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Roommates is a homoerotic furry Web Comic. As a Fan Fiction involving Super Mario Bros., Digimon and Pokémon, the story is about Bowser Koopa, Jr. (or "Junior"), now fully-grown and aged 21, as a gay young man who meets and seduces his new flamedramon roommate, Giancarlo "Gian" Rosato, and they become a romantic couple. Most of the characters are Manly Gay anthropomorphs of characters from Mario, Digimon and Pokémon.
Written by Dreamous and illustrated by "Spelunker" Sal Laepoe, with TreIII as session writer. Originally an experimental comic at Fur Affinity, Roommates has already finished two entire chapters, part of the third, there are also some additional Web Serial Novelizations that serve as side story material. The Creators account is here. The first chapter is largely Porn Without Plot, and will not be linked or described much here. The second chapter onward is a dramatic shift in storytelling style that emphasizes plot and Character Development with little or no pornography at all.
Roommates is notable for having started out as Porn Without Plot with only the flimsiest Excuse Plot in its first chapter, but switching to heavy plot and character development (with far less porn) in the other chapters. The sidestories Gian's First and These Are My Reflections also have less porn -- especially the latter, which has extremely little and is almost entirely plot and character development. Still, all works have at least mature themes, and should be considered Not Safe for Work.
Roommates: These Are My Reflections (written by TreIII) has its own page. There is also another side story, Roommates: Gian's First (written by Dreamous), whose plot relevance to the overall story will be touched upon here. All Roommates works share the same voluminous character sheet, where most character-specific tropes are located.
Not to be confused with the other unrelated webcomic also called Roommates, which is also more worksafe.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Many characters are redesigned to be better suited as "sexy" in the comic. Bowser Junior's drastic change aside, the Lucario character Olly has a few modifications, such as the spike in the middle of his chest being replaced by a Carpet of Virility of the same color.
- Aerith and Bob: There are "normal" names like Junior, BJ, Olly, Nathan, Roy and Sean. And exotic-sounding names like Giancarlo, Santino and Mondo.
- Giancarlo and Santino Rosato are conspicuously Italian, and their names are not all that remarkable in that language, just like Mario or Luigi. Gian superficially sounds more normal, since in American English it is pronounced identically to John or Jon. Gian is actually an Italian form of the name John.
- It's unexplained whether Mondo's name is his actual name or a nickname.
- Bowser is a mixed case -- before the character Bowser became better known because of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, Bowser was better known as an English surname, and occasional first name. This makes it more like other surnames that became fashioned as first names, such as Beverly, Madison, Parker, Rodney, etc.
- All There in the Manual: A lot of the character's backstories which are Roommates Canon are only posted in written form, like in Gian's First and in These Are My Reflections. Reflections alone accounts for the vast majority of the entire published Roommates story.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Word of God. In this particular universe, there are no Super Mario Bros., there is no Mushroom Kingdom, and the Koopa family is a business empire instead of a family of warlords.
- Art Evolution: Because Roommates updates soooooooooooooo slowly, the art style noticeably evolved and improved, even before the first chapter was completed. The most obvious change can be seen in Junior's head and face; it initially resembled Nintendo's Bowser Koopa, Jr. superficially age-enhanced to 21 years old, but it evolved into its own distinct characteristic look that remained from chapter two onward.
- California University: Aubrey State University, the story's setting.
- Captain Ersatz: Since this Alternate Universe Fic has no humans anywhere, even the story-within-a-story fictional characters are adjusted to Petting Zoo People. In chapter three, Junior and Roy are playing a game that greatly resembles the Super Smash Bros series, and one of them is playing as Captain Peregrine.
- Cast Full of Gay: Junior's gay, Giancarlo's gay, Santino's orientation is unspecified, and even Olly and Mondo turn out to be gay behind their violent homophobia.
- Concept Art: Before the third chapter, there was a public poll on Fur Affinity to pick the new character for the next art. Like the rest of the characters, they were taken from games and Mon franchises. After the initial vote, there were five finalists drawn as character models (both nude and with concept clothing -- all Manly Gay body types) to be voted upon -- Spyro, Falco, Arcanine, Guilmon and Charmeleon. After a second vote, the charmeleon (named Sean) was announced as the new character to be introduced.
- Deuteragonists: Gian and Junior are of equal importance as the protagonists of this story.
- Fan Service: Abundant.
- Fan Yay: This entire story is built on Fan Yay, mostly of Bowser Koopa, and What If his son Junior was hot like his father when he grew up. The Digimon and Pokémon Fan Yay is pretty huge too. And keeping the trend going, this product of Fan Yay also has Fan Yay of its own, in the form of Fan Art.
