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So I’ve actually been pretty trepidatious about posting this page. Just yesterday I saw a tweet that was like “I’m so sick of lgbtq orientation reveal being a major plot twist.” To the person who wrote that tweet, I have no defense. We’ll do better in the future!

There’s also the cliche of gay characters always having tragic love stories, and we’ve kinda fallen into that trope too, although I think it’s worth noting Genchu says “loved” in the past tense. He and Hirotomo have been estranged for a decade now, and there’s no indication that Genchu’s spent every waking moment of that decade pining for the guy that actively tried to have him assassinated (and also who he tried to assassinate). Genchu’s a pretty happy go lucky guy when he’s not fighting, so I think it’s safe to say he’s found happiness outside of his decade old unrequited relationship, although I do regret not showing that was the case in the course of the comic.

Back when we introduced Genchu into the storyline outside of flashbacks, and he was living in a shack as a fisherman, I’d strongly considered giving him a significant other that would ask him not to leave with the Portuguese traders, and Genchu would then promise  to return. Ultimately, I think that may have been a better way to introduce Genchu’s orientation, but at the time we were working to economize the story, and it was cut mainly to keep things moving along at a faster pace (dang, that was four years ago!).

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  • Cian Oldershaw

    Ouch. I’ve been wondering why Genchu referred to it as “Hirotomo’s madness”, way back in the beginning. If it was really as simple as Hirotomo was painting it for Yorikiro these past few updates, then Hirotomo and Genchu would have been on the same page years ago. Genchu would have understood why Hirotomo was mad, at least.

  • Andy Nguyen

    “There’s also the cliche of gay characters always having tragic love stories, and we’ve kinda fallen into that trope too, although I think it’s worth noting Genchu says “loved” in the past tense.”

    The cliche also applies to crushing on a straight friend and having your dreams shattered when they inevitably find someone of the opposite sex, even though you thought you were prepared for it. Or resigning yourself to just hanging around knowing it’ll never happen, believing that that’s either all you need or all you deserve. Even worse if said friend is heteroflexible and willing to be with you as their dirty little secret while they wait for “the real deal”, and then abandons you because something something “true love justifies all”. And yes, it’s a cliche because it happens all the time in real life.

    I hope Genchu gets a happy ending in this department; maybe if I see some of those I’ll start believing I can get one myself eventually…

    • clogboy

      Isn’t it true servitude if you are willing to lay down your life for your master, because you love him and in spite of him not loving you back? At the very least, he was glad that the person he was chosen to serve was also his best friend, if nothing else.

  • JuaSaysHi

    You musn’t try to please people who are tired of this-or-that variation of love story. There’s no pleasing the jaded. Sweat blood for them and they’ll just bleed you dry and say it was boring. The non-jaded know your good storytelling continues to be good.

    • purplelibraryguy

      Ultimately, all the really satisfying plots are cliche. So if you try too hard to not be cliche, you get crap that’s enervating and annoying to read. That’s what the modern inaccessible “literary” novel is all about–or at least, that’s the impression I came away with from taking English Lit. Why I mostly stuck to the old stuff, from when they were just trying to tell a good story.

  • Warcodered

    I do have to agree about having something else to indicate/hint at Genchu’s orientation because reading this page I had no idea that, that was what was happening until I read your text underneath.

    • Xenocide

      I, too, automatically read it as meaning familial love, rather than amorous.

      The text helped!

  • Turul

    Okay, aww.

    And also, well! Turns out Hirotomo wasn’t hit in the head, after all. (I guess we got too hung up on the hairtie coming off, but that was just from the impact, like somebody suggested in the last page’s comments.) So he still has time to get a good, old-fashioned death-scene dénouement. :´)

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittiesmademedoit Talina M

    I think it’s well done. And someone’s lying treachery is a much bigger factor in this scene IMHO then Genchu’s orientation. Tho’ I’m still rereading to pick up points I might have missed before.

