This article might be a little bit NSFW, but I was in charge of badge checking at Louisianime 2019 this weekend for voice actor/director Brittany Lauda and fellow voice actor Matt Shipman’s LGBT in Anime panel, and some things there were said that really bothered me.
Apparently in 2017, Media Blasters dubbed the yaoi anime Ai no Kusabi. Brittany and Matt kept going on and on about how it was the first yaoi to be adapter in English, and how proud they were of it… especially seeing as how Media Blasters was not sure if it was going to be successful or not. Apparently this 4 episode show was popular, and some more yaoi titles have started to come to the West… but the whole idea that this was a ‘new’ thing just did not sit well with me.
I got up from my chair, and said “I haven’t seen your show, but what about Gravitation? That came out in the early 2000’s.”
They hadn’t seen Gravitation. According to their understanding, Gravitation was more into boy’s love, and different from their show. They then tangent-ed about how some older shows didn’t count because they had one or two gay characters here and there, and that once again… their show is different because… I guess all of their characters are gay? What a narrow world view.
Gravitation is a show about a young rock star falling in love with a cold romance novelist. The main character tries very difficult to make the novelist fall in love with him even more, despite the fact that the novelist already does. Spoiler warning, the main character even gets traumatically raped by a bunch of dudes! This show is really gay, and involves some serious topics even. WTF?
Also, Boy’s Love? Anime News Network describes their show thusly: “The four-episode remake series adapts Rieko Yoshihara’s boys-love novels.” Their own show is defined as a ‘boy’s love’ show.
I described the panel to a fellow volunteer who’s been going to conventions for quite a few years like this: ‘She claims that they are the first to dub a yaoi anime into English.’ and he said ‘Which one? Gravitation or something?
Okay, okay, so maybe I should check with some more of my friends later… after all, I was staff and I didn’t want to be very rude at their panel… especially over a topic that I am not 100% knowledgeable about.
I asked a webcomic artist’s chatroom, and they very much disagreed with the statement. Maybe if they had said that Ai no Kusabi was the first mainstream yaoi show it could be over looked… but once again… Gravitation… but maybe they meant something more serious?
Kizuna and Kizuna 2 were dubbed in 1994 and 1995. It’s about gay romance, kendo, yakuza… and from what I’ve seen from the parts I skimmed through while watching it on youtube for this article… it’s really gay.
The actor who plays the main character in Kisuna, Kei Enjoji, is Dan Green who much later went on to play characters such as Yugi Muto (Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions), Knuckles the Echidna (Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing), and Leonardo (Turtles Forever).
Seeing as Brittany Lauda was born in 1993, I guess she was not aware of this yaoi gem from when she was 1 years old? Matt Shipman born a year before her in 1992… so… *sigh*
Why do Millennials think that they are the gayest people around? Also, we did not invent everything, and maybe we should just get over ourselves?
Congrats on getting 4 episode long yaoi dubbed into English and it being well received though, as that is a great feat unto itself?