It’s almost like we’re in a modern renaissance of queer anime and manga (or Japanese animation and comics). Titles like My Brother’s Husband, My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness and Yuri!!! on Ice have broken out to become mainstream hits. The latest release that has us excited is Go For It, Nakamura!, a manga about a young gay teen who tries to work up the courage to befriend his crush.
The English-language edition of Go For It, Nakamura! came out on July 3, and it’s already been getting positive reviews. The book collects the original story, published in the Boys-Love (also known as yaoi or BL, the genre name for comics for women about gay men) comics anthology Opera.
Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei, tells the story of Nakamura, a shy high-schooler who falls in love with Hirose, his classmate. Unfortunately, they don’t know each other, and Nakamura would desperately love to change that — but he’s worried that his klutziness might turn Hirose off. Also, Nakamura has a pet octopus. (That doesn’t really have to do with anything, it’s just awesome.)
Though when people think of BL manga, they often think of highly sexual works with dubious anatomy — in My Lesbian Experience, author Nagata Kabi refers to the “yaoi hole, a mysterious organ that doesn’t appear to be the anus is position, shape or function” — Go For It, Nakamura! isn’t even about progressing beyond friendship. While there are hints that Hirose might himself be gay, Nakamura is satisfied to start out as friends — and if things progress, they progress.
For Japanese readers who want more Go For It, Nakamura!, as of last year, a sequel, Go For It More, Nakamura!, is serialized in current issues of Opera. There’s no word yet as to an English translation of the sequel.