Rec: Last Night in Tokyo

Title: Last Night in Tokyo
Authors: Andrea律 and Kurara
Format: Kinetic visual novel
Published/Free: Name your own price/free
Length: one hour?
Status: complete
Rating: everyone
Warnings: abusive behavior ment
Link: https://andrearitsu.itch.io/last-night-in-tokyo
Summary: Tindra has spent a week in Tokyo with her friend, Emil. Sadly, she didn’t enjoy it as much as Emil hoped. Her last day is her chance to have the time of her life.

Review: It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read the summary given on the download page (which is different from the one above) because there’s not much more than that to it? I like the way it’s been written, but the game is very short and has hence not much of a plot. I feel like the whole game was just character exposition, so it kinda leaves you hanging. The “what do you mean it stops here I want more this is so mean” kind of hanging. Which is why I would play the second part if Tindra’s life was to be made into a game again. All in all, I’m slightly disappointed (probably the kinetic part plays into it, because I’m not used to that), but looking forwards to the team’s next works.

Rec: Baby Love

Title: Baby Love (original title: Comme les autres)
Author: Vincent Garenq
Format: Movie
Published/Free: Published
Length: 1h27
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Very mild nudity (no genitalia shown), implied sex (as in, one sex scene similar to the Sims), homophobic remarks, misogynistic remarks, casual transphobia
Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1093352/
Summary: They were the perfect loving couple, well, almost. Emmanuel, a pediatrician, wanted a child but Philippe, a lawyer, didn’t. One day, however, Emmanuel decides to take the plunge, at the risk of losing Philippe. But how do become a father when you are gay?

Review: The story takes place (and the film itself was done) before 2013, in a France without same sex marriage nor right to adoption by same sex partners. Seeing how much we have now compared to a few years ago warmed my heart. But the complications arising from the relationships in the film are still relevant problems today in that country especially, as the legality of surrogacy is being discussed. 

I laughed a lot watching this film (maybe because I identified with none of the characters and could appreciate the irony of some situations), and I was also surprised by the ending. What had seemed like a boring plot to me still brought me a pleasant experience. Though I wish some of the main character’s actions had been denounced as unhealthy, instead of being shown usual homophobia throughout the film (which is realistic but a few remarks are enough to keep realism in the movie I think…), I appreciate that none of the characters is portrayed as a ~villain~ or a ~good person~. I would also have appreciated more romantic scenes between Emmanuel and Philippe, but the storyline isn’t so much about slash than the struggle of a single homosexual man to become a father. 

For anyone interested in the subject of single and/or homosexual parents and their hurdles, I would recommend this movie. Although the original is in French, I believe portuguese, german, spanish, greek, hungarian, italian, russian and english subtitles are available.

Rec: Girl Crush

Title: Girl Crush
Author: Bix Lewd
Format: visual novel (Windows/Mac/browser)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 20-30min?
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: explicit sex, including spanking
Link: https://girlcrush.itch.io/girl-crush
Summary: You are a female university student who becomes friends with Quinn, a straight-laced overachiever. As you visit Quinn’s dorm room each day to study together your friendship evolves into a steamy romance

Review: This is the kind of game you’ll go back to, even after playing it all, because the sweetness of it will make your day brighter. It’s slightly repetitive, short and doesn’t offer that much art, but its defaults are also its strengths: you don’t have to think much after a long day, it always ends well and you get to cheer on those  two cuties! The art is really good and the writing totally gets you into it. As nice as candy!

Title: The King in the Sun
Author: Raven & Blue Jay
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 9 chapters
Status: Ongoing
Rating: 16+
Warnings: Suicide/Depression/Occasional Strong Language
Link: https://tapas.io/series/The-King-in-the-Sun
Summary:

“Eliot,
It was sunny today,
Like I used to love.”

Oliver dies under mysterious circumstances and his beloved friend Eliot is the only one who can find the truth.

But who is that stranger?

A mystery BL webcomic about a murder, sunflower fields, and lost chances.

