Star x Fanboy

Alt title: Park Baeu x Kim Nam Fan

Vol: 4; Ch: 171
2017 - 2020
4.282 out of 5 from 1,146 votes
Rank #405
Star x Fanboy

What if you could talk to your favorite fictional character every day? And what if they make you feel like the most special person in the world? “Good morning,” “I was thinking about you,” “Sweet dreams,” “See you tomorrow”... Some fans dive into their TV/movie/book obsessions on social media by interacting with accounts that take on the persona of their favorite characters. But what if the person behind that fictional account is actually...the very star who played that role?

Source: Lezhin

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 2

Episode 2

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Hey, guess it's time for another BL review. I'll say it up front: I freaking loved Star x Fanboy. It's what I love in romance, particularly queer romance, where there's an almost conscious lack of toxic tropes. It does have a lot of 'hot mess' character tropes, like what might be seen in fanfiction, but that's kinda my wheelhouse so I'm way more comfy with it.Art: Unusually for a BL, SxFB has an art style that is, above all else, unrelentingly cute. Faces are drawn in a soft, rounded way that makes them incredibly expressive, which is great when a lot of BL characters have the facial range of a brick, and it's particularly good for a BL that is about acting. Traditional masculinity can be left at the door. I understand that some people, particularly the bara crowd, maybe won't like this one for that reason. We talkin some smol beans here.Characters: Star x Fanboy is  a two idiots, one braincell romance with some light examination of the nature of acting, and the weird relationship between fans and the stars they idolize. It's actually very well paced, with there rarely being a lull in the development of the characters. There's a slow, but definite build in intensity between the two leads, and it manages to have shy characters without them being an annoying wall that the other romantic lead has to climb for a hundred chapters, like they're trying to scale Everest. Fanboy is shy around Star for understandable reasons, but not a complete pushover, and Star knows when to be assertive, without taking advantage of the potentially unhealthy power dynamic. If anything, Star is hyperaware of that potential.Yes, their names are literally Star and Fanboy. On the one hand, that might be mildly immersion breaking for some. On the other hand, it helps people like me who suck at remembering names remember them just fine. It didn't particularly bother me, personally. If you're looking for spice, this is the wrong place. That's not to say nothing bad ever happens, but this is the kind of story where one character says something cute/flirty, and the other one's brain implodes because they can't handle the situation. It's very funny, if you're socially awkward like me, and I find the whole 'hot mess around your crush' angle sadly relatable. I could see some people finding them too boring or vanilla, but I'm not one of them, in that I've long decried the lack of expressive gay men in manga/manhua. This one just shows you can be an assertive gay theatre kid and not be afraid of violating your masculinity by liking panda plushies. Traditionally feminine traits are present on both ends, without comment, but I also feel that the presence of decent female characters helps underline how that balance is what makes the characters feel like people compared to the seme-uke dynamic of traditional BL.Story: It's mostly focused on the nature of fandom and the relationship between an actor and one's fans, and its similarities and overlap with romantic attraction. The relationships between characters are the story, and I've mostly covered that above. There's some ruminations on being college age, on knowing what to do with your life, which some might find useful, but they're not super deep or anything.Overall: SxFB lives and dies on its cute factor. The characters are solidly written, and unrelentingly wholesome, while still having a romance that progresses beyond friends holding hands. It's not a completely vapid 'cute boys do cute things' series, but neither is it trying to be a tense, gripping, dramatic work. And for something so cute, the cuteness doesn't feel forced, in that the characters are cute as a byproduct of their interactions, not because the author decided to write them into the role of moeblob. It's just... a nice, nontoxic romance, a bit like a BL equivalent to the GL series, Handsome Girl and Sheltered Girl. It may not be for everyone, but this trend of showing men who are unafraid to be emotionally sensitive, or facially expressive, is one I wholeheartedly support. Give it a read if you like fluffy gay romance, or otherwise enjoy BL stories that go somewhere without anyone getting raped or coerced.

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