Debate: Does the “Artist Tax” Negate Pirating?

Princess Jellyfish - Cast

Recently, my best friend came to visit me for a week and -as is tradition whenever we see each other- we marathoned a show together. This time we settled on watching Princess Jellyfish, one of my favorite anime, despite the fact that it only has one animated season and none of the manga is legally available in English.

Afterward, my best friend (who is an animator by trade) declared that she was going to read the manga online. I instinctively cringed because I’m almost never keen on piracy of any kind, but then she introduced me to the concept of the “Artist Tax.”

The idea of the Artist Tax is to counteract some of the negative aspects of consuming pirated media by deliberately going out and supporting the work financially as soon as possible. In this case, it would mean my best friend would read the Princess Jellyfish manga via scanlation site, then buy either the official Princess Jellyfish DVDs or a copy of the manga in a different language when she has the money to do so.

Not a bad idea, at least from a consumer’s perspective. It eases the guilt of anyone who wants to pirate anime or manga that’s not been released in their region/language, and it supports creators financially. And for series that might never see the light of day stateside, it might the only option a manga fan might have to read what they want without doing as much damage.

From an industry perspective, especially an American manga industry perspective, it only solves one problem out of many. Even though the Artist Tax supports some of the creators, publishers, animation studios, etc., it doesn’t necessarily support the American industry. In the case of Princess Jellyfish, it did because I have the nice Funimation box set. But not all titles have something that’s been published stateside. It also drives up the page views for the piracy sites, which allows them to thrive, produce more pirated material and potentially take away profits from the American industry. Not to mention the fact that the more something has been pirated, particularly if there’s no sizable fandom dropping money on related products, the less attractive it might look to American publishers. Plus, this is all self-policed. People could swear up and down that they support the artists, but won’t when the time comes.

Now for the debate portion!

What do you think of the Artist Tax? Would you do it? Do you think it’s a slightly better way of pirating material, at least for invested fans who are concerned about supporting the creators? Or does it seem like just an empty gesture to you?

As a manga fan who buys legally 99.999999% of the time and rarely pirates anything, I would consider reading scanlations of series I was very interested in and self-enforcing the Artist Tax. And I know I would actually self-enforce because I care about the health of the anime and manga industry, both in Japan and stateside. (I’ve done it with a few titles like A Bride’s Story before I’d heard about the Artist Tax.) Plus I would specifically read series that I thought had a very small chance of getting to the States, like Princess Jellyfish or Saint Young Men. But I also have an advantage because I live 20 minutes away from a Kinokuniya, which makes paying the Artist Tax a little easier when I can only buy the Japanese tankobon.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Hetalia’s Version of History: What Does It Offer Readers?

Full disclaimer: I work for TOKYOPOP as an editor, and I have worked on every print volume of Hetalia thus far. But I do enjoy Hetalia as a manga fan, and as a history nerd, and so this post is written from that perspective.

The other day I came across a remark from manga blogger Sean Gaffney that said reading Hetalia requires a love of World War II history and an ability to completely disassociate oneself from the atrocities committed by some of the countries represented in the book during that period. It struck me at the time, and since I first read that comment, I’ve been mulling over why it bothered me.

Simply put, both of these requirements are somewhat off the mark. What Hetalia really requires from its readers is an interest in history and the ability to understand that history is not all wars and atrocities.

The first requirement is easily explained: Although the most of the countries/characters are wearing their World War II-era military uniforms, not all of the content is about World War II history. Not to mention the fact that not all of the countries/characters existed during that time period. Having read all the existing Hetalia print volumes so far, even the sixth volume that’s currently in production, my educated guess is that actual World War II-era subjects make for about 20-35% of the content in the print books. Based on that guess, the majority of the content of the books is about other points in history. World War II just provides some shallow framework for Himaruya to use because it is when many nations began to take their current form and attitudes. It creates a standard time for him to start from, but he is constantly rewinding and fast-forwarding the historical tape. In other words, Hetalia is not a World War II comic with some overall history components, but a history comic with some World War II components.

The second requirement might be a bit harder to put into words, but I’ll do my best.

If you were educated in the U.S., you probably don’t look back on your history classes fondly. This is because history classes in the U.S. school system tend to teach history as compartmentalized and easy-to-understand sections focused on one or two major historical events. Students are taught the important dates, the key players and tidy reasons why the events happened, plus some easy explanation as to the significance of it all. Then the students are made to memorize these facts and explanations for a test. The culture and thinking of the time period is completely ignored, and students are not given a chance to relate to and understand the people of years past. All they are presented are facts that are delivered as gospel truth. True discussion is rare because passing the standardized tests are more important.