  • Mario Sebastiani

    Well, I personally find this very japanese tragedy – style, a well placed plot twist to be read as a bow to tradition. And I’m one of the guys sick of having in EVERY webcomic some major character going LGBT, as if there were an unwritten rule stating it is a must. But this is well plotted, more than reasonable and justified, and placed with the best timing in a tragic moment. So, in two words: Well Done!

    • Turul

      Well, I personally find this very japanese tragedy – style, a well placed plot twist to be read as a bow to tradition

      I agree on this! It perfectly fits the spirit of the story.

    • clogboy

      Yeah concerning the LGBT characters I notice a trend. The trend is that true stong female characters (without the need to point that out) like Ripley in Alien, Sarah Connor in Terminator and Princess Leia in Star Wars have been around for a long time, but they’re becoming fewer and longer inbetween. From the late 90s on they became poster women for propaganda viewpoints (and some of the viewpoints I agree with must be embraced by a broader audience). If they weren’t there as romantic distraction for the main hero, then they were there to push an agenda.
      So it was either that, or it had to be pointed out that she and the male co-lead weren’t romantically involved, just to break with the cliché of 90s action films.
      The team behind Korra added a third option, twice, which I’d call the Bioware option: make a character gay. Both Korra (Avatar series) and Shiro (Voltron) were strong main character without romantic involvements (although Korra dabbled, unsuccessfully), and then in the literal last minute (or second even) they snuck in there that O THEY GAY LOLZ. Nothing wrong with that, but it feels like a cop-out that they put it in there at a moment they didn’t have to work it into the story anymore, although you’d have to consider that it’s made with an audience in mind that doesn’t deal with those feelings yet but you want them to have an open mind towards the subject. If they 80s had gay characters as casually as good, convincing female characters in a setting where gender bias was irrelevant, then I dare say those times were more progressive than those we currently live in.

      Anyway, that’s my two cents, this is the trend I’m seeing based on movies from the last three decades, and if someone disagrees or feels like one point was unreasonably offensive then I’m happy to dive into it a little deeper and review my opinions accordingly.

      • KungFuKlobber

        I’d like to point out that the Ripleys aren’t completely gone from popular media, even if they are fewer and far between now. At the moment, I’m thinking specifically of Imperator Furiosa.

        • clogboy

          Oh yeah she’s a good one, but honestly I’m struggling to come up with more. I like Dinah Madani from the Punisher series. Tough as nails and complex.

      • Arkone Axon

        In the case of Shiro, they actually had a bit of development prior to that – Shiro argued with his gay lover regarding Keith, and later Shiro found his lover’s name listed among the tallies of the dead. Voltron had also done something similar with Pidge, making her an asexual female who eventually procreates by creating AI. The only part of the ending that really bugged ME was that Lance ended up on a farm by himself, and it said nothing about him finding romance again. (Also, that we never saw Keith’s mother romancing any of the many fine young men around her – but I have a definite bias in that regard, so I’m hardly being impartial there).

        With Korra… yeah. The problem is they half-assed it. If you’re going to do it, DO IT. The handholding thing was sweet, but it was such a cop out compared to having them go on dates and kiss and show that this was an actual thing.

        But yes, we have seen a number of “strong females” who aren’t really all that strong. But to be honest… it’s not as bad as it was in the 90s. In the 90s we had to deal with what I call the “Nineties Feminazis,” which were attempts at making strong females… written by sexist men who started with the assumption that women were insane, nonsensical, and hormonal, and that making a female strong involved having them do mean, nasty things that would get a male character punched in the face or worse.

        • clogboy

          Oh, I love Deadpool’s comment about mean, nasty women: ‘is it more sexist if I kill you or if I don’t?’

        • DurhamDave SBG

          The problem with Korra is they were unable to show anything obvious due to the networks rules, that’s as much as they could show. There’s quite a few subtle hints if you know what to look for, but that’s as much as they could do.

    • Archangel

      When it’s done, get somebody skilled to translate it into Japanese and see what folks over there think about it. It’ll be interesting to see commentary from Japanese readers, and how it differs from ours (I think most of us are from English-speaking countries, right?)

  • Minando

    A samurai’s nightmare. To be killed from behind *and* by a bullet.

