Well, as close to normal as possible for someone like Sakiko. Later chapters introduce even more crazy characters, each with their own personalities and hidden wants and desires.

Sometimes it’s okay to let your guard down and show the people you love your deepest, darkest secrets, even if it’s embarrassing at first! I highly recommend you check out The Guy I’m into Is a You-Know-What!, only on Renta!

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Kris’s Korner: Bands and Boys

It might just be me, but I feel like recently BL series are getting anime adaptations more than they used to. Not just BL series in fact, but bishounen series in general have been getting more love, with a lot of reverse harems and male idol shows popping up as well (*´Д`)θ~♪~

It might just be me, but I feel like recently BL series are getting anime adaptations more than they used to. Not just BL series in fact, but bishounen series in general have been getting more love, with a lot of reverse harems and male idol shows popping up as well (*´Д`)θ~♪~

Although I tend to prefer watching cute girls doing cute things, I think it’s great to see more balance in anime, and more series aimed at female viewers being released!

One such series that was recently brought to my attention was Given, a BL manga about four guys in a band, which has an anime adaptation airing this July.

Here’s hoping the anime is as well received as the manga! I’ll certainly be giving it a watch.

Quite a few fujoshi I’ve spoken to over here in Japan seem to be really excited for it, so I’d highly recommend checking it out next season (it airs on July 12th) ( ´∀`)b

Hah!

Music in anime and manga has long been a thing, from classics like Nana and Beck, to K-On!, and the recent Carole & Tuesday, which has been making waves online. Idol series have been thriving as well, for example Ensemble Stars! and IDOLiSH7 being a couple of the ones that seem to be getting a lot of attention recently.

Of course, with the copious amount of music themed manga and anime about, we’ve got you covered here at Renta! as well! So here are a couple of my recommendations (´▽`)

Title: I’m a Pop Star, Now Expose Me!
Author: Hokke Shima
Adult content: Yes
Link to store

Yukinari is searching for the scoop of his life, working as a paparazzo, but no good stories seem to be coming his way. That is, until he bumps into his old high school friend and idol super star, Subaru Nagare. Although Subaru’s been completely free of scandals for his whole career, one night of hot passion between the two old friends looks to change all of that in an instant. That is, if Yukinari publishes the story…

Although I’m not a big fan of voyeuristic stuff normally, there’s just a hint of it in this, and it gives me a bit of a thrill (*´Д`)=3 Subaru is an interesting character, as he has a lot of different sides to his personality. On stage, he’s a beautiful, brazen star, when he’s with Yukinari he’s sweet and fragile looking, and during the smut scenes he’s an absolute animal! It’s also really cute watching Yukinari trying to decide whether to expose Subaru and get his big story, or whether to protect him and keep him for himself!

Title: My Fickle Jaguar
Author: Unohana
Adult content: Yes
Link to store

Sojun Shiina used to be immensely famous in the Japanese music scene, as part of the band “Peg”. But in recent years he’s just been drifting around from place to place, doing whatever he feels like with no real sense of direction. Occasionally he’ll go back to his partner Arata’s house, so that he can ‘recharge’. While Arata really wishes Sojun was around more often, it’s hard to keep this fickle jaguar pinned down!

I really liked the character development in this series, and both Arata and Sojun feel like they could very much be real people. They’re both complex and flawed individuals, who’re trying to make their somewhat janky relationship work as best they can. This is not a smut-fest, but more of a slow-burner, with a really well put-together story.


Are you in the mood to pick up guitar!? ‘Cus I sure am! Maybe when I have more time anyway… (’  ̄3 ̄) ~

Until next time~! ヴァ───ヾ(´ー`)ノ───イ

New Releases for 7/2

Whoa! It’s already July! Where is the year going? Here are the new releases for today!

Whoa! It’s already July! Where is the year going? Here are the new releases for today!

