Saturday, February 11, 2012

About Love And Discovering Yun Kouga-sensei

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” - Yun Kouga, "Loveless"

[I used to think this way...and I would like to believe that I have changed a bit. Still, this is one very articulate statement on love...]

What a discovery I have made recently, in time for Valentines Day, a day dedicated to people who romanticize the concept of love. I am glad to have stumbled upon a very insightful mangaka (manga writer, that is) named Yun Kouga. How I found out about her, it was quite the result of countless meanderings in the world of manga. I have practically read most in each of the genre that has possibly existed (including yaoi, bora and hentai), and why I found out about her only now (Yun Kouga started writing Earthian as early as 1987!), charge it to my being selectively oblivious at times. (!!!)

But I am glad, just the same. Just minutes ago I have finished reading her epic work titled "Earthian", a story about an angel whose appearance is strikingly different from his fellow angels, owing to his black hair and wings. It is a composite love story, so to speak: it deals not only with heterosexual and homosexual love, but also the possibility of love among the so-called artificial intelligences ("biohumanoids"), as well as love towards Earth. I swear I am getting hold of a hard copy of Earthian, and most lilkely I will order online. From where I am, it is quite difficult to find places where I could buy manga. Fully Booked in Makati City probably carries the most titles, but then again their manga selection occupies only three measly shelves. It sucks, really.

I can't wait to read her other works as well. Earthian actually figured in one of the lists of the best yaoi (dealing with boy X boy love) manga of all time. For me, however, it is not as yaoi as most yaoi manga out there. Frankly, it gets tiresome reading those recurrent themes in many yaoi manga, such as rape, which I do not really enjoy at all. I want more refreshing plots, not only in yaoi but the rest of love-themed manga as well.

After all, who wants to receive the same brand of chocolates and the same types of flowers every Valentines Day. Variety is good. Looking forward to more Yun Kouga goodness soon. :)