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Wikipedia

Yaoi

"Boys' love" redirects here. For the film, see Boys Love (film). For the manga, see Boys Love (manga).
"Tanbi" redirects here. For the Chinese male-male romance fiction genre, see Danmei.

Yaoi (; Japanese:やおい ), also known by the wasei-eigo construction boys' love (ボーイズ ラブ, bōizu rabu) and its abbreviation BL (ビーエル, bīeru), is a genre of fictional media originating in Japan that features homoerotic relationships between male characters. It is typically created by women for women and is distinct from homoerotic media marketed to gay men, but it does also attract a male audience and can be produced by male creators. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, video games, television series, films, and fan works. "Boys' love" and "BL" are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and much of Asia; though the terms are used by some fans and commentators in the West, yaoi remains more generally prevalent in English.

An example of yaoi-inspired artwork. The svelte, semi-androgynous physical features of the characters are typical of bishōnen (literally "beautiful boys") common in yaoi media.

The genre originated in the 1970s as a subgenre of shōjo manga, or comics for girls. Several terms were used for the new genre, including shōnen-ai (少年愛, lit. "boy love"), tanbi (耽美, lit. "aestheticism"), and June (ジュネ, ). The term yaoi emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the context of dōjinshi (同人誌, self-published works) culture as a portmanteau of yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi ("no climax, no point, no meaning"), where it was used in a self-deprecating manner to refer to amateur fan works that focused on sex to the exclusion of plot and character development, and that often parodied mainstream manga and anime by depicting male characters from popular series in sexual scenarios. "Boys' love" was later adopted by Japanese publications in the 1990s as an umbrella term for male-male romance media marketed to women.

Concepts and themes associated with yaoi include androgynous men known as bishōnen; diminished female characters; narratives that emphasize homosociality and de-emphasize socio-cultural homophobia; and depictions of rape. A defining characteristic of yaoi is the practice of pairing characters in relationships according to the roles of seme, the sexual top or active pursuer, and uke, the sexual bottom or passive pursued. Yaoi has a robust global presence, having spread since the 1990s through international licensing and distribution, as well as through unlicensed circulation of works by yaoi fans online. Yaoi works, culture, and fandom have been studied and discussed by scholars and journalists worldwide.

Contents

Multiple terms exist to describe Japanese and Japanese-influenced male-male romance fiction as a genre. In a 2015 survey of professional Japanese male-male romance fiction writers by Kazuko Suzuki, five primary subgenres were identified:

Shōnen-ai (少年愛, lit. "boy love")
While the term shōnen-ai historically connoted ephebophilia or pederasty, beginning in the 1970s it was used to describe a new genre of shōjo manga (girls' manga) featuring romance between "beautiful boys". Early shōnen-ai works were inspired by European literature, the writings of Taruho Inagaki, and the Bildungsroman genre. Shōnen-ai often features references to literature, history, science, and philosophy; Suzuki describes the genre as being "pedantic" and "difficult to understand", with "philosophical and abstract musings" that challenged young readers who were often only able to understand the references and deeper themes as they grew older.
Tanbi (耽美, lit. "aestheticism")
A subgenre that focuses on the worship of beauty, and on romance between older men and beautiful youths. Tanbi as a term and concept predates male-male romance manga that emerged in the 1970s, having originated to describe prose fiction depicting homosexuality by authors such as Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, and Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. Tanbi works are typically defined by their poetic prose and unusual kanji, such as Chinese characters appropriated into Japanese script.
June (ジュネ, Japanese pronunciation: )
Derived from the eponymous magazine published from 1978 to 2012, the term was originally used to describe works that resembled the art style of manga published in that magazine. It has also been used to describe amateur works depicting male homosexuality that are original creations and not derivative works. By the 1990s, the term had largely fallen out of use in favor of "boys' love"; it has been suggested that publishers wishing to get a foothold in the June market coined "boys' love" to disassociate the genre from the publisher of June.
Yaoi (やおい)
Coined in the late 1970s by manga artists Yasuko Sakata and Akiko Hatsu, yaoi is a portmanteau of yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (山[場]なし、落ちなし、意味なし), which translates to "no climax, no point, no meaning". Initially used by artists as a self-deprecating and ironic euphemism, the portmanteau refers to how early yaoi works typically focused on sex to the exclusion of plot and character development; it is also a subversive reference to the classical Japanese narrative structure of introduction, development, twist, and conclusion.
Boys' love (ボーイズ ラブ, bōizu rabu)
Typically written as the acronym BL (ビーエル, bīeru), or alternately as "boy's love" or "boys love", the term is a wasei-eigo construction derived from the literal English translation of shōnen-ai. First used in 1991 by the magazine Image in an effort to collect these disparate genres under a single term, the term became widely popularized in 1994 after being used by the magazine Puff [ja]. "BL" is the common term used to describe male-male romance media marketed to women in Japan and much of Asia, though its usage in the West is inconsistent.

Despite attempts by researchers to codify differences between these subgenres, in practice these terms are used interchangeably. Kazumi Nagaike and Tomoko Aoyama note that while BL and yaoi are the most common generic terms for this kind of media, they specifically avoid attempts at defining subgenres, noting that the differences between them are ill-defined and that even when differentiated, the subgenres "remain thematically intertwined."

In Suzuki's investigation of these subgenres, she notes that "there is no appropriate and convenient Japanese shorthand term to embrace all subgenres of male-male love fiction by and for women." While yaoi has become an umbrella term in the West for Japanese-influenced comics with male-male relationships, and it is the term preferentially used by American manga publishers for works of this kind, Japan uses the term yaoi to denote dōjinshi and works that focus on sex scenes. In both usages, yaoi and boys' love excludes gay manga (bara), a genre which also depicts gay male sexual relationships, but is written for and mostly by gay men. In the West, the term shōnen-ai is sometimes used to describe titles that focus on romance over explicit sexual content, while yaoi is used to describe titles that primarily feature sexually explicit themes and subject material. Yaoi can also be used by Western fans as a label for anime or manga-based slash fiction. The Japanese use of yaoi to denote only works with explicit scenes sometimes clashes with the Western use of the word to describe the genre as a whole, creating confusion between Japanese and Western audiences.

Before 1970: The origins of shōnen-ai

Kashō Takabatake [ja], whose artwork came to define bishōnen aesthetics

Homosexuality and androgyny have a history in Japan dating to ancient times, as seen in practices such as shudō (衆道, same-sex love between samurai and their companions) and kagema (陰間, male sex workers who served as apprentice kabuki actors). The country shifted away from a tolerance of homosexuality amid Westernization during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and moved towards hostile social attitudes towards homosexuality and the implementation of anti-sodomy laws.

In the face of this legal and cultural shift, artists who depicted male homosexuality in their work typically did so through subtext. Illustrations by Kashō Takabatake [ja] in the shōnen manga (boys' comics) magazine Nihon Shōnen formed the foundation of what would become the aesthetic of bishōnen (lit. "beautiful boy"): boys and young men, often in homosocial or homoerotic contexts, who are defined by their "ambivalent passivity, fragility, ephemerality, and softness." The 1961 novel A Lovers' Forest by tanbi writer Mari Mori, which follows the relationship between a professor and his younger male lover, is regarded as an influential precursor to the shōnen-ai genre. Mori's works were influenced by European literature, particularly Gothic literature, and laid the foundation for many of the common tropes of shōnen-ai and yaoi: western exoticism, educated and wealthy characters, significant age differences among couples, and fanciful or even surreal settings.

In manga, the concept of gekiga (劇画) emerged in the late 1950s, which sought to use manga to tell serious and grounded stories aimed at adult audiences. Gekiga inspired the creation of manga that depicted realistic human relationships, and opened the way for manga that explored human sexuality in a non-pornographic context. Hideko Mizuno's 1969 shōjo manga (girls' comics) series Fire! (1969–1971), which eroticized its male protagonists and depicted male homosexuality in American rock and roll culture, is noted as an influential work in this regard.

1970s and 1980s: From shōnen-ai to yaoi

Moto Hagio, a member of the Year 24 Group and a major figure in the shōnen-ai genre

Contemporary Japanese homoerotic romance manga originated in the 1970s as a subgenre of shōjo manga. The decade saw the arrival of a new generation of shōjo manga artists, most notable among them the Year 24 Group. The Year 24 Group contributed significantly to the development of the shōjo manga, introducing a greater diversity of themes and subject material to the genre that drew inspiration from by Japanese and European literature, cinema, and history. Members of the group, including Keiko Takemiya and Moto Hagio, created works that depicted male homosexuality: In The Sunroom (1970) by Takemiya and The November Gymnasium (1971) by Hagio are considered the first works of the genre that would become known as shōnen-ai.

