I don’t know what I have against this company, except that they’re known for producing sappy romance novels involving happy endings with heterosexual couples getting married and having babies. There’s always the stereotypical alpha male hero and the blushing – OMG, I hate him, but I love him, but I can’t have sex with him – heroine. I…HATE…THAT. In fact, I think this type of romance novel is the very reason I’ve never read one before I started writing fanfiction and the only type of romance novel I’ve ever read is M/M or Yaoi.
I don’t know, maybe I’m a bit jaded and I’m going to get a bit personal here. After two failed attempts at marriage and four miscarriages I just see this fairy tale as being a complete farce in today’s society. Now that I’m settled with my two boys, one adopted from Russia, and NOT tied down in a marriage anymore, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. And I know I’m not alone here. My therapist (think I haven’t had therapy with what I went through? LOL) said the average number of marriages today are three.
So this sort of thing doesn’t seem real to me and I don’t see it being real to the majority of younger readers – I’m talking Generation X or Y or whatever the heck anyone under the age of 40 or so is being called these days.
Now back to Harlequin, the book mecca of all things neat and orderly and in their place (love before sex, marriage before sex, marriage before baby, all babies and husbands are perfect, a woman can’t be happy without a husband and gay people don’t exist – oh, I could just scream). So I hear they have a manga line. I hear they’ve even hired mangakas to do the artwork for their manga line. And they even showed them off at Yaoi Con in San Francisco. BUT THEY STILL HAVE THE REDICULOUS STORIES ABOUT LITTLE BO PEEP FINDING HER PRINCE CHARMING IN THE LATE 1880’S. *falls over with a seizure*
Okay, I’m better now.What retarded impulse led them to think women who like to see two beautiful, androgynous guys engage in ass-play would want to read that garbage? That sort of thing is like the anti-christ for a Yaoi fan! I mean, being in the industry, I’ve heard all sorts of things about not having any women at all on the book covers of M/M books (not even really tiny and in the background) or the girl-cooties will make it unsellable to M/M readers. AND THEY BRING THESE THINGS TO YAOI CON??? *falls over again*
Okay, I’m back. I think I’ve had too much coffee, LOL. I was thinking I should post an image here to prove my point of how stupid these things are, but I can’t stand the thought even having one of the book covers on my blog. So you’ll have to go look for yourself: http://manga.about.com/b/2009/12/14/8-harlequin-romance-comics-debut-on-emanga-com.htm
And yes, I know that by posting this I’m giving them publicity and even negative publicity is good publicity, but I just can’t help myself. If you find you like that sort of thing, have at it. I won’t judge you (okay, maybe a bit 😉 )
So what do you all think about this? Should Harlequin finally break out of their tiny little mold and face reality and make some real Yaoi titles? How about opening the door to the M/M genre? Just to combat all this hetero romance stuff, I need a Yoai pic (I love this pic, BTW):
The seme is typically what you’d find in your standard romance novel, the confident alpha male who may be famous, runs a business empire, is some type of royalty or otherwise has lots of money and/or high social status. The uke is the shy, nerdy guy who’s usually a college student or just a kid (can you say shota? But this is a topic for another blog). I suppose if you draw lines to tradional romance novels you’d see the uke acting in the traditional woman’s role – girl meets dashing, wealthy asshole who just so happens to have a thing for her, but won’t admit it until well into the story, maybe even the end. But what’s different and maybe so alluring about the uke in a Yaoi story is that because this character is a male, he may be catching in the bedroom, but he surely isn’t always catching outside of it.
How many times have we seen a Yaoi plot where the seme is falling all over the uke, bending to his every whim, just to get him in the bedroom? And how many times do we see the uke manipulating the seme in and out of the bedroom to get what he wants? What about the uke’s pretending not to like sex? Not like sex? A guy? Really??? And so I ask the question, who’s really on top? And more over, why can’t they be switch hitters? *drool*
So in the quest to figure out who’s really on top, I asked Roy Mustang and Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist fame (because I know them best):