Girl on Boys on Boys
Cynthia Ward · From fps #9 · November 2, 2006 | Back in the dark ages of the 1980s, most Japanese animation was available only in science-fiction convention screening-rooms or on recordings duplicated from Japanese videotapes. American anime fans developed a lively tape-trading underground, but supply was still limited. So sometimes you took what you could get without knowing what you were getting.

One evening I found myself watching an unknown anime movie featuring a macho secret-agent man with butt-length hair, high-soled shoes, and eye shadow. A delicate, doe-eyed young male clerk looked at this gentleman, and the next thing I knew, I was watching a close-up of the men's hands twining on the hotel desk, knocking over a vase of roses in a transcultural image of defloration. The secret agent's boss was a boy dictator who liked to sing in drag. James Bond was never like this.

The movie was wildly uneven, it was in unsubtitled Japanese, and, as a third-generation copy, it was hard to see. But I loved it. It wasn't like anything I'd ever seen or heard of. What an imagination! What beautiful men!

This movie, 1983's Patarillo: Project Stardust (also translated as Patarilo: Stardust Project), was my introduction to the world of gay romance fiction created by women for women.

Want to read the rest of this feature?

You'll find it and many other articles in the October 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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