Takemiya, Hagio, Toshie Kihara, Ryoko Yamagishi, and Kaoru Kurimoto were among the most significant shōnen-ai artists of this era; notable works include The Heart of Thomas (1974–1975) by Hagio and Kaze to Ki no Uta (1976-1984) by Takemiya. Works by these artists typically featured tragic romances between androgynous bishōnen in historic European settings. Though these works were nominally aimed at an audience of adolescent girls and young women, they also attracted adult gay and lesbian readers. During this same period, the first gay manga magazines were published: Barazoku, the first commercially circulated gay men's magazine in Japan, was published in 1971, and served as a major influence on Takemiya and the development of shōnen-ai.

The dōjinshi (self-published works) subculture emerged contemporaneously in the 1970s (see Media below), and in 1975, the first Comiket was held as a gathering of amateur artists who produce dōjinshi. The term yaoi, initially used by some creators of male-male romance dōjinshi to describe their creations ironically, emerged to describe amateur works that were influenced by shōnen-ai and gay manga. Early yaoi dōjinshi produced for Comiket were typically derivative works, with glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen as popular subjects as a result of the influence of Fire!; yaoi dōjinshi were also more sexually explicit than shōnen-ai.

In reaction to the success of shōnen-ai and early yaoi, publishers sought to exploit the market by creating magazines devoted to the genre. Young female illustrators cemented themselves in the manga industry by publishing yaoi works, with this genre later becoming "a transnational subculture." Publishing house Magazine Magazine [ja], which published the gay manga magazine Sabu [ja], launched the magazines June in 1978 and Allan in 1980. Both magazines initially specialized in shōnen-ai, which the publisher described as "halfway between tanbi literature and pornography," and also published articles on homosexuality, literary fiction, illustrations, and amateur yaoi works. The success of June was such that the term June-mono or more simply June began to compete with the term shōnen-ai to describe works depicting male homosexuality.

By the late 1980s, the popularity of professionally published shōnen-ai was declining, and yaoi published as dōjinshi was becoming more popular. Mainstream shōnen manga with Japanese settings such as Captain Tsubasa became popular source material for derivative works by yaoi creators, and the genre increasingly depicted Japanese settings over western settings. Works influenced by shōnen-ai in the 1980s began to depict older protagonists and adopted a realist style in both plot and artwork, as typified by manga such as Banana Fish (1985–1994) by Akimi Yoshida and Tomoi (1986) by Wakuni Akisato [ja]. The 1980s also saw the proliferation of yaoi into anime, drama CDs, and light novels; the 1982 anime adaptation of Patalliro! was the first television anime to depict shōnen-ai themes, while Kaze to Ki no Uta and Earthian were adapted into anime in the original video animation (home video) format in 1987 and 1989, respectively.

1990s: Mainstream popularity and yaoi ronsō

The manga artist group Clamp, whose works were among the first yaoi-influenced media to be encountered by Western audiences

The growing popularity of yaoi attracted the attention of manga magazine editors, many of whom recruited yaoi dōjinshi authors to their publications; Zetsuai 1989 (1989–1991) by Minami Ozaki, a yaoi series published in the shōjo magazine Margaret, was originally a Captain Tsubasa dōjinshi created by Ozaki that she adapted into an original work. By 1990, seven Japanese publishers included yaoi content in their offerings, which kickstarted the commercial publishing market of the genre. Between 1990 and 1995, thirty magazines devoted to yaoi were established: Magazine Be × Boy, founded in 1993, became one of the most influential yaoi manga magazines of this era. The manga in these magazines were influenced by realist stories like Banana Fish, and moved away from the shōnen-ai standards of the 1970s and 1980s. Shōnen-ai works that were published during this period were typically comedies rather than melodramas, such as Gravitation (1996–2002) by Maki Murakami. Consequently, yaoi and "boys' love" (BL) came to be the most popular terms to describe works depicting male-male romance, eclipsing shōnen-ai and June.

An increasing proportion of shōjo manga in the 1990s began to integrate yaoi elements into their plots. The manga artist group Clamp, which itself began as a group creating yaoi dōjinshi, published multiple works containing yaoi elements during this period, such as RG Veda (1990–1995), Tokyo Babylon (1991–1994), and Cardcaptor Sakura (1996–2000). When these works were released in North America, they were among the first yaoi-influenced media to be encountered by Western audiences. BL gained popularity in mainland China in the late 1990s; the country subsequently outlawed the publishing and distribution of BL works.

The mid-1990s saw the so-called "yaoi debate" or yaoi ronsō (や お い 論争), a debate held primarily in a series of essays published in the feminist magazine Choisir from 1992 to 1997. In an open letter, Japanese gay writer Masaki Satou criticized the genre as homophobic for not depicting gay men accurately, heterosexist by reinforcing the misogyny of Japanese society, and called fans of yaoi "disgusting women" who "have a perverse interest in sexual intercourse between men." A years-long debate ensued, with yaoi fans and artists contending that yaoi is entertainment for women that does not seek to be a realistic depiction of homosexuality, and instead serves as a refuge from the misogyny of Japanese society. The scholarly debate that the yaoi ronsō engendered led to the formation of the field of "BL studies", which focus on the study of BL and the relationship between women and BL. It additionally impacted creators of yaoi: author Chiyo Kurihara abandoned yaoi to focus on heterosexual pornography as a result of the yaoi ronsō, while Hisako Takamatsu took into account the arguments of the genre's critics to create works more accommodating of a gay audience.

2000s–present: Globalization of yaoi and BL

Otome Road in Ikebukuro became a major cultural destination for yaoi fandom in the 2000s.

The economic crisis caused by the Lost Decade came to affect the manga industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but did not particularly impact the yaoi market; on the contrary, yaoi magazines continued to proliferate during this period, and sales of yaoi media increased. In 2004, Otome Road in Ikebukuro emerged as a major cultural destination for yaoi fandom, with multiple stores dedicated to shōjo and yaoi goods. The 2000s also saw an increase in male readers of yaoi, with a 2008 bookstore survey finding that between 25 and 30 percent of yaoi readers were male.

The 2000s saw significant growth of yaoi in international markets, beginning with the founding of the American anime convention Yaoi-Con in 2001. The first officially-licensed English-language translations of yaoi manga were published in the North American market in 2003 (see Media below); the market expanded rapidly before contracting in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, but continued to grow slowly in the following years. South Korea saw the development of BL in the form of manhwa, notably Martin and John (2006) by Park Hee-jung and Crush on You (2006) by Lee Kyung-ha.

The 2010s saw an increase in the popularity of yaoi-influenced media in China and Thailand in the form of web novels, live-action films, and live-action television dramas (see Media below). Though "boys' love" and "BL" have become the generic terms for this material across Asia, in Thailand, BL dramas are sometimes referred to as "Y" or "Y series" as a shorthand for yaoi. Thai Series Y explicitly adapts the content of Japanese BL to the Thai local context and in recent years has become increasingly popular with fans around the world who often view Thai BL as separate to its Japanese antecedents. Thai BL also deliberately borrows from K-pop celebrity culture in the development of its own style of idols known as khu jin (imaginary couples) who are designed to be paired together by Thai BL's predominantly female fans. For cultural anthropologist Thomas Baudinette, BL series produced in Thailand represent the next stage in the historic development of yaoi, which is increasingly becoming "dislocated" from Japan among international fans' understanding of the genre.

While yaoi fandom in China traces back to the late 1990s as danmei (the Mandarin reading of the Japanese term tanbi), state regulations in China made it difficult for danmei writers to publish their works online, with a 2009 ordinance by the National Publishing Administration of China banning most danmei online fiction. In 2015, laws prohibiting depictions of same-sex relationships in television and film were implemented in China. The growth in streaming service providers in the 2010s is regarded as a driving force behind the production of BL dramas across Asia, as online distribution provides a platform for media containing LGBT material, which is frequently not permitted on broadcast television.

Bishōnen

Main article: Bishōnen
Musician David Bowie, actor Björn Andrésen, and kabuki actor Bandō Tamasaburō influenced depictions of bishōnen characters in shōjo and yaoi manga.

The protagonists of yaoi are often bishōnen (美少年, lit. "beautiful boy"), "highly idealised" boys and young men who blend both masculine and feminine qualities. Bishōnen as concept can be found disparately throughout East Asia, but its specific aesthetic manifestation in 1970s shōjo manga (and subsequently in yaoi manga) drew influence from popular culture of the era, including glam rock artists such as David Bowie, actor Björn Andrésen's portrayal of Thaddeus in the 1971 film adaptation of Death in Venice, and kabuki onnagata Bandō Tamasaburō. Though bishōnen are not exclusive to yaoi, the androgyny of bishōnen is often exploited to explore notions of sexuality and gender in yaoi works.

