Gravitation

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Name: Gravitation
グラビテーション (Gurabitēshon)
Abbreviation(s): Gravi
Creator: Maki Murakami
Date(s): Manga: 1996-2002
Anime: 2000-2001
Medium: manga, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Official anime page (Japanese)
Official anime page (English)
Wikipedia entry
ANN entry
Gravitation.jpg
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Contents

One of the first Boys Love manga to be adapted into a full-length anime, Gravitation was an introduction to the pro BL genre for some English-speaking anime fans.

Canon Overview

As with some other BL manga, Gravitation started as an original doujinshi series named Help!, which Murakami then reworked as the officially published 12-volume manga Gravitation. In 1999 the manga was adapted into a 2-part OAV, as many BL series have been. In 2000 it was made into a 13-episode anime, one of the first broadcast (if cable-only) Boys Love anime series. The anime was picked up by an English fansub group and distributed online in 2001, several years before the English official DVD release in America in 2004. The popularity of the fansub is probably what made the English translation of the manga one of the most successful BL titles in America.

The manga and anime are both non-explicit, shounen ai rather than yaoi. However, in addition to the official Gravitation manga, Murakami also produced several acanonical Gravi doujinshi with her circle Crocodile Ave. These Remix and Megamix doujinshi are graphic to the point of shocking (or ridiculous), with crack, genderswap, and incestuous pairings.

In 2007 Murakami started an officially published sequel manga, Gravitation EX, which is even more over-the-top than the original series.

Story synopsis

Gravitation is the story of up-and-coming pop star Shuuichi Shindou, a bubbly, pink-haired, ultra-uke singer whose fast-track to fame is nearly derailed when he falls hopelessly in love with Eiri Yuki, a bad-tempered, angst-ridden romance novelist. Complicating matters are the other members of Shuuichi's band Bad Luck, and Yuki's brother and sister, as well as Shuuichi's idol Ryuuichi Sakuma, lead singer of Nittle Grasper.

The manga is soap-opera-esque romantic comedy bordering on crack (giant robots make an appearance, and Bad Luck's American manager K wields machine guns as motivational aids), with enough obscure satirical J-pop references that the whole series might be best classified as a parody of both J-pop (and J-pop fandom) and Boys Love tropes. The anime adaptation took the story slightly more seriously, and included a soundtrack of original J-pop songs, mostly by Daisuke Asakura.

Fandom Overview

Like many BL series, Gravi never inspired much doujinshi from the Japanese fandom, save those produced by the author herself.

Early online English-speaking Gravi fandom fell into the gap between mailing lists and livejournal, with no single dominant fan community. The lj comm gravifansunite was one of the earlier lj fan communities (founded in December 2001) and was a base for lj-fen; other fans frequented the fic archive at Fanfiction.net, which predated the NC-17 ban. There were character shrines and fanlistings as well, scattered about the web.

Gravitation was the first canonical Boys Loves series for some English-speaking fans, and the anime featured some of the most popular bishounen seiyuu. While dear to many, however, the series was sometimes viewed disparagingly by more experienced yaoi fans, who found it too cliche, too cutesy or cracky, or simply too much[1]

Fanfiction trends

Being a BL series, the vast majority of fanfic is yaoi ship-fic. Pairings are usually labeled with the standard yaoi x; character names may be abbreviated (e.g. Yuki x Shuu).

The most popular pairing is the canonical Yuki x Shuuichi (sometimes listed as Eiri x Shuuichi); occasional rebels write Shuuichi x Yuki as well. The main secondary pairing is Tatsuha x Ryuuichi (or vice-versa), followed by Ryuuichi x Shuuichi, Tohma x Yuki, and other pairings. Het and gen are rare, if not entirely unheard of.

Online Resources

  • Yuki-Eiri.com (essays, fanlistings, media, links, etc.)
  • Gravitation (general fansite, includes shrines and fanlistings)

Livejournal communities

Fanfiction

Character Fansites/Shrines

References

  1. "I've also spontaneously decided that I like Gravitation, for no apparent good reason. (Well, I'm convinced that Touma is supposed to be either Komuro Tetsuya or Asakura Daisuke. (...) But that's not a *good* reason to do anything except run screaming in fear from the series.") --Petronia on her blog, March 27, 2002 (accessed 2/10/2009)
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