Known for her atypical art style, Asumiko Nakamura brings to the yaoi genre a sense of drama, darkness, and an odd sense peace that is not the usual flair for the BL world. Every story is a unique art form, from simple love to twisted seduction. Most of her stories offer meaningful undertones with themes of psychology and the human condition intertwined. Take a break from the usual boys love and give some of her stories a read; discover the hidden undertones that will stick with you even after the story is finished:
CLASSMATES: A boy met a boy. They were in the flush of youth. Their love felt like a dream, like sparkling soda pop.
GRADUATES-WINTER: In this poignant continuation of the “Classmates” series, Sajou and Kusakabe continue down the slippery slope of high school life. Every decision scrutinized, every comment misunderstood, every moment fleeting away before their eyes. In the end, all that matters is that they can rely on each other. But when Sajou’s forced to carry a heavy burden, can Kusakabe become the reliable partner Sajou needs to survive this trying time? If he can’t, there’s another lying in wait for such an opportunity.
GRADUATES-SPRING: In this emotional continuation of classmates, Rihito Sajou and Hikaru “Beyan” Kusakabe deepen their relationship and mature along with it. As could be imagined, Kusakabe’s free-spirit ways clashes with Sajou’s dedication to propriety. Their relationship’s in for a bumpy ride as graduation grows near and the boys come face to face with reality; what happens to them after graduation?
DOUBLEMINTS: Dramatic, depressing, powerful. Violent and sexual. “I’ve killed a woman.” The overbearing voice on the phone was that of a high school classmate named mitsuo ichikawa. Buried memories from the past resurface within the heart of a man who carries the same name, Mitsuo Ichikawa. Events drag him right back into the passions of the past. The two reunite as accomplices, yet their relationship as master and servant slowly changes into something different…
CHICKEN CLUB: Fans of Asumiko Nakamura and readers who look for erotica with elegance or substance would do well to also search out some of her earlier work like this collection. Lust, sex, and symbolism. Deep joy and horrific fear. It could be anything. Bizarre and haunting, this collection of dream-like short stories are pivotal moments in time, fleeting, intense, forever changing our ways of seeing. You'll want to read them more than once.
In an industry full of every kind of love story imaginable, Juné launches its own original content with a fresh new genre.
The yaoi genre has been defined as the depiction of boy's love written for women by women. It is chalked full of slender, beautiful men with common themes of forbidden love and dramatic romances.
Bara, yaoi's counterpart written by men for men, shows muscular manly men with much less plot driven story lines and a lot more sexual encounters.
The two terms are rarely aimed at the same audience and yet, at their core, come from the same foundation of male-love driven stories.
DMI's president Hikaru Sasahara, known for being a constant innovator in the manga industry, has found a way to join the two genres with the new term "yabara." It may seem as simple as combing yaoi + bara = yabara, but this new genre has even more hidden behind some clever wordplay.
Steering away from the old stereotypes of mature older semes, pretty boy ukes or even just two overly muscular hairy men, yabara will appeal to each and every body type. Race, age, shape, and size will be explored on new levels to appeal and even broaden the reader's experience to the male love genre.
Not only will yabara combine the art styles of yaoi and bara, but it will combine its audiences as well. Yabara content is made for the comic book audience as whole. It's intent is to appeal to all the fujoshi, fudanshi, LGBT community, and indie comic book lovers.
Yabara breaks away from typical plots of both yaoi, known for stories like hidden office love affairs, and bara, known for a whole lot of sex. This genre will bring the male love genre to the masses with modern romances, current events, and true to life tragedies.
Juné's very first yabara title is not only the first of its kind, but it will also be DMI's first originally produced yaoi title. DMI has produced original content once before with the novel "Vampire Hunter D," making it into a manga for the first time back in 2007.
"Eden's Mercy," by Japanese mangaka Velvet Toucher, was announced at Yaoi Con 2016. This title will be made in America and produced in English before it will be later translated into Japanese.
