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bl novels in english [Aug. 29th, 2008|11:46 pm]
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nokiirat asked me if I recommended any of the translated BL novels and linked me to this list. I was surprised at how few there were. Is this list actually complete?

In any case, I looked over the list. Sadly, the ones I immediately recognized were UN-recs. XD I looked over the other titles to see if they looked familiar--and came up blank. If I did read them and forgot them...well, that tells you that they were forgettable to me. ^^; For the heck of it here's my un-rec list:

Ai no Kusabi: My god this series sucked. All the worst traits of Yoshihara Reiko times a million. The OVA was so much better (more coherent, more interesting, less repetitive, I could go on and on). Plus, the translation apparently really sucks...Though I pity the poor translator that had to work with the crap that is the original text.

S: This is one of those books that tries to be gritty but ends up being total fantasy. I'm not adverse to such stories, but my opinion hinges on the characters. In this case, the characters were yawn-inducing to the extreme. The English publishers should pick up the Deadlock series. Also utter fantasy that tries to be gritty, but the characters were much better and thus the series was a lot more fun to read. I also liked the art better. XD

Only the Ring Finger Knows: I like this series in Japanese, but damn did the translation suck. I tried reading the first book in English at the bookstore and couldn't get very far into it.

All of the Konohara Narise books on the list: Of all the books they could chose, why these?? Cold Sleep and the second book were all right, but that last book was a great showcase of Konohara-sensei plunging her characters into a crazy, angsty, tense, and violent situation for no good reason (other than for kicks?) when they were perfectly fine before things go horribly wrong. Don't Worrry Mama wasn't bad but I have a hard time saying it's good. The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes just pissed me off. That seme really pissed me off. What a childish jerk. Ugh.

Out of curiosity, has anyone read the other books on the list? Opinions, please! I'd like to know.

I tried to check Amazon, but unfortunately it doesn't have a good system for tagging/categorizing BL novels. I did see that the novel Desire (Yabai Kimochi) by Maki Kazumi and illustrated by Honami Yukine is coming out next year. I liked that book a lot and the art is just so pretty. I didn't like the first half of the book (which was the part that was made into the manga) as much as the second half because Ryoji just came off as a jerk in that part. He's much better further into the book. Hopefully the translation doesn't suck.

God, I hope it's not true that Flesh & Blood has been dropped. I was so happy that a really good (and fairly long!) series was finally going to be available to English readers.

Maybe I'll make a list of books I think should be translated. Though I'm probably completely out of touch with the English BL market...^^;

[User Picture]From: nokiirat
2008-08-30 12:13 pm (UTC)
ah--so I should avoid the english bl market.

Here's where I got the f&b news. 'too expensive' seems to be the reasoning.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2008-08-30 06:46 pm (UTC)
Maybe you don't have to avoid the market. This is just my opinion and I haven't actually read most of the books on the list, after all.

Ugh, that looks pretty official.
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[User Picture]From: baka_neko
2008-08-30 02:25 pm (UTC)
Now I'm wondering if all the unrecced stuff is cheap to license, hence it getting translated? Somebody actually made some of the English Bl available as scanlations, and -- well, you're definitely right about the Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes. I dropped it in disgust about half-way through. All it inspired was a fervent desire to beat the seme's head in with a blunt and heavy object.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2008-08-30 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'd love to know how titles get picked. Seems completely random, frankly. *shrugs*

Re: Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes (this English title, talk about awkward!), it didn't help that the uke was so passive. Just a bad combination all around.
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[User Picture]From: petronia
2008-08-30 05:45 pm (UTC)
You know, I could swear the Konohara Narise got translated because whoever in charge of the decision was (lurking?) on AMLA where there was one person who really found those books to her taste. Scientific poll-taking, what. XD
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2008-08-30 06:50 pm (UTC)
So she liked those particular Konohara Narise books out of all of her works? That's...sad.
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[User Picture]From: enelte
2008-08-31 12:09 am (UTC)
oh so Yabai Kimochi is licensed as well? *adds to her shop cart* I'll be looking foward to this book along with Mainichi Seiten. the later one is made into manga and I quite love it, the art is very nice too. too bad the scanlation is stalled for a while now (damn why only good mangas are stalled ^^;; )

I was surprised that you mentioned Esu in your non-rec list, though I haven't a chance to read them in japanese I rather like the characters in vol 1 (available in english). The interaction between the main characters is amuzing. I have no comment on plot logic since this is yaoi (even a good, readable >.>) but somehow it flows pretty well and I remember having raised eyebrows only once or twice XD

Don't even bother with the other licensed novels, apart from "the ring finger.." they are mostly trashy. put them on a list, (order doesn't matter), label each one however you want: stupid, boring, kitsch ect. change the order and it's still be true <_< *sigh* On the other note, I find Nara Chiharu's illustrations as perfect for Esu as Takashina yuu's perfect for Deadlock, the later's would be too pretty for Esu's characters. Nara Chiharu's drawing style is so sexy you wouldn't read yakuza without imagining her drawing (at least that's what happened to me ^^;;) As first I couldn't get used to her eyes style, but when I got to read Esu and saw her Munechika's eyes I totally completly surrounded to her art XD
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From: ext_106668
2008-08-31 04:57 pm (UTC)
Remember they're not selling to the 'English BL' market...they're selling to English fans of Japanese BL. :) There's no real need to understand 'English BL' or fans of 'western m/m' scene, because we tend to have our fiction needs catered to by the likes of Josh Lanyon, JL Langley, B.A. Tortuga and others--most don't often make the shift to buying June's BL novels from Japan. :)

It would seem that the only company that can actively afford to print English material for the small BL novels fandom, is June. I would make your list and try contacting Erica or Rachel at DMP with it. Tell them why you think a title is good and why you think it would sell to BL readers. They might be able to tell you what actually sells for them and why. :)

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[User Picture]From: wednesday_10_00
2008-09-02 07:40 pm (UTC)
Of the ones you didn't mention:

I LOVE Mainichi Seiten...though, to be honest, I think the manga is a lot better than the novels. The novels are very (VERY) introspective; the characters spend so much time thinking about stuff that it can get a bit boring. The manga distills all that down to basically just character interaction, which is insane (in a big, crazy, loving family kind of way) and wonderful.

Yuuzai I never read (because it looks angsty and depressing), but it was, at least, pretty popular in Japan. It was always on display all over the bookstores, and there was a sequel (or two?) and drama CDs and stuff.

I read excerpts of a couple novels when I was attempting to do some freelance translation; Caged Slave looked like utter crap, and Sweet Admiration looked...okay, maybe. Probably full of cliches, but it didn't look awful (not that you can really tell from four pages).

re: Flesh & Blood - Why. Just...WHY. Don't license it if you're not going to release it. ARGH.
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[User Picture]From: rikiki_angel
2008-09-05 07:10 am (UTC)
I've read the Cold Series I think. One of the first novels I read. I love the first book a lot then the second is ok, the third one sucks D: Ok, not to say sucked but I just don't like how it is. At least the ending is HE.

Don't Worry Mama is ok. Couldn't say it's brilliant but not that bad in my opinion, maybe because I love survival stories.

OMG, I don't remember The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes at all. I know I read it before...

I think Desire has a manga right? My friend bought it and I borrowed from her hehe.
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