    What good is a code of honor if nobody but yourself cares about it.

    • Archangel

      I’ve always considered real honor to be the ability to look at yourself in the mirror and know that you are an honorable person. Even if you are wrongfully disgraced, if YOU know you’re honorable and continue acting true to your principles, that’s what really matters.

      Of course, most guys think of honor as an external factor. That leads to negative behavior more often than positive, IME.

      • noerartnoe

        Being an honourable person to a samurai (I’m generalising, I know) would mean living according to bushido. And bushido was a formalised code – much like the codes of chivalry in the west.

        Of course, the part of bushido that covers honour basically agrees with you, saying (according to wiki)that:

        Warriors have only one judge of honor and character, and this is themselves. Decisions they make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of who they truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.

        • clogboy

          Honor is but one of the 7 virtues, and the book of 5 rings can be seen as an important guiding principle. But all these are ideals. Ideals should not alienate you from the world but strenghten your position in it, and I believe that you can measure a person by the concessions he’s willing to make, one way or the other.
          Eventhough vigilance is not one of the warrior virtues, alertness is one of the three states of mind. His wife’s death caused him to stay alert to the point of paranoia, which caused him to sacrifice benevolence as a virtue and replace it with cruelty. I’m going by this 7-5-3 code: https://www.instagram.com/p/BA5uhlwKU9V/ and apart from the mentioned character flaws I think it applies, although I can’t really speak for the ‘5 keys to health’ part.

      • Vsevolod Derenkovsky

        Great point! Who cares what anyone says when I know my gulags are honorable?

        • Archangel

          Excellent use of reductio ad absurdum, but actually if your gulags genuinely conform to the standard of honor in your society, then I would agree.

          Note that being honorable doesn’t mean that everyone (or anyone) will agree with you, or that people won’t come after you for whatever you do. It also doesn’t make you a “good” person by default.

          • Vsevolod Derenkovsky

            Exactly. Any notion of virtue is meaningless if there is a singular judge.

          • Archangel

            Not meaningless to the virtuous person, but again I see what you’re saying.

          • Archangel

            Addendum: I forgot to note that I said “in your society.” You’re quite right that virtue doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and society’s expectations and rules will (well, should) form a person’s concept of honor. I’m referring to where you didn’t do anything wrong by your own society’s rules, but people think you did and treat you as if you did. (I was half-asleep when I first answered.)

    • noerartnoe

      The *kill* might not have been honorable, but that does not mean the *death* wasn’t.

      • Minando

        …honorable, but still pointless.

  • EBeth

    I think not having anything to point it out was perfect. I believe that most of the people who express the weariness you spoke of are mostly tired of it because it seems a lot of these web comics are setting up situations just to point it out. I know I have felt this way.
    Not so bad if the comic is supposed to be about that or make a statement about it. Annoying if the comic has a plot / story that is about something else entirely.
    But your approach focuses on presenting the character as a person in process of living the story. Their sexual preferences are not who they are, and are just a small part of who they are which appears only when appropriate or necessary.
    I believe that our culture places too much emphasis on identifying as something. Much better to just identify the person (or character) as that person as a whole, focusing on other aspects first or even entirely- whatever is most suited to the story.
    Just my $.02, for what’s it worth.

    • clogboy

      Well said. There’s some good writing going on. The story is well paced, plots are set up and executed well, and the dialog isn’t dumb or inane or overly cryptic. This comic respects its own artform as well as its audience.

  • animalia555

    So is Genchu Drehy from Bridge Four?

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Super deep Sanderson reference! I appreciate that Sanderson has been including more lgbtq representation into his newer novels, especially since they’re in ways that don’t feel pandering.

      • animalia555

        A lot of that is because he isn’t sure if he could write a gay character “correctly” at this point, but on the other hand he doesn’t just want to ignore the fact that the exist either. Hence the subtly slipping them in like Drehy (based and named after a real life friend of his) as well as Ranette from Wax and Wayne.