The late 2010s saw the increasing popularity of masculine men in yaoi that are reminiscent of the body types typical in gay manga, with growing emphasis on stories featuring muscular bodies and older characters. A 2017 survey by yaoi publisher Juné Manga found that while over 80% of their readership previously preferred bishōnen body types exclusively, 65% now enjoy both bishōnen and muscular body types. Critics and commentators have noted that this shift in preferences among yaoi readers, and subsequent creation of works that feature characteristics of both yaoi and gay manga, represents a blurring of the distinctions between the genres; anthropologist Thomas Baudinette notes in his fieldwork that gay men in Japan "saw no need to sharply disassociate BL from [gay manga] when discussing their consumption of 'gay media'."

Seme and uke

Artwork depicting a seme (left) and uke (right) couple

The two participants in a yaoi relationship (and to a lesser extent in yuri) are often referred to as seme (攻め, "top") and uke (受け, "bottom"). These terms originated in martial arts, and were later appropriated as Japanese LGBT slang to refer to the insertive and receptive partners in anal sex: seme derives from the ichidan verb "to attack", while uke is taken from the verb "to receive". Aleardo Zanghellini suggests that the martial arts terms have special significance to a Japanese audience, as an archetype of the gay male relationship in Japan includes same-sex love between samurai and their companions. He suggests that the samurai archetype is responsible for age differences and hierarchical variations in power of some relationships portrayed in yaoi and boys' love.

The seme is often depicted as restrained, physically powerful, and protective; he is generally older and taller, with a stronger chin, shorter hair, smaller eyes, and a more stereotypically masculine and "macho" demeanour than the uke. The seme usually pursues the uke, who often has softer, androgynous, feminine features with bigger eyes and a smaller build, and is often physically weaker than the seme. The roles of seme and uke can alternatively be established by who is dominant in the relationship; a character can take the uke role even if he is not presented as feminine, simply by being juxtaposed against and pursued by a more dominant and masculine character. Anal sex is ubiquitous in yaoi; Zanghellini notes that illustrations of anal sex almost always position the characters to face each other rather than "doggy style", and that the uke rarely fellates the seme, but instead receives the sexual and romantic attentions of the seme.

Though McLelland notes that authors are typically "interested in exploring, not repudiating" the dynamics between the seme and uke, not all works adhere to seme and uke tropes. The possibility of switching roles is often a source of playful teasing and sexual excitement for the characters, indicating an interest among many genre authors in exploring the performative nature of the roles. Riba (リバ), a shorthand for "reversible" (リバーシブル), is used to describe couples where the seme and uke roles are not strictly defined. Occasionally, authors will forego the stylisations of the seme and uke to portray both lovers as "equally attractive handsome men", or will subvert expectations of dominance by depicting the active pursuer in the relationship as taking the passive role during sex. In other instances, the uke is portrayed as the aggressor in the relationship; in these instances, the roles are sometimes referred to as osi uke (襲い受け, "attacking uke") and hetare seme (ヘタレ攻め, "wimpy seme").

Diminished female characters

Female characters often have minor roles in yaoi, or are absent altogether. Suzuki notes that mothers in particular are often portrayed in a negative light; she suggests this is because the character and reader alike are seeking to substitute the absence of unconditional maternal love with the "forbidden" all-consuming love presented in yaoi. In yaoi dōjinshi parodies based on existing works that include female characters, the female's role is typically either minimized or the character is killed off. Yukari Fujimoto noted that when shōnen manga is used as inspiration for yaoi, that "it seems that yaoi readings and likeable female characters are mutually exclusive." Nariko Enomoto, a yaoi author, argues that women are typically not depicted in yaoi as their presence adds an element of realism that distracts from the fantasy narrative.

Since the late 2000s, women have appeared more frequently in yaoi works as supporting characters. Lunsing notes that early shōnen-ai and yaoi were often regarded as misogynistic, with the diminished role of female characters cited as evidence of the internalized misogyny of the genre's largely female readership. He suggests that the decline of these misogynistic representations over time is evidence that female yaoi readers "overcame this hate, possibly thanks to their involvement with yaoi."

Gay equality

Yaoi stories are often strongly homosocial, giving men freedom to bond and pursue shared goals together (as in dojinshi adaptations of shōnen manga), or to rival each other (as in Embracing Love). This spiritual bond and equal partnership is depicted as overcoming the male-female gender hierarchy. As is typical in romance fiction, couples depicted in yaoi stories often must overcome obstacles that are emotional or psychological rather than physical. Akiko Mizoguchi notes that while early yaoi stories depicted homosexuality as a source of shame to heighten dramatic tension in this regard, beginning in the mid-2000s the genre began to depict gay identity with greater sensitivity and nuance, with series such as Brilliant Blue featuring stories of coming out and the characters' gradual acceptance within the wider community. Yaoi typically depicts Japanese society as more accepting of LGBT people than it is in reality, which Mizoguchi contends is a form of activism among yaoi authors. Some longer-form stories such as Fake and Kizuna: Bonds of Love have the couple form a family unit, depicting them cohabiting and adopting children. Fujimoto cites Ossan's Love (2016–2018) and other BL television dramas that emerged in the 2010s as a "'missing link' to bridge the gap between BL fiction and gay people," arguing that when BL narratives are presented using human actors, it produces a "subconscious change in the perception of viewers" towards acceptance of homosexuality.

Although gay male characters are empowered in yaoi, the genre rarely addresses the reality of socio-cultural homophobia. According to Hisako Miyoshi, vice editor-in-chief for Libre Publishing, while earlier yaoi focused "more on the homosexual way of life from a realistic perspective", over time the genre has become less realistic and more comedic, and the stories are "simply for entertainment". Yaoi manga often have fantastical, historical or futuristic settings, and many fans consider the genre to be escapist fiction. Homophobia, when it is presented as an issue at all, is used as a plot device to heighten drama, or to show the purity of the leads' love. Rachel Thorn has suggested that as yaoi is primarily a romance genre, its readers may be turned off by political themes such as homophobia. Yaoi author Makoto Tateno expressed scepticism that realistic depictions of gay men's lives would become common in yaoi "because girls like fiction more than realism". Alan Williams argues that the lack of a gay identity in yaoi is due to yaoi being postmodern, stating that "a common utterance in the genre—when a character claims that he is 'not gay, but just in love with a man'—has both homophobic (or modern) temporal undertones but also non-identitarian (postmodern) ones."

Rape

Rape fantasy is a theme commonly associated with yaoi. Anal sex is understood as a means of expressing commitment to a partner, and in yaoi, the "apparent violence" of rape is transformed into a "measure of passion". Rape scenes in yaoi are rarely presented as crimes with an assaulter and a victim: scenes where a seme rapes an uke are not depicted as symptomatic of the violent desires of the seme, but rather as evidence of the uncontrollable attraction felt by the seme towards the uke. Such scenes are often a plot device used to make the uke see the seme as more than just a good friend, and typically result in the uke falling in love with the seme.

While Japanese society often shuns or looks down upon women who are raped in reality, the yaoi genre depicts men who are raped as still "imbued with innocence" and are typically still loved by their rapists after the act, a trope that may have originated with Kaze to Ki no Uta. Kristy Valenti of The Comics Journal notes that rape narratives that focus on how "irresistible" the uke is, and how the seme "cannot control himself" in his presence, exist to absolve the seme of responsibility for his rape of the uke. She notes this is likely why the narrative climax of many yaoi stories depicts the seme recognizing, and taking responsibility for, his sexual desires. Conversely, some yaoi stories such as Under Grand Hotel subvert the rape fantasy trope entirely by presenting rape as a negative and traumatic act.

A 2012 survey of English-language yaoi fans found that just 15 percent of respondents reported that the presence of rape in yaoi media made them uncomfortable, as the majority of respondents could distinguish between the "fantasy, genre-driven rape" of yaoi and rape as a crime in reality. This "surprisingly high tolerance" for depictions of rape is contextualized by a content analysis, which found that just 13 percent of all original Japanese yaoi available commercially in English contains depictions of rape. These findings are argued as "possibly belying the perception that rape is almost ubiquitous in BL/yaoi."

Tragedy

Tragic narratives that focused on the suffering of the protagonists were popular early June stories, particularly stories that ended in one or both members of the central couple dying from suicide. By the mid-1990s, happy endings were more common; when tragic endings are shown, the cause is typically not an interpersonal conflict between the couple, but "the cruel and intrusive demands of an uncompromising outside world". Thorn theorizes that depictions of tragedy and abuse in yaoi exist to allow the audience "to come to terms in some way with their own experiences of abuse."

Subgenres and related genres

Main articles: Bara (genre), Shotacon, and Omegaverse

Bara (薔薇, "rose"), also known as gay manga (ゲイ漫画) or gei komi (ゲイコミ, "gay comics") is a genre focused on male same-sex love, as created primarily by gay men for a gay male audience. Gay manga typically focuses on masculine men with varying degrees of muscle, body fat, and body hair, in contrast to the androgynous bishōnen of yaoi. Graham Kolbeins writes in Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It that while yaoi can be understood as a primarily feminist phenomenon, in that it depicts sex that is free of the patriarchal trappings of heterosexual pornography, gay manga is primarily an expression of gay male identity. The early 2000s saw a degree of overlap between yaoi and gay manga in BDSM-themed publications: the yaoi BDSM anthology magazine Zettai Reido (絶対零度) had several male contributors, while several female yaoi authors have contributed stories to BDSM-themed gay manga anthologies or special issues, occasionally under male pen names.

