Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gay porn manga

My summer research position, funded by Augsburg's Office of Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity, officially began last Monday.  Since then, I've read what feels like countless journal articles and books out on the Foss lawn (for some reason, only my left leg, left arm, and neck sun-burned), ordered gay/lesbian manga off Amazon (and now all Amazon's "suggestions" for me have become explicit manga titles), and had a minor freak-out because Stuart Hall's cultural studies is (is, not are, trust me) more complicated than I previously thought.

 Journal articles + grass + sunshine = good times.

But seriously, it's been a great week.  Even though I never meant for it to be, my comment on Game Informer's article, "The Gender Gap" was published in GI's latest issue.  I've also restarted Kingdom Hearts I.

 Pretty sure I dreamed about getting my feedback into Anime Insider, back when Anime Insider was a magazine and I was a teenager in love with Inuyasha.  Now, I feel only a sense of "Huh.  That's cool, I guess," at getting my feedback in a much higher-quality publication.  Is it because I'm old and lame?  

I didn't have the guide to KH I the first time I played through it, but, being the type of gamer I am (the type who obsessively explores), I put over 120 hours into my first play-through (and then accidentally deleted the file the same day I beat the game).  This time, though, I'm using the guide to catch anything I missed the first time around.

I'm spending a full eight hours a day doing research at school, so when I get home in the afternoon/evening, I don't feel guilty about doing things I like all night.  To say this is quite a bit different from my typical school-year schedule is understating things.

In other news, since I'm researching yaoi and yuri (gay and lesbian-themed manga), I get to read some of the higher quality/popular works, like Our Kingdom.  I started the first volume of Our Kingdom last night, and finished it early this morning, not because of a deadline, but because I wanted to.  If nothing else, this first week of research has taught me two things: That the history and continued production of manga in Japan is very political, and that yaoi is actually pretty cool.  As several researchers have theorized in previously published articles on yaoi, the reason yaoi (and yuri) might be so popular is because, unlike in most (heterosexual) manga, the relationships in yaoi (and yuri) are, for the most part, healthy and egalitarian.  Not to mention, as a flaming LGBT-advocate, consuming non-heteronormative media is like taking a huge breath of fresh air.


So that's my life now.  And in case you're wondering, I sometimes refer to yaoi as "gay porn manga" A) to freak people out, and B) because I don't give a rat's ass if it is porn (even though most published yaoi really isn't pornographic), because I'm cool with sexuality.  We're livin' in the 21st century, yo.  Get with the times.  And keep your eyes peeled for my future paper on Japanese LGBT literature, 'cause it's gonna be bomb.

No comments: