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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
ANN Reviews (Girls' stuff, girls' stuff, and more girls' stuff!) 
21st-Nov-2008 02:19 pm
Just a quick head's up for those of you who don't frequent Anime News Network. The following selection of manga reviews written by Yours Truly have been posted there from the beginning of November:

Papillon Vol. 1 by Miwa Ueda
Rose of the Rhine by Megumu Minami
The Flat Earth/Exchange Vol. 1-2 by Toshimi Nigoshi
Evyione: Ocean Fantasy Vol. 1 by Young-Hee Kim

Readers may also be interested in the BL/yaoi roundtable that went up this Tuesday.  Oh, and for those interested in the perennial Why BL? question, it's important to highlight once again that the uke, despite his feminine characteristics and the abuse he endures in the name of so-called love, is not a surrogate woman--and must not be understood as such.  Because he is a man, surrender in the name of love can be admirable.  A woman who surrenders in the name of love, on the other hand, is not so automatically admirable because her surrender happens as a woman in a patriarchal society (such as Japan)...and her surrender is already expected, even imposed, by society.  This sort of true coercion (not to be confused with the fantasy coercion of Japanese erotica/pornography) is not romantic.  At the very best, it's a duty.  Of the two sexes, only the man is given the choice to abdicate his autonomy to another, as it were, and only when you have a choice can that choice be admired.  Thus, BL imagines a perfect relationship of which the female reader can never partake; it is a fundamentally voyeuristic fantasy, not an identificatory one.  Sad, when you really think about it.  When you read BL, you dream of True Love...but not for yourself.
22nd-Nov-2008 11:27 am (UTC)
Wow...I wanted to read Flat Earth/Exchange, being a fan of the dark, post-apocalyptic shoujo fantasies from the 80s and 90s you mentioned in your review, but I read a different review a few months ago claiming it was one of the "worst manga you'll ever read." I'm hearing the complete opposite from you, which now makes me INSANELY curious. I think I will read it, after all. ^_^
22nd-Nov-2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
I've been a Toshimi fan since college--especially of her doujinshi--so perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for her work.

*curious* Who hated it? Anyone I know?
23rd-Nov-2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
I can't remember, and I can't find the review again. All that I remember is that s/he said the manga was incoherent and wretched.

But you and I both read Wings. I trust your opinion on crazy, dark, retro shoujo. ^_^
24th-Nov-2008 01:53 am (UTC)
Well, if you decide to read it, do tell me what you think. ^_~
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