        He also said the Kandra are somewhat of a test case for if he can right a transgender character as they are both no gender and both genders (not sure if I am quoting that right)

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          Admittedly, I can sympathize with his apprehensions.

          • animalia555

            Stormlight Archive only came after, as he put it, “stepping on a lot of landmines” in trying to represent mental health or neurodivregence. So I applaud his willingness to not just pretend his mistakes never happened, but to actually move forward and try to write these type of characters better. But for now he has probably given himself plenty of challenging characters to write. Jasnah, for example. He not only takes care to do the research, but to run her scenes by actually aetheists and ask “does this sound right to you?” He always takes special care to counter any sunconccious bias he may have, and he says that nothing makes him prouder then when people think “Brandon must be an “x” because he wrote characters “y” who is (an) “x” so well and I am an “x”. There’s an interview he gave where he talked about how a fantasy novel helped him understand his mom better, because the main character in that novel was a mom struggling to balance kids and learning magic and the latter suffered because of her kids. He talks about before he thought that it was just what moms do but afterwards he got what it was like to have a midlife crisis. Stuff like how good literature can help us relate to people different from us and see things through points of views other than our own. All of this is stuff he aims to engage in.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            For sure, I feel Jasnah is very representative of atheists, and I think it was her character that made me really appreciate how well Sanderson writes characters with different world views. Granted, you’re preaching to the choir since I’ve been pretty vocal that he’s my favorite author! I’ve listened to a lot of Writing Excuses for ideas too! (although not recently, the episodes got pretty repetitive with their general advice over time)

  • Hfar

    “…Huh. You know, we do live in medieval Japan. As long as I produced an heir, having a male lover on the side is considered okay. You really shouldn’t have waited until now to-”

    “Ergh! You’re dying and I’m trying to let you know my feelings before you go you ass!”

    “I’m just saying, the timing is very tragic.”

    “Grrr! Smart ass!”

    “Heh! And you love it.”

    —-

    Personally I’m fine with this development. I feel it adds some extra depth to Genchu’s character and puts some past moments into extra context.

    Really, as long as the twist is not there just for sake of having a twist in the story, but actually furthers character development in some meaningful way, then who the fuck cares if it’s a cliche. Just go for it, and just let the haters tire themselves out before they move onto something else to be outraged about.

    But that’s just my two cents. Judging by the rest of the comments, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • clogboy

      The real question is, did Harumi know about it?

  • http://www.comicsagonistes.hackenbush.org/ Ginger Mayerson

    You could add a page or two of the lover Genchu left behind when you publish the trade paperback. You can enhance all you want in there.

    Wonder what Ken will make of this development? Aren’t Genchu, Ken and Yumiko supposed to be repopulating the clan? Will Ken and Yumiko have to do it all by themselves now? Of course I’m not saying Yumiko isn’t up to it… still… seems like a lot to ask.

    Also, I read the comic before I read the commentary, and thought: Is Genchu in love with Hirotomo? Or am I just in fangirl overdrive? Seems to be the former, but could be both.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I’d planned on a pretty lengthy flashback going deeper into Genchu and Hirotomo’s backstory. There is not a zero % chance I might turn it into a 20 page black and white comic from Genchu’s perspective.

      Technically, Genchu was adopted into the Daisuke clan as well as the Wataro clan, he isn’t initially from either. His actual history was intentionally left open in case we wanted to give Genchu a surprise lineage. This is pretty much my head canon (which probably makes it as real-canon as you can get for now): Genchu was a wimpy peasant kid raised by a mother who eventually died of disease. But before she passed, he promised her that he would become the strongest warrior in Japan. And he did, enough to get the attention of the Daisuke Daimyo, who adopted him into the clan as an official Daisuke samurai.

