July 2016 Last Month’s Queer Reviews

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi! Let’s have a talk! Today is the first Monday of the new month meaning it’s time for the Last Month’s Queer Reviews (LMQR) for the past month, July 2016.

As I said in my No More LWQR post, I no longer put up a weekly list of the media that I’ve reviewed. Instead, that list is now going up once a month like this July 2016 installment. This is so the blog doesn’t seem so redundant, but still has that important info for people to access if they need it.

As with the mission of Queer Fudanshi, I want to make sure that LGBT people and allies are able to find the Queer media they deserve and talk about it together. I hope you’ll join me in doing so. If you have read or watched any of the media below make sure to comment on them. Let others know whether you think they are good, bad, or worth seeing.

Note:

  1. Each medium below has a link that sends you to the first installment. Just click on the numbered title.
  2. I’ve just fixed my video editing issue late last night. Expect videos to start going up again this Friday. Perhaps I’ll even create one for this blog post.

So let’s start talking.

  1. Part Time the Series

Pathetic Pining Mong

Part Time the Series is a tv show that’s aired through MCOT before being shared online on Youtube and other sites. The show is about a bunch of college freshmen (and some high schoolers) who are struggling to find love, jobs, friendship, and a way to survive their everyday lives. There are several characters in this show, from the hardworking Mong (seen above) who’s living on the streets (and in his friend’s room) to the model-to-be Melon who’s starting to crush on one of her roommates. There’s something for everyone.

This show is definitely one you should watch. It’s not just a show that has Queer love, but focuses on many people with different life situations and LGBT people roped among them. I think it’s good to watch both kinds of shows.

The thing with this show is that there seems to be only one group translating it. (Make sure to always thank your translators). If you wanna watch the show with no subs you can (and it’s already at 20-30 something episodes on youtube). If you wanna watch with English subs, JustBLThings is only at about 9 episodes. Fair warning.

  1. Tamen De Gushi

Tamen De Gushi Ensemble

Tamen De Gushi is a Chinese web comic about a girl named Sun Jing (red and white sweater) who lives her days peacefully with her best friend Qi Fang (white shirt and tie). Then one day, Sun sees a cute girl waiting at the bus stop and decides to become friends with her. The two hit it off and love blossoms.

This is a great comic with a wonderful protagonist and a great assortment of supporting characters. The comic is lighthearted, and full of so much fun and humor that I 100% suggest you go read it. Plus, it’s a web comic, so it’s legal to just google it and read it anywhere. Go forth and enjoy!

  1. Yandaixiejie no. 10

Liang and Hang Kiss

Yandaixiejie No. 10 is another Chinese property. This one was a web series that ran for about 10 episodes, with some untranslated special clips at the end. This was also a sleeper hit that got a surprising (to me) amount of interest and popularity. The series is about Liang Ze (the suit), a novelist with a weird personality. For sometime he’s been online pen pals with Hang Hang (hoodie) who owns a pet store. One day, Liang Ze’s chinchilla’s get sick, so Liang Ze takes them to Hang Hang. The love story evolves from there.

I think this story is definitely worth watching, and I would consider watching it again. That said, it was not my favorite. The story is sometimes touch and go with it’s quality. The camera work and most of the acting was pretty consistent, but other than that the rest of it had it’s moments. The storyline specifically could be great at one moment, and then TERRIBLE the next (I’m looking at you episode 7). But again, that doesn’t make it a bad show. It’s definitely worth a watch. Try it and see what you think.

  1. My Gay Roommate Season 2

My Gay Roommate Nick and Mom Wicked

My Gay Roommate is an American web series. It’s actually starting to seem older (for a web series) with the third season having been out since about 2014. Each season is different (and only made up of about five 3 min videos), but are all involving Nick (seen above) connecting with someone he’s living with. The first season (which was reviewed before July 2016) is about Nick and his college roommate. Meanwhile, this second season focuses on Nick and his mother during his summer break.

This season was great. I enjoyed it, particularly the middle episode. The mother/son dynamic worked wonderfully here and after watching I wanted to hang out with my mom. Honestly though, the humor was touch and go sometimes. Sometimes the show tried to be clever and ended up weirding me out, or the humor was uninspired and just fell flat. Luckily, the heart of the season and the chemistry between the two actors saved the show.

