Two dads can be equally awesome as other families – but doubly sexy 😉 Yaoi sure understand that women have a thing for caring men and took advantage of the fact. And like always, there are very few of the bunch that stand out and show plausible situations and relationships. Let’s take a look at the delicious titles I’ve gathered here.
Mangaka: Sakuragi Yaya
Volumes: 2+ (ongoing/ only 1st scanlated)
The candy shop owner Tanihara goes for health advice to a stern, scary looking pediatrician. Though the doctor has one majime looking face but deep within he’s a gentle soul. Not to mention he isn’t afraid of showing his love or the fact that he’s gay. The game of “trick-or-love” between the happy-go-lucky father and the scary but popular pediatrician! Normally the paths of a shrewd man and a stoic man would never cross…
This happens most of the times: the child is there just to be the comical relief that catches the two men on the act and/or as a plot device, a means to bring the two men closer. In Himegoto Asobi this seems to be the case, because the little girl is rarely in the 6 chapters published. No problems arise from the existence of the child as it’s conveniently moved away from the scene and stays by its mother. Not to mention that we aren’t given a specific reason of the child’s custody by the -lazy and shrewd- father. So one might ask why do I even review this manga? The summary sounds too stereotypical, too.
Well, the manga is still ongoing and we don’t have the whole picture… Who am I kidding, right? The chances of improvement on this department are slim. And why am I reviewing something still on progress? First of all, we have a man who identifies as gay. Secondly, from the scans above you can see that the men have interesting personalities and a lot of chemistry. Plus it’s no romanticized and illogical presentation of same-sex partners. It’s being realistic without being boring or off-putting, and retains a great balance between the funny and the serious parts. Thirdly, the sexual experimentation is played straight and the rapport between Tanihira and Saji is healthy and very natural. There’s some really hot dirty talk during sex and frottage! Have you seen frottage elsewhere???
The art might not be the best with the huge yaoi hands, and the child’s role might be limited, but where else do we get smooth steamy interactions and a promiscuous alpha-male throwing the line “I was the bottom, so?” in a buddy conversation totally casually- like a boss?
Hinata- A boy who’s been scarred from abuse from his parents finds safety and love in the peaceful life of a retired photographer and his newborn. //Mayonaka Taiyuu- The unexpected visit of Shouichi’s dead wife’s sister convinces Kakeru that he’s only a bother to the Konomi household. Will Shouichi (and Ruri) allow him to simply leave their family?
Naono Bohra is infamous for her males with the toned bodies, her sweet spot for supernatural elements, her sensitivities for people with disabilities, the variety of sex positions, and her shouta tendencies. Yet, at the core her stories remain awfully cliche and almost always reproduce the rape=love meme. Hinata and its sequel, Mayokana Taiyuu, are the exceptions to the majority of her work, and that’s why it stands here among the other manga recommendations.
The two oneshots touch even for a little while the tender subject of domestic violence. Kakeru has scars and burns all over his body and his hearing from his one ear is impaired after the violence inflicted on him. Shouichi and his baby, Ruri, are where he finds shelter and starts healing his emotional wounds. Ruri has been used perhaps as the excuse of him staying with Shouichi, yet we witness his behavior changing because of her. Shouichi on the other hand, helps him in multiple ways, and his non parental feelings for Kakeru don’t hinder his judgement; Shouichi wouldn’t stop Kakeru from leaving, if that’s what he really needed and wanted.
If you don’t mind shouta (because Kakeru is around 17 and Shouich must be over 30), this is a tender story with some unique traits, worth checking out.
Mangaka: Asou Kai
Oosawa had known Yoshioka for a long time… As his customer, Yoshioka came in and out of the shop with different boyfriends all the time. He thought he knew fully well what kind of man Yoshioka was. But when tragedy hit Chizu, his one and only daughter… and his capability as a single father was questioned… Yoshioka came out of nowhere and offered help. Slowly but surely, Oosawa learned that the man he despised was very different than what he appeared to be!
Sorenari Ni Shinken Nandesu or I’m Serious On My Own Way is one of the very rare yaoi gems that don’t rush themselves and involve or rather revolve around the notion of family. From the start we see father and daughter facing the sour comments of the neighbors for the status of parenting. Towards the end of the manga issues concerning the child custody and the difficulties of patchwork families arise.
The relationship between the three depends largely on the child and Oosawa starts seeing Yoshioka in a whole other light after realizing how well Yoshioka handles Chizu and how Chizu, who is usually shy, becomes very fond of Yoshioka to the point of calling Yoshioka “Yosshi” and mimicking his ‘roger answers’. In contrast to other ‘family’ yaoi, the protagonists are quite careful for the child not to witness anything inappropriate, and the reader can really feel how much they nurture eah other. Tenderness and understanding are overflowing from Sorenari Ni Shinken Nandesu‘s pages. Caressing and hugging is a reoccuring motif.
As for the gay couple, Oosawa takes his time and Yoshioka isn’t pushy and rather cherishes and respects the object of his affections. Until the last chapters and omake of the manga one could think this is a shounen-ai. But when the time comes, it definitely delivers. The sex isn’t anticipated without fear from the non-experienced partner and the other party accepts it as normal therefore is very tentative to the needs of the former. There is practically no ‘tachi’ or ‘neko’, terms mentioned by an ex-lover of Yoshioka; yes, equality is very sexy for me. Readers who expect seme-uke dynamics will probably get disappointed.
This title is full of fluff that warms the heart- and it isn’t from the sappy kind. A must read.