- Flashback Cut: Happens a few times.
- When Santino reminds Gian that they used to bathe together as children, there is a brief scene of the two, as children, in a bath tub together, with Gian playfully squirting a shampoo bottle in Santino's direction.
- When Olly and Mondo start harassing and beating Gian up, he remembers being attacked by anti-gay bullies when he was younger. When Junior rushes in to save Gian, another brief scene appears depicting a similar kind of situation in Junior's memories. Both of which, are elaborated on in each respective character's side story Web Serial Novelizations.
- In a moment of Gayngst, Gian remembers losing his first boyfriend Nathan (a Yoshi) when he was younger.
- In the Roommates Addendum comic, when Olly is asked by Mondo if he likes mansex, Olly recalls past memories of gay experiences, but he doesn't like to admit it.
- Foot Focus: Both Gian and Junior have a foot fetish. This also seems to be Author Appeal.
- Gay Aesop: Hate crimes are bad, m'kay?
- Gayngst: Every gay character in this story has some significant gayngst.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Duh.
- In Name Only: Really, the fact that they're Mario/Digimon/Pokémon characters doesn't really have much to do with the characters themselves outside of their appearance. And this being an Alternate Universe Fic, the koopas don't breathe fire, the magikoopas can't use magic, digimon don't digimorph, pokémon don't live in pokéballs or evolve into different forms within their lifespan, etc., etc.
- LGBT Romance: Though it starts rather implausibly, Junior and Gian are very much this as the story progresses.
- Love At First Sight: Junior claims their first meeting was this, but Gian disagrees:
- Male Frontal Nudity: Never avoided in this homoerotic comic, except with the Scenery Censor in the first chapter's title image.
- Medium Blending: In the third chapter all of the backgrounds are 3D models.
- Mr. Fanservice: Practically everyone who has appeared. Gian, Junior, Santino, Olly, Mondo, Roy, and even Sean. Even the extras in the locker room shower.
- Petting Zoo People: Koopa morphs, Digimorphs, Pokémorphs...
- Porn with Plot: The first chapter was this, with an Excuse Plot. The second chapter radically shifted Queer Media genres, dropped the porn, embraced Character Development, and became the complex story we describe here.
- Scenery Censor: The title image of the first chapter.
- Schedule Slip: Months can pass between new page updates. Dreamous and Spelunker Sal are busy college students themselves, in Mexico.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Both are sensitive to a degree, and both are manly to a degree, but Gian is clearly the more sensitive one and Junior is the decidedly manlier one.
- Sex Equals Love: This is how Junior and Gian's relationship initially started. By the second chapter, they have developed their relationship more honestly, but unfortunately we don't get to see how this unfolded to reach that moment.
- Shallow Love Interest: When Junior and Gian first met and had sex. Though by the second chapter, they seem to be a lot more serious with each other.
- Ship Tease: The Roommates team tends to delight in this, but seemingly none more than Spelunker Sal.
- Shout-Out: Gian is wearing a Triforce T-shirt in chapter 3. His official profile also lists his favorite video game as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
- Shower of Love: At the end of the second chapter when both Junior and Gian win a victory over the hatred of their prejudiced track teammates, Olly and Mondo, they decide to shower together in the team shower room.
- Signature Move: During the shower fight between Gian and Ollie/Mondo, a number of Mythology Gags appear during the encounter, including:
- Slap Slap Kiss: This is how Olly and Mondo finally managed to be honest with themselves about their sexual orientation issues.
- Straight Gay: No one is camp in this story. As for the other extreme, Junior is the only one always conspicuously Manly Gay, but being confused for Gay Bravado bizarrely makes him Straight Gay to his peers.
- Time Skip: Chapter three takes place a year after they first became a couple, and Gian and Junior have been a couple for a year now. They have settled into happy domestic life together. Santino is there too, and he has grown his hair longer. And all three of them seem to be living in the same dorm rooms as last year.
- Unsound Effect: Happens periodically, where a written "sound effect" describes what is being done. This can get humorously absurd at times, such as when, Gian is being prepped for a piercing and the effect word "DISINFECT" appears when his ear is rubbed with disinfectant.
- Wall of Blather: Junior talks Sean's ear off with one of these while Sean is sitting and waiting for Gian. The moment Gian returns, Sean interrupts Junior and shifts his undivided attention to Gian and Santino as the three of them sit down to play Magic: The Gathering.