Junjou Romantica has got to be one of the best yaoi series, at least for me.
Reading shounen-ai mangas first sparked my interest in reading yaoi. If I remember correctly, the first shounen-ai manga I read was Only the Ring Finger Knows. I was sceptical at first; I was thinking, what if it sucks? Then, I thought, why not just give it a shot. There’s nothing explicit in shounen-ai mangas after all and then, I fell in love with the story. Lol. It’s not even a boy-girl romantic story but my heart actually skipped a beat as I was reading it. The artwork’s not too bad at all. On the contrary, Odagiri Hotaru‘s boys are darn good looking.
As for yaoi series, I always thought that it’s like an uncharted territory, you know. Yaoi’s an explicit version of shounen-ai and it’s almost like I’m reading porn. Furthermore, yaoi tends to have less plot (or none at all) and the characters always jump straight to bed if you get what I mean. As much as I regretted, the first yaoi that I read happens to be Haruka Minami‘s. Its’ true that her boys are good looking but they all tend to look alike to the point that sometimes I couldn’t tell them apart. As for plot, well, it’s sad to say that most of her works are plotless and it’s never short of explicit scenes. If you’re in for the explicit stuffs, Haruka Minami’s works should suit you. But if you’re looking for the ones with meaningful storylines, you should go for Minase Masara. As for my preference, I like reading mangas (regardless of their genres) that contains comedic elements. So when it comes to my preference in yaoi, I think Junjou Romantica by Nakamura Shungiku fits the bill. It has its funny moments, romance and the artwork’s decent.
Junjou Romantica refers to Usami Akihiko and Misaki pair.
In the beginning of the story, Usami was clearly in love with Misaki’s elder brother and it’s a one-sided love as the other party doesn’t even realise or know that Usami’s in love with him. Usami wouldn’t reveal his true feelings, afraid that their friendship may never be the same again.
Usami and Misaki first met when Misaki’s bro asked Usami to tutor Misaki for his college entrance exam…and then, hillarity ensues. Misaki managed to get into the university of his choice (albeit him being on the alternate list) and somehow, he ended up as a freeloader at Usami’s place and from that point onwards, love is in the air for the “lovebirds” (although Misaki doesn’t quite realise that yet). Usami’s madly in love with Misaki, Misaki seems to find that annoying but subconsciously he’s in love with Usami as well.
Hohoho…it seems that there’s a storm coming, in the form of Usami Haruhiko, Usami’s brother. It’s funny to see that Akihiko kept sending strawberries to Misaki while Usami’s burning with jealousy. Lol. Two Usami brothers fighting over Misaki? That, I have got to see.
Junjou Egoist refers to Nowaki and Hiroki pair, yet another couple in the series.
I supposed the word “Egoist” up there refers to Hiroki who is a proud college professor. He’s too proud to admit that he’s in love with Nowaki which causes quite a misunderstanding in the beginning of their relationship and he’s just as conscious of their age gap as Nowaki did although their reasons are altogether different. Hiroki’s ego was deflated when he, the older guy is the uke while Nowaki, a guy younger than him by four years is the seme. As for Nowaki, he always feel that whatever he accomplish is never up to Hiroki’s standards; he feels that he’s the one who always does the chasing.
Prior to his relationship with Nowaki, Hiroki was in love with Usami. The story of how they met is available in Junjou Romantica Volume 4 under Junjou Minimum chapter.
Junjou Terrorist refers to yet another couple, Miyagi and Shinobu.
Shinobu’s Miyagi’s former brother in law as he was once married to Shinobu’s elder sister. They met on the way to Miyagi’s marriage meeting; Miyagi saved him from a bunch of thugs (if I remember correctly) and ever since then Shinobu’s in love with him even going as far as claiming that it’s love at first sight and that their meeting is a fate or some sort. His hopes were crushed when he found out that Miyagi was his future brother-in-law as well as his sis’ fiance. And when the marriage doesn’t work out (Miyagi can’t forget his first love, his literature sensei back in high school who died from sickness), Shinobu flew back from Australia where he was studying and claimed that it’s fate now that Miyagi and his wife are now divorced.
Miyagi is clearly taken in by Shinobu but he refused to acknowledge his feelings due to their vast age difference (Miyagi’s a college professor, while Shinobu’s just a third year high schooler) but when Shinobu decided to return to Australia, he realised that he is indeed in love with Shinobu and eventually, he stopped Shinobu from leaving.
And by Terrorist, I supposed it refers to Shinobu.
According to wikipedia, there’s another new couple, Junjou Mystique. This time around, it’s Isaka and Asahina pair. FYI, Isaka’s Usami’s editor as well as Usami’s brother’s childhood friend. Asahina’s Isaka’s assistant.
The couples in Junjou Romantica series are interconnected with each other which I think smoothens the flow of the series.
When I heard that there’s gonna be an anime adaptation of Junjou Romantica series I can’t help but wonder if they are gonna include those explicit scenes. Well, there aren’t any explicit scenes at all; only PG-13 kissings which I think makes my life somewhat easier. I don’t have to be too wary whenever I watch the anime thinking that my parents might see me watching something like this although I’m of legal age. Heck, they would flip if they ever find out that I read stuffs like this.
If you like Nakamura Shungiku’s Junjou Romantica, you might be interested in her earlier shounen-ai work, Hybrid Child.
It’s actually Junjou Mistake, not Mystique.