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I'll admit that I initially bought it because it's uncommon to see BL where there's a submissive character who's actually submissive in a D/s "I get turned on by this" sense rather than a weepy uke who looks he's having the worst day of his life. Indeed, the first volume is incredibly horny and explicit with the two characters essentially stumbling into a D/s relationship (though it's never formalized as such.)
However, it's not all smut. There's a strong emotional core running through the story, which is that Danno (the sub) suffers from internalized homophobia due to society and a rejection in middle school. He feels lesser than and dirty compared to straight people, and one could infer that this is perhaps even where his humiliation kink developed. Over the course of vol 1 and 2, however, he begins to reconcile his feelings about himself, coming to terms with his sexuality and eventually valuing himself more.
BL rarely touches on internalized homophobia in a meaningful way, so finding it portrayed with nuance in a super smutty series was a surprise.
Tsukasa (the Dom) also has a really nice arc through the story. He's "straight," so at first Danno is basically a plaything to him. But Tsukasa comes to sincerely care for Danno and he realizes he wants to be in a real relationship with him. He struggles with how to convey his romantic feelings to Danno, partially because Danno is too insecure to accept that Tsukasa would be serious about him.
If you're looking for a D/s-ish BL, I think you'd find this one to be pretty steamy. If you're looking for a BL with some honest-to-god psychological depth and realistic character arcs -- and you don't mind the humiliation kink aspects -- I think you'd enjoy this a lot. It's one of the most memorable BL I've encountered, and it really struck a cord with me as someone who also had to navigate feelings of insecurity due to being queer.
I put this out on twitter, but I thought I'd try asking over here too - does anyone have any recs for less sexually explicit titles that don't feature teenage characters? Mature themes are fine, talking about sex is fine, I'm not necessarily looking for titles that are appropriate for younger audiences, but I am after titles that mostly keep sex offscreen or stay above the waist. (Though there is wiggle room in there since I'm just making a list and am happy justifying titles if I really want them in there 😉) Adult human characters are ideal, though I'm fine as long as it's not high schoolers.
I already have several titles and I'm gonna go through more of my bookshelves and elsewhere, but I know there's plenty of manga I don't know about.
Mature themes are fine, talking about sex is fine, I'm not necessarily looking for titles that are appropriate for younger audiences, but I am after titles that mostly keep sex offscreen or stay above the waist.
A lot of people in the forum seem to read a lot from futekiya so I apologize if this is something you already know about/read;;
Ayu Yamane's Necktie and Praying Mantis fits this description I think.
Most things by this artist I think fits this mostly execpt the seasons of beauties probably.