Shotacon (ショタコン, shotakon) is a genre that depicts prepubescent or pubescent boys in a romantic or pornographic context. Originating as an offshoot of yaoi in the early 1980s, the subgenre was later adopted by male readers and became influenced by lolicon (works depicting prepubescent or pubescent girls); the conflation of shotacon in its contemporary usage with yaoi is thus not universally accepted, as the genre constitutes material that marketed to both male and female audiences.

Omegaverse is a male-male romance subgenre that originated in American Star Trek fandom that later emerged in the 2010s as a subgenre of both commercial and non-commercial yaoi. Stories in the genre are premised on societies wherein humans are divided into a dominance hierarchy of dominant "alphas", neutral "betas", and submissive "omegas". These terms are derived from those used in ethology to describe social hierarchies in animals.

In 2003, 3.8% of weekly Japanese manga magazines were dedicated exclusively to BL. Notable ongoing and defunct magazines include Be × Boy, June, Craft, Chara, Dear+, Opera, Ciel [ja], and Gush. Several of these magazines were established as companion publications to shōjo manga magazines, as they include material considered too explicit for an all-ages audience; Ciel was established as a companion to Monthly Asuka, while Dear+ was established as a companion to Wings. A 2008 assessment estimated that the Japanese commercial BL market grossed approximately¥12 billion annually, with novel sales generating¥250 million per month, manga generating¥400 million per month, CDs generating¥180 million per month, and video games generating¥160 million per month. A 2010 report estimated that the Japanese BL market was worth approximately¥21.3 billion in both 2009 and 2010.

Fan works (dōjinshi)

Main article: Dōjinshi
Yaoi dōjinshi are typically derivative works based on existing media, as in this fan art of Harry Potter and Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series.

The dōjinshi (同人誌, "same-person publication") (i.e., self-published fan works) subculture emerged contemporaneously with yaoi subculture and Western fan fiction culture in the 1970s. Characteristic similarities of fan works in both Japan and the West include non-adherence to a standard narrative structures and a particular popularity of science fiction themes. Early yaoi dōjinshi were amateur publications that were not controlled by media restrictions, were typically derivative works based on existing manga and anime, and were often written by teenagers for an adolescent audience. Several legitimate manga artists produce or produced dōjinshi: the manga artist group Clamp began as an amateur dōjinshi circle creating yaoi works based on Saint Seiya, while Kodaka Kazuma and Fumi Yoshinaga have produced dōjinshi concurrently with professionally-published works. Many publishing companies review yaoi dōjinshi to recruit talented amateurs; this practice has led to careers in mainstream manga for Youka Nitta, Shungiku Nakamura, and others.

Typically, yaoi dōjinshi feature male-male pairings from non-romantic manga and anime. Much of the material derives from male-oriented shōnen and seinen works, which contain close male-male friendships perceived by fans to imply elements of homoeroticism, such as with Captain Tsubasa and Saint Seiya, two titles which popularized yaoi in the 1980s. Weekly Shonen Jump is known to have a large female readership who engage in yaoi readings; publishers of shōnen manga may create "homoerotic-themed" merchandise as fan service to their BL fans. Yaoi fans may ship any male-male pairing, sometimes pairing off a favourite character, or create a story about two original male characters and incorporate established characters into the story. Any male character may become the subject of a yaoi dōjinshi, including characters from non-manga titles such as Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings, video games such as Final Fantasy, or real people such as actors and politicians. Amateur authors may also create characters out of personifications of abstract concepts (as in the personification of countries in Hetalia: Axis Powers) or complementary objects like salt and pepper. In Japan, the labeling of yaoi dōjinshi is typically composed of the two lead characters' names, separated by a multiplication sign, with the seme being first and the uke being second.

Outside of Japan, the 2000 broadcast of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing in North America on Cartoon Network is noted as crucial to the development of Western yaoi fan works, particularly fan fiction. As yaoi fan fiction is often compared to the Western fan practice of slash, it is important to understand the subtle differences between them. Levi notes that "the youthful teen look that so easily translates into androgyny in boys' love manga, and allows for so many layered interpretations of sex and gender, is much harder for slash writers to achieve."

English-language publishing

Shelves of yaoi books and magazines at Books Kinokuniya in San Francisco

The first officially-licensed English-language translations of yaoi manga were published in the North American market in 2003; by 2006, there were roughly 130 English-translated yaoi works commercially available, and by 2007, over 10 publishers in North America published yaoi. Notable current English-language publishers of yaoi include Viz Media under their SuBLime imprint, Digital Manga Publishing under their 801 Media and Juné imprints, Media Blasters under their Kitty Media imprint, Seven Seas Entertainment, and Tokyopop. Notable defunct English-language publishers of yaoi include Central Park Media under their Be Beautiful imprint, Broccoli under their Boysenberry imprint, and Aurora Publishing under their Deux Press imprint.

Among the 135 yaoi manga published in North America between 2003 and 2006, 14% were rated for readers aged 13 years or over, 39% were rated for readers aged 15 or older, and 47% were rated for readers age 18 and up. Restrictions among American booksellers often led publishers to label books conservatively, often rating books originally intended for a mid-teen readership as 18+ and distributing them in shrinkwrap. Diamond Comic Distributors valued the sales of yaoi manga in the United States at approximately US$6 million in 2007.

Marketing was significant in the transnational travel of yaoi from Japan to the United States, and led to yaoi to attract a following of LGBT fans in the United States. The 1994 original video animation adaptation of Kizuna: Bonds of Love was distributed by Ariztical Entertainment, which specializes in LGBT cinema and marketed the title as "the first gay male anime to be released on DVD in the US." The film was reviewed in the American LGBT magazine The Advocate, which compared the film to gay art house cinema.

A large portion of Western fans choose to pirate yaoi material because they are unable or unwilling to obtain it through sanctioned methods. Scanlations and other fan translation efforts of both commercially published Japanese works and amateur dojinshi are common.

Original English-language yaoi

When yaoi initially gained popularity in the United States in the early 2000s, several American artists began creating original English-language manga for female readers featuring male-male couples referred to as "American yaoi". The first known commercially published original English-language yaoi comic is Sexual Espionage #1 by Daria McGrain, published by Sin Factory in May 2002. As international artists began creating yaoi works, the term "American yaoi" fell out of use and was replaced by terms like "original English language yaoi", "global yaoi", and "global BL". The majority of publishers creating original English-language yaoi manga are now defunct, including Yaoi Press, DramaQueen, and Iris Print. Digital Manga Publishing last published original English-language yaoi manga in 2012; outside of the United States, German publisher Carlsen Manga also published original yaoi works.

Live-action television and film

Japan

While Japanese BL manga has been adapted into live-action films and television dramas since the early 2000s, these works were marketed towards a niche audience of BL fans rather than towards a general audience. When these works were adapted for a general audience, same-sex romance elements were typically downplayed or removed entirely, as in the live-action television adaption of Antique Bakery that aired on Fuji TV in 2001. The development of Japanese live-action television dramas that focus on BL and same-sex romance themes explicitly was spurred by the critical and commercial success of the TV Asahi television drama Ossan's Love (2016), which features an all-male love triangle as its central plot conceit. While Ossan's Love is an original series, it influenced the creation of live-action BL works adpated from manga that are marketed towards mass audiences; notable examples include the television dramas Pornographer [ja] (2018) on Fuji TV, What Did You Eat Yesterday? (2019) on TV Tokyo, and Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! (2020) on TV Tokyo, and the live-action film adaptation of The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese (2020).

Thailand

The Thai romantic drama film Love of Siam (2007), which features a gay male romance storyline, found unexpected mainstream success upon its release and grossed over TH฿40 million at the box office. This was followed by Love Sick: The Series (2014–2015), the first Thai television series to feature two gay characters as the lead roles. Cultural anthropologist Thomas Baudinette argues that Love Sick: The Series represented a "watershed moment" in the depiction of queer romance in Thai media, exploring how the series adapted tropes from Japanese BL to create a new genre of media. While Japanese BL manga attracted an audience in Thailand as early as the 1990s, the success of Love of Siam and Love Sick kick-started the production of domestic BL dramas: between 2014 and 2020, 57 television series in the BL genre were produced and released in Thailand. Beginning in 2020, Thai BL dramas gained international recognition after the release of 2gether: The Series, which attracted widespread acclaim for its family-friendly themes, lighthearted plot, and positive depictions of gay men.

