Do You Want To Do It? With This Japanese Meme?Whether it's a Japanese video game or a comic convention, he's bound to pop up. He even appeared on fan-made Valentine's Day chocolate. He is the Yaranaika Guy, and he's keen to know if you'd like to screw. So, would you?


The Yaranaika Guy is manga character Takakazu Abe from 1987 gay manga Kuso Miso Technique. The most famous Abe image shows the character sitting on a bench, unzipping his mechanic's jumpsuit and saying, "Why don't we do it?" or "Yaranaika?" (やらないか?). In the manga, Abe is coming on to Masaki, a young student, and both men, well, do it in a park toilet.

This is not a new meme: nearly a decade ago, pages of Kuso Miso Technique were uploaded online; the gay manga quickly became a meme, with images and panels popping up in countless threads. Yet, unlike so many memes, this one hasn't vanished from the face of the internet. In Japan, for better or worse, it's become the go-to meme for news and threads involving homosexuality. The reason that the Yaranaika Guy continues to exist is probably because Japanese internet culture hasn't picked a newer gay meme to replace it. Thus, this is default iconography.

Junichi Yamagawa, who worked in gay manga in the 1980s, created Kuso Miso Technique. He used a pen name, and his real name is unknown. Barazoku, Japan's first mag for gay men, published it. While cross-dressing and gay celebrities like Akihiro Miwa have long captured the country's popular imagination, Japan was closed to real issues surrounding its gay community.

Barazoku attempted to change that, through editorials and articles—whether that be simple sex advice or running an interview with an AIDS patient—long before the mainstream Japanese media would even acknowledge the epidemic. Barazoku also published explicit photos and lurid comics, such as Kuso Miso Technique. While Barazoku's founder loved the comic, the other editors detested it.

Gay manga differs from "Boys Love" manga, which does feature male-male relations, in that it's targeting gay men—and in 1980s Japanese manga, that meant heavy S&M iconography. Kuso Miso Technique means "Tongue Lashing Technique", and it, like many manga of its day, featured similar sadomasochistic imagery.

Boys Love comics, on the other hand, is aimed at young women, allowing them the opportunity to imagine what it's like to pitch or catch, so to speak, in a safe, fantasy world. Japanese manga has a vast array of genres and subgenres, making it appeal to a wide array of readers. There are wholesome manga for little kids as well as manga aimed squarely at adults—whether at be adult men, adult women, or both.

The Yaranaika Guy meme has lasted longer than Kuso Miso Technique's original manga run. And as the continuous flood of forum JPGs and cosplay pics show, it's not going anywhere as long as Japanese geek culture asks itself, "Yaranaika?"


(Top photo: Gigazine/Cosp/Otalab)