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Boys Love Manga Part 2, A New Way To Learn Japanese


A while back I introduced boys love manga (referred to here on out as BL) as a way to learn Japanese. Well, it still holds true today. For those new to this series, I will go through different BL covers and use them to teach you Japanese.

You might be asking, “why are you teaching through BL of all the manga out there?” Good question. The answer: anything that creates a vivid picture in your mind will be easier to recall and BL happens to have great cover art and titles so the vocabulary just sticks.

Example 1, a demon (ogre) sent from hell to fulfill his deepest desires…

Let’s get straight into it with this BL called 野良鬼拾いました(のらおにひろいました).

  • 野良(のら)= a stray
  • 鬼(おに)= ogre
  • 拾いました(ひろいました)= to pick something up

So the title comes to be “I picked up a stray ogre”. Sounds quite devilish.

However, what really stands out in this BL is the tagline これはエロの皮を被った愛の物語だ (これはエロのかわをかぶったあいのものがたりだ)

  • これ = this
  • は = a particle to mark the topic
  • エロ = erotic
  • の = a possessive particle to modify the next word
  • 皮を被る(かわをかぶる)= an expression that means concealing one’s true feelings or desires. Just for reference, 皮 is skin and 被る is to wear over one’s head
  • 愛(あい)= love
  • 物語(ものがたり)= story
  • だ = dictionary form of です

So all together in English the tagline reads: This is a love story where erotic desires are concealed…

Based on the cover though, that doesn’t seem to last long…

Did you know about this sequel to Durarara !! that explores two of the character’s sexual frustrations?

As the series takes place in Ikebukuro, I thought the title 池袋 KEEP OUT! (Keep out of Ikebukuro) was a fitting title. As for the tagline, well, it’s probably what you expect.

  • 激しく(はげしく) = intensely
  • ぶつかる = to crash into something, to collide
  • 熱(ねつ)= heat, fever
  • 奥に(おくに)= inside, the interior
  • その想い = these feelings or emotions
  • 潜む(ひそむ)= to lurk, to be concealed, to lie dormant

Combining this string of passionate words together, we have: They hide their inner feelings of a hot passion that furiously collides.

As you can see from my translation, I didn’t use the exact words I gave you in the list. At the end of the day, you just want to focus on making sense of the content as a whole. The lists are simply an aid, but to get a firm grasp your going to have to encounter them in multiple scenarios.

I hope this lesson could be beneficial and hope that these manga will help the vocabulary stick… vividly.