Major producers of Thai BL include GMMTV, a subsidiary of GMM Grammy, which has produced 2gether, SOTUS: The Series (2016–2017), Dark Blue Kiss (2019), and Theory of Love (2019); and Line Corporation, which produces BL dramas in Thailand for distribution on its Line TV platform. The genre has seen some backlash from conservative elements in Thai society: in 2020, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission introduced new guidelines around material containing "sexually explicit or suggestive" scenes, while public broadcaster MCOT cancelled the BL series Love by Chance in 2018. Thai BL dramas are noted as having gained popularity in Indonesia, where LGBT representation in domestic television is less common; as well as in the Philippines, where many fans view BL as an originally Thai form of popular culture. It has been suggested that BL dramas could become a source of Thai cultural soft power in Southeast Asia and beyond.

China

Homosexuality is neither prohibited nor legally recognized in mainland China, and laws regarding the censorship of LGBT material are unevenly enforced; regardless, such content is "deemed sensitive and is inconsistently but regularly removed" from distribution. Addicted (2016), the first Chinese BL web series, accumulated 10 million views before being pulled from the streaming platform iQiyi. In reaction to state censorship, Chinese BL works typically depict male-male romance as homoerotic subtext: the web novel Guardian (2012) depicted a romance between its two lead male characters, though when it was adapted into a television drama on the streaming platform Youku in 2018, the relationship was rendered as a close, homoerotic friendship. The BL Xianxia novel Mo Dao Zu Shi (2015) was adapted into an animated series in 2018 and the live-action television series The Untamed in 2019, which similarly revise the nature of the relationship between the lead male characters. Despite this, The Untamed was praised for avoiding censorship while maintaining the "slow-burn heat" of the source material; fans of both Guardian and The Untamed discussed the series' gay content under the hashtag "socialist brotherhood" to avoid detection from state censors.

Video games

Boys' love and yaoi video games typically consist of visual novels or eroge oriented around male-male couples. The first yaoi game to receive an officially-licensed English-language release was Enzai: Falsely Accused, published by JAST USA in 2006. That same year, the company published Zettai Fukujuu Meirei under the title Absolute Obedience, while Hirameki International licensed Animamundi; the later game, although already nonexplicit, was censored for US release to achieve a "mature" rather than "adults only" ESRB rating, removing some of both the sexual and the violent content. Compared to yaoi manga, fewer yaoi games have been officially translated into English; the lack of interest by publishers in licensing further titles has been attributed to widespread copyright infringement of both licensed and unlicensed games.

Main article: Yaoi fandom

Suzuki notes that "demographic analyses of BL media are underdeveloped and thus much needed in yaoi/BL studies," but acknowledges that "the overwhelming majority of BL readers are women." 80% of the yaoi audience in Thailand is female, while the membership of Yaoi-Con, a now-defunct American yaoi convention, was 85% female. It is usually assumed that all female fans are heterosexual, but in Japan there is a presence of lesbian manga authors and lesbian, bisexual or questioning female readers. A 2008 surveys of English-speaking readers of yaoi indicated that 50-60% of female readers self-identify as heterosexual.

Female fans of yaoi are often referred to as fujoshi (腐女子, lit. "rotten girl"), a derogatory insult that was later reappropriated as a self-descriptive term. The male equivalent is fudanshi (腐男子, lit. "rotten boy").

Although the genre is marketed to and consumed primarily by girls and women, there is a gay, bisexual, and heterosexual male readership as well. A 2007 survey of yaoi readers among patrons of a United States library found about one quarter of respondents were male; two online surveys found approximately ten percent of the broader English-speaking yaoi readership were male. Lunsing suggests that younger Japanese gay men who are offended by "pornographic" content in gay men's magazines may prefer to read yaoi instead. Some gay men, however, are put off by the feminine art style or unrealistic depictions of LGBT culture in Japan and instead prefer gay manga, which some perceive to be more realistic. Lunsing notes that some of the yaoi narrative elements criticized by homosexual men, such as rape fantasies, misogyny, and characters' non-identification as gay, are also present in gay manga.

In the mid-1990s, estimates of the size of the Japanese yaoi fandom ranged from 100,000 to 500,000 people. By April 2005, a search for non-Japanese websites resulted in 785,000 English, 49,000 Spanish, 22,400 Korean, 11,900 Italian, and 6,900 Chinese sites. In January 2007, there were approximately five million hits for yaoi.

Academic and critical response

Yaoi has received considerable critical attention, especially after translations of yaoi became commercially available outside Japan in the 21st century. In Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics, the 1983 book by Frederik L. Schodt that was the first substantial English-language work on manga, Schodt observes that portrayals of gay male relationships had used and further developed bisexual themes already extant in shōjo manga to appeal to their female audience. Japanese critics have viewed boys' love as a genre that permits their audience to avoid adult female sexuality by distancing sex from their own bodies, as well as to create fluidity in perceptions of gender and sexuality and rejects "socially mandated" gender roles as a "first step toward feminism". Kazuko Suzuki, for example, believes that the audience's aversion to or contempt for masculine heterosexism is something which has consciously emerged as a result of the genre's popularity.

Mizoguchi, writing in 2003, feels that BL is a "female-gendered space", as the writers, readers, artists and most of the editors of BL are female. BL has been compared to romance novels by English-speaking librarians. Parallels have also been noted in the popularity of lesbianism in pornography, and yaoi has been called a form of "female fetishism". Mariko Ōhara, a science fiction writer, has said that she wrote yaoi Kirk/Spock fiction as a teen because she could not enjoy "conventional pornography, which had been made for men", and that she had found a "limitless freedom" in yaoi, much like in science fiction.

Other commentators have suggested that more radical gender-political issues underlie BL. In 1998, Shihomi Sakakibara asserted that yaoi fans, including himself, were gay transgender men. Sandra Buckley believes that bishōnen narratives champion "the imagined potentialities of alternative [gender] differentiations", while James Welker described the bishōnen character as "queer", commenting that manga critic Akiko Mizoguchi saw shōnen-ai as playing a role in how she herself had become a lesbian. Dru Pagliassotti sees this and the yaoi ronsō as indicating that for Japanese gay and lesbian readers, BL is not as far removed from reality as heterosexual female readers like to claim. Welker has also written that boys' love titles liberate the female audience "not just from patriarchy, but from gender dualism and heteronormativity".

Criticism

Some gay and lesbian commentators have criticized how gay identity is portrayed in BL, most notably in the yaoi ronsō or "yaoi debate" of 1992–1997 (see History above). A trope of yaoi that has attracted criticism is male protagonists who do not identify as gay, but are rather simply in love with each other, with Comiket co-founder Yoshihiro Yonezawa once describing yaoi dōjinshi as akin to "girls playing with dolls". This is said to heighten the theme of all-conquering love, but is also condemned as a means of avoiding acknowledgement of homophobia. Criticism of the stereotypically feminine behaviour of the uke has also been prominent.

Much of the criticism of yaoi originally rendered in the Japanese yaoi debate has similarly been voiced in the English-language fandom. Rachel Thorn has suggested that yaoi and slash fiction fans are discontented with "the standards of femininity to which they are expected to adhere and a social environment that does not validate or sympathize with that discontent".

Legal issues

Yaoi has been the subject of disputes on legal and moral grounds. Mark McLelland suggests that BL may become "a major battlefront for proponents and detractors of 'gender free' policies in employment, education and elsewhere", while yaoi artist Youka Nitta has said that "even in Japan, reading boys' love isn't something that parents encourage." In Thailand, the sale of unauthorized reproductions of shōnen-ai manga to teenagers in 2001 led to media coverage and a moral panic. In 2006, an email campaign pressuring the Sakai City Central Library to remove BL works from circulation attracted national media attention, and promoted a debate over removal of BL works constituted a form of discrimination. In 2010, the Osaka Prefectural Government included boys' love manga among with other books deemed potentially "harmful to minors" due to its sexual content, which resulted in several magazines prohibited from being sold to people under 18 years of age.

Anhui TV reported that in China, at least 20 young female authors writing danmei novels on an online novel website were arrested in 2014. In 2018, the pseudonymous Chinese BL novel author Tianyi was sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in prison under laws prohibiting the production of "obscene material for profit." Zanghellini notes that due to the "characteristics of the yaoi/BL genre" of showing characters who are often underage engaging in romantic and sexual situations, child pornography laws in Australia and Canada "may lend themselves to targeting yaoi/BL work". He notes that in the UK, cartoons are exempt from child pornography laws unless they are used for child grooming.

