That Blue Sky Feeling vol. 1

Recently I finished reading the first volume of That Blue Sky Feeling (Sorairo Flutter in Japanese), written by Okura and drawn by Coma Hashii and I gotta say…I really enjoyed it!

It’s a sweet BL, Slice of Life, Drama where we see our main character, Noshiro Dai, build an adorable friendship with classmate Sanada Kou, who we quickly learn is gay.

The relationships in this volume were written very nicely. We see Sanada slowly open up to Noshiro in certain ways, though he’s still pretty closed off in other ways. Noshiro is a pretty honest guy, open and friendly, who seems to really care about Sanada and wants to do right by him. It’s a very soft kind of story, even the drama didn’t feel particularly angsty.

One thing I like is that there’s an older gay man named Hide, who is Sanada’s ex-boyfriend (and I can say a lot about how I personally feel with a 26 year old dating a 17 year old, or maybe younger but whatever), who helps both boys deal with their feelings.

While I find the art style clean and soft (like the rest of the story) I think there are times it looks kind of wonky and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but overall Hashii’s art really helps bring the story to life in this volume. I especially like the body types of Noshiro and Hide (Sanada has a type) which breaks away from what I’m used to seeing in BL and its a welcomed change.

You can read That Blue Sky Feeling online but it has been licensed by Viz Media and I recommend buying the official release if you can. I consider it worth the purchase.

note: maybe unimportant to most but i refer to this story as BL because that’s how I’ve seen it listed (shounen ai) and i know there are people who get up in arms about separating BL, which is seen as primarily targeting (straight) women, Gay Manga/Bara which primarily targets gay/bi men, and like Yaoi, which is porn. But I don’t want split hairs.

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Did The Dragon Prince really Bury their Gays?

Hey all! Long time no post, I know, but today I have something to actually write about.

Recently I had watched the second season of The Dragon Prince, a Netflix show I’ve been really enjoying. The first season was a lot of fun and the second season really hit me emotionally. I love it so much!

But there was one part of the show that seemed to…well it didn’t bother me, but it did give me pause for a moment.

There’s a long flashback story told by the chief antagonist/villain Viren (one of my favorite characters) where we see a pair of WLW (Women loving Women) Queens. We even give an on screen lip-to-lip kiss. But then, in a heroic fashion, they die; killed by a dragon.

I’ve seen some people call this an example of Bury Your Gays trope. For those who don’t know what this trope is referring to the simple version is when a queer character dies in the story or reaches another kind of tragic ending (really this is a very simplified explanation of the trope you can research more if youre interested). With that definition I can’t say that the Queens don’t fall into this pattern…

Or can I?

For me, this trope needs characters, and I don’t see the Queens as characters. They are simply props for Viren and the plan he’s trying to put into action. So when they died I didn’t find to too, for lack of a better term, problematic when that happened.

As the series goes on I would like for there to be more LGBTQ characters who are actual characters and have growth and a story, not just props used in another’s plan.

Now, this reading has its own problems, introducing your first LGBTQ characters being already dead isn’t a good look considering how people view queer rep, but I still don’t see this particular instance fall into the Bury Your Gays trope.

This is subject to change as the show goes from here, but these are my feelings about it as the moment.

Let me know what y’all think, about this trope or about the show as a whole.

Thanks for reading!

Siren Song

(Note: This post may contain slight spoilers for the first 3 episodes of the show Siren)

After giving up on reading and doing chapter reviews I decided to actually sit down and watch some shows I had on hold for a little bit. One show of note is Freeform’s brand new drama-slash-fantasy show Siren!

I’ve only seen 3 episodes of this show (there are 6 out at the time of writing this) and the thing I would like to focus on in this post is the main relationship dynamic between Ben, Maddie, and the titular Siren (well Mermaid) Ryn. I’m talking about the show now since I live by the 3 episode rule and I want to discuss what grabbed me about the show in just these 3 episodes.