Yaoi/BL

Title: I’ll Act, But I Never Said I’d Do That! (Chapter 1)
Author: Sakae Mizuki

Tetsu has wanted to be an actor for a long time, but his abrasive personality has always kept him from landing a role. So many failed auditions have taken their toll, and what’s worse, he has to come home to his roommate Satoshi, his old friend who has found a career as a successful writer. However, one day Tetsu gets a call from his agent saying he’s landed a starring role in a movie! The only catch: there’s a gay love scene in it! Satoshi is the only one he can turn to for advice!

Check out the other new BL releases on the New Releases page!

Love/TL

Title: First Love Reset (Chapter 1)
Author: Urara Kuroda

Ako is having trouble convincing her parents to let her move out and live on her own. While she can be clumsy sometimes, she really wants the freedom of living her own life and having pets that she just can’t have from living with her folks. She’s about to give up when there’s a knock on the door from her childhood friend, Hiro, who she hasn’t seen in 10 years. Ako used to have a crush on Hiro, but when he moved away after graduating high school, he rejected her. Now, 10 years later, Ako has ended up moving into the same apartment building as him! Will she be able to reset her first love and do it right this time?

Check out the other TL releases on the New Releases page!

Romance/Harlequin

Title: The Sheikh’s Wedding Contract [Society Weddings IV]
Author: Shion Hanyu/Andie Brock

The kingdom of Gazbiyaa has been the enemy of Princess Nadia’s kingdom for a long time. But, Nadia believes that by offering herself to be the wife of the new King Zayed, she can forge an alliance of peace between the two countries. She dresses up as a dancer and sneaks into his castle, afraid of the rumors that Zayed is known as a vulgar playboy obsessed with the simple pleasures of life. But, when she ends up in his bedroom, she is shocked to find a handsome man who acts nothing like the rumors…

Check out the other new Harlequin releases on the New Releases page!

Seinen

Title: The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior (Chapter 9)
Author: Miyahara Ruri

Usa (pronounced oo-sa, not like the country) is about to move into a new place for high school, but on the way to his new (actually very old) apartment, he runs into a weirdo peeking into a public school. After dealing with the police and making sure he gets taken in for questioning, he gets to his apartment and is shocked to find that same guy just happens to be his new roommate! Usa can’t live under these conditions, but just as he is on his way out forever, he finds Ritsu, the girl of his dreams, standing at his front door…!

Yuri

Title: A Timid Woman Longing for her Delivery Girl (Chapter 2)
Author: Haiji Sanada

Rei has finally found a freelance job working at home so she can avoid all the hassle of dealing with other people. After one too many bad experiences, she’s tried to close herself off from the outside world as much as possible. But, the new driver who delivers her packages, Rinko, is so cheerful every week. She even writes a cute little newsletter about her life! Rei can’t help but start looking forward to the days when Rinko will be arriving

Shojo

Title: One Second Away from a Kiss (Chapter 38)
Author: Sui Souda

Rikka volunteers to write her school’s play, thinking it’s a historical performance, but finds out that it’s actually a fairy tale. Not knowing the first thing about that kind of stuff, her handsome but bossy childhood friend Izuru forces her to go to his house and read all of his sisters’ girls comics. He even suggests a kissing scene to close off the performance. But, when the princess for the play comes down with a cold on the day of the performance, Izuru suggests Rikka act as the princess, despite Izuru being the prince! He tells her he’ll stop a second before the kiss, but…

On Sale Now: “Peculiar Preferences” Yaoi

I get it. Sometimes vanilla is boring. Sometimes you need that extra kick to spice things up. You don’t have to tell anyone, because at Renta! we know exactly what you need. Whether you gotta keep it on the DL or not, that’s up to you…

This week we’ve got a special treat: up to 25% off select BLs with guys that are also missing that special sauce and need a little bit of extra seasoning to really start to boil. Here’s a couple of my recommendations:

Title: Will a Guy Who Likes Cats Fall in Love with a Guy with Cat Eyes?
Author: Shima Nekonomori

Zenya has always grown up around cats, but now that he’s gone off to college, he finds himself missing he cuddly feline friends. That’s why at first, he thinks he’s hallucinating when he sees a fellow classmate, Takeru, randomly sprouting cat ears. Takeru’s last name, Nekoya, even has the Japanese word for cat in it! Zenya finally corners Takeru, but those ears are just so fluffable and huggly that he needs to touch them!

