Category: Sakae Kusama

Random Anniversary 4: My Brain


Almost two years to the day since my brain last celebrated the end of a journal, a sign that me and my brain need to work on spending more time with our journal and less time on Twitter. But the gratification from Twitter is instant, while the journal is more of a slow burn, and present me always needs cookies right now, all too often to the detriment of future me.

What happened in these two years documented in a little purple notebook that I got in Singapore? Who knows?? The notebook in question is tucked away in my Toronto apartment, while my brain and I are here in Tokyo. Recent happenings that are most certainly included in the journal include interpreting at TIFF in September and for author Hideo Furukawa last month (reasons why posting here has been especially light), but further back than that, and my poor memory grows hazy. I was in Japan a lot last year? Maybe? I lectured a bunch of hapless university students in America about gender in translation? I had some birthdays and my body continued its relentless march towards our inevitable decline? (more…)

Autumnal BL: Decorative Gourd Edition

Kusama_Mizushiro.jpgOkay, I’ll be straight with you: there aren’t actually any decorative gourds here. I just wanted to contribute to the general online narrative of autumn being all about decorative gourds and pumpkin spice lattés. I wanted to be part of the group, you guys. But I promise you the BL part of that title is one hundred percent truth! There is for real BL in here. Classic BL! Also newer BL because I couldn’t actually pick just one title to write about. Because I am indecisive. Despite the fact that I have extremely strong opinions. The two apparently do not go together. I am indecisively possessed of strong opinions.

Like my declaration of fall being for SFF. Such a strong opinion! I ran with it for several weeks! But now, as autumn slips away and the days become shorter in their inevitable march toward winter, my strong opinion also fades and drifts into the hazier territory of “maybe fall is for BL?” Because I have been reading BL lately. It’s a good thing my translation/interpretation lets me become passionately devoted to and interested in a topic or person for a brief period of time because that is apparently how my wishy-washy, fervently devoted brain works, and I don’t know how I’d ever make a living in any other line of work. (more…)

Doujinshi Round-up: People I Know Edition


Given that I spent some time talking about the random doujinshi I have encountered on this trip to Japan, you might well expect that there was some non-random doujinshi involved in my reading lately, and in that, you would be correct. I have indeed been reading the doujinshi of people who are, in fact, known to me, as I hope they are to you. And if they’re not, I would suggest you check out the non-doujin works of these artists because they are six kinds of awesome and they could use your support. Oddly enough, they’ve all been published in English, so if you have manga dollars to spend, these would be a good place to put them. 

You know that I basically cannot spend anytime in Japan without picking up something by Brain favourite est em. She is just so prolific and her work is just so worth talking about. And for some reason, Mandarake was practically overflowing with her doujinshi work the last time I was there. Did someone sell off their collection? Did she herself decide to replenish their stock? I have no answers, only smutty doujins. Smutty, horsey doujins.

Because of course, I picked up some of her centaur phase work. Both Equus and Equus/Duo contain stories collected in the Equus book published by Shodensha. I don’t have Equus here to compare these doujin versions with the mainstream version, but from my memory, they are pretty similar, if not essentially the same. (more…)

Fujoshi Revelations: Brain

moe 83077 100dpi code_geass katoh_sumio kururugi_suzaku lelouch_lamperouge male yaoiLast year, in honour of 801 Day, I posted this interview I did a couple years ago with est em. Since I did not interview another incredible BL artist this year, there is no way I’ll be able to top that (although I am working on it! Surprises in store, fujos!). But that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate this glorious day of perversion (a day after the fact!) and the extended celebration that is the 801 Moveable Manga Feast with all of you out there in Boys’ Love Town!

Because, you know, I live in Boys’ Love Town. As a manga translator, Boys’ Love is literally my day job. (Before setting down to write this, I was translating a rather heated moment between two rather heated men.) And as a translator of the fujoshi variety, I have read a *laht* of BL. The shelves of my office bookcase are stuffed with all kinds of BL with all kinds of kinks, from incest (I will never get on board with that one) to glasses (but yes to this one!) to reversible (and this one!), many of which I have translated into English for you monolingual fujoshi/danshi. Some have been boring, a few have been honestly awful, most are just run-of-the-mill type stories that I forget the second I’m done the translation, but a few have been really great and stuck with me, long after the project was finished. So in the spirit of celebrating the best BL has to offer, my brain presents to you now my top five BL translations. (more…)