Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Gay Teen-Boy Romance Comic Beloved by Women in Japan

It's the Heart of Thomas.

From a story in the Atlantic...

At first glance, Moto Hagio's classic Japanese manga (or comic) The Heart of Thomas looks suspiciously like a serialized soap opera. There are hyperbolically unrequited crushes, stolen kisses, vertiginous swoons, shocking secrets revealed, tragic death after tragic death till the protagonists can barely emote their way around all the beautiful corpses—and even, at the center of the plot, an improbable pair of distantly-related doubles, whose identical features spurn the dry touch of genetics for the sweeping caress of melodrama.

There is one thing, though, that definitively and obviously sets Heart of Thomas apart from daytime serials. Hagio's story is set in a German boarding school. In case the implications aren't clear, that means that all the characters are boys, and all the romances are gay.

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