      Genchu was given land and a place in the Red Dragon Zanbatou Squad, as he was strong enough to wield one. That’s how he met Ken’s father. Eventually he faced Hirotomo in a large scale battle between the Wataro and Daisuke armies. He and Hirotomo fought for a day straight, to the point where both sides stopped just to watch them. They fought until they eventually simultaneously collapsed from exhaustion. Since they were both lovers of swordsmanship, they were thrilled to encounter an opponent of equal skill. They ended up calling it a truce ending the 100 year war, which leads into the flashback scene where Hirotomo returns to Wataro Castle with Genchu at his side and Hirotomo’s father very confused.

      http://nn4b.com/comic/653

  • themadpsychologist

    Meh. As a Christian, I care far more about actions than about “orientation”. If I were to quit NN4B, it would be because of the fanservice. Besides, I’ve never been one to avoid people who disagree with me. I may not yet be a Manuel Alvarez, but I want to be soon, and screaming tends to mess that up.

  • KungFuKlobber

    When reading this page, I assumed he meant it platonically. If not for the commentary, I would have continued to assume that. And frankly I don’t think it really matters at this point. (Could always become more significant later, of course.)

  • TheArrowPen

    Honestly, if not for your post, I’d never have gotten ‘gay reveal’ from this page anyway. I just assumed he was saying that he cared deeply for a friend and would never have betrayed him. *Shrug*

    On a completely unrelated note, props to Genchu for that speedy catch!

  • http://kiwidayn.comicgenesis.com ColdFusion

    If you hadn’t said anything, I would have assumed Harumi was a woman’s name

    and I still probably will! God bless bad memory. The only way to get through 2010s webcomics.

    • themadpsychologist

      Harumi was Hirotomo’s wife. The implication is that Genchu also loved Hirotomo, which makes Genchu homosexual, not Hirotomo.

      • http://kiwidayn.comicgenesis.com ColdFusion

        What, like, both of them at the same time? Kinky.

  • Crestlinger

    So shot a lung at worst. At best? Glancing blow off the ribs as we Are looking at first pass guns here.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I’m sure he’ll bounce back!

  • JayMon

    Don’t see why Genchu saying he loved Hirotomo is gay, especially considering the time period. Having one of your retainers say he loved you would be a very familial moment if it was said in earnest. I assume the full confession comes tomorrow, in which case it’s pretty hackneyed by today’s standards.

    Still, whatever, it’s a minor point in the story.

  • Da’Zlein

    A twist absolutely nobody predicted. ABSOLUTELY NOBODY.

  • Vsevolod Derenkovsky

    Without the writer commentary I would never have attributed Genchu’s words to sexuality.
    So what good does it do?

    • http://tapastic.com/series/Sun-Incarnate Declan

      Consider that it’s all up to the reader’s culture and intention, as well as the writer’s. It struck me about as hard as a bullet because being LGBT myself and knowing Alex personally, I knew right away what the intention was without having to see his commentary. The implication of Genchu’s sexuality also underscores that he couldn’t have had an affair with a women he wasn’t attracted to in the first place, and that Eijiro is definitely Hirotomo’s son. If I recall any history right, Japan before western influence didn’t make huge scandals about same-sex relationships. He also was never shown really interacting with women in a way that would imply romantic interest anyhow!

      I think it does plenty good. It’s At 16ish years at 1 page a week (hiatuses and breaks included) about a comic he and Joe created in school, some lack of foresight was to be expected, but I personally am glad they decided not to leave that line out.

      • http://tapastic.com/series/Sun-Incarnate Declan

        And inb4, I might be coloring these pages but I don’t get many spoilers early! I actually took that page’s week off (The credit at the bottom Alex forgot to take out this week) because of an exam so I was completely unprepared for this reveal too haha

  • IDPounder

    I don’t know what you gentlemen have planned for after the main conclusion, but it seems to me that some shorter-form stories to fill in backstory like this would be excellent. Since this series has run on over a decade, the term “short form” may be a bit dubious, but you know what I mean. Go into Genchu’s wanderings, Cho’s early life at the monastery (was he always blind?), how did the ninja clan form, what were Masuhiro and Yukizane’s formative years like, etc.

    Lots of possibilities there, if you feel something needs to be revisited and/or expanded upon.