  1. Make it Right the Series

Rodtand and Fuse Caught

Next on the July 2016 list is Make it Right. Make it Right the Series is another tv show from Thailand that’s then put online. The show is about a bunch of high school boys falling in and out of love. Specifically, the main couple that we spend the most time with are Fuse (sitting down on left) and Tee (mean face at the end). Fuse finds out that his girlfriend is cheating on him. In his drunken despair he ends up sleeping with Tee. The two then struggle with their feelings for each other (and Jean the girlfriend).

This show is a good watch. Most of the episodes are solid and it is incredibly Queer Friendly. There are Trans characters, Bisexual characters, Lesbian characters, and of course Gay characters. There are 3 main gay couples that share the space of the series, and each one has great chemistry with different feels. This show offers something for everyone. That said, know that this is purely a romance story. While Part Time is dramatic in other ways, the main focus of this show is the love. If you’re not a fan of that, you have been warned.

  1. About Him (NSFW)

About Him TV

About Him is an American web series about a young black man exploring his sexuality. In the first episode, Damien (seen above) hangs out with his brother and his brother’s friend. When his brother steps away, the friend makes a move on Damien. This starts a story of sexual exploration of the young man.

Sadly, I only watched the first episode of this show, and I cannot review any more for Queer Fudanshi. The problem is that the show is incredibly sexual. While as a gay, black man I LOVE that this show was so inherently black, I feel I can’t review it on QF because of it’s intense sexual themes.

It’s one thing to depict the emotional side of exploring your sexuality like in Make it Right, it’s another to graphically depict the physical side of it. I just can’t place that out there on a public forum. For those who know about the Boys Love/Fudanshi world, you may think I’m a hypocrite. And perhaps I am, but I want QF to be a family friendly property. I want younger gay youth to be able to find their representation and not be swimming in internet porn. While I’m fine with talking about shows that contain sexual themes and even light sexual scenes, this one is ONLY about sex and I can’t show that on QF. In addition, I’ve found that the show later takes down the censorship in its videos.

So to combat that, I have placed a NSFW label on this medium’s review, and I will do the same for any future properties that need it (BL/Yaoi included). That said, this wasn’t a bad show. For older readers/watchers, I would suggest you watch one episode like me and see if you like it. Like I said, the show felt so comfortingly black that I wanted to keep watching. Maybe you’ll feel that way too.

  1. Unhealthy Relationships

Unhealthy Relationships+Confession(ll)+Raising Zay

Seen on Left

“Unhealthy Relationships” is a short film from the American company and Youtube channel Buzzfeed. The film depicts two best friends who go away on a beach trip with their two significant others. One couple, a straight couple, have just gotten together and are feeling out what it’s like to be in a relationship with each other. The other, a lesbian couple, have been together for some time, but are realizing that they are having problems and one realizes that she’s with an abusive lover.

This film is pretty good. Having been a Buzzfeed fan for sometime I wasn’t sure if I could see this as a property outside of Buzzfeed, but after watching I think it has the right to be. The film was shot beautifully with good directing and a wonderful setting. In addition, the actors did a good enough job that I didn’t pay too much attention to the fact that I’m already too familiar with most of them. As for the topic at hand, I think the film handled the issue of abusive relationships artfully. What do you think?

  1. Raising Zay

Unhealthy Relationships+Confession(ll)+Raising Zay

Seen in Center

Next on the July 2016 list is “Raising Zay.” “Raising Zay” is a short documentary about an American family raising their trans-daughter. The family talk about Zay from birth to her current age and how she never had to transition because she lived her life the way she wanted to from the start. In addition, the film talks about the oncoming threat of puberty and how the family has planned to fight it.

This documentary was heartwarming and a nice watch. It was only 5 mins and basically just talked about how the family accepted Zay from the get go. If you have the time the watch this short clip I suggest you watch it. Just for the nice happy feels.

  1. Confession (ΙΙ)

Unhealthy Relationships+Confession(ll)+Raising Zay

Seen on Right

“Confession (ll)” is a German short film created by the Youtube Channel titled Queerbling. Queerbling’s mission is to brighten the lives of LGBT teenagers. They create videos and series with that in mind. “Confession (ΙΙ)” is a silent film about a boy who’s falling in love with another boy and writes a confession letter about it.

The film is pretty short, but I liked what it attempted to do. I wasn’t all that excited about the film and I certainly never need to see it again, but I liked some of the artistry behind it. For instance, the music was very good, and the last scene of the letter being read was beautiful. I don’t think people need to see this, but I think it was worth seeing to me just for that last scene.

