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Ad Absurdum ([personal profile] ad00absurdum) wrote2017-04-08 01:19 am
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Fudanshi, fujoshi and the wonders of Japanese entertainment industry

Returning from the dead because I've found a new, sort of, fandom. Tying nicely with my not-so-recent interest in learning Japanese (2nd year course and I can confidently state I can say a bit more than "My cow is red" now. But only a bit.). And I said "fandom", but in reality I'm just obsessing over one voice actor. But there sort of seems to be a seiyuu fandom, so well... let's go with that for now.

OK, starting at the beginning. Last year by total accident I stumbled on Yuri!!! on ICE. I actually saw the fan merchandise (pins to be exact) with the title and I remembered I thought 'Why is it named yuri when it looks like yaoi?' LOL, famous last words.

Anyway, long story short, I liked the show but I'm not going to describe/review etc. it because you can find those things all over the net now. I do recommend it though - funny, interesting plot and great characters. And music. Music was good. The opening I liked right from the start, but the ending sneakily grew on me, since I'm not really into that music genre. And I sort of found it really funny that the guy singing the ending was also the voice actor for one of the characters. DIY, that's what I always say.

Also at about the same time I finally caved and bought the first volume of Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai manga. It was published in Polish by one of our manga publishers a couple of years ago, but I always had my doubts about the title. I mean, lewd masochistic Yakuza boss... *makes sort of WTF face*. Plus the cover art of that first volume did not inspire confidence in the title either.

But well, I did like other books by the same mangaka: Yoneda Kou. So I thought, eh, maybe it's not that bad... One volume will not ruin my finances and the worst case scenario is I will never read it again.

So I bought it. And whoa, I did not expect to actually like it that much. Because even if the blurb at the back and general plot descriptions seemed iffy, the plot was really good, the characters sufficiently nuanced to hold attention and the drawings nothing to sneer at either. Yes, we do have that masochistic Yakuza boss there (Yashiro), but he's actually not a drooping infuriating uke, but quite a commanding presence. And then there's his big oaf of a bodyguard (Doumekiiii) and his subordinates/lackeys (Nanahara and Sugimoto mostly) and his bosses (Mizumi-san is scary af in the right light. And Hirata-san is just plain bastard). Oh, and there's also sex, so you know, if you wanted to give it a go, be prepared for it. And yes, it is yaoi.

Anyway, I got the remaining two volumes and got through them in two days. One of the best stories I've ever read.
And in the course of looking through internets for all things Saezuru Tori related I also saw there was someting like a drama CD made for the manga. Cool, I thought. Maybe will check it some day.

And then I heard in some youtube video a new word: "fudanshi". What the hell is that? Uncle Google helped and lo and behold, not only did I find the definition of the word, but I also found Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu anime.

And let me tell you, it's not every day that you see something so relatable (LOL, but yes). I'm much much less obsessed than Gucchi but the general set up is there, complete with a 'normal' friend to whom I sometimes babble about fandoms/pairings and the likes and he bears it stoically and doesn't roll his eyes too much. And sometimes even gets into those fandoms himself (Whitechapel was a big hit heheheh).

Only, we're not actually in high school anymore. We did meet in high school, though. I sometimes wonder if Sakaguchi and Nakamura will end up similarly: Nakamura married, but still friends with Gucchi, who still babbles to him about fandoms and yaoi manga :D

So yes, all 12 episodes of Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu were watched in one go (well, each is only 3-4 minutes long), and upon hearing opening and ending I was like YES, THIS MUSIC, GIMME MORE. WHOSE IS THAT AMAZING VOICE?

Apparently it was the voice of the main character in the anime (Sakaguchi) and the actor voicing him is - now pay attention - Hatano Wataru.

The guy who sang the ending for Yuri!!! on ICE.

The guy who I read voiced Doumeki on Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai drama CD.

Coincidence? Or is it? :D

So now I'm kinda obsessing over Hatano-san's work. And I'm sort of going through all (or at least as many as I am able to get my hands on) the drama CDs and singles/albums he released. This is certainly an... interesting experience. Because he's very er... prolific in the BL (boys love) drama CDs department.

To be honest, though, I haven't laughed that much since seeing Macierewicz/Misiewicz memes. Or possibly writing KaczyƄski/Tusk slash (sorry, this joke is only understandable to Polish poeple). Because, really, hearing your favourite seiyuu moaning, panting and making sucking, slurping and kissing noises is certainly a novel experience. One that makes me totally appreciate Japanese approach to entertainment. I had no idea such a huge market existed - I mean BL really: manga, drama CDs, games (I'm still not sure what those otome games are, hmmm). We here - up West, let's say - are like those cats in the desert: we have no hope of comprehending this litter box.

Also, Hatano-san's dedication to his work is a thing of beauty *chokes on laughter*. All the seiyuu really - damn, those things require some serous skill. I'm even inclined to think voice actors are better than actors who work with their body (for lack of better definition). I mean, it's obviously a completely different thng, but I'm possibly slightly in favour of seiyuu. I mean, listen to this and remember the backing vocals are done by Hatano-san as well. BTW, it's a song, so completely work-safe, if anyone had any doubts.

So yeah, currently I die of laughter a bit each day, but it will be a very nice way to go. Also, all laughter aside, listening to those CDs is a great way to familiarise oneself with how Japanese speak and it's actually a great help in learning Japanese. We're not exposed to this language the way we are to English - practically since birth - so having this opportunity to listen to the cadence, accent (though I still cannot hear that), vocabulary etc. is honestly helpful.

And next time: Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu and why Michinoku Atami is a goddess.