There are a myriad of problems with teaching history like this, mainly that it is uninteresting to most students, that often the facts are ridiculously biased, that bias often leads to a lot of ignorance/misinformation, and finally that history is not as simple as neatly packaged facts. Neatly packaged history assumes that history moves in a straight line, ignoring anything that doesn’t directly cross paths with that line.

Despite all this, I managed to develop an interest in history. I enjoyed it well enough in grade school, but I didn’t really understand how much more it could be until I got to college and decided to take a South East Asian History course. With that course, taught by the amazing Professor Christina Firpo, history suddenly exploded into its full form: a heady mix of people, culture, laws, art, technology, sex, anthropology, sociology and so much more. Wars and atrocities were no less significant, but finally the complex paths that lead people to commit them were unfurled. History was not so tidy anymore, but the full story of human life, all across the globe, as best as historians could retell it. You don’t have to look far for proof of this. It wasn’t just Franz Ferdinand’s assassination that led to World War I, or else it would have been just a war between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia.

It is with that history nerd’s approach that Himaruya Hidekaz tackles history in Hetalia. He revels in the minutia, and focuses on forgotten or overlooked historical tidbits that explain life back then over the major points that get all the media attention. It may look like Himaruya ignores those major points completely, but they often turn up as characters beating each other up or as background radiation. For example, in the recently released volume 5, Himaruya spends a lot of time talking about the military rations of different nations fighting in World War II.

So half the problem is that a lot of us are used to history being big, generalized, very serious and very romanticized popular media, while Hetalia is all details, culture and cuteness. A.K.A. The weird, silly side of history. The other half seems to be that people get stuck in a moral quandary of sorts. They don’t want to forget the atrocities of World War II because the atrocities were so, so bad, and they don’t want to be seen as mocking the victims.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to forget the awful parts of history, but that doesn’t erase or diminish the importance of what was happening in and around World War II. The small details, like army rations, have historical significance too because they influence the larger events. (Rations affecting the performance of soldiers, for example.) Here is where you can really see why history is often compared to a tapestry: the little things that make up life come together like threads to weave a big picture. Without the little threads, you don’t have the whole picture, some of the effect is lost.

Hetalia is not a comprehensive history text by any means.  Most everyone who reads it understands that inherently. Himaruya acknowledges too, and my theory is that he leaves the tough subjects up to the professional historians who can do it right. He’s just an interpreter who presents history in an easy-to-digest format.

In that, Hetalia is like a gateway drug for history. It’s existence has led a fair amount of fans to become history nerds, judging by the sheer amount of fan-created works that delve into histories that Himaruya hasn’t covered in-book.

That does not mean that Hetalia isn’t problematic in other ways, but those are topics for other posts. However, disassociating oneself from the horrors of World War II is not really one of them because Hetalia simply follows a different path down history. Hetalia asks no one to forget the evils of the world, Himaruya just illustrates the parts of history he finds fascinating.

So, not to harp on Sean any longer, but that’s why I disagree with his comment. Hetalia may be lightweight, but it does not lack merit entirely. I mean, without Hetalia, how else would you know about Germany showing up to fight in Africa in stuffy leather uniforms?

The more you know, folks. The more you know.

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Depression and the Common Freelance Manga Editor

To most readers, I’m sure this blog seems like it’s half-dead. I haven’t posted since July and the last time I was able to post frequently was April. Before that, it was sometime in 2012.

There is a reason for this. I was depressed.

It started in April 2011, when TOKYOPOP famously shutdown its manga publishing business in the wake of the Borders bankruptcy. I note this event not because TOKYOPOP is directly responsible, but because the shutdown was a catalyst that led to my depression.

Before the shutdown, TOKYOPOP was my biggest client. I worked on multiple books for them each month and I was generally busy with work two weeks out of the month. After the shutdown, my next biggest client only had work for me every couple of months.

Of course, I attempted to get more work both inside and outside the manga industry, but the recession was still in full swing. I managed to wrangle one new client whom I wound up having to fire for not paying me for my work. (Yes, you can and should do that as a freelancer. And they did eventually pay me, months later, after I threatened to take them to small claims court.)

I should have done what most people my age were doing then, getting part-time jobs at places like Starbucks, but I stubbornly refused. I really wanted to continue working as an editor, even if not for manga publishers, but kept facing rejection.