Title: The Mascot is the Goddess of Victory
Author: Sasori Haibara

Yuji has always loved Shinichi, the star catcher for the Ozaki Black Cats, so he takes a job as Kuro, the team’s mascot. After Kuro gets a bit too into the game and starts dancing inappropriately on the field, Shinichi calls him over after the game. Yuji thinks he’s going to be fired for what he did, but Shinichi wants to get closer? Yuji wanted to be close to his idol, but now that he’s in the suit, and so close to Shinichi, maybe he can just roll with the pitches and see if he gets a home run of his own.

New Releases for 6/28

Let’s get right into the new stuff for this Friday. Hope you’re excited!

Let’s get right into the new stuff for this Friday. Hope you’re excited!

Yaoi/BL

Title: The Red String of Fate
Author: Akira Yoshio

All his life, Keiji has had the ability to see the red strings of fate that connect two people together. When two people have connected strings, they are destined to be together, and couples that don’t have the strings are unfortunately not fated to last. Keiji has been waiting for his own string, hoping it will be on his crush, Yui, and one day it finally appears. But the target is not Yui but another guy, Hiroki! Keiji tries to avoid Hiroki as much as possible, but how can he run away from fate?

Check out the other New Releases!

Love/TL

Title: I Can’t Help But Love Him. [VertiComix] (Chapters 1 & 2)
Author: Yoko Ito

From Yoko Ito, the same author of the popular series, Allergic to Love comes another hit series, now in easily-digestible, full-color, scrolling VertiComix form! Sako is your everyday office worker with one catch. She really really really likes suits. Sako, along with everyone else in the office, loves to stare at the handsome office hotshot Eiji, but unlike everyone else, Sako doesn’t care about his appearance… she just loves looking at his suit. Being the one woman that doesn’t blindly love him, Eiji has a few questions of his own…

Check out the other New Releases!

Romance/Harlequin

Title: What the Prince Wants
Author: Haruhi Sakura/Jules Bennett

Darcy has been trying to run her grandmother’s day-care service, but now she has lost everything and her family business is on the verge of bankruptcy. That’s when she gets a call from a man who claims he will pay an exorbitant salary to be a nanny for his daughter. Darcy answers the call, and the man, Colin, immediately turns her down for being so young. However, when he sees how quickly she can calm down his young daughter, he is instantly impressed. But Colin has a secret of his own: he’s actually the prince of a kingdom in the Mediterranean!

Check out the other New Releases!

Shojo

Title: The Duchess Of Rosia -A Contract Marriage? How Did This Happen?- (Chapter 15)
Author: Kazura Kinosaki/Tsuredurebana

Viola is the daughter of an earl in a poor, famine-stricken kingdom. Her quiet life is suddenly thrown into disarray when she gets an offer of marriage from the rich and handsome Duke of Rosia, Cersis. He explains that his family will not allow him to marry his girlfriend, so he would like to wed Viola in name and law only. In exchange, Viola and her family will have all the freedom and comfort they can desire… but now that she’s married, what exactly is she supposed to do!?

Yuri

Title: No Release Until Ecstacy is Achieved
Author: Wani Kurokoda

Ai and Liliya, the characters from Wani Kurokoda’s previous manga, True Love That Starts with a Lie awake in a mysterious room with no memory of how they got there. They can only leave the room when they carry out all the instructions left for them. As you can expect, the instructions continue to get more and more dirty/fun (depending on your perspective). Will this be a chance for Ai to get as perverted as she wants with the innocent Liliya?

Title: Patterns of Yuri at the Girls’ School (Chapter 2)
Author: Mira

Hikari and Maho have been friends since they were kids, but Hikari can’t get over her crush on Maho. However, Hikari can’t help but feel betrayed when Maho admits that she has feelings for another girl. Hikari tries to hide her feelings, but it seems she’s caught the attention of Ai, who has no intention of sitting around and waiting for what (or who) she wants…

Review: The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring

Today I’d like to take a look at a slow-burning yaoi tale between two high schoolers. Like the title itself, the manga is pretty long and definitely worth checking out.