Ryn, played wonderfully by Eline Powell, is a truly alien presence. The way she moves, talks, and even the way she looks shows off a subtle but very real and tangible danger, while couple Ben and Maddie, played respectively by Alex Roe and Fola Evans-Akingbola, both come off as very down to earth science types, both respecting Ryn’s personhood as well as wanting to learn more about her kind and the like.

With a show titled siren, there is, of course, the mystical allure of the mythical creature. When she first meets Ben she sings a song and just the look on his face has him hooked. There was even a moment later on where she almost kisses him. It’s a bit unclear why she did that. I didn’t get the sense that she’s particularly attracted to him, at least not in a way I recognize, maybe there’s some unique mermaid/siren thing going on.

Though something like that could get complicated since Ben is dating Maddie there’s also what’s going on between Ryn and Maddie to think about.

Maddie, much like Ben, finds Ryn alluring as well, but her introduction to the mermaid was decidedly different. Her first hint of Ryn was seeing scratches on Ben’s body, then she quickly learned about the fact that Maddie killed a man, and Ryn also flung her across a room. There’s a tension between them that sits a little uncomfortably between fear (which Ryn points out) and…something else much more…intimate, all played very well by Evans-Akingbola.

And that’s it right there, the central relationship between Ryn, Maddie, and Ben that has me the most interested. I will admit that the fact that there’s something between Maddie and Ryn as well as Ryn and Ben is really what sold it for me. It would have been so easy for the show to only focus on whatever is going between Ben and Ryn but it doesn’t do that. It’s a relatively small thing, considering the other plotlines running through the show at the moment, but it’s the thing that’s caught me.

Only time will tell if the Maddie/Ryn/Ben or if the show will only focus on one or the other. I certainly the three of them continue to develop the relationship. I also hope, in Maddie’s case, it’s just something supernatural related and that she’s actually bisexual. That would be nice as well. I’m excited to continue on with the show to see how everything plays out.

Siren airs on Freeform, Thursdays 8/7c. Check it out!

Something Quick

Spoils for Annihilation

So, recently I watched the movie Annihilation and while I feel very lukewarm on the film (I think it was trying to say something but I think it ultimately fell flat) but there’s one thing that has stuck with me.

Gina Rodriguez played Anya Thorensen, the standout performance as far as I’m concerned and it the medic of the team. She is also the only lesbian character in the movie.

A lot of people may wonder why this matters; some may even say that she’s a “good” example of how to write a lesbian character, or rather, “a character who just happens to be a lesbian”/ While my feelings on thoughts like that are complicated my main issue with Anya Thorensen is the framing, specifically, her death.

Yes, basically all of the characters die, but Thorensen’s death is the most brutal and that is where I take issue.

During the movie, we watch Thorensen get attacked by a kind of bear-monster. We watch as she tries to get away, dragged back by the creature, get tossed around a bit, and then we watch the monster rip her jaw off and watch her corpse lay in a pool of her own blood.

Tuva Novotny’s character, Cass Sheppard, is killed by the same creature as Thorensen, but she’s killed off screen. Tessa Thompson’s, Josie Radek, simply…walks off and vanishes, and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Dr. Ventress…well I don’t know how I would describe her death but it nowhere near as brutal and violent as Thorensen’s death.

You see…when you have one queer character and then you go out and treat them with the most brutality…I’m going to side-eye you very hard.

No, I don’t think the director hates wlw or anything like that. I also don’t think that a queer character can never die on screen in a movie. But the brutality with which a queer character is treated is something I’m going to have to speak up.

I guess…I guess what I am trying to say is that creators need to be mindful of how they’re treating their queer characters. Pay attention to what you’re putting your queer characters through and how it stacks up to your straight characters.

Anyways…I hope I explained myself well enough in this post and I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. Things have been very busy for me lately. But I’m going to try to be more regular with my post.

My chapter reviews will be coming back and, since I want to speed things along, doing multiple chapters in one post and going forward.

Till next time~!