A part-time job could have helped, but I was already beginning to feel the worthlessness and guilt that are classic symptoms of atypical depression. (What I think I had, since I was never diagnosed by a doctor.) When job opportunities crossed my path, I was either too inexperienced or my depression made me feel like I would never get the jobs I was qualified to do.

That loss of self-worth led to the increasing feeling like I had dug myself into a hole that I could not escape. It felt like my entire life had been ruined enough that I would never be successful, fulfilled or happy ever again. I could not see that I had other options open to me. That’s how blinding depression can be. It’s particularly chilling when I think about how optimistic I was before depression hit.

Among other things, I began to lose my ability to be creative and productive. I had ideas, but my crushing lack of self-esteem meant that I could never act on them. The loss of regular manga-editing work meant I felt increasingly irrelevant as a manga blogger, which lead to feeling strained for ideas for this blog. Getting myself to blog in 2012 often felt like pulling teeth. Every post I wound up publishing took an extraordinary amount of time to write, as did many of my 2013 posts so far.

But thankfully, 2013 lead to my recovery.

At the beginning of the year, an elderly relative was hospitalized and needed me to take care of her. Her long battle with her health wound up giving me a sense of purpose. I finally had something to do that I needed to do regardless of my skill set and my mental health. My outlook on life became more positive as I felt needed. I began enjoying my walks with my dog, enjoying my neighborhood, exercising more, learning what it means to love yourself, enjoying life more in general. I was finally coming out of my depression.

Now I’m able to say that I’m out from under depression. Unfortunately, I lost a lot in the process. My boyfriend of 4+ years left me. I had to leave the neighborhood I had grown to love, as well as most of my friends because we now live far enough away from each other that I can’t see them regularly. My creative drive isn’t back at all and I still feel a large amount of social anxiety at times.

But it’s not all bad. Thanks to my wonderfully supportive family, I got a full-time job this summer, as well as the chance to live in a nice house in my hometown. I’ve begun to make new friends in my area, and many of my old friends and I have reaffirmed our friendships. My emergence from depression allowed me to realize self-love and how important it can be. My conclusion is that you must love yourself the way you want to be loved because no one else is going to do it exactly right. With it came the power to forgive myself, which is quite possibly even more important, as it taught me how to end the mental cycles of self-hate that came with my depression.

2013 was a year of roller coasters for me. Now that it’s almost 2014, I don’t really know what lies ahead, but now I at least have some much-needed stability. I’m hoping to get back into activities I used enjoy like blogging and drawing, as well as discover new ones. (Roller derby, anyone?) Either way, I’m very much looking forward to the future.

My hope in publishing this to my manga blog is this: If you are depressed, I hope you seek out help. Without it, you may not recover from depression, and you certainly will recover much slower. Seek it out because you know you hate what your life has become and you’d give anything to make it less awful.

If you are not depressed, I hope this encourages you to help those who are. They need you, more than you know. Those with depression and other mental illnesses may not be easy to be around sometimes, but they need you to help guide them out of it. You may have to hold their hand the whole way through. It will not always be pleasant, but you will be saving someone’s life in more ways that one. (Not just because they may be suicidal, but because depression is a miserable existence that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.)

Thank you for reading, and I hope 2014 is the happiest, healthiest and most loving year for you yet.

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5 Reasons Why Anime Expo 2013 Was Good For Manga

So, for a while I’ve found anime cons to be a little depressing as a huge manga nerd. Very few manga panels, very few manga sellers in the dealers’ hall and a lot of publishers had relatively negative tones with few new licenses to announce.

But this year at Anime Expo was different. This year seemed like manga publishers were really truly rebounding, even if only a little, after the terrible economic conditions of the past few years. Here’s why I think that.

1. More major manga publishers came to AX this year!

Viz, Digital Manga Publishing, Vertical Inc, Dark Horse, Kodansha and Right Stuf (who publishes all new TOKYOPOP books) all showed their faces. Last year, the manga publishers consisted of Viz, Digital Manga Publishing, Vertical Inc and TOKYOPOP/Right Stuf, so that’s a sizable increase in manga publishers from last year.

Plus most of those publishers are NOT local to Southern California. Viz is based in San Francisco, so it’s not a huge trip for them, but Vertical, Kodansha, Dark Horse and Right Stuf all come from out of state. Vertical and Right Stuf have attended the con before, Dark Horse and Kodansha had not attended the con recently, as far as I can remember. To have all those publishers travel all the way to LA, especially with San Diego Comic Con coming up so soon, feels like a positive change in the industry has happened.