Rec: Minu ga Hana

Title: Minu ga Hana
Author: Rana Dorada (me!)
Format: Web Serial
Published/Free: Free
Length: 600 to 1000 words per post
Status: Ongoing
Rating: T
Warnings: Swearing, mentions of drug use, eating disorders, sexual assault, and/or bigotry.
Link: https://minu-ga-hana-story.tumblr.com/
Summary:A web serial following the paranormal investigator Manami Hayase as she struggles to get her career off the ground. The scores of new people she meets along the way make it clear the world around her isn’t quite what she expected. In fact, it may be even better.

Review: It just started, so there’s not much to talk about yet without spoilers. I would know- I’m the author! Also, the plot is primarily about paranormal investigation, and my aim is to normalize the LGBT+ characters therein. Expect lighthearted fluff with plenty of twists and turns through horror and suspense.

Rec: Offside

Title: Offside
Author: Jamie (cherriesonaversatile)
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: ~75.000 words
Status: WIP (70% done), published every Friday
Rating: M
Warnings: None
Link: https://graspthesanity.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/offside-chapter-1/
Summary: A gay youth football/soccer player in a small town meets the new kid that has just moved in from the States – tall, full of himself, and straight.

Review: A fun read for anyone into a light romance, the countryside or gay stories.

Rec: Saudade

Title: Saudade
Author: Jamie/graspthesanity
Format: Short story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 17k words
Status: Complete
Rating: M
Warnings: None
Link: Chapter one
Summary: Allan and his fiancé are on a break. While attending a friend’s wedding alone in Rio de Janeiro, Allan meets his very first boyfriend at the reception part. The circumstances lead them to reconnect, and Allan retells what happened there through a letter to his fiancé.

Review: A tale about the self, temptation and the effects of time on us and others.

Rec: Whisper Grass (The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal)

Title: Whisper Grass
Author: E.K. Weaver
Format: Comic
Published/Free: Published
Length: 28 pages
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Drug and alcohol use.
Link: https://ironcircus.com/shop/ebooks/66-whisper-grass-pdf-ebook.html
Summary: Available at last! This is the infamous “missing scene” between between Chapter 24 and Chapter 25 of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. In this 24-page romantic interlude, the boys smoke up, talk, joke around, and get busy. Or, to let E.K. herself explain it…

“Sometimes people ask me why most of the sex scenes in TJ and Amal fade to black, get cut short, or are off-camera entirely. The answer is showing those encounters wouldn’t have moved the plot forward, explored the characters’ personalities, or added any substance to the story. In short, those sex scenes were unnecessary.

Here’s something unnecessary.”

This scene was originally published as a very limited edition comic. It sold out extremely quickly, and people have been asking us how they can get a copy ever since. So, we’re finally offering a digital version!

Review: I don’t think I would characterize Whisper Grass as unnecessary. I’m sure I needed this. I’m sure everybody who loves TJ and Amal needs this.

Seriously, you CAN buy happiness, right now, today. Beacuse if teased Amal and unwrapped TJ aren’t happiness, I don’t know what is.

Rec: Crosscurrents

Title: Crosscurrents
Author: Adam Phillips
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 266,000 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains m/f as well as m/m; some angst.
Link: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/adam-phillips/crosscurrents
Summary: Andy and Matt, best friends and teammates from childhood, grow together, learn together, and struggle to remain friends when their evolving relationship outpaces their ability to understand it.

Review: A high school story with some autobiographical elements, this is one of the few stories out there that addresses bisexuality in a realistic, honest way. Andy is in many ways the quintessential high school jock, and can come across as arrogant at times, but he’s also remarkably self-aware.

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Rec: Alex and Zach

Title: Alex and Zach
Author: Greg_A
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 100,000 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Angst
Link: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/greg-a/alexandzach
Summary: Alex is attracted to his college roommate, Zach, but he is too scared to do anything about it. Until a car accident changes everything and forces them to confront their feelings. But happily-ever-afters only happen in fairy tales, not in real life.

Review:A college romance that at first it seemed a bit cliched, but quickly overcame that. And reading posts in the author’s Yahoo group, it’s quickly apparent that the story is autobiographical in both spirit and detail. Very richly-drawn characters. If you dislike angst, you may wish to skip the epilogue.

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