So, yeah, I’m following this pretty religiously now, and I am not sure what to make of that. If you want to join me, you can read the latest chapter here on MangaHere.com.
The chapter opens with the former-harem trying to figure out how to help History Guy (Mutsumi) and the heroine (Serinuma) get back together. Klutz (Shinomiya) suggests starting a write-in campaign to have the anime kill off Serinuma’s favorite character. This is quickly squashed by the Prince/Princess (Nishina), who is also a fan of the show.
These wacky hijinx are interrupted by Seinuma, who shows up in tears, claiming that gay boy (Yashiro) has stolen her man, Mutsumi. When everyone asks what’s wrong she tells them she saw them kissing. As other people are kind of stunned by this sudden queer turn of events, Nishina asks where they were kissing? When Seinuma says it was the rooftop, Nishina, who reads BL/yaoi, becomes convinced that this is a classic yaoi set-up and they could be “doing it” right now.
Everyone rushes to the roof.
The boys are just coming downstairs. The confrontation is a cold one. Yashiro is ruthless and reminds Seinuma that she really has no place rushing in, since she still hasn’t answered the question: “who is more important, your RL boyfriend or your anime husbando?”
The “are the boys together” shtick continues, as Shinomiya happens to come across them after a bookcase has been knocked over and it seems like they’re on top of each other. Meanwhile, Yashiro and Mitsumi are playing a lot of Japanese chess, Shogi. Dark-haired sporty dude (Igarashi) stops by one of their sessions and asks for a quick word with Mitsumi. He wants to know if he’s done with Serinuma because he’s going after her, if so. This riles up Mitsumi and tells him nope. Igarashi says, okay, fine, I’ll stay away for now, because I respect you, man, but get your damn act together.
Mitsumi is so fired up he wins the shogi match in one move. Yashiro, seeing how upset he is, asks Mitsumi to accompany him on an out-of-town trip to a shogi competition… you know, not to get you away from that girl or anything, just as a change in pace.
….which somehow Mitsumi does not see as the ACTUAL YAOI SET-UP THAT IT IS.
Back to Serinume, who is despondent. She can NOT pick between IRL boyfriend and anime husbando. Who could???? Luckily, her oldest friend, Ah-Chan (who is an otaku like her, but who has managed to have a boyfriend this whole time) shows up ready to kick some sense into some nerd butt.
The solution is pretty clever. Ah-Chan whips Serinume into a frenzy over opposing ships to her anime husbando. Could you see him with so-and-so? NO!!! NEVER! Could you see him with this other guy??? ARGH, I WOULD RATHER DIE. MY OTP IS THE ONLY PERFECT MATCH FOR MY ANIME HUSBANDO.
Exactly, Ah-Chan says. No one should be with your anime husband other than your OTP pairing.
Not. Even. YOU.
The choice is easy.
But, when Serinume goes to call Mutsumi with her answer, Yashiro picks up his phone. They’re at a ryokan…. out of town…. TOGETHER.
The final scene is Yashiro making his move:
This is, of course, a huge threat, because, as we all know from our extensive reading of yaoi, if Yashiro gives Mutsumi a taste of Teh Gay, there is literally no way Mutsumi can retain even a shred of Teh Straight. Even a single kiss could potentially awaken Teh Gay in Mutsumi and he might suddenly start to notice how cute Yashiro is and then, literally, there is zero hope of any part of his straightness ever surfacing again.
These are the facts, ma’am.
Except, yeah, I can only hope that Junko-sensei will simply just have Mutsumi look at Yashiro and say, “You’re cute. Kissing you was nice, but I’m in love with someone else.” A beat later: “Sorry! Also, still straight!”
I mean, as a queer reader, I do love it when people have moments of queerness, but the gay guy as threat to Mutsumi’s virtue is… well, let’s just say, gay predator is not a helpful stereotype–though incredibly common in yaoi.
So, I would rather Yashiro was rebuffed kindly and thoughtfully.
And that he stepped back, kindly and thoughtfully.
Probably it will be played for humor. I could be mad about that, too, but since this manga is literally about girls who love BL/yaoi/slash it’s kind of nice to have an actual gay subplot happening with one of the boys.
There has been decent moments of cleverness and thoughtfulness and kindness in the writing so far, so I’ll hold out a little hope.
P.S. On a side-note, when I posted my review of this manga on Facebook, I got a couple of people suggesting that if I liked this, I would like Genshiken. Once again, when I went to Crunchyroll, I accidentally ended up watching the first episode of the second season (although, as it happens, that’s all they HAD.) I tried to hunt up the first season, but, wow, the art…. I… yeah, I dunno.
I might try reading it, though. But, I have a bunch of others in my reading queue, so we’ll see. I offer the link here, in case any of you are interested.