2. And most had booths in the dealers’ hall!

The only one who didn’t was Right Stuf (they haven’t had a booth there in recent memory.) Booths are expensive. Moving books and displays to and from the con is expensive too. And while most of the publishers didn’t have flashy booths (except for Viz), they were there.

In my opinion, that’s really important as most anime fans tend to be really behind on manga news. Not a lot of people get to see the panels due to the limited space, but far more people will pass by a publisher’s booths in the dealers’ hall and see their manga. Therefore, even if those people don’t buy manga from publishers, they know those manga exist and that those publishers exist too. (Yeah, that’s actually a problem sometimes.)

3. Plus there were a lot more dealers selling manga too.

Sometimes anime conventions can be a manga desert, so more folks selling manga at the con is always awesome. Plus, it gives the publishers some additional market penetration if fans see their manga while shopping at cons. Getting to see more than 1-2 manga merchants at a con these days really feels like a positive change for manga lovers.

4. Digital Manga Publishing isn’t dying!

Okay, so, I don’t know about everyone else, but until their panel at Fanime this year, I was seriously worried that Digital Manga Publishing had over-reached itself and might go under soon. Especially when they halted their print schedule completely, closed their distribution business and had a warehouse sale. When they announced they were resuming print publication at Fanime, I was relieved, but still feeling a bit worried as that schedule was a bit bare.

But they really surprised me when they announced they had licensed all of Osamu Tezuka’s previously unpublished works. (As in, I literally gasped because the first thing I saw was the cover of Rainbow Parakeet and OMG I WANT THAT MANGA SO BAD.)

Suddenly their actions made sense! They weren’t potentially going under, they were probably saving up money to license ALL THE TEZUKA. Phew.

I know not everyone’s happy to see more Tezuka, instead of their favorite classic mangaka, but I’ll take it over DMP going under any day.

5. Kodansha re-enters the digital age!

Let’s face it, Kodansha’s iPad app was nothing to get excited about. I thought they had just about given up on digital when they made the delightful announcement that they were branching out across multiple platforms and adding just about every manga on their line-up to their digital offerings.

Digital seems to have really worked for a lot of other publishers, so it seems promising that Kodansha is investing their efforts in it. (Especially since they keep having lots of success with titles like Sailor Moon and Attack on Titan.)

Speaking of Sailor Moon, I know some folks are really upset that it isn’t available digitally, but Kodansha is still trying to get Naoko Takeuchi-sensei to change her mind about that.

So Anime Expo 2013 felt like a turning point for manga. A refreshing turning point. I look forward to seeing whether or not this trend continues and manga publishers get to enjoy some stability. I wish each and every one of them success in their new projects and licenses, and hope that they return to Anime Expo next year!

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30 Day Yaoi Challenge, Day 25: Kizuna volume 4

Y’know, I should just stop making promises about when this yaoi challenge is going to wrap up. But, I do expect to have more time to read manga this upcoming week, so maybe it’ll happen sooner that I think? I suppose the key thing is to remember that this is a casual manga blog and that I’m just coming off a long hiatus.

Kizuna volume 4 by Kazuma Kodaka

You know how last volume I said I was really tired of the main characters getting pulled into yakuza shenanigans? (Aside from Masa, since it’s his job to be involved in yakuza shenanigans.) Well, this volume is blissfully free of that kind of drama! Instead, the focus shifts to Kai and his rocky relationship with Masa for most of the omnibus.

After Kei recovers from his wounds, his father shows up and offers him and Ranmaru a free trip to a Kyoto onsen inn as thanks. Of course, Kai butts in when he hears Masa is going.

While Kei and Ranmaru endeavor to get it on, Kai and Masa try to understand the nature of their love for each other and how to best navigate the tempest. Unfortunately, Kai has a flash back to the time he was raped when he and Masa try to have sex. This prompts Masa to leave early, further complicating things between them. Interestingly enough, though it makes Kai realize the terribleness of what he had done to Ranmaru before and apologize for raping him. Luckily for Kai, Ranmaru doesn’t even consider it rape.

During all this, Ranmaru does decide to take up kendo again and Kai immediately asks to have a match with him, one of his lifetime goals. This brings us to the next part of the volume which is pretty much all about the two training for the match, then the actual match itself. The result is that Ranmaru feels empowered again and Kai feels like he’s chased his inner demons away so he can be with Masa.

