The only card game that makes you swoon the more you play it!

Usually when people think of card games in Japan, they tend to think of trading card games like Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh!. And while trading card games certainly remain popular, party games have gained a dedicated following, with board game cafes dotted all over the country.

In B-CAFE, a board game cafe in Himeji City, a uniquely Japanese card game was created: a BL choose-your-own-adventure game.

BL, short for “Boys’ Love“, remains a popular genre in Japan, with fans spending shocking amounts of money on their hobby each year.

Now, thanks to the new card game “Minna de Making! BL” (‘Making a Boys Love Story with Everyone’) fans can create their own dream boy-on-boy scenario without even lifting a pen.

Start off by choosing your characters. Set in a school, will you choose the “bad boy” type, the lazy slacker who can sleep just about anywhere? Or the “cute type“, a bright and friendly member of the music club who dreams of becoming a professional musician? You can even choose Onitake-sensei, the teacher character! There are eleven different students (and one teacher) to choose from, plus two blanks for you to make your own original characters, meaning there are endless possibilities for your new favourite couple.

Once you’ve chosen the protagonists of your BL story (and more importantly, who is the top and who is the bottom), it’s time to figure out what kind of relationship they have, determined by rolling a dice. The options include childhood friend, rival, unrequited love, brother from another mother, master/servant, and living together for some reason.

Now you’ve chosen the stars of your story, all that’s left to do is write the story, which you do by drawing cards.

There are 98 cards in total, and each have a keyword or phrase that help you develop the story, such as “I know your secret!”, “Your face is red!” and “W-wait!!” After playing the card, it’s up to whoever played it to create a scenario involving the keyword. The next player puts down a card and the game/story continues until someone plays a special card.

The special cards ramp up the excitement in the story by adding a sudden, unexpected twist to the tale, and also a chance to flex your story-telling muscles. Special cards include “Oh crap! Someone’s coming!” in which any BL action in the story must immediately end.

If the story is becoming kind of stale, it might be good to play the “BL Deployment” card, in which the player must immediately “raise the BL flag” and get the boy-on-boy action going full steam ahead! Of course, like all good things, the story eventually has to end, which happens when a player draws an ending card. There are three endings: good end, bad end, and just friends end.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this video of professional voice actors Yusuke Shirai and Shoya Chiba playing. Their talents as voice actors really add some pretty impressive realism to their story, which ends hilariously unexpectedly.

If you’ve always dreamed of writing your own Boys Love story, are keen to show off your story-telling skills to your friends, or are just looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday night, give Minna de Making! BL a try. You could end up making an absolute masterpiece.

Minna de Making! BL costs 2,450 yen (US$23) and is available at Village Vanguard. Just be sure to keep an eye on your heart rate while playing!

Related, images: Village Vanguard official store
Top image: Pakutaso

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[ Read in Japanese ]