Tokyo BL Diary: Month 5


23 February

So it took an embarrassingly long time for me to realise that all the people carrying around bags with the bookstore chain Junkudo’s logo on them in my neighbourhood meant it was likely that a branch of that bookstore was nearby. Some judicious Googling eventually turned up its location — a local department store, naturally. I finally had time yesterday to check it out, and was pleased to see that although this branch of Junkudo wasn’t as big as the one I visited in Naha last year, it still had a separate, large room dedicated to manga.

The BL section was not too shabby, but spread out across a number of non-contiguous shelves. And on one of them was a selection of new release BL manga and yaoi novels, including the much-anticipated (by me) tankoubon for 10 Dance and…the new Japanese translation of one of my favourite m/m novels, Fair Game!

Fair Game Japanese

I’d already read an review that criticised the Japanese translation’s quality, and also remarked upon its expense (up to twice as expensive as domestic yaoi novels). Still, it’s an exciting development to see original English-language m/m stories being localised for the Japanese market.

(And then a Junkudo staff member very politely told me off for taking photos, and I scuttled away in shame without buying anything. Story of my life lately).


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2 comments on “Tokyo BL Diary: Month 5

  1. Pamela says:

    Are English m/m novels becoming popular now? Do you think it’s related to the popularity of Guilt/Pleasure?

    • Ramona says:

      I think Guilt/Pleasure is a special case, because I believe their work is released in English/Japanese/Chinese versions pretty close together, if not simultaneously? I’m still a bit unclear because I usually only buy complete volumes (and In These Words is serialised, I believe). At any rate, you don’t see that much BL stuff translated from English in bookstores, though Fair Game isn’t the first to be localised (I have a Japanese edition of Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner that’s a few years old). Hopefully this is just the beginning of more translations of English m/m :)


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