    • http://tapastic.com/series/Sun-Incarnate Declan

      Alex, Joe, and I are all pretty burnt trying to juggle our personal lives and other jobs on top of a webcomic. I’ve told Alex that my secret dream would be making fancomics (I guess I could still be considered a fan? LOL) to fill in story gaps or develop character relationships, but after NN4B is finished Alex and I especially want to take time to study and improve drawing (Art is a pretty competitive business and neither of us are feeling up-to-speed lately, if that makes sense.)

      • IDPounder

        I’m not an illustrator, but have done technical design for years and worked around some fine illustrators and colorists. 100% understand where you’re coming from, if you’re not growing as an artist, you’re dying as an artist.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I agree there’s a lot of backstory that could be filled in with smaller scope side comics. I may do some some (I really like the idea of fleshing out the Hirotomo/Genchu relationship, since I did have a pretyt hefty flashback planned for the comic at one point), although I definitely have a lot of other projects I’d like to work on, NN4B has been the dominant, unending project of my life since I was 18, so putting some space between it and myself for a while sounds nice.

      • IDPounder

        I can only imagine. Creatively, stepping away and working on something, anything else must sound like a breath of fresh air!

  • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

    Really, I was somewhat expecting this. I had considered the idea of Genchu making that one damning mistake that would haunt the rest of his days, but that seemed too off-character for him. But the idea of him harboring feelings and being content to stay at his side in a more official capacity was fitting. Plus it gave his old rival Nataku one more bullet in the proverbial gun. And tricking Hirotomo into having both the people who loved him killed, was a masterful deception. Even if the (ahem) execution was flawed.

    Honestly, I don’t see this as a plot twist, per se. The signs were there, they just weren’t overt, which kept the topic from becoming a distraction from the main plot. This story has been rife with plots, plotting, and trickery. Subterfuge, deception, and guessing games. It fits well for this tale.

  • Namaphry

    It’s fine. Genchu’s house on page 568 is way too clean to be a bachelor pad. If you go back and insert someone waving him off in the last panel, we won’t tell anyone.

  • Max Jambon

    When reading this I thought it meant he loved him in a platonic way. Because you know not every relationship of love needs to include sexual desire. But if Genchu is gay, t’s not a bad way to reveal it. I mean it adds much more to the narrative than just showing another of his lovers randomly. Though I wouldn’t ship him immediately with someone else now that it’s been revealed just for the sake of it.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Ha, was that a dig at the Voltron series finale?

      • Max Jambon

        No, I haven’t watched Voltron yet.

  • foxmcld584

    This does definitely also add weight to the sheer violence of Genchu’s return to kill Hirotomo, too.

  • Arkone Axon

    I’d like to point this out: https://www.tofugu.com/japan/gay-samurai/

    Not only were samurai generally bisexual at the very least, but they even had something called wakashudō, which translates as “formalized pedophilic relationships between students and teachers.” Much like the Spartans, they were VERY big on male-on-male relationships (because “only a man can understand another man. Only a samurai can understand another samurai. The bonds of the brotherhood run deep… and hard…”), including that between young boys and older mentors. Which… puts a whole new twist on the implications for Nataku and Eijiro, or Genchu and Yorikiro. You’re welcome for putting THAT thought into your heads… :p

    • Xinef

      I assumed Yori and Ken loved Genchu.
      … how exactly they expressed that love is another topic. Not all love has to be sexual in nature.

      • Arkone Axon

        Oh, I don’t think the author intended to put that sexual slant on things either. This is a modern webcomic, by someone living in the modern age, and the comic itself has shown marked improvement in terms of both art and storytelling since its inception. I’m just pointing out that the homoerotic plot twist might be contentious today, but for the time period in which it’s set it would have been more problematic for there NOT to be some homosexuality going on (not to mention the transgenderism, since – as the link I shared points out – there were male crossdressing actors who were prized as lovers by both men and women. Plus a general fondness of masculine beauty, what we call “bishounen” stuff today).

        In other words, this comic is being more historically accurate than “300” ever was (that scene where Xerxes is creeping on Leonidas and caressing his shoulders in a suggestive fashion would have been the other way around, had that parley occurred in real life. Leonidas would have been the one leering at Xerxes and purring, “you’ve got a really pretty mouth, little god king…”)

    • Archangel

      Interesting. Never knew that. But weren’t the Spartans more peer-to-peer rather than older-younger?

