Category Archives: Random

Beijin Story, A Wonderful Gay Fiction

It is probably fair to say Beijing Story is the most widely read on-line gay fiction in Chinese. It has become a classic, a standard and an inspiration. Whether you are gay or not, you cannot help but to be touched deeply by it once you start reading. -Unknown

Originally a novel published anonymously on the internet in 1998, Beijin Story garnered so much popularity that it was later adapted into a film titled ‘Lanyu’. This story follows Han, a wealthy man with an enviable background, playing around with women and men. Upon his boredom, his friend and subordinate, Liu Qisang, introduces Han to Lanyu and that’s when a beautiful yet tragic (in my opinion) love story was born. I won’t spoil anymore because trust me, it is worth the 30 chapters. STOP your train of thought. Thirty chapters may sound daunting but honestly, you’ll finish this story within a few hours (if you’re a fast reader and if you’re a slow one, then it might take a while) because it is addicting. So what makes this fiction worth it?

Han is just too confused and doesn’t see that he desperately needs to self-reflect. He has completely integrated into society from the very moment of his birth that he can’t break free from societal norms. The idea that he needs to marry and have a family are one of the practices expected from the heteronormative society and these notions have been deeply engraved into him as ‘his duty and purpose’. For me, Lanyu’s past prevented him from integrating into society but rather caused him to develop his own sense of purpose and what life should be lived for. The clashing between these two very differing sense of purpose and way of living becomes the foundation for this love story.

The use of emotions such as jealousy, anger, and repentance serve a meaningful purpose in Beijing Story. The emotions don’t simply define the characters but rather helps in developing them and move the plot forward. Through this development, I feel that the emotions the characters feel in Beijing Story resonate with our own emotions as the reader who is taken through the course of their love that spans over four years. It allows the reader to feel the emotions of these characters and really see a piece of ourselves in both Han and Lanyu.

There are some situations that start off cliché but take unexpected turns. As a reader, you will create expectations for these characters and the outcomes of their situations but you’ll end up surprised , or at least I was. It reflects the ever-changing nature of humans. We all change at some point and so do these characters, their actions, and reactions. The reader acknowledges the change in the characters but at the same time a sense of familiarity rushes over the reader when some of the characters’ actions mirror the actions from earlier chapters.

The frustrations from Han’s childish logic and selfish actions coupled with Lanyu’s naivety and satisfaction with just being able to be in a tiny part of Han’s outrageous life preoccupied in complying with social norms and infidelity in this love story really tugs at your heart.

An interesting point to note is that the narration of this story is from Han’s viewpoint and from this, we hear most of his inner thoughts and feelings. When reading this story, note that Han is the narrator which means that the reader doesn’t get Lanyu’s or anyone else’s views. The reader only has Han’s perception and interpretation of EVERYTHING including the interpretation of his own and of others’ emotions.

Normal is an illusion. What is normal to a spider is chaos to a fly. -Charles Addams

For me, the big issue that the story attempts to address is what and who defines ‘normal’? Han says that he loves Lanyu but time and time again, becomes unfaithful to Lanyu using the excuse that he plays with women to prove to himself that he’s still heterosexual, “normal”. There is an element of realism in Beijin Story as it mirrors the psychological and emotional issues in facing social norms and the notion of normative behavior. There doesn’t seem to be a glorification nor denouncement of Han’s behavior but rather it strives to present the hypocrisy as is. So then who is at fault for this hypocrisy? Is it Han or is it the society he is entrapped that had defined ‘normal’ and forced people to fit into these molds? What is the outcome of normative notions? The tragic love between Han and Lanyu.

In the end, the excerpt I opened this post with had claimed to present a beautiful love story and it had, for me. Regardless of your sexual orientation, I believe that the emotions, the characters and their circumstances are the real gems of this fictional story. In the case that I have convinced or sparked your interest in Beijin Story, you can read here. Be warned, the story has adult content with the use of explicit language to depict explicit scenes; however, if you’re old enough and are interested in this story, read it and let me know your thoughts on the story!

Brief enounter with an old lady

so this is a picture I found off of google, I’ll update this with a picture of the library’s manga shelf on my next visit.

Recently, I’ve visited my local library to volunteer and Tuesday was one of the days that I volunteer on. I always head straight to the manga section and work on putting them back in alphabetical order and straightening them up. Even though I’m not suppose to, I tend to pick up a manga title that may look interesting and browse through it. After I’m done, I put it back and continue my work.

