Adult Swim: Horseplay

>> Sunday, February 26, 2012

In contrast to my last post's story, Afuresou na Pool, today's yaoi offering isn't the least bit thoughtful, does not examine any deep sociological depths, is all but devoid of drama (or at least any plausible plot lines) and does not keep a tasteful distance when it comes to sex between men or between men and men who look deceptively like children. If graphic depictions of sex between men send your sphincter twitching and make you want to stab out your eyeballs with a fork, or you're not an adult, DO NOT follow this link to Ai to Yokubou wa Gaduen de (by Umezawa Hana) because sex is everywhere, in your face, and little, if anything, is verboten. Do I like it anyway? You bet. The sex didn't bother me in the slightest (I'm a grown up and have discovered I enjoy reading yaoi smex). And, far more importantly to me, it makes me laugh my ass clean off (though I tend to grow it back overnight).

I rolled. I loled. I howled and pounded my desk. Nothing's sacred in this manga because the whole damn thing is tongue in cheek. And, in the midst of all the craziness and orgy of sexual misconduct, it's romantic with pair after pair of students, teachers, directors, tycoons, doctors, even a chef pairing off against the school's sanction against "falling in love". The premise is a school in the future devoted to training people who intend to go into the sex trade. An all-boy's school ("Full Bloom Academy"). If the premise isn't crazy or ridiculous enough for you, just wait. You might want to sit down for this.

Full Bloom Academy has a host department (host clubs are big in yaoi), pet department (youthful looking boys training to be "kept"), AV department (adult video), and, my favorite, abnormal where the world of kinky awaits. There are students that are "rare" (i.e. virgins) and students that are "absolutes" (i.e. can go 24 hours without faltering), each lovingly trained in the art of sex by a strange cast of teachers. While students, once they've met certain criteria, they can be leased out for presumably on-the-job experience that nets the school and the student money, precluding the need for tuition. Since many students are there to address debts of their families or themselves, this is a big deal and frequently comes up. One can also earn a fee by finding a good prospect and delivering them to the school (as one student was by his own lover).

There are sad stories in there, some with just enough plausibility to be touching, most silly enough to just be funny. And, despite the "absolute" prohibition against falling in love, the whole things starts with the enigmatic all-knowing director falling for a student who drops out to become his secretary. I find it interesting that, though most of the characters are involved in the sex trade, in some fashion or another, the couples are amazingly faithful and run the range from completely understanding sending the host significant other off to work to becoming irate over a kiss mark obtained in class. And, of course, there's the much pierced prince of the abnormal department and his kidnaped "tribute", the would-be host and homophobe
Despite the hilarity, the excessive sex and the ridiculous plot developments, the characters are surprisingly believable and engaging. I found them easy to identify with (mostly) and frequently charming, or I would have set this aside quickly. It's what makes the romantic stories that fall out of this whirlwind satisfying, that the characters, however laughable their setting and predicaments, still seem real enough.

The drawing style is distinctive with pointy haired characters with expressive eyes, beautiful faces and exaggerated sex scenes complete with fluids and toes that curl so much they look like hands. Still, I found it fairly compelling and well suited to the comic style running through this whole thing (still not completed). And the characters can be incredibly hot.
It's not a serious story. I hope you got that. It's blatantly full of smutty sex. I hope you got that, too. If you haven't tried yaoi, be warned, this manga shameless indulges in every extreme of yaoi (except rape by a protagonist, obvious pedophilia, and incest) and isn't afraid to laugh at every aspect. And I love the kind of humor that laughs at itself.

Would I buy this if it were available in English? Oh yea. Because I love it. It doesn't make me think or really add to my understanding of gay relationships (or love in general), but, if I'm in the mood for mindless fun of the distinctly non-clean variety, this fits the bill with panache.

Umezawa Hana has a couple of other manga, too. 24 Jikan Kiss Dekinai is incomplete (but discontinued) and was cute but nowhere near as full of hilarity as this manga. Koi Yori Kiss Yori Daikirai is ongoing and incomplete but also shoujo so not the kind of fun-filled smut I enjoyed so much.

2 comments:

  • SilverMuse603
     

    I read a few chapters of this. Smutty! But you're right, it's fun smut. Haha.

  • Stephanie Barr
     

    Sadly, the really funny stuff doesn't kick in until Gil shows up to take charge of our homophobic host wannabe and that's a bit in.

    I can't push anyone to read that far because, even if you're fairly tolerant of smut, it can be overwhelming.

    For those willing to slog through simulated body fluids (in excess), the reward is laughter.

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