Title: The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring
Author: Miwa

Page ID: https://www.ebookrenta.com/renta/sc/frm/item/140284/

Today I’d like to take a look at a slow-burning yaoi tale between two high schoolers. Like the title itself, the manga is pretty long and definitely worth checking out. This story has been doing well on Renta! and like a lot of my favorite series, it doesn’t just get right into the “good stuff” so to speak but instead focuses on real-life themes like accepting your own sexuality and trying to become a better person for your partner. But enough jabbering about that stuff, what’s this story about, anyway?

Ayumu is a high school senior coming home from his part-time job after school, when he sees another student trying to shoplift from a local store. He notices an air of loneliness in the boy’s eyes, so he decides to help him out. After getting to know the younger student, he finds out the boy’s name is Ryosuke, and he’s in the same class as Ayumu’s younger brother, Hikaru. However, he never shows up at school and doesn’t really care about his future.

On the other hand, Ayumu is in the top of his class, but thanks to rumors told by Hikaru, he’s seen as some kind of legendary bear-fighting delinquent king. The stories have kinda gotten more and more ridiculous as time went on. As the honor student and the pseudo-dropout continue to meet up and get to know each other more, a friendship starts to form between the two of them. Hearing rumors that Ryosuke is hanging out with the mythical Ayumu, some thugs kidnap Ryosuke to try to fight Ayumu for themselves. Ayumu and Ryosuke escape, and Ryosuke decides to thank Ayumu with a kiss! But… they’re both guys! Ryosuke knows that, right!?

After that kiss, both parties need to do a lot of introspection. Was Ryosuke being too rash and has he ruined his chance of a normal friendship? Can Ayumu accept Ryosuke and his crush on him? Would he even be able to reciprocate that kind of love? And, will Hikaru be just as aloof and uncaring throughout the entire story? Oh wait, I can answer that last one. The answer is yes, and he’s the best.

Check out The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring, available on the Renta! store now, and let us know what other kinds of stories you prefer!

Kris’s Korner: Thicc Thighs Save Lives

Although not a very well known video game series in the west, the Atelier series has been making waves online recently, with the announcement of their new game Atelier Ryza, and more importantly the main character Reisalin Stout, owner of thighs thicker than a shake left in the freezer overnight.

How the heck does she put her shorts on in the morning!? They’ve gotta have some serious stretch in them.

Although the Atelier series is normally known for it’s super cute art and characters, thicc thighs will always go down well on the internet. I have to say that they’ve lured me in as well (*´Д`)

This is how I want to go.

One thing that I do think is a little sad about the way the games are advertised though, is that they aren’t making use of the pretty, pretty boys that fight alongside the cute girls.

I think they’re pretty anyway… (Psst… Google “Sterkenburg Cranach”)

Oh well, more cute girls for me I guess (*ノ´∀`)ノ

One of the things I really like to see in our manga here at Renta! is these kind of fantasy settings, which sadly don’t get a lot of love in TL/BL series. They do tend to be a bit more common in shojo manga however, and so I’d like to introduce one that I’ve been enjoying recently!

Title: This Mage Desires Mediocrity
Author: Hiromi Taihei
Story: Ren Hirose
Adult Content: No
Link to store

Swept from our world into a world of magic, Mizuki is set on living her life by her own rules, and has settled into her new life in a quite country village quite nicely. Unfortunately her absurdly strong magic has been drawing attention from all the wrong sorts, and now knights have come from the capital requesting that she go with them to meet the prince! This is not turning out to be the kind of life she had in mind.

Mizuki really stands out as a girl who doesn’t take crap from anybody. Watching her take down arrogant nobles and the like is very satisfying, and there’s some video-game-like aspects to the fantasy world that make it really interesting. To top it all off there’s a constant flow of silly, comedy moments that will keep you laughing throughout each chapter! ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \


What kind of settings do you guys like? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts~

Until next time~! ヴァ───ヾ(´ー`)ノ───イ

New Releases for 6/25

Hey everyone! Here are the new releases for this Tuesday.