Giving English speaking audiences the opportunity to read works from their favourite mangakas first, without having to wait for translations opens up new opportunities for the otaku world. With the announcement of companies like Netflix putting more money into original content, Juné plans to keep with its own trend by producing original yaoi works from both local talents and Japanese artists.
Today, Amazon Japan announced their newest Kindle--a Manga Model Kindle with 8 times the storage, perfect for storing any title manga lovers could want. US publisher Digital Manga Inc., known for "Vampire Hunter D" as well as co-publishing hits like "Berserk" and "Trigun", is already jumping on the opportunity to use Amazon’s otaku-friendly developments to bring even more manga to the West.
Digital Manga announced that they are looking into subscription based models for digital downloads, which would allow tablet users unlimited access to a digital library of quality manga titles for a flat fee. Amazon’s new tablet could vastly cut overhead and give US manga publishers, like Digital Manga, more capital to invest in aspects other than printing. According to Amazon, their newest Kindle can hold around 700 titles, far under the amount Digital Manga has in their library.
While other publishers have apps, Digital Manga has a wide array of titles from G to 18+, has been publishing Japanese manga and light novels in the US for 20 years now. Unlike their competitors, Digital Manga has never shied away from publishing titles for a mature audience, with everything from family classics like "Astroboy," to violent action packed series like "Berserk," to adult titles for Project Hentai. Companies like Apple usually forbid any kind of risque themes in any app available on their device, which hinders many publishers who look to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Digital Manga has the digital files for their titles for direct digital download for tablets without the restrictions caused by an app, but Amazon's new Kindle has made it even more conducive to the manga loving community with their storage update.
Digital Manga, true to their name, has been publishing titles for digital download for 8 years, but with new tablet advancements, the shift from paper to digital is encroaching even among seasoned fans, similar to how Netflix changed the format from physical rental to unlimited streaming. Like Digital Manga, Netflix also was able to expand its user base by catering to mature consumers with original and licensed titles that dealt with controversial subjects. Using Kickstarter to fund niche and classic works like Osamu Tezuka’s manga, Digital Manga has jumped on using community engagement as well as new content delivery methods to bridge the gap between Japanese and Western audiences.
With print, the production time for manga from Japan to translators to editors to local bookstore to online retailer is exponentially higher than digital file downloads, which can turn off a community that is increasingly coming used to instant and fast. Listening to their tech-savvy consumers, Digital Manga is fighting for more titles from Japanese publishers for digital download.
“We’re working with publishers in Japan to get Western audiences more access to digital title rights to manga, and this new Kindle seems to be speeding up the process,” says spokesperson Rebecca Bolen. “Manga is making headway as a new mainstream media platform in the US and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
For more information, check out Digital Manga here:
Over the years our yaoi imprint, Juné, and our yaoi store, Akadot, have lived as separate entities. We are proud to announce that the two have now joined forces to give you the best yaoi buying experience! Juné now offers print, digital, and bundle titles for you to browse and purchase from. Anything from shounen ai to yaoi to 801 Media, we have it all!
Since you are reading this post that means you have discovered our brand new blog as well! Here we will be posting all the yaoi news we can get our hands on. This includes Juné announcements, convention news, anime recommendations, and just about anything within the realm of the yaoi industry.
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We would like to thank you for all your loyal support over the years and hope to continue to bring you the best of what yaoi has to offer.
New to Juné? Read more about who we are below:
Juné is a yaoi/boy’s love manga imprint from the California based publishing house, Digital Manga Inc. With its very first publication back in 2004, Juné has been the innovated center for the boy’s love genre in the U.S.
Originally inspired by Junét Magazine, Japan’s very first publication of male/male stories, Juné followed their innovative lead. Taking from the Japanese pronunciation of the French poet Jean Genet’s last name as “Jonneh,” Juné’s English-language published works began.
Over the years, the Juné line has published over 300 print titles and over 200 digitals titles. Now with its shop and imprint fused into one, more and more yaoi is available directly to the fans. This includes manga, novels, digital downloads, news, and many more exciting ventures yet to come.
With the support of its loyal fans, Juné continues to bring over the best of what yaoi has to offer.