Otaku USA Magazine
BL First Crush Anthology Offers 29 Very Short BL Stories

BL First Crush Anthology: Five Seconds Before We Fall in Love is a collection of 29 BL short stories. And by that, I mean very short stories. The following mangaka took part: Agri Uma, Akihito Sato, Azusa Banjo, Bimita, Chiruko Furuya, Fujisaki Moe, Hana Hasumi, Hibari Momojiri, Hiromasa Okujima, Kannu Ogi, Kaori Tsurutani, Kashio, Ken Homerun, konkici, Kotobuki, Machi Suzuri, Mito, Mitsuru Sango, moucon-iccyokusen, Nmura, noji, Shoko Rakuta, Totem Pole, Toworu Miyata, Tsutomu, tunral, Waku Okuda, Yayoi Monzen and Youhe Hino.

Some of them, like Kaoru Tsurutani (BL Metamorphosis), Mito (Manly Appetites) and Kotobuki (THIGH HIGH: Reiwa Hanamaru Academy) have had their works published in America. But many of these creators have not had their work translated into English before, and it’s an opportunity for readers to find new talents.

Each story is only a few pages. It might take longer than five seconds to read, but each one is just a short vignette that gives a momentary feeling. After each vignette is a little note from the creator.

The stories range in art styles, settings and relationships. Schoolmates are a popular theme, but there are also stories about coworkers, or men who have known each other for a long time. Most of the stories are slice-of-life, though there’s a little bit of supernatural magic thrown in there. Some stories, like “An Embarrassing Love Wherever It Appears” are comedies, whereas “Looking at the Same Moon” is serious and about loneliness. A lot of the stories give off sentimental and romantic airs. A few of them are so subtle that you wouldn’t even think they were BL if they weren’t in a BL anthology. Because they’re all so short, they feel as if they’re just a quick glimpse into a larger story. But that’s the point of this anthology. While it may not interest people outside of BL readers, it offers many short moments for fans of boys’ love stories.

Story & Art: Various
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Translator: Jocelyne Allen


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.