Pinup Boy by Michinoku Atami


Straight boys get up to a lot of Gay in Japan, it seems.





The hero of Pinup Boy, however, doesn’t waste time trying to find Teh Gay in some slow burn office romance.  No, he goes straight to the tap (as it were).  Masaki works at a gay bar–specifically his uncle’s gay bar.

His coworker, Hajime (pictured above), hates him.

And for good reason.  Masaki might be handsome, but he’s a class-A jerk.  He’s rude to customers and sneers at all the ‘okama,’ cross-dressers, and trans-folk who populate the bar.  He’s only working there because the money is good and because his uncle gave him the job.

Even after Hajime gives him a stern talking to…


…he doesn’t listen.

In fact, it takes an incident with a very rape-y customer before Masaki figures out that maybe he should stop being such a raging A-hole.

After that, and the threat of expulsion from the manager/his uncle, Masaki vows to try to learn from Hajime.

They get along. You know, when he’s not being a jerk, Masaki can be all right. They share talks and test cocktails (the DRINKS!) together. Then, one day, Masaki sees Hajime take a package from one of the customers.

…what is it?

Illegal drugs?  Something more/less sinister?

When Hajime gets all weird about changing into street clothes after work, Masaki figures he’s trying to hide whatever is in the contraband package.  Seeing something hanging out of Hajame’s pants, Masaki confronts him.

The big secret turns out to be…. lacy underwear.


Okay…. somewhat unexpected.

Hajime was so secretive about it because Masaki was so disdainful of anything gay.  Masaki, being so VERY, VERY straight like he is, decides he really wants to see… you know, Haijme in it.

Sex ensues.

Or at least some heavy making out.

However, Masaki, like the reader, is left with a massive boner and nowhere to go with it, because, like so may yaoi out there this one only has one chapter scanlated.

Does anybody know why this happens?  I mean, I understand that scanlation is a fan-run, volunteer ‘business.’  I presume a lot of projects get dropped for all sorts of reasons, including interest and lack of resources.  But, from what I can gather from Baka-Updates Pinup Boy is only one volume.

I mean, maybe this is, in fact, all there is.  I’ve noticed that in some cases when a volume is actually a series of unrelated chapters, those chapters get split up and published as separate stories.  So, maybe this whole chapter was just a one-shot tease published in some BL magazine and then put into an anthology volume.

But, the story doesn’t feel complete.  Like, you kind of at least want a bit more of a love confession from somebody… or more sex with costumes…. or for Masaki to maybe not only stop being a jerk, but ALSO realize that perhaps he’s been so poo-poo about queer folks BECAUSE HE IS ONE… something.

Ah, well.

The art is fairly good.  The tease-y bits are tease-y.

If you want to read what there is of it, I found it here:


7 thoughts on “Pinup Boy by Michinoku Atami

  1. So have you found any with ‘normal’ yaoi relationships yet? I’d take any setting if the relationship just wasn’t tsundere/rape-y or the plot had rampant nohomo virus contagion. I’m still looking for that type. So far not many in that category.
    And to your second point, I just figured the japanese grey paper publishing is so profit driven that they cancel and drop series arbitrarily without paying too much attention to the reader’s expectations. They make a big deal in Gintama about recycling the Jump magazines in big bundles so BL etc is read more like a newspaper and less like novels to be savoured?

    • I’m sure all that is true in Japan. What I’m trying to figure out is why, when a full volume exists in Japan, doesn’t more of it get translated here? I’m sure it’s to do with the way these scanlation operations are run. As we know from my run in with Traümere that these groups are very… well, they’re not professional, at any rate.

      And, yeah, I’m still looking for ‘normal.’ I feel like the closest I’ve seen to normal was actually a yuri, the one where the two ladies slowly fall in love who are roommates. I liked that one because the out lesbian has her group of queer friends and it all feels pretty real. But, the guys are having a tougher time being normal. I mean, unless you erase sex… because “What Did You Eat Yesterday?” is about as normal as it gets.

  2. I’m going to change focus to better plots. Things like ‘Renai Bus Stop’ maybe. Ack I don’t know what I’m looking for anymore. Maybe I’ll try that ‘surprise me’ thing you were having success with.

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