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Favorite mangaka

 jess
(@jessinbooks)
Reputable Member

I feel like this topic comes up a lot as a tangent in discussions of, say, what licenses we'd like to see or what titles we'd recommend, but I thought it might be nice to have a thread for waxing poetic over our favorite bl mangaka.

So whose work do you like?

(And if you're one of those people who doesn't pay attention to mangaka, I'm dying to know how you find titles because I just spend all my time looking longingly at the unlicensed works by my favorites.)

- My most favorite is Tomoko Yamashita. The characters in her stories have such a sense of groundedness realness to them, even in the fantasy stuff like The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, and her approach to romance suits my faintly cynical sensibilities so much. She also tends to put a lot of good female characters in her work - if you can find I Want a Love Story, "re:hello" is a heartbreaking story narrated by a teenage girl - which I like a lot in the more realistic kind of stories. (And unrelated to her bl work, she recently tweeted about making a new character in her current josei series nonbinary bc she wants to write all sorts of people, which ❤️)

- I also love est em, who I suspect gets overlooked a lot these days in part because no one's licensed anything of hers since 2013 (and also because she's kinda out there writing her own stuff about, like, bullfighters). She also goes in for the more emotionally realistic approach a lot, which is especially great when the story's about the subject of a painting slipping out and having sex with said painting's restorer. Her art has a killer physicality and all in all, it's a crime that I still don't have a legit release of any of her centaur stuff.

- Asumiko Nakamura's noodle people give me life, no matter how divisive opinions are about her art style, and I like how even her sweet stories often end up tinged with sadness. I hope, hope, hope that Seven Seas will get more of her bl work (it's a good sign that they picked up her yuri, right?), even maybe some of the darkest stuff. I want a print copy of Double Mints with a new translation, is what I'm saying.

- Since I'm a sucker for interesting art styles, that plays a lot into who my favorites are, but I'm especially fond of Haruko Kumota and Sakae Kusama because of their art. Kumota does the absolute best job with body language and facial expressions (it may not be bl but Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is a masterpiece and also very gay, bless). Kusama has the most beautiful lines - if you haven't seen any of the 80000 tweets about her illustration on this month's cover of Craft, go check it out because it's so interesting and almost ghostly.

There's loads of other artists I'm really starting to grow fond of too, but I'd like to hear who other people like.

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Topic starter Posted : 20/07/2020 7:17 am
(@boysloveparty)
Eminent Member

I love ALL those mangaka, you have SUCH excellent taste! I want to talk about est em's Kine-In, the whole collection of stories, with people, because I think about those a LOT.

Kumota Haruko is one of my two favorite artists worldwide at this point. (The other being a New Zealander who makes the most gorgeous children's comics.) What you say about her doing the best job with body language and facial expressions? EXACTLY. There's something about her lines I just LOVE. Forgive the inelegance of my words, but there's a swoopy curve to her style that's to die for. I could just happily stare at her art all day (and sometimes do! I nabbed a shot of Jean-Francois from The Rain in Monte Carlo for a header for my general fannish twitter account and often just wind up staring at it.)

Facial expression holds a lot of weight for me. That's one reason I really love Harada. When a character just turns on a dime from a sweet, smiling, bland face, to pulling the most INTENSE look of disgust or horror? I'm blown away. The dark and twisted storylines and characters also totally appeal.

Other mangaka whose work I want to own all of include Ogeretsu Tanaka, Suzumaru Minta (recent discovery thanks to futekiya! <3), and Ikuyasu - all for varying different reasons!

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Posted : 02/08/2020 7:38 pm
ローラ (Laura), Paul, OuendanBLue and 2 people liked
 jess
(@jessinbooks)
Reputable Member

@boysloveparty Harada! I haven't read enough of their work yet since I don't buy much on Renta, but yes to the facial expressions - I'm very drawn to the eyes especially.

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Topic starter Posted : 02/08/2020 8:39 pm
(@movingcastleofyaoi)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @jessinbooks

- My most favorite is Tomoko Yamashita. The characters in her stories have such a sense of groundedness realness to them, even in the fantasy stuff like The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, and her approach to romance suits my faintly cynical sensibilities so much. She also tends to put a lot of good female characters in her work - if you can find I Want a Love Story, "re:hello" is a heartbreaking story narrated by a teenage girl - which I like a lot in the more realistic kind of stories. (And unrelated to her bl work, she recently tweeted about making a new character in her current josei series nonbinary bc she wants to write all sorts of people, which ❤️)

I'm really excited to read Tomoko Yamashita after that 801 day announcement. Haven't had the chance to read The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window yet but you mentioning it does make me wanna check it out! 

Harada has always been a favorite of mine, Yata and Momo is one of my old favorites. 

I'm not sure if this is a controversial pick, but my favorite mangaka Tamekou sensei both her BL and her non BL (My Androgynous Boyfriend). Her The Dream of the Cuckoos was one of those titles that genuinely surprised me and had a plot that really kept me invested. 

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Posted : 08/08/2020 4:38 am
OuendanBLue and jess liked
 jess
(@jessinbooks)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @movingcastleofyaoi
I'm really excited to read Tomoko Yamashita after that 801 day announcement. Haven't had the chance to read The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window yet but you mentioning it does make me wanna check it out!

Tomoko Yamashita's stuff in general tends a bit more on the atypical side for bl (at least for a lot of magazines) but Tricornered Window is pretty much the least bl-like bl ever - when the live action movie adaptation was announced, jpn twitter reaction was split between "it's bl you can show to your non-fujoshi friends!" and "is this really bl?". 😂 But it runs in Be x Boy and Yamashita says she thinks it's bl, so bl it is. The definitions game, what fun!

 

And I don't know if Tamekou's a controversial pick as a favorite mangaka, but maybe it's controversial that I prefer My Androgynous Boyfriend to all of the bl? I like the bl I've read (and Dream of the Cuckoos was a good one, agreed there) but I love the josei.

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Topic starter Posted : 08/08/2020 5:27 am
(@blue)
Member Admin
Posted by: @boysloveparty

Kumota Haruko is one of my two favorite artists worldwide at this point. (The other being a New Zealander who makes the most gorgeous children's comics.) What you say about her doing the best job with body language and facial expressions? EXACTLY. There's something about her lines I just LOVE. Forgive the inelegance of my words, but there's a swoopy curve to her style that's to die for. I could just happily stare at her art all day (and sometimes do! I nabbed a shot of Jean-Francois from The Rain in Monte Carlo for a header for my general fannish twitter account and often just wind up staring at it.)

Yes! Super happy to see another fan of Kumota Haruko. Her storytelling and way to draw a scene is absolutely amazing. 

Some of my favs have to be Kumota Haruko, Akane Abe and Ranmaru Zariya. 

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Posted : 08/08/2020 7:29 am
 Paul
(@youngbluespring)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @jessinbooks

I feel like this topic comes up a lot as a tangent in discussions of, say, what licenses we'd like to see or what titles we'd recommend, but I thought it might be nice to have a thread for waxing poetic over our favorite bl mangaka.

It'll be hard for me to mention my *real* faves since almost all their works are unlicensed 😖 (I'm looking at you Masao Sangatsu)

On the licensed side I'd mention:

  • Emi Mitsuki (Get The Key To My Heart was so pretty and the dialogue so fasicnating. I want more of their works)
  • Mushiba (they can turn a BL genre upside down and they don't seem to run out of ideas)
  • Thanat (since their style is not the ikemen twink kind, and they know how to do slow burn right. And their stories feature how complex people and romantic relationships, even personal values can be.)
  • Hideyoshico (I'd never be into BL without Apple and Honey)
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Posted : 22/08/2020 7:08 pm
OuendanBLue and jess liked
 O
(@fillepourrie)
Active Member

Great thread, I love reading/hearing about others' favorites!

 

Mine is definitely Isino Aya, unfortunately very few of her works were licensed in English and that was almost 10 years ago by DMG (the translations are great though and the books are still available for purchase on June's website here and here)... Thankfully we will be blessed with more of her works in 2021 thanks to Futekiya! I love her work so much that I own a physical copy of every single manga she's published...

She has this very refined style of writing, with a heavy emphasis on the characters' psychology. Her works have a great range, she can write super fluffy stories like Tsubaki's Diary and at the same time she excels in depicting squalid situations, in The Trigger (which will be released on Futekiya next year), for instance. She's also great with visual narration. Sometimes you'll suddenly have no dialogue for several pages, which will make the most mundane scenes seem super intense.

 

I recommend checking out her works for anyone who is interested in alternative BL!

 

I also love Kusama Sakae. Her art (that Craft cover that @jessinbooks mentioned!) and her storytelling are very unique and compelling. I like that her works are a bit esoteric, relevant informations are often eluded and her narration relies a lot on details and implicit hints. Reading Kusama Sakae is like solving a puzzle.

 

Syundei was not mentioned yet! Now that's an author with eclectic works, and the retro artstyle... Lovely!

 

 

Here's a fun fact: I live in France where we have the reputation of being blessed with an amazing BL market, yet none of the authors I've mentioned are published here...

So all in all, the English speaking BL market is pretty great, in my humble opinion. 

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Posted : 13/12/2020 6:34 pm
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