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  2. In Chinese male-male romance fiction, danmei (the Mandarin reading of the word tanbi) is used.
  3. In Japan, the term yaoi is occasionally written as "801", which can be read as yaoi through Japanese wordplay: the short reading of the number eight is "ya", zero can be read as "o" (a Western influence), while the short reading for one is "i".
  4. Kubota Mitsuyoshi says that Osamu Tezuka used yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi to dismiss poor quality manga, and this was appropriated by the early yaoi authors.
  5. The acronym yamete, oshiri ga itai (やめて お尻が 痛い, "stop, my ass hurts!") is also less commonly used.
  6. American yaoi publishers have historically been slow to adopt the term "boys' love", believing that the term carries the implication of pedophilia.
  7. While What Did You Eat Yesterday? is not a BL series, it is often discussed in the context of live-action BL media as it focuses on a gay male couple and series creator Fumi Yoshinaga has authored multiple BL and BL-influenced works, notably Antique Bakery.
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Yaoiat Wikipedia's sister projects

Yaoi
Yaoi Language Watch Edit Boys love redirects here For the film see Boys Love film For the manga see Boys Love manga Tanbi redirects here For the Chinese male male romance fiction genre see Danmei Yaoi ˈ j aʊ i Japanese やおい ja o i also known by the wasei eigo construction boys love ボーイズ ラブ bōizu rabu and its abbreviation BL ビーエル bieru is a genre of fictional media originating in Japan that features homoerotic relationships between male characters It is typically created by women for women and is distinct from homoerotic media marketed to gay men but it does also attract a male audience and can be produced by male creators It spans a wide range of media including manga anime drama CDs novels video games television series films and fan works Boys love and BL are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and much of Asia though the terms are used by some fans and commentators in the West yaoi remains more generally prevalent in English An example of yaoi inspired artwork The svelte semi androgynous physical features of the characters are typical of bishōnen literally beautiful boys common in yaoi media The genre originated in the 1970s as a subgenre of shōjo manga or comics for girls Several terms were used for the new genre including shōnen ai 少年愛 lit boy love tanbi 耽美 lit aestheticism and June ジュネ d ʑu ne The term yaoi emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the context of dōjinshi 同人誌 self published works culture as a portmanteau of yama nashi ochi nashi imi nashi no climax no point no meaning where it was used in a self deprecating manner to refer to amateur fan works that focused on sex to the exclusion of plot and character development and that often parodied mainstream manga and anime by depicting male characters from popular series in sexual scenarios Boys love was later adopted by Japanese publications in the 1990s as an umbrella term for male male romance media marketed to women Concepts and themes associated with yaoi include androgynous men known as bishōnen diminished female characters narratives that emphasize homosociality and de emphasize socio cultural homophobia and depictions of rape A defining characteristic of yaoi is the practice of pairing characters in relationships according to the roles of seme the sexual top or active pursuer and uke the sexual bottom or passive pursued Yaoi has a robust global presence having spread since the 1990s through international licensing and distribution as well as through unlicensed circulation of works by yaoi fans online Yaoi works culture and fandom have been studied and discussed by scholars and journalists worldwide Contents 1 Etymology and terminology 2 History 2 1 Before 1970 The origins of shōnen ai 2 2 1970s and 1980s From shōnen ai to yaoi 2 3 1990s Mainstream popularity and yaoi ronsō 2 4 2000s present Globalization of yaoi and BL 3 Concepts and themes 3 1 Bishōnen 3 2 Seme and uke 3 3 Diminished female characters 3 4 Gay equality 3 5 Rape 3 6 Tragedy 3 7 Subgenres and related genres 4 Media 4 1 Fan works dōjinshi 4 2 English language publishing 4 2 1 Original English language yaoi 4 3 Live action television and film 4 3 1 Japan 4 3 2 Thailand 4 3 3 China 4 4 Video games 5 Demography 6 Analysis 6 1 Academic and critical response 6 2 Criticism 6 3 Legal issues 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 9 1 Bibliography 10 Further reading 11 External linksEtymology and terminology EditMultiple terms exist to describe Japanese and Japanese influenced male male romance fiction as a genre In a 2015 survey of professional Japanese male male romance fiction writers by Kazuko Suzuki five primary subgenres were identified 1 Shōnen ai a 少年愛 lit boy love While the term shōnen ai historically connoted ephebophilia or pederasty beginning in the 1970s it was used to describe a new genre of shōjo manga girls manga featuring romance between beautiful boys 3 Early shōnen ai works were inspired by European literature the writings of Taruho Inagaki 4 and the Bildungsroman genre 5 Shōnen ai often features references to literature history science and philosophy 6 Suzuki describes the genre as being pedantic and difficult to understand 7 with philosophical and abstract musings that challenged young readers who were often only able to understand the references and deeper themes as they grew older 8 Tanbi b 耽美 lit aestheticism A subgenre that focuses on the worship of beauty and on romance between older men and beautiful youths 10 11 Tanbi as a term and concept predates male male romance manga that emerged in the 1970s having originated to describe prose fiction depicting homosexuality by authors such as Yukio Mishima Yasunari Kawabata and Jun ichirō Tanizaki 12 Tanbi works are typically defined by their poetic prose and unusual kanji such as Chinese characters appropriated into Japanese script 10 June ジュネ Japanese pronunciation d ʑu ne Derived from the eponymous magazine published from 1978 to 2012 the term was originally used to describe works that resembled the art style of manga published in that magazine 10 It has also been used to describe amateur works depicting male homosexuality that are original creations and not derivative works 13 By the 1990s the term had largely fallen out of use in favor of boys love it has been suggested that publishers wishing to get a foothold in the June market coined boys love to disassociate the genre from the publisher of June 2 Yaoi c やおい Coined in the late 1970s by manga artists Yasuko Sakata and Akiko Hatsu 17 18 yaoi is a portmanteau of yama nashi ochi nashi imi nashi 山 場 なし 落ちなし 意味なし d which translates to no climax no point no meaning e Initially used by artists as a self deprecating and ironic euphemism 16 the portmanteau refers to how early yaoi works typically focused on sex to the exclusion of plot and character development 7 20 it is also a subversive reference to the classical Japanese narrative structure of introduction development twist and conclusion 21 Boys love ボーイズ ラブ bōizu rabu Typically written as the acronym BL ビーエル bieru or alternately as boy s love or boys love the term is a wasei eigo construction derived from the literal English translation of shōnen ai 22 First used in 1991 by the magazine Image in an effort to collect these disparate genres under a single term the term became widely popularized in 1994 after being used by the magazine Puff ja 13 BL is the common term used to describe male male romance media marketed to women in Japan and much of Asia though its usage in the West is inconsistent 13 23 Despite attempts by researchers to codify differences between these subgenres in practice these terms are used interchangeably 22 Kazumi Nagaike and Tomoko Aoyama note that while BL and yaoi are the most common generic terms for this kind of media they specifically avoid attempts at defining subgenres noting that the differences between them are ill defined and that even when differentiated the subgenres remain thematically intertwined 22 24 In Suzuki s investigation of these subgenres she notes that there is no appropriate and convenient Japanese shorthand term to embrace all subgenres of male male love fiction by and for women 1 22 While yaoi has become an umbrella term in the West for Japanese influenced comics with male male relationships 10 and it is the term preferentially used by American manga publishers for works of this kind f Japan uses the term yaoi to denote dōjinshi and works that focus on sex scenes 10 In both usages yaoi and boys love excludes gay manga bara a genre which also depicts gay male sexual relationships but is written for and mostly by gay men 10 21 In the West the term shōnen ai is sometimes used to describe titles that focus on romance over explicit sexual content while yaoi is used to describe titles that primarily feature sexually explicit themes and subject material 25 26 17 Yaoi can also be used by Western fans as a label for anime or manga based slash fiction 27 The Japanese use of yaoi to denote only works with explicit scenes sometimes clashes with the Western use of the word to describe the genre as a whole creating confusion between Japanese and Western audiences 23 History EditBefore 1970 The origins of shōnen ai Edit Kashō Takabatake ja whose artwork came to define bishōnen aesthetics Homosexuality and androgyny have a history in Japan dating to ancient times as seen in practices such as shudō 衆道 same sex love between samurai and their companions and kagema 陰間 male sex workers who served as apprentice kabuki actors 28 29 The country shifted away from a tolerance of homosexuality amid Westernization during the Meiji Era 1868 1912 and moved towards hostile social attitudes towards homosexuality and the implementation of anti sodomy laws 30 31 In the face of this legal and cultural shift artists who depicted male homosexuality in their work typically did so through subtext 32 Illustrations by Kashō Takabatake ja in the shōnen manga boys comics magazine Nihon Shōnen formed the foundation of what would become the aesthetic of bishōnen lit beautiful boy boys and young men often in homosocial or homoerotic contexts who are defined by their ambivalent passivity fragility ephemerality and softness 33 The 1961 novel A Lovers Forest by tanbi writer Mari Mori which follows the relationship between a professor and his younger male lover is regarded as an influential precursor to the shōnen ai genre 4 11 Mori s works were influenced by European literature particularly Gothic literature and laid the foundation for many of the common tropes of shōnen ai and yaoi western exoticism educated and wealthy characters