This was a great volume. I honestly wasn’t bothered at all by the relatively drama-free plots, it was more than made up for by the intense character-building that Kodaka did here. It was actually something of a relief to get to see Kai and Masa worked out, and it was nice to see Kei and Ranmaru have lots of sexy fun like a normal couple would. It was also awesome to see Ranmaru get a lot of screen time, since he tended to be ignored at times beforehand. Finally, it was a nice surprise not to have to deal with rape for one volume.

The art went back to the standards of volume 2, which makes me wonder if Kazuma Kodaka just decided to re-draw select volumes way after the fact. I do prefer this style, I just don’t understand why the quality of the art varies from volume to volume.

 

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Kaori Yuki MMF: I Think I’ll Stick to the Victorian Goth Manga

Another Manga Movable Feast is rolling by this week and it’s about another mangaka (Kaori Yuki) whose seminal work I haven’t read in its entirety. Luckily, this time I’m prepared! I just happen to have bought all of Angel Sanctuary at last year’s Fanime and hadn’t read it yet.

Now I’ve read volumes 1-3 of Angel Sanctuary before, but after rereading those volumes and up to volume 5, I can see why I prefer the Cain Saga and Kaori Yuki’s less “modern” works. Here’s a list:

1. The Whole Setsuna/Sara Relationship is Creepy!

Abusive relationship? Why would you ever think that?

A potentially abusive relationship? Why would you ever think that?

This is the only mainstream manga where I’ve come across that’s featured incest so…romantically and NOBODY SEEMS TO MIND. Say what you want about Marmalade Boy, but at least those kids weren’t blood-related. Maybe I’m missing something here, maybe in the next 3/4ths of the series we discover that Sara and Setsuna aren’t actually related, but it’s still setting off all my icks. And anyone who opposes their True Love in the series is painted as an enemy. Um, hello? Incest is taboo for reasons other than sharing blood! 1) Your kids could have mental and physical health problems; 2) most incestuous relationships involve abuse of power, which brings us to: 3)most people in incestuous relationships are being raped or are the rapist. So I just don’t feel it’s entirely right to show such a relationship in such a completely romantic lens.

It also kills my suspension of disbelief when Setsuna calls Sara a bitch during a particularly spoiler-ific moment about three volumes in. That’s your True Love, dude. The one you spent most of the last three volumes pining over and fighting for. How could your True Love ever be a bitch to you, even if you’re mad at her? It’s like this moment of realness that happens in non-fictional relationships, except since Setsuna and Sara’s romance is so fictional the realness just makes it look even more fake.

2. The Angels in Nazi-like Uniforms Are Creepy Too.

All you need is an armband.

I wonder why everyone keeps mistaking me for an SS officer…

Perhaps this is just a visual cue to emphasize the dictatorship that the angels live under without saying it, and I’m just being too sensitive about this. But even if there are no swastikas shown, I get the feeling that Kaori Yuki has fetishized the style of the uniforms and that makes me uncomfortable. I’ve seen too many instances of Japanese pop culture creators forgetting the horrors that the Nazis brought upon the world and making their iconography, or even the Nazis themselves, into something cute or sexy. That’s just wrong.

But this is a very personal reason why I’m not fond of this series, though, so you are free to discount it if Nazi-esque uniforms don’t bug you.

3. So Many Characters, So Many Secrets!

Would you believe me if I told you this is *just* Team Setsuna?

Would you believe me if I told you this is *just* Team Setsuna?

One of the biggest downfalls of Angel Sanctuary, from a more objective standpoint, is that the manga introduces so many characters so quickly, that all of these characters are important, and that you will have to remember them and their motivations because they are relevant even if they’re dead.  Even worse, many of these characters have secrets or mysteries surrounding them, so you have to remember all that while new characters pop up. I’ve seen large ensemble casts in manga go well, but I’m already doubtful that this is going to be one of those manga. There is such a thing as too much political intrigue.

4. Setsuna is a Bit of a Gary Stu Sometimes.

I dare you to be more emo than me.

I dare you to be more emo than me.

I’m five volumes in and I don’t see much from Setsuna except massive amounts of angst-ing and convincing people that they shouldn’t get in the way of his incestuous relationship. Setsuna is surrounded by other people who either already love him, have just been persuaded to love him, or other mysterious people who are already on his side. These folks always save him from the scrapes he gets himself into. If he wasn’t saved by other people, he was saved by the secret reincarnated angel inside of him. By the way, that reincarnated angel is everyone’s savior. Setsuna would be Jesus reborn, if this manga was about Judeo-Christian mythology as a whole and not just the structures of Angelic society.

