Monday, April 27, 2009

All the Pretty Boys

The definition of a bishounen (courtesy of Wikipedia) is "a Japanese term literally meaning 'beautiful youth.'" Popular amongst Japanese pop culture subscribers, these delicately featured boys are objects of affection for all us hormonal women, bringing sunshine, butterflies, and screentone doilies into our humdrum lives. The bishounen who make my insides go all mushy include Sohma Ayame from Fruits Basket (love the hair), Suou Tamaki from Ouran Koukou High School (you can call me commoner anytime), and Sano Izumi from Hanazakari no Kimitachi (the ultimate roommate!), just to name a few. All these characters are an appealing mix of brooding, flamboyance, sensitivity, and of course, pleasing aesthetics, meant to arouse our darkest desires (or simply to entertain us).

Hey there Sano...

Either way, mangaka have definitely realized the marketable potential for these alluringly effeminate characters, as they are generously scattered throughout the manga canon. However, there remains the undeniable fact that these characters are not and will not ever be REAL. Sigh. So, rather than mooning over these unattainable paragons of male beauty, I have decided to create a list of real-life bishounen to ogle over.

Airbrushing: check, mascara: check...

Lee Jun Ki

Affectionately known as "Girly Boy" here at Manga Meditation, I was introduced to my first, real-life bishounen through the popular South Korean drama, "My Girl." I was calmly eating some Lay's baked potato chips, enjoying the antics of Lee Da Hae when HE came on screen. I promptly spewed potato chips all over my computer screen, slammed on the pause button, and felt time suspend as I beheld a face crafted by hands divine.

Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration...but seriously guys, this man is incredibly beautiful. Just look at him! This is top-of-the-line, grade A, kobe beef, 1500 thread count, five star and everything else high quality rolled into one!

I sense evil...again

Orlando Bloom

Forever immortalized as Legolas from the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, Orlando Bloom is on this list due to his...well, basically because of Legolas. The blonde hair and the blue eyes were a 1-2 punch to my bishounen radar, and his physical attractiveness overrode his inability to act and his proclivity towards stating the obvious ("The winds have changed, Aragorn. I sense evil in the air" and oh look! That's because a hord of Urukhai are headed RIGHT AT YOU). Mental deficiencies aside, Orlando Bloom can really work those pointy ears.

I can't write music worth crap, but I sure look pretty!

Teddy Geiger
Even though this guy has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth and had rather questionable talent in terms of music, I still remember him for his sensitive, girly looks. It infuriates me that he looks prettier than me, but I am able to find it within myself to forgive him because of his bishounen status.

Come hither, child


Unlike the aforementioned Mr. Geiger, Mika is a singer that I actually enjoy listening to and looking at! His song, "Lollipop," is a sure-fire way to lift me up out of the well as the stunning combination of dark curly hair and intense brooding looks.

There are plenty of hunky manly men around, but these sensitive, effeminates are not as liberally spread in the male population as I would like. These four men represent my personal picks of the pack, those distinguished from their rippling muscly peers with their soulful eyes and cupid bow lips. Though there will always remain a soft spot in my heart for Sano, Ayame, and all those other shoujo manga bishies, I believe I will now transfer my affections and hopes to real flesh and blood, and leave the characters for the many fans in their respective stories.


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