      • Arkone Axon

        Without going into a long schpiel about it… not only did the Spartans have a rather standard “older-younger male-on-male relationship of mentorship, sexuality, and lifelong friendship,” it was actually one of the nicer things about their culture. And I’m saying that regardless of your feelings regarding age of consent/homosexuality/sexual relationships with subordinates, this was literally one of the NICER aspects of their slave owning, militarily aggressive, eugenics practicing, hypocritical culture. You should really look into it; the history of Sparta, how it came to be, how it interacted with its neighbors, how it ultimately faded away, is actually quite fascinating as well as offering educational insights regarding more modern political situations.

        • Archangel

          I’ve read Xenophon in translation. The Spartans were absolutely fucking psychotic. That’s why I laugh my ass off every time I watch “300.” Whoever wrote the script didn’t know much about the real history or was more interested in making modern political points. (It’s a damn good movie regardless.)

  • Wile E Coyote

    On the other hand, this page isn’t exactly clear on HOW he loved him. It can easily be taken the gay route, sure, but we’re talking about a time when honor, loyalty, and service were still extremely important. Therefore, his love could be considered in the light of loyalty, even as a family member would be to another.

    So, hey, you don’t NEED a deffense for that tweet regarding this page because it’s tastefully done to the point it can be taken however the reader fits it best.

    (Personally, I feel the second explanation fits best here, so I choose to see it that way…although admitedly I’m with that twit person lol kinda tired of this fad especially when forced into stories just for the sake of it being in there…then again, I tend to grumble at any romance in stories cuz it almost always feels forced…so…Kudos for making it tactful, truly!)

  • IDPounder

    Kind of lost in the rest of this is the fact that, if neither Genchu nor Hirotomo is Eijiro’s father, then who might it be? What a cruel twist of fate it would be if it should happen to be Atsumori; Eijiro would then have been involved in the murders of both his supposed AND actual fathers!

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100001149318695/ Aaron Beal

    Not sure if it’s just me being obtuse, but I didn’t get the sense from the comic that this was a confession of romantic love. I thought it was more of a fraternal thing, and was surprised upon reading your comment.

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    to be fair this comic started a long ****ing time ago. long before those cliches were so overused.

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    also I didn’t know he was supposed to be gay until I read your author comments. Love can just mean strongly caring for a friend.

  • Sunwu

    Critics of a LGBTQ plot reveal need to understand something, in modern media LGBTQ people for the longest time have been portrayed and reduced to only their sexuality. The Negative stereotype of a obnoxious flamboyant LGBTQ character needs to stay in the past. People complained that JK Rowling making Dumbledore gay without referencing it in the actual text was a bad move. But here’s the thing, real average LGBTQ people are just that, people. We don’t throw glitter everywhere, we don’t bump and grind against each other in public we just go about our lives like anyone else. Which is what I like about Genchu and Dumbledore. A character being gay holds no relevance to the story unless it’s actually important to the story. Dumbledore being gay is not important to how harry potter saves the world so it doesn’t actually need to be in the story. Genchu having a complex relationship with his lord and master is in this case is.

  • Bob

    Well dang,

  • cheerbearp

    I am commenting as a gay man, and I don’t speak on behalf of the entire LGBTQ community, but I didn’t mind this reveal as I have some others. I have been reading this story for years, and learning this information now doesn’t detract from the enjoyment nor does it feel like a gimmick. Additionally, give the context of the story setting, I don’t think it would have casually come up. We’ve avoided a lot of other harmful tropes that LGBTQ people often experience, so I think most LGBTQ readers will not see the reveal as a negative.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Thank you, I appreciate your input!

  • themadpsychologist

    Come to think of it, even from a Christian perspective, Genchu did the right thing. Not only did he not seduce Harumi to cheat on Hirotomo, but he also didn’t try to seduce Hirotomo to cheat on Harumi.

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