significant age differences among couples and fanciful or even surreal settings 11 In manga the concept of gekiga 劇画 emerged in the late 1950s which sought to use manga to tell serious and grounded stories aimed at adult audiences Gekiga inspired the creation of manga that depicted realistic human relationships and opened the way for manga that explored human sexuality in a non pornographic context 34 Hideko Mizuno s 1969 shōjo manga girls comics series Fire 1969 1971 which eroticized its male protagonists and depicted male homosexuality in American rock and roll culture is noted as an influential work in this regard 35 1970s and 1980s From shōnen ai to yaoi Edit Moto Hagio a member of the Year 24 Group and a major figure in the shōnen ai genre Contemporary Japanese homoerotic romance manga originated in the 1970s as a subgenre of shōjo manga 22 The decade saw the arrival of a new generation of shōjo manga artists most notable among them the Year 24 Group The Year 24 Group contributed significantly to the development of the shōjo manga introducing a greater diversity of themes and subject material to the genre that drew inspiration from by Japanese and European literature cinema and history 36 Members of the group including Keiko Takemiya and Moto Hagio created works that depicted male homosexuality In The Sunroom 1970 by Takemiya and The November Gymnasium 1971 by Hagio are considered the first works of the genre that would become known as shōnen ai 37 Takemiya Hagio Toshie Kihara Ryoko Yamagishi and Kaoru Kurimoto were among the most significant shōnen ai artists of this era 38 18 notable works include The Heart of Thomas 1974 1975 by Hagio and Kaze to Ki no Uta 1976 1984 by Takemiya 38 39 40 Works by these artists typically featured tragic romances between androgynous bishōnen in historic European settings 3 35 Though these works were nominally aimed at an audience of adolescent girls and young women they also attracted adult gay and lesbian readers 3 41 During this same period the first gay manga magazines were published Barazoku the first commercially circulated gay men s magazine in Japan was published in 1971 and served as a major influence on Takemiya and the development of shōnen ai 42 The dōjinshi self published works subculture emerged contemporaneously in the 1970s see Media below 43 44 and in 1975 the first Comiket was held as a gathering of amateur artists who produce dōjinshi 45 The term yaoi initially used by some creators of male male romance dōjinshi to describe their creations ironically emerged to describe amateur works that were influenced by shōnen ai and gay manga 46 47 Early yaoi dōjinshi produced for Comiket were typically derivative works with glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen as popular subjects as a result of the influence of Fire 45 yaoi dōjinshi were also more sexually explicit than shōnen ai 48 In reaction to the success of shōnen ai and early yaoi publishers sought to exploit the market by creating magazines devoted to the genre Young female illustrators cemented themselves in the manga industry by publishing yaoi works with this genre later becoming a transnational subculture 49 50 51 Publishing house Magazine Magazine ja which published the gay manga magazine Sabu ja launched the magazines June 52 in 1978 and Allan in 1980 53 Both magazines initially specialized in shōnen ai which the publisher described as halfway between tanbi literature and pornography 54 and also published articles on homosexuality literary fiction illustrations and amateur yaoi works 55 The success of June was such that the term June mono or more simply June began to compete with the term shōnen ai to describe works depicting male homosexuality 42 56 By the late 1980s the popularity of professionally published shōnen ai was declining and yaoi published as dōjinshi was becoming more popular 57 Mainstream shōnen manga with Japanese settings such as Captain Tsubasa became popular source material for derivative works by yaoi creators and the genre increasingly depicted Japanese settings over western settings 58 Works influenced by shōnen ai in the 1980s began to depict older protagonists and adopted a realist style in both plot and artwork as typified by manga such as Banana Fish 1985 1994 by Akimi Yoshida and Tomoi 1986 by Wakuni Akisato ja 38 41 The 1980s also saw the proliferation of yaoi into anime drama CDs and light novels 59 the 1982 anime adaptation of Patalliro was the first television anime to depict shōnen ai themes while Kaze to Ki no Uta and Earthian were adapted into anime in the original video animation home video format in 1987 and 1989 respectively 60 1990s Mainstream popularity and yaoi ronsō Edit The manga artist group Clamp whose works were among the first yaoi influenced media to be encountered by Western audiences The growing popularity of yaoi attracted the attention of manga magazine editors many of whom recruited yaoi dōjinshi authors to their publications 61 Zetsuai 1989 1989 1991 by Minami Ozaki a yaoi series published in the shōjo magazine Margaret was originally a Captain Tsubasa dōjinshi created by Ozaki that she adapted into an original work 62 By 1990 seven Japanese publishers included yaoi content in their offerings which kickstarted the commercial publishing market of the genre 5 Between 1990 and 1995 thirty magazines devoted to yaoi were established Magazine Be Boy founded in 1993 became one of the most influential yaoi manga magazines of this era 63 The manga in these magazines were influenced by realist stories like Banana Fish and moved away from the shōnen ai standards of the 1970s and 1980s 63 64 Shōnen ai works that were published during this period were typically comedies rather than melodramas such as Gravitation 1996 2002 by Maki Murakami 65 Consequently yaoi and boys love BL came to be the most popular terms to describe works depicting male male romance eclipsing shōnen ai and June 59 An increasing proportion of shōjo manga in the 1990s began to integrate yaoi elements into their plots The manga artist group Clamp which itself began as a group creating yaoi dōjinshi 66 published multiple works containing yaoi elements during this period such as RG Veda 1990 1995 Tokyo Babylon 1991 1994 and Cardcaptor Sakura 1996 2000 67 When these works were released in North America they were among the first yaoi influenced media to be encountered by Western audiences 67 BL gained popularity in mainland China in the late 1990s the country subsequently outlawed the publishing and distribution of BL works 68 The mid 1990s saw the so called yaoi debate or yaoi ronsō や お い 論争 a debate held primarily in a series of essays published in the feminist magazine Choisir from 1992 to 1997 69 In an open letter Japanese gay writer Masaki Satou criticized the genre as homophobic for not depicting gay men accurately 11 heterosexist by reinforcing the misogyny of Japanese society 11 19 and called fans of yaoi disgusting women who have a perverse interest in sexual intercourse between men 69 A years long debate ensued with yaoi fans and artists contending that yaoi is entertainment for women that does not seek to be a realistic depiction of homosexuality and instead serves as a refuge from the misogyny of Japanese society 11 The scholarly debate that the yaoi ronsō engendered led to the formation of the field of BL studies which focus on the study of BL and the relationship between women and BL 70 It additionally impacted creators of yaoi author Chiyo Kurihara abandoned yaoi to focus on heterosexual pornography as a result of the yaoi ronsō while Hisako Takamatsu took into account the arguments of the genre s critics to create works more accommodating of a gay audience 11 2000s present Globalization of yaoi and BL Edit Otome Road in Ikebukuro became a major cultural destination for yaoi fandom in the 2000s The economic crisis caused by the Lost Decade came to affect the manga industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s but did not particularly impact the yaoi market on the contrary yaoi magazines continued to proliferate during this period and sales of yaoi media increased 64 71 In 2004 Otome Road in Ikebukuro emerged as a major cultural destination for yaoi fandom with multiple stores dedicated to shōjo and yaoi goods 72 The 2000s also saw an increase in male readers of yaoi with a 2008 bookstore survey finding that between 25 and 30 percent of yaoi readers were male 73 The 2000s saw significant growth of yaoi in international markets beginning with the founding of the American anime convention Yaoi Con in 2001 74 The first officially licensed English language translations of yaoi manga were published in the North American market in 2003 see Media below 75 76 the market expanded rapidly before contracting in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis of 2007 2008 but continued to grow slowly in the following years 74 South Korea saw the development of BL in the form of manhwa notably Martin and John 2006 by Park Hee jung and Crush on You 2006 by Lee Kyung ha 77 The 2010s saw an increase in the popularity of yaoi influenced media in China and Thailand in the form of web novels live action films and live action television dramas see Media below Though boys love and BL have become the generic terms for this material across Asia in Thailand BL dramas are sometimes referred to as Y or Y series as a shorthand for yaoi 78 79 Thai Series Y explicitly adapts the content of Japanese BL to the Thai local context and in recent years has become increasingly popular with fans around the world who often view Thai BL as separate to its Japanese antecedents 80 Thai BL also deliberately borrows from K pop celebrity culture in the development of its own style of idols known as khu jin imaginary couples who are designed to be paired together by Thai BL s predominantly female fans 81 For cultural anthropologist Thomas Baudinette BL series produced in Thailand represent the next stage in the historic development of yaoi which is increasingly becoming dislocated from Japan among international fans understanding of the genre 82 While yaoi fandom in China traces back to the late 1990s as danmei the Mandarin reading of the Japanese term tanbi 83 state regulations in China made it difficult for danmei writers to publish their works online with a 2009 ordinance by the National Publishing Administration of China banning most danmei online fiction 84 In 2015 laws prohibiting depictions of same sex relationships in television and film were implemented in China 85 The growth in streaming service providers in the 2010s is regarded as a driving force behind the production of BL dramas across Asia as online distribution provides a platform for media containing LGBT material which is frequently not permitted on broadcast television 