Yaoi/BL

Title: I Need You Too, Maybe
Author: Tsutako Tsurusawa

Shion has always been quiet and never trusted other people. He’s been bullied since elementary school, and the only person who’s ever stuck up for him has been his lifelong friend Leo. But Leo has ulterior motives of his own: he just likes to look at Shion’s flaccid member! Now that they are university students living together, Shion still has trouble talking to people, but he wants to progress his relationship with Leo further. But for Leo to see Shion as more than a friend it might be a little bit hard.

Check out the other New Releases!

Love/TL

Title: Our New Life Together
Author: Hana Aoi

Koyuki is starting her new job this spring, but her boyfriend Tono still has another year left of school. Tono suggests that they kill two birds with one stone and move in together, but because Koyuki wants to save money on rent, she waits to move in until the last minute. But, she’s quickly learning that living with your partner isn’t always so easy! Will their relationship make it out alive? This short story collection also includes a story about an office worker trying to become beautiful, a couple in the midst of a fight, and a tutor who is asked out by her student.

Check out the other New Releases!

Romance/Harlequin

Title: Bride on Demand
Author: Keiko Okamoto/Kay Thorpe

Seven years ago, Regan was able to get the CEO of the company she was working at, Liam, to fall in love with her. However, after being in a relationship for months, Liam told her he was getting married to someone “more befitting of his status.” Regan vowed never to see him again, but now after a chance meeting, Liam can’t stop himself from making a move on Regan. But Regan has a secret of her own that she could never tell Liam…

Seinen

Title: Monthly: Editor-in-Chief Aikawa (Chapter 16)
Author: Takeshi Ohmi

Ms. Aikawa has been a star magazine editor for her entire career, and now she has moved up the ranks and been transferred to become editor-in-chief at a publishing company! The only thing is that it’s her first time working as an… adult magazine editor. She’s never dealt with this kind of office before! One of her co-workers, Keisuke comes to check up on her after hours, and finds that although she tries to be professional during the day, she has a few fantasies of her own…

Title: The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior (Chapter 8)
Author: Miyahara Ruri

Usa (pronounced oo-sa, not like the country) is about to move into a new place for high school, but on the way to his new (actually very old) apartment, he runs into a weirdo peeking into a public school. After dealing with the police and making sure he gets taken in for questioning, he gets to his apartment and is shocked to find that same guy just happens to be his new roommate! Usa can’t live under these conditions, but just as he is on his way out forever, he finds Ritsu, the girl of his dreams, standing at his front door…!

Yuri

Title: A Timid Woman Longing For Her Delivery Girl (Chapter 1)
Author: Haiji Sanada

Rei has finally found a freelance job working at home so she can avoid all the hassle of dealing with other people. After one too many bad experiences, she’s tried to close herself off from the outside world as much as possible. But, the new driver who delivers her packages, Rinko, is so cheerful every week. She even writes a cute little newsletter about her life! Rei can’t help but start looking forward to the days when Rinko will be arriving…

Shojo

Title: Loving You! (Chapter 8)
Author: Noll Shikisima

For two years, Aio has asked her boss, Yuri, out like clockwork at the start of every season. Yuri always refuses on principle, but he never seems annoyed by the idea. He’s not exactly the most romantic or traditionally attractive kind of guy, so mostly he’s just confused why Aio would show so much interest in him. But his frugality and his practicality just make Aio want him more! Maybe someday he’ll fall for her charms, but until then Aio will just keep silently hoping.

Title: Half-a-Million-Dollar Bride
Author: Kaiji Umeda

Akane lost her parents when she was young and grew up with her aunt and uncle, who were not happy with the arrangement. Now that she’s 25, she’s always wanted to find a partner and give the happiness to her children that she could never have. She thought she found the perfect man… but it turns out he was already married… and with three kids! Akane is forced to provide compensation to the couple, but a mysterious man takes care of it while claiming to be her husband… just what will become of her?

What Makes a Good Translation? Part 3 – What’s In a Name?

Localization can be handled in different ways, depending on how the translators decide to recontextualize the story.

