Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Blessing On Your House by Kotetsuko Yamamoto


Listen: two men going at it is HOT, okay? It sizzles. It pops. It makes me salivate and get a lady boner. DEAL. WITH. IT. Now I've only been a 'fujoshi' for a short while (since 2014, if you can believe it), and my sudden emotional investment on queer relationships or slash pairings in fandoms (anime, manga or otherwise) is all thanks to Charles and Erik of X-Men: First Class. Since I started rabidly shipping those gorgeous idiots both in film and in real life as the actors themselves, I also did a critical examination of other male friendships that I admired in the past in fiction and a few of them did stand out as ship-worthy. I'm not going to tell you specifically which are these but rest assured that I have been more or less converted to the fujoshi lifestyle. I'm not exactly ashamed of it but I won't advertise it in public during a random conversation with a new acquaintance. OR MAYBE I WILL. Actually, I ALREADY DID. I was hanging out with some guys from an indie band and we got to talking about superheroes, particularly Marvel. So the Avengers. And then the X-Men. And, naturally, Professor X and Magneto. And, yes, because it came or organically NOT I essentially proclaimed "Guys, I totes ship Cherik and want to see them be lovey-dovey and fuck!" which is me just volunteering that preference without asking, much to the abject horror and amusement of the other parties.

I got a kick out of proudly embracing that I just get so goddamn wet for two guys doing it that I decided hey, why should I be selfish and keep this all to myself like a weird person with a guilty fetish? Only serial killers would do that and in spite of any online tests that categorize me as a sociopath, I'm pretty normal and nothing is more normal than posting my thoughts about sexy stuff concerning pretty boys in the cyberspace. I had a lot of great boy-love and girl-love mangas down the pipeline to read and review this year and December 2016 (please note your calendars) is when I plan to bombard everyone with Bl/GL reads and reviews. For now, I have the next two months to read four BL/GL stories and I start with Omairi desu yo (A Blessing on the House).

For the sake of jargon formality, let me define terms:

SHOUNEN AI or "boy-love" features stories about boys in tame and fluffy romantic situations that may or may not get increasingly erotic as chapters progress. Most BL are mild and generally consist of character-centered school-romance or plot-centered ones that have two male characters bonding in a non-platonic manner whilst subjected to the genre the plot is written in (say, fantasy or action-adventure). You may have to squint hard to really see the gay. Often, it even slaps you in the face because it's that obviously gay. Nevertheless, a lot of shounen ai don't necessarily have to depict the gay couple doing raunchy things. They can be cheesy all throughout as they hold hands, kiss and proclaim unending confessions of love and devotion. You know, like any teen-rated het out there. 

YAOI is the more explicit one. Mostly oneshot stories without any overreaching arc--OR A PLOT AT ALL--yaoi stories always play on coupling archetypes (bad boy + nerd; dom (seme) + sub (uke); boy-next-door + clumsy guy; macho guy + pretty boy, etc.) and the progression (which is often convoluted or rushed) always leads to the endgame of sexy anal times. Most real-life gay sex between men don't always involve anal sex but somehow for yaoi, if the male characters simply frot or blow each other, it's not considered as 'going all the way'. Penile penetration is necessary so if that's your deal (as it is mine) then yaoi will deliver. Oh, it delivers--sometimes to an uncomfortable and hilarious degree. Anal sex is a process but most yaoi stories seem to have these lead men (90% of whom had never had that type of sex before, maybe half of that percentage even identify as straight before having same-sex dalliance) easily handle getting into it. That's not realistic but YOU'RE A DIPSHIT IF YOU TRY TO APPLY REALISM IN FICTION SEXY-TIMES. Just enjoy the sexy times, grandma and grandpa!

Shoujo Ai (girl-love) is the lesbian/sapphic counterpart for the mild stuff and YURI is the counterpart for the explicit one. If yaoi has penetrative sex, yuri's signature I guess has plenty of weird 'scissoring' sex act. It's basically distressing me. There are a handful of accurately portrayed lesbian sex in yuri manga, sure (uh, maybe?) but the ones that really turn me off are the ones with 'scissoring'. I have--I had sex with women on a fairly regular basis way, waaaay back and I have never scissored the fuck out of another female. But who knows, maybe I have been sexing up other women wrong all this time. Oh my god, how can I live with that kind of grief now?!

Anyway, enough of this introduction. Let's talk about Omairi desu yo.

~+~******~+~******~+~


A Blessing on Your House has the distinction of rendering its readers with a bad case of getting sensory overload with the adorbs. Written and illustrated by Kotetsuko Yamamoto whose visual art is very much eye-candy, this manga is the brilliant cross between the mild and the wild stuff. It stars a twenty-two-year-old Buddhist monk named Yuuji who is admired by all because of his kind demeanor and beautiful features. He swore celibacy and a life of religious devotion (at freaking 22) but harbors an intense crush on a childhood friend, Saburou, since their middle school days. The first chapter doesn't agonize over this and immediately has our sensitive young monk drunk on his ass and has to be carried by said love interest back to his place. 