79 Concepts and themes EditBishōnen Edit Main article Bishōnen Musician David Bowie actor Bjorn Andresen and kabuki actor Bandō Tamasaburō influenced depictions of bishōnen characters in shōjo and yaoi manga The protagonists of yaoi are often bishōnen 美少年 lit beautiful boy highly idealised boys and young men who blend both masculine and feminine qualities 86 Bishōnen as concept can be found disparately throughout East Asia but its specific aesthetic manifestation in 1970s shōjo manga and subsequently in yaoi manga drew influence from popular culture of the era including glam rock artists such as David Bowie 87 actor Bjorn Andresen s portrayal of Thaddeus in the 1971 film adaptation of Death in Venice and kabuki onnagata Bandō Tamasaburō 88 Though bishōnen are not exclusive to yaoi the androgyny of bishōnen is often exploited to explore notions of sexuality and gender in yaoi works 87 The late 2010s saw the increasing popularity of masculine men in yaoi that are reminiscent of the body types typical in gay manga with growing emphasis on stories featuring muscular bodies and older characters 89 90 A 2017 survey by yaoi publisher June Manga found that while over 80 of their readership previously preferred bishōnen body types exclusively 65 now enjoy both bishōnen and muscular body types 91 Critics and commentators have noted that this shift in preferences among yaoi readers and subsequent creation of works that feature characteristics of both yaoi and gay manga represents a blurring of the distinctions between the genres 90 92 anthropologist Thomas Baudinette notes in his fieldwork that gay men in Japan saw no need to sharply disassociate BL from gay manga when discussing their consumption of gay media 93 Seme and uke Edit Artwork depicting a seme left and uke right couple The two participants in a yaoi relationship and to a lesser extent in yuri 94 are often referred to as seme 攻め top and uke 受け bottom These terms originated in martial arts and were later appropriated as Japanese LGBT slang to refer to the insertive and receptive partners in anal sex 95 seme derives from the ichidan verb to attack while uke is taken from the verb to receive 86 Aleardo Zanghellini suggests that the martial arts terms have special significance to a Japanese audience as an archetype of the gay male relationship in Japan includes same sex love between samurai and their companions 95 He suggests that the samurai archetype is responsible for age differences and hierarchical variations in power of some relationships portrayed in yaoi and boys love 95 The seme is often depicted as restrained physically powerful and protective he is generally older and taller 96 with a stronger chin shorter hair smaller eyes and a more stereotypically masculine and macho 97 demeanour than the uke The seme usually pursues the uke who often has softer androgynous feminine features with bigger eyes and a smaller build and is often physically weaker than the seme 98 The roles of seme and uke can alternatively be established by who is dominant in the relationship a character can take the uke role even if he is not presented as feminine simply by being juxtaposed against and pursued by a more dominant and masculine character 99 Anal sex is ubiquitous in yaoi 100 Zanghellini notes that illustrations of anal sex almost always position the characters to face each other rather than doggy style and that the uke rarely fellates the seme but instead receives the sexual and romantic attentions of the seme 95 Though McLelland notes that authors are typically interested in exploring not repudiating the dynamics between the seme and uke 101 not all works adhere to seme and uke tropes 102 103 The possibility of switching roles is often a source of playful teasing and sexual excitement for the characters 104 indicating an interest among many genre authors in exploring the performative nature of the roles 26 Riba リバ a shorthand for reversible リバーシブル is used to describe couples where the seme and uke roles are not strictly defined 105 Occasionally authors will forego the stylisations of the seme and uke to portray both lovers as equally attractive handsome men or will subvert expectations of dominance by depicting the active pursuer in the relationship as taking the passive role during sex 97 In other instances the uke is portrayed as the aggressor in the relationship in these instances the roles are sometimes referred to as osi uke 襲い受け attacking uke and hetare seme ヘタレ攻め wimpy seme 106 Diminished female characters Edit Female characters often have minor roles in yaoi or are absent altogether 107 108 Suzuki notes that mothers in particular are often portrayed in a negative light she suggests this is because the character and reader alike are seeking to substitute the absence of unconditional maternal love with the forbidden all consuming love presented in yaoi 109 In yaoi dōjinshi parodies based on existing works that include female characters the female s role is typically either minimized or the character is killed off 108 110 Yukari Fujimoto noted that when shōnen manga is used as inspiration for yaoi that it seems that yaoi readings and likeable female characters are mutually exclusive 111 Nariko Enomoto a yaoi author argues that women are typically not depicted in yaoi as their presence adds an element of realism that distracts from the fantasy narrative 112 Since the late 2000s women have appeared more frequently in yaoi works as supporting characters 113 Lunsing notes that early shōnen ai and yaoi were often regarded as misogynistic with the diminished role of female characters cited as evidence of the internalized misogyny of the genre s largely female readership 19 He suggests that the decline of these misogynistic representations over time is evidence that female yaoi readers overcame this hate possibly thanks to their involvement with yaoi 19 Gay equality Edit Yaoi stories are often strongly homosocial giving men freedom to bond and pursue shared goals together as in dojinshi adaptations of shōnen manga or to rival each other as in Embracing Love This spiritual bond and equal partnership is depicted as overcoming the male female gender hierarchy 114 As is typical in romance fiction couples depicted in yaoi stories often must overcome obstacles that are emotional or psychological rather than physical 115 Akiko Mizoguchi notes that while early yaoi stories depicted homosexuality as a source of shame to heighten dramatic tension in this regard beginning in the mid 2000s the genre began to depict gay identity with greater sensitivity and nuance with series such as Brilliant Blue featuring stories of coming out and the characters gradual acceptance within the wider community 116 Yaoi typically depicts Japanese society as more accepting of LGBT people than it is in reality which Mizoguchi contends is a form of activism among yaoi authors 116 Some longer form stories such as Fake and Kizuna Bonds of Love have the couple form a family unit depicting them cohabiting and adopting children 117 Fujimoto cites Ossan s Love 2016 2018 and other BL television dramas that emerged in the 2010s as a missing link to bridge the gap between BL fiction and gay people arguing that when BL narratives are presented using human actors it produces a subconscious change in the perception of viewers towards acceptance of homosexuality 118 Although gay male characters are empowered in yaoi the genre rarely addresses the reality of socio cultural homophobia According to Hisako Miyoshi vice editor in chief for Libre Publishing while earlier yaoi focused more on the homosexual way of life from a realistic perspective over time the genre has become less realistic and more comedic and the stories are simply for entertainment 119 Yaoi manga often have fantastical historical or futuristic settings and many fans consider the genre to be escapist fiction 120 Homophobia when it is presented as an issue at all 102 is used as a plot device to heighten drama 121 or to show the purity of the leads love Rachel Thorn has suggested that as yaoi is primarily a romance genre its readers may be turned off by political themes such as homophobia 122 Yaoi author Makoto Tateno expressed scepticism that realistic depictions of gay men s lives would become common in yaoi because girls like fiction more than realism 123 Alan Williams argues that the lack of a gay identity in yaoi is due to yaoi being postmodern stating that a common utterance in the genre when a character claims that he is not gay but just in love with a man has both homophobic or modern temporal undertones but also non identitarian postmodern ones 124 Rape Edit Rape fantasy is a theme commonly associated with yaoi 114 Anal sex is understood as a means of expressing commitment to a partner and in yaoi the apparent violence of rape is transformed into a measure of passion 125 Rape scenes in yaoi are rarely presented as crimes with an assaulter and a victim scenes where a seme rapes an uke are not depicted as symptomatic of the violent desires of the seme but rather as evidence of the uncontrollable attraction felt by the seme towards the uke Such scenes are often a plot device used to make the uke see the seme as more than just a good friend and typically result in the uke falling in love with the seme 114 While Japanese society often shuns or looks down upon women who are raped in reality the yaoi genre depicts men who are raped as still imbued with innocence and are typically still loved by their rapists after the act a trope that may have originated with Kaze to Ki no Uta 125 Kristy Valenti of The Comics Journal notes that rape narratives that focus on how irresistible the uke is and how the seme cannot control himself in his presence exist to absolve the seme of responsibility for his rape of the uke She notes this is likely why the narrative climax of many yaoi stories depicts the seme recognizing and taking responsibility for his sexual desires 126 Conversely some yaoi stories such as Under Grand Hotel subvert the rape fantasy trope entirely by presenting rape as a negative and traumatic act 127 A 2012 survey of English language yaoi fans found that just 15 percent of respondents reported that the presence of rape in yaoi media made them uncomfortable as the majority of respondents could distinguish between the fantasy genre driven rape of yaoi and rape as a crime in reality 65 This surprisingly high tolerance for depictions of rape is contextualized by a content analysis which found that just 13 percent of all original Japanese yaoi available commercially in English contains depictions of rape These findings are argued as possibly belying the perception that rape is almost ubiquitous in BL yaoi 65 Tragedy Edit Tragic narratives that focused on the suffering of the protagonists were popular