  1. Stardew Valley

Fudanshi Farms Game Start

Stardew Valley is a video game created by one man, and distributed by a UK publishing company. The game is about an office worker (player chooses gender) who’s tired of his life and his 9-5 job. The player then gets a letter from his deceased grandfather as well as the will to a farm out of the city. The player then moves there and starts to cultivate the land while also getting to know the townspeople. In addition, the player can become friends and eventually romance 10 men and women in the town (no matter what gender you play).

I actually love this game with all my heart. I’ve played it for about 40-something hours and I’m still not through my first year. It’s a fun game to play just from farming alone. That said, there is so much more to do than just farm. The player can fish, mine, fight monsters, and talk to townspeople (to name a few). Also, as you get to know the townspoeple more you get to see that they have depth and backstories that you wouldn’t expect. I’m still deciding on a dude to pursue romantically, and that’s mostly because they all have something that make them interesting. This game is DEFINITELY worth playing.

  1. Carmilla Season 1 Christmas Episode

LaFontaine, Lola, and Laura

Carmilla is a Canadian web series that’s distributed on Youtube’s KindaTV. The show is based off of the classic novel about a vampire named Carmilla who preys on a girl named Laura. The web series turns it into a college romance however, with actiony/supernatural happenings surrounding them. This particular episode was a Christmas special for the first season in which the two girls, and their two upperclassman friends, get stuck in a restaurant with a cannibal, cookie making woman (still not sure what she was).

This series has been going on an upward climb in my opinion. The first season started slowly, but as it went on the show discovered itself and what worked. This Christmas episode is the perfect example of that. It had the right balance of adventure, romance, humor, and characterization. It got rid of all that was bad with Season 1 and left most of what was good with the season. I hope that season 2 is just as good as this special.

  1. Uncontrolled Love

Shu Nian and Xie Yan in Bed

Uncontrolled Love is a Chinese film. The story goes that Shu Nian was a orphan who was adopted into Xie Yan’s family so that he would be Xie Yan’s friend and servant. The two grew up together in this master/servant dynamic unitl Xie Yan went abroad to study. Then, when Xie Yan returns, the two start to realize that their intimate relationship is no longer platonic.

At first I was against the master/servant dynamic because in my head it was a master/slave dynamic. As the movie went on it was easy to see that’s not the case. The two truly care for each other, but had difficulty realizing what those feelings meant. Besides beautiful camerawork and settings, I think what really made this a good movie was witnessing the intense intimacy between the two main characters. Fair warning though, this movie has the two biggest clichés and tropes in the Boys Love genre, the terrible woman trope and the straight-turned-gay trope.

  1. Sentimental Trickster Demo

16fe20920f0cfe136f5d39b860d9a4a4_original

Sentimental Trickster is a video game that’s currently running on Kickstarter. The game is about Haru (seen at center) as he moves to a big city to go to college. He moves into a dorm where he meets four strange guys with different personalities. A cool guy who jumps into danger constantly, a landowner who loves to cook but seems like he’s hiding something, a hot guy who seems friendly yet distant, and a mean guy who’s mean (but I’m sure he has his reasons). The game is not out, but there is a demo out that introduces each character and the general feel the game will have. The idea is that the real game will have the player trying to romance one of the four.

I enjoyed what I got with this demo. The demo was small with only about 20-30 mins of gameplay, but I liked the characters and specifically the main character. I look forward to playing more, and I really look forward to playing the full game. I hope I can do so soon, because I would love to just jump in. Plus, … the cool guy (seen far left). Also, this demo doesn’t include sex, but the full game will. Just like with About Him above, I will include a NSFW label on that specific review.

  1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I think you know

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a Netflix original comedy about Kimmy Schmidt, a mole woman. Kimmy was kidnapped as a kid and forced to be in an underground (literally) cult. After being rescued, she moved to New York City and moved in with her new friend Titus Andromedon (seen with corn above) to take back her life.

The show while hilarious at some points, can also be very bad at others. It’s so out there and quirky that it can sometimes go too far and come off as too weird. That said, all of the characters are great and the actors really give their all into their performances. Even though there is some bad with the show, there is a lot that’s right with it.

In Conclusion

That is it for July 2016’s Last Month’s Queer Reviews! What are your thoughts on these media? Do you agree or disagree with me? Do you like some? Hate some? Let me and others know down below and let’s get talking!