5. This Series May Be About Angels, But Enough with the Deux Ex Machina.

So far, the character of God has been asleep throughout the entirety of the series, so technically what’s happening isn’t necessarily Deux Ex Machina so much as Adam Kadamon Ex Machina.

It's cool Setsuna, I got your back.

It’s cool Setsuna, me and my bajillion different kinds of angel wings got your back.

Adam Kadamon, also called Seraphita, is the highest of the angels and a practitioner of lost magic that no other angel can perform (except Setsuna/Alexiel!) Of course, he mysteriously disappeared ages ago and no one’s seen him…UNTIL SETSUNA GETS HIMSELF IN TROUBLE. Then Adam Kadamon conveniently gets him out of trouble. Multiple times. Of course.

I like Kaori Yuki, she has her hits and her misses story-wise, but her artwork is so solidly gorgeous and fun to look at. However, it seems like she really dropped the ball when it came to writing Angel Sanctuary in ways that I can’t easily ignore.  There are just too many characters and not enough of them are fleshed out nicely to make the story compelling enough for me to collect this series, had I not already done so. But, I am only 1/4th of my way through the series. Things could change drastically in the next 15 volumes, and I fully expect that they will like they did in the first five volumes.

For more on the Kaori Yuki Manga Moveable Feast, you should visit Foxy Lady Ayame at The Beautiful World.

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30 Day Yaoi Challenge, Day 24: Love Makes Everything Creepy

Yeah, I’m being reaaaaaaaaal bad about finishing up this challenge, but I have a legit excuse: I was working my part-time job and house-sitting for 4 days. The house-sitting included dog-sitting, so I was working 9-to-5 and dealing with three dogs (two more than usual for me), two of whom are jealous of each other.

It was sooooooo relaxing.

Love Makes Everything Right by Sanae Rokuya

Mizuha is an out-of-work college graduate when he suddenly gets an odd offer to run a company from his college’s employment agency. He gets the feeling that the company is shady, and he’s right. They sell sex toys, but that’s not the shady part. He gets the job after answering two questions: “Are you seeing anyone?” and “Would you be a sadist or a masochist?” But his interviewer, Satake, is  so creepy that Mizuha immediately tries to get out of the job. Instead, he winds up having phone sex with Satake and signing on anyway.

The two work together for a few weeks and Satake keeps saying weird, vague things about knowing Mizuha for a long time. A creepy photographer with a thing for Satake abuses Mizuha for information, and somehow Satake and Mizuha fall in love. Turns out Satake owed Mizuha’s late father a debt, and the company is Satake trying to pay that debt. But when Satake found out (before the story begins) that Mizuha was gay, he started lusting after Mizuha. Thus the creepiness?

Next is a story about a quiet business man who has a one night stand with another man who claims to be straight. Because of the unusual situation, the two wind up having a very wild night… Wild enough for the straight man to offer up a lucrative business contract when the two meet on the job, but only if the gay man sleeps with him again. Sweet, right?

But the gay man refuses, so the straight man proposes a game in which he chases the gay man for a week. If he catches the man, they sleep together, if he doesn’t the gay man gets the contract. Of course, over the course of the week, the man successfully evades his stalker, but finds that he kind of misses the guy. So the gay man decides to catch the “straight” guy and they end up happily ever after.

So, in case you haven’t noticed, I found this manga to be a little creepy. I mean… Holy stalkers, Batman! They’re everywhere in this book!

It’s kind of the same problem I have with the rapists. Why is stalking attractive to the creators? And the editors? The readers? I can understand that someone devoted to you is attractive, but stalking is going beyond devotion and into obsession. How is that attractive? It’s like being objectified! A relationship like that is just never good and usually strains suspension of disbelief. How many reliably true stories do you hear about people getting with their stalker? Probably none.

The art is alright, but everyone’s either grumpy or an ever-smirking bastard.

So yeah. I can’t recommend this one. It wasn’t rape-y, but this manga set of all my ick-senses and I am honestly finding nothing positive to say about Love Makes Everything Right.

I’m going to end this post by saying that I’m going to do the 30 Day Yaoi Challenge every other day for now. I really want to participate in the Kaori Yuki MMF that’s happening this week, so I need the time to read Angel Sanctuary as well as yaoi manga.

I know I haven’t been totally reliable on trying to finish the Yaoi Challenge, but the whole point of it was trying to get myself to blog again. So I think I can forgive myself for further delaying the end of the challenge to do more blogging-related things.

Happy reading, everyone!

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