This post is a continuation of my various and sundry musings on translation. You can find the previous part here.

Localization can be handled in different ways, depending on how the translators decide to recontextualize the story.

I love the Ace Attorney series, featuring Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth, and a cast of other wacky lawyers, detectives, and witnesses. It’s also a great example of how Japanese media can be localized to English.

Every time I do it makes me laugh.

Since all the names in Japanese are puns, the localizers at CAPCOM decided to change all the names in English to different names. In Japanese, Phoenix’s last name is 成歩堂 Naruhodou, which is a play on the Japanese word naruhodo, which means “I see.” In English, changing this name to “Wright” makes the joke different from the Japanese, but keeps the author’s general intent, as it’s possible to make jokes based on the similarity between Wright and “right.” However, as last names are used more in Japanese to address others versus English, the Japanese pun probably gets more mileage. In English, first names are much more commonly used, so a name like Phoenix carries an additional context of “rising from the ashes” or coming back from the brink of destruction. This seems to happen a lot for poor Phoenix.

 The location is also moved from somewhere in Japan to somewhere in the US. As I talked about in my previous article, Keeping the Author’s Intent, all of our manga take place in the original settings. Of course, whether the localization chooses to move the location or not, each comes with their own issues. Both ways have to explain Japanese concepts to a foreign audience in a way that still makes sense. Maya Fey (in Japanese 綾里真宵 Mayoi Ayasato), Phoenix’s young spirit-channeling sidekick is obsessed with eating hamburgers in the US version, while in the original Japanese version she can’t get enough of ramen.

When the story takes place entirely in a new location, it can make things like going to a village of Japanese spirits somewhat unrealistic, but the translators must work around this concept with their decision. Likewise, if the context is still in Japan, it still needs to be explained to a foreign audience using other methods such as a roundabout explanation or through connecting it to something familiar to the reader.

Just around the corner from the local gas station.

Other games also change names to suit their audience better. For Final Fantasy VI, while a name that sounds cool and foreign in Japanese like “Tina” may sound cool to Japanese speakers, in the West it sounds like a regular girl’s name. “Terra” has a much more foreign ring to it, don’t you think?

Final Fantasy VI is absolutely the best FF. Don’t @ me.

A Pokemon with a name that sounds cool in Japanese like “Fire” doesn’t really have the same nuance in English. Moltres captures that same coolness spirit in English, while also connecting the other two legendary Pokemon. Being able to translate a work and add a context that the author can’t express in their native language is something that every translator dreams about!

Title: Over-Cumming Writer’s Block
Author: Awaji Nae

Here at Renta! too, we’re proud of being able to sometimes get that perfect pun. Our popular title, Over-Cumming Writer’s Block, is a great example of being able to continue the author’s meaning while still being constrained in the world and the context of the original story. The original title, “Teach Me, Mr. Fujishima” would be fine in English, but as the main character is a writer, being able to include a bit of extra humor in the title is amazing!

Title: Stuck Between a Sexy Rock and a Hard Friend
Author: Ikuyasu

One more puntastic title I’d like to recommend today is “Stuck Between a Sexy Rock and a Hard Friend.” The original title, “Love Friend Triangle” doesn’t really have that same oomph. When you can write a title that sticks in the mind of your readers, that’s when you know you’ve made it.

Kris’s Korner: I’m a Straight Guy and I Like Pretty Boys

Over here in Japan, there’s quite a strong separation between male anime/manga otaku, and female otaku. Generally speaking male otaku here are into cute girls, and female otaku are into pretty boys. People looking from outside the fandoms often imagine that they have a lot in common, but actually the difference between liking cute girls and liking pretty boys, is something of an impassable chasm.

Over here in Japan, there’s quite a strong separation between male anime/manga otaku, and female otaku. Generally speaking male otaku here are into cute girls, and female otaku are into pretty boys. People looking from outside the fandoms often imagine that they have a lot in common, but actually the difference between liking cute girls and liking pretty boys, is something of an impassable chasm.