So as I was working, this lady who is quite old, a senior citizen, is another volunteer and is performing her task. She deals with the pick list which is where she pulls books off the shelves that are on the list that other people have requested through the online services. She heads up to the manga section to pull some books off. She wasn’t able to find a book and so I offered to help her look for the X Men series vol 3. She sat down on the little bench in front of the manga section while continuing to search for items on her list. Next up was Shugo Chara Vol 11.

It’s only been about five or ten minutes and I thought I should try to say something to her and so I asked the first question that came to my mind, “have you ever read any of these mangas before?”. I shouldn’t have asked. I had the slightest hope that maybe this lady would be open-minded because of the fact that she was an adult but I was wrong. She replied with a laugh characterized by disbelief that I would even ask such a question and said “are you kidding me? no, no way. I would never”.

Right after she said this I thought, but old people in Japan actually enjoy manga and animes like One Piece or so I’ve read somewhere. I really wanted to say this to her but it wouldn’t have made a difference. She would’ve passed my comment off as simply a childish attempt at defending the value of manga.

It’s made me want to reconsider whether I would want to let others know of my passion for anime and manga if they can’t at least respect it.

Live-Action of Arakawa Under the Bridge… o_o

“This year’s eighth issue of Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine is announcing that a Summer 2011 live-action television adaptation and a 2012 film adaptation of the Arakawa under the bridge manga has been green-lit. [Via]”– Taken from ANN

First five seconds after reading this, I thought : ‘-___-  Seriously? How is that even possible to show Sister’s awesomeness?’.

Five seconds later: ‘Actually, this might be cool’.

If I remember to, I will watch the live action when it comes out. I feel that I should give it a try and that it might not be that bad but I’m wondering how it will show certain scenes like when Sister pulls out guns and does these cool flips. I wonder if the actor playing Sister will be badass enough, hah. I can’t wait to see the actress for Maria too. I’m really look forward to seeing the interactions between Recruit/Ko and Nino; it’s going to be so adorable~~ — or at least I hope it’s going to be.

[Angel Beats] Kanade-sama’s Mapo Tofu~

First, yeahh, I’m not going to lie– I’ve been procrastinating and it’s probably because I’ve had enough of how difficult and fast-paced my classes are. Mostly, I’m behind on school stuff because I’ve been addicted to Cityville on FB. -___-

Anyways, that doesn’t matter right now. Right now, it’s all about Kanade’s favorite food: Mapo Tofu.

Here’s the story: I was at an Asian supermarket, Vinh Phat. I stroll down the aisles I find this—

Yayyy~~~ Mapo Tofu. Actually, I’ve never eaten this before and I wanted to try it but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it because I can’t take anything that’s too spicy. I can’t remember but I think the other two were “MILD” and “MED-HOT”.  I think I’ll try the MILD one hoping that I can handle the spiciness.

On another note, I wish I never heard the song “Friday” by Rebecca Black… I clicked on it thinking it was going to be a good song… but I was wrong. hah. If you don’t know the song, that’s good. Keep it that way. DO NOT, DO NOT SEARCH FOR THE SONG. –I warned you…

hah, I’m being a bit mean but still…

Gintama Resuming~

As I was looking around on ANN seeing if there were any news worth checking out, to my surprise I found a post titled ‘Gintama TV Anime to Resume’.

ASDFADLJFL;DFJA;DKJFALDKJ. :] ahh~~ I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am right now. I have been waiting FOREVER for this to happen. :3 I really love this anime. I LOVE IT. <3333 Why? Because of its dry and sometimes nonsensical humor and lets not forget the characters.

Anyone else as excited as I am hearing that Gintama is resuming?

One thing that bugs me is that there isn’t an exact or approximate date when Gintama will resume. -sigh- I guess we’ll just have to wait for more information. It would be nice if it would resume during winter since that’s where the show left off at. It left off with a christmas-y episode with fake santas and all that so it wouldn’t be bad for it to pick up from there.

So if you happen hear anything about Gintama and its resumption, do inform me. :]

ANN’s News Article Regarding Gintama Resuming.

Anime&Manga: Huge Influence On Me. What About You?

Ever watch an anime or read a manga that has influenced you into taking action? Or gave you courage? Or changed your disposition? Or changed your perception of things?

Well, for me, one anime had an impact and changed a part of me for the better.:3
First, you have to go watch a baseball anime Major or you can read the manga. The protagonist, Goro, has this strong love for baseball and stops at nothing to be at the top. Even at the cost of his right shoulder, he continues and doesn’t look back or regret the decisions he’s made whether they turned out good or bad. -Well, he’s probably looked back once, maybe?-
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