You know me. I’m no stranger to reviewing yaoi, AKA “Boys Love”. But not once has an actual yaoi fallen into my lap. My first review, Train*Train, only has a female transvestite, a bisexual, and a french guy. All Nippon Air Line, meanwhile, does have gay characters, but they have no actual love. They almost show the scenes, but a) They’re mostly with old men, and b) Everyone looks like an old man.
Basically, I don’t usually read actual yaoi. I’ve been fortunate, I suppose.
“Bran Doll” is, in fact, NOT EVEN CLOSE TO A YAOI. Okay, there’s HOT GUYS!, but many women find Vegeta to be sexy as well.
Plot: Prepared for stupid? You are if you’re reading this particular review. The cover must have tipped you off. See that HOT GUY! on the cover? He wants to work for the Special Dispatch Force! But he wanders into the Special DOLL Force instead! YUK YUK YUK YUK! DUMB. Rather than let him go, the king of their country, Blah Blah the Fourth or something, I dunno, forces him to join the Doll Force or face death! Um… great, this is great.
No, it’s okay, honestly. But not terribly wonderful. Most often, it’s only readable, but at other times you want to read something else. Fortunately, this is a one-shot, so its stupidity is harmless.
Now, here’s why the manga being called a “yaoi” is wrong. IN A LIST.
a) None of the main characters are gay. Not a one.
b) The ones that are gay are a one-story frumpy villain and partially one of the henchmen. But not really.
c) There seems to be a romantic tension between Fen (the guy on the cover) and a girl dressed up as a guy. That’s really as yaoi as it gets, but that’s just shojo, isn’t it?
d) Except for the henchman who kinda sorta plays around with the idea, and he woos him by dressing up as a girl. Is it yaoi yet?
e) The worst part is this one. When two of the king’s men find out Fen likes the henchman, they’re entirely against it! It seems to be outright homophobia, actually. One quips, “I personally can’t stand men who kiss other men”.
With “e)” fresh in our minds, let’s ponder shortly on this.
See what’s wrong here? Not only is it not a yaoi, but anyone who buys it thinking that it is gets criticized for liking that sort of thing! Oh, wow. Just… go away, Bran Doll.
There’s some sweet scenes with the back story for the doll-collecting, but seriously? A “yaoi” that is against homosexuality? WHAT WAS GOCOMI THINKING?
GoComi Guy: “Hey, this has HOT GUYS! in it, right? Let’s label it under our Go! Boyz Love section!”
Smarter GoComi Guy: “Did you actually read this, sir? The characters are straight!”
GoComi Guy: “Pshaw! When has that ever stopped anyone from making something not a yaoi into one?”
Smarter GoComi Guy: “Well… never, but–“
GoComi Guy: “BUT WHAT, LANCE?”
Lance: “Well, Mr. Peters, two of the characters are opposed to boys love!”
Peters: “Hmmm… is it a one-shot?”
Peters: “No problem! No one will notice or care!”
Lance: “That sounds okay, actually. By the way, what time do you want to come for dinner?”
Peters: “Uhhh… about 6 or 7. 6:30.”
Lance: “It’s already 8:00.”
Peters: “Fine, let’s reschedule. We can do lunch tomorrow.”
Lance: “My wife made dinner already. You can’t just cancel!”
Peters: “Fine, we’ll go now. I’ll pay for the cab.”
Lance: “My apartment is in the next building.”
Peters: “Fine, I don’t have to pay for a cab. Let’s just get out of here already.”
That kind of got away from me. Sorry, gang.
Overall Opinion: Terrible if you wanted a yaoi, a little better if you don’t care about that part. It’s just… MARKETING THESE DAYS! AAAAGGGGHHHH!
Rating: A Raggedy Andy out of Seventeen Barbies.