What is Sou-seme (総攻め)?
Sou-seme is a term used to describe a character who will always be seme no matter which character he is paired with in the story. Like other terms in the BL genre, this term is initially used in the doujin communities. As the BL genre grew and sou-seme became used to make it easier for people to sort through the now massive and varied amount of BL content and express their preferences.
“Sou-seme” is written as 総攻め. It is comprised of the character 総 (“sou,” literally “whole,” “entire,” “all”) and attached to the word 攻め (“seme,” literally “attack,” “offense”). Of course, the word seme is used in its figurative sense and refers to the character who takes the more dominant role in a romantic or sexual relationship within a BL story. Sou-seme, in short, can simply mean “seme for all.”
Interestingly, sou-seme is also a phrase generally used within the military to order the entire army to launch an attack.
Sou-seme is commonly used in the doujin community to show fans’ preference for what kind of ship or coupling they like. When one states that they like Character A as sou-seme, it generally means that they like any ship or coupling that involves Character A as the seme, no matter which character takes the role of the uke. The term is also used in the context of headcanons. For example, one might say that Character B is a sou-seme, which simply means that they personally cannot imagine character B being an uke to any character.
As the doujin community overlaps with the commercial BL community and audience, this term carries over to those communities. Within the BL community, sou-seme commonly indicates a character who either is a seme to every character (including the female characters) in the story or a seme to all uke characters. One of the most easily recognizable sou-seme character would be Azumaya Junta from the popular BL series Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu.
Sou-seme: Modern Usage
The use of sou-seme within both the doujin and BL communities has not changed, as it merely serves as a way to state one’s preference. BL stories tend to revolve around the uke as main characters. As such, finding an official sou-seme character might be a challenge, considering even stories revolving around threesomes (or more) themes usually consist of multiple seme and one uke. However, as the term itself is very much flexible to the taste and preference of the person using it, you can actually see any character as sou-seme even if officially there is only one uke for him!
Titles with Sou-seme in the futekiya Library
Life in Our Hometown with Me & You by aya isino
Shoichi and Kai have lived in the same hometown for years. Shoichi works as a teacher in the local school, while Kai works at the local Okumura store. The two have been friends for a long time and are in a somewhat low-key relationship. They both act as a domestic couple to the point most of the town sees them as married-even the kids. Kai wants to take their relationship to the next level, but it seems Shoichi has too much on his plate.
Advice for Mutually Unrequited Love by Yuiji Aniya
When they were younger, cool, collected Kousuke was the one who asked tiny, adorable Hiraku to be his lover – even when Hiraku couldn’t quite understand what being lovers meant. Now that they’re older and hopefully wiser, can they finally figure out what they got wrong the first time?
Groping in the Dark by akabeko
As he walks down the street, Yu spots a naked figure in a fur coat. Bound to be arrested by the police, Yu grabs the strange naked man and starts running. Little does he know he just laid his hands on the yakuza’s belonging. That reality quickly catches up to him literally, and before he knows it, Yu is in the middle of yakuza territory.
Hot-headed Makoto flaunts his power as usual while calm and collected Ai, his half-brother and first-man, takes care of the aftermath. Gradually, the complications and relations between the yakuza come to light… Yu stepped on a landmine, but how far will the blast reach?
I Want You So Much That I’ll Let Him Violate Me by Funa
Ever since Kimichika was young, he’s had a great fascination and infatuation with his grandfather’s beautiful android, Dill. When his cousin Taneatsu, inherits everything, including Dill, after their grandfather’s death, he makes a deal with Taneatsu to attain Dill’s ownership. The condition: he has to satisfy Taneatsu in every way possible. Thus starts a complicated relationship between the three of them.
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About futekiya: Read what you love
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys Love (BL) manga news and culture website operated by FANTASISTA, INC., a CG/VR production studio based in Tokyo, Japan. futekiya transformed into a budding global distributor of officially licensed BL manga in 2019.
futekiya launched as an online subscription service for officially licensed BL manga on July 8, 2019. Determined to connect fans around the world with English-translated BL legally and conveniently, futekiya empowers readers to support creators and the manga industry.
Readers who subscribe to futekiya and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. By the end of 2020, subscribers will have unlimited access to at least 400 titles. To subscribe, please go to read.futekiya.com and create an account. More information is in our guide.