There are of course exceptions to this, which is a category I’ve realised that I fall into. In my case I’m a guy who’s into cute girls, and also really likes pretty boys! *:.。☆..。.(´∀`人)

Five points to anyone who can guess who that’s supposed to be.

In Japan, girls who are into pretty boys (and ship them) are labelled, fujoshi (腐女子, literally “rotten girl”). So in the same vein, guys who are into pretty boys are called fudanshi (腐男子), replacing the woman (女) character, with man (男).

As this appears to be a reasonably rare phenomenon, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how I’ve come to appreciate beautiful boys, as a straight guy.

1. I Can Identify With Them

The first real bishounen (beautiful boy) series I saw was the anime adaptation of the visual novel Amnesia (quite different to the horror game, I can assure you).

“Amnesia for Nintendo Switch. The official site is up♪”

My first thought was “Oh damn, these guys are edgy!” Because I mean, seriously, who wears clothes like that? (I actually want their wardrobe so much it physically hurts) (ノД`)ノ

But as I watched more of it I realised that I could identify with these characters far better than with what we, in the west, consider to be good, male role-models. We tend to idolise sporty, muscular, traditionally masculine looking guys, with short hair and simple clothes.

But that wasn’t me, I didn’t like sports, I was so skinny a strong wind could break me in half, and I wanted longer, exciting hair (although now it’s short again). So it was great not only seeing characters like that, but characters like that who were designed to be cool. They weren’t some “weirdo” being laughed at in a TV show for being different, they were the protagonists.

Not long after that I stated to get really into Japanese fashion and got a proper hair cut!

2. The Character Designs Are Amazing

As much as I like cute girls, I have to confess that I think characters from pretty boy series often have more interesting designs. More interesting might not be quite the right phrasing, but bishounen character designs do tend to be very detailed (and again, fantastic hair).

Recently I’ve been really into the online game Toukenranbu, which features anthropomorphised Japanese swords as pretty boys, and I can really get behind the amount of detail that goes into the character designs.

A new sword released recently, Hakusan Yoshimitsu.
Okay, I’ll admit, this one just looks like a beautiful girl.

As someone who’s into fashion and cosplay as well, these kind of designs make for some really interesting outfits and inspiration! Obviously it’s hard to look as beautiful as them in real life, but we can try! ヾ(´Д`)ノ

3. Gender isn’t the Most Important Thing in a Series/Prejudice is Hard to Overcome

I had some trouble phrasing this point, but basically, gender is not what makes a character or series good, there’s so much more to it than that.

I often find that I don’t enjoy bishounen works because of the pretty boys, but rather because I really like the characters’ personalities, or because the story is very well written.

I always like to use Yuri!!! on Ice to demonstrate this point, as I’ve never seen my guy friends get so excited about a gay romance before. It’s often not the content itself that audiences have a real aversion to, but rather the way it’s written and portrayed, along with their own preconceived expectations and assumptions.

A special illustration, celebrating the “ISU World Team Trophy 2019”.

My friends genuinely didn’t know what they were getting into with Yuri!!! on Ice, they had only heard that it had great animation, and was very popular online. They basically had no reason not to watch it, so they did… and they loved it. On the other hand, if I’d introduced it to them as a “gay ice skating anime”, I’m not sure how they’d have felt. Maybe they’d have surprised me, who knows?

To put it simply, I think a lot of guys have an aversion to pretty boys (and BL) because they just expect it to not be interesting to them. As someone who went in blind myself, I never had this issue, but often I see it with male otaku who won’t touch anything lacking cute girls.


That just about covers everything for me really. I’m sure if you meet other guys that are into pretty boy series, they might have some other good reasons to give you.

Regarding the last point about the importance of good characterisation and story writing, one series that helped me get into the more adult, BL side of things was The Subway Dog, which just went up on Renta! recently. So if you fancy something slow-burning and more mature, I really recommend checking it out!

The Subway Dog Cover
Title: The Subway Dog
Author: Sakae Kusama
Adult Content: Yes
Link to store

If there are any other guys out there reading this who’re into BL or pretty boys, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Until next time~! ヴァ───ヾ(´ー`)ノ───イ