Drunk-on-his-ass Yuuji in slur speech confesses his feelings to Saburou whilst on piggyback. The next chapter immediately has Saburou confront Yuuji about that confession and, because he is such a swell fellow, was not only NOT disgusted that his childhood friend came on to him but he was also VERY OPEN to the idea of them getting it on. He kisses him without preamble and Yuuji gets all his theoretical fragile man-tubes on a twist. It got awkward on the next few days with Sabu seemingly avoiding him WHEN HE INITIATED THE KISS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Brokenhearted and puffy-eyed, Yuuji decided he should give up on Sabu but then Sabu practically drags him to a corner and admit that right after their first kiss, he jerked off to the thought of being with Yuuji WHICH IS AWESOME, OF COURSE. For a guy who has never been with another guy and who doesn't seem like he ever wanted to be until his friend expressed interest, Sabu is...AGGRESSIVE. The next few chapters display his abrasive and straightforward attitude and pursuit to screw the living lights out of Yuuji, much to the latter's demure and embarrassed delight. The almost-sex scenes themselves (a.k.a uninterrupted foreplays, a.k.a un-happy endings, a.k.a Sabu's-mother-is-a-vicious-cockblocker) are intense. I mean, INTENSSSSSSSSe with an elongated emphasis on the 'S' like the sound of a sizzling butter on the pan. 

Their sexual chemistry is this level of disturbing cuteness.

With the promise of sex between Yuuji and Saburou being dangled repeatedly in the chapters, readers will never be able to keep themselves from growling in frustration when the two never get to consummate their love through a much-awaited fuck session. BUT THE BABIES DO TRY and it's almost sad. And sweet and fluffy and oh-so unintelligibly cutesy. And then sad again because both do eventually admit that they are so fixed on the physicality of their relationship that they never actually go on real dates. Their first real date was pretty dorky because Yuuji insisted on visiting some shrine or some shit, and then he fell into a pond because he's a klutz but hey, they actually rented a room in a hotel AND ALMOST SEXY-TIMES IT UP but then Yuuji couldn't adjust to the penetration so they had to try again next time, preferably with Sabu's mom preoccupied in watching her soaps or some shit so she'd stop cock-blocking the kids all the time. Jesus, woman, just let them fuck! It's almost cosmically unfair that the farthest they have ever gone is some Oxford-style van sex in the middle of the night in some abandoned street somewhere. I'm a romantic so I want a proper mattress with fluffy pillows and some mood music in the background and some classy champagne as rose petals are strewn across the blankets. It's both extremes for me, yo. Either something traditionally sweet like that scenario I just vividly painted for you--or some back-alley doggy-style quickie under a full moon. Either way, the nation has spoken: Yuuji and Sabu just need to get their freak on.

It's all I ever wanted for Christmas, mommy! GIVE IT!

But this wouldn't be a great rom-com raunchy fest without the beta couple stealing the spotlight every now and then. Yuuji has an older, more experienced tsundere of a brother who is also a monk named Kenji. The guy has a temper and whose emotions are pretty much haywire and hard to read. He's also an irrresitible bishounen with a spiciness to him so only admirers of the creepiest kind are drawn to him, much to his anger and exasperation. Good thing he knows self-defense because oh boy, he's gonna need it. Much to his justified chagrin, he's being linked with the guy who does their family's laundry named Yochan whom he vehemently (and fondly) calls Mr. Clean.

Love-sick creepster Yochan doesn't even bother with false pretenses. He is in love and hot for Kenji and it's a sadomasochistic dance of will between the two. Ultimately, tsundere-Kenji gives in anyway and makes out with Yochan whenever the mood suits him, much to his own personal contempt. He can't understand why he's letting someone he adamantly despises service him with sexual favors. It's a rather unhealthy combination but Kenji and Yochan are HOT together so shut up. While Yuuji and Sabu worry about getting it on (REALLY JUST GO GET IT ON DAMN YOU), Kenji and Yochan would probably go farther than they ever would have in the next chapter. If stupid assholes like Christian Grey and Ana are allowed to have poorly written sex scenes then hot bishie men like Yuuji, Sabu, Kenji and Yochan should have fun too. What kind of world do we live in if we deprive them that?

Yuuji, especially, is such a doll. Poor dude would get a cardiovascular heart arrest every time he's getting sexy with Sabu. What appeases him is by chanting his prayers after which is really funny. A high point for me in the manga was him shouting "I WANNA PUT YOU IN MY MOUTH" while they are naked in the hot springs. And when he did put Sabu in his mouth, he used teeth so Sabu had to put a stop to it. HE USED TEETH DURING ORAL SEX, GUYS. Gosh, what a noob! In any case, he is as cute as a bunny and he deserves to get some with Sabu! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH---

DID I FAIL TO MENTION THIS IS AN ONGOING SERIES? Oh yes, it is. So what are you waiting for? You know you want to search this title online and read it by yourself in the most secret place of your house like the closeted-fujoshi bitch that you are. If you're going to waste your time, blow your load all over this manga because it's a guaranteed high. Keep your cigarettes or chewing gums (or whatever afterglow ritual you may have) close to your person because you're gonna need some when you're done. Never get cerebral or critical about yaoi because we're all here for the fluff and sex and you're a dipshit if you deny it otherwise or kill everyone's buzz with whatever gripe you may have about manga dudes fucking. Srsly, what is wrong with you? Get off this bandwagon if you're not going to swoon with us! That being said, this is a fairly tame manga compared to the more engrossing and often distressing ones I would be reviewing by December. Up next in my reads is some sentimental girl-on-girl action.

Just a couple of blue balls who should stop posing for pictures and instead get it on!

RECOMMENDED: 8/10

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