Daydream Sanctuary Features

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

World's First Love - Gays in the Manga Industry

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi
of Studio Deen
Originally By Shungiku Nakamura & Miyako Fujisaki; Directed By Chiaki Kon; Composed By Rika Nakase
Onodera: Ugh, people at my workplace think I only get to handle the popular authors just because I'm the son of the owner? I'll show 'em!!! *joins another company*
Marukawa Publishing Employee: You've been accepted as a new shoujo manga editor! I'll guide you to your office~
Onodera: Wha-? Wait, there must be a mistake. I appled as an editor for novels, not manga.
Marukawa Publishing Employee: But that's the decision (so there's nothing you can do). Are you coming or not?
Onodera: *shrugs* Fine, whatever *follows*
Marukawa Publishing Employee: This is your office and here are your co-workers.
Onodera: Errr... *looks at his exhausted co-workers* Are you sure they're still alive? They're more like corpses.....
Marukawa Publishing Employee: Take care~ *disappears*
Onodera: Hey wait! Don't just leave me here! Hey, miss-
Takano: Shut the hell up, newbie! Come with me, we've got work to do.
Onodera: Err... okay.
Takano: Wait. *stares*
Onodera: What? *bothered*
Takano: You look.... familiar.

Japan. Publishing Company. Contemporary.
Manga. Editor. Mangaka. Love. Break-up. Misunderstanding. 
Romance. Comedy. Drama.
Shoujo-ish Josei with Non-Explicit Yaoi.

2.5... Fine! I admit:
3.5 Hearts ---> LOVE

I.... I... I....F*ck I just completed a yaoi series for the first time.... and loved it!

I think I got a lot of my friends shocked that a yaoi phobic like me actually appreciated such a series (I started with the manga... which is really explicit), ahaha!

Anyway, what I honestly can't stand in yaoi is that majority of what I've encountered focused more on the sex scenes instead of telling a story (even if it's stupid, bother to do that than just on fanservice please =_=). Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, however, was the first I encountered that have been like that. The cliches and stereotypes are easy to forgive for being a yaoi series that has been different from the ones with absolutely no sense.

Watching this series is like reading (or watching) a typical shoujo manga (or anime). We've got couples with one of them being pretty aggressive (seme stereotype) while the other the complete opposite (uke stereotype)... yet they have chemistry and after all the stupid drama and misunderstandings, things will work out eventually and they're so going to get a happily ever after. Some times mushy talk first, or kisses at once, and then go beyond.

The series could've ended earlier actually, if only the "heroine" hadn't been so stubborn to admit that he's obviously in love for the sake of increasing the episode count =_= And seriously, do majority of the main cast have to be gay? And why are most of the dudes in that shoujo department homosexual (it's like saying a guy has to be gay in order to appreciate shoujo)? And do all of them have to be male? And are they really behind on deadlines THAT often? Oh come on, in a way it's giving a bad impression to the people in that field. *facepalm*

But despite the cliche overuse, lame execution, and unremarkable characterization, it's really a relief to see a series centered on romance to have characters that can prioritize work over flirting/f*cking time.

The characters in this series are working adults. We see them do their job, get scolded, feel exhausted, skrew up, hear praises, and gain achievements. The manga didn't focus too much on the things they go emo about, but also tackled about what exactly they do for a living.... the struggles they have.... the happinness they get after all the hardships.

There's been a lot of series that tell about the lives of the creators of our favorite series (the mangaka). But there aren't much about the other, who are as valuable as our dear mangaka, such as the editors. This series had shared to us what edtiors do and what it's like to become one. Their job isn't less difficult, and with all that work they do for our favorite stories, they deserve as much praise~ It has been nice to get to know them more~

It had also been very nice to see the bond and the teamwork between the Editors and the mangaka they handle. It was good to see relationships other than romantic ones in this series.

It's really good that the characters are capable of separating their private lives from work. They are mature enough to take responsibility and make the right decisions in what to prioritize. Of course, that doesn't happen all of the time, but still, there aren't much characters who are like that. It's sickening to watch scenes like a character not attending a job interview because he prioritized flirting around then later goes emo when he failed to get the job =_=

Yeah, yeah, many of the scenes are REALLY cheesy (annoyingly cheesy even). And for some reason the "uke" character's too easy to sexually harrass o_O

But this had been very decent, so the crap's bearable. It had a story to tell, even if it's too dramatic most of the time. But those drama scenes, if aren't followed by love scenes, are ended by comedic ones.... and they're really funny! Well, at least I find them so (no matter how overused or predictable... The humor really got me xD)... Wspecially the main character! Onodera's so amusing, haha! (his inner monologues FTW!)

The music's cute too. The OP theme is more tolerable if I just listen to the audio (the visuals were so lame... the bunny makes me giggle though). The ED theme song was nothing special but for some reason it was pretty addictive....while the visuals were alright. The background tracks though... are mostly very fluffy, haha!

Yeah, this show's so fluffy... which makes it so shoujo though it seems to be targetted to an older audience. I suppose those people who are more used to shoujo and shounen-ai can start with this series as an introduction to yaoi (though the fujoshi don't consider this as yaoi). This feels so much like watching a shoujo series if only there aren't any you-know-what scenes.... and having the couple both male would be nothing new to shounen-ai readers/watchers.

I still can't believe that I still look forward to more of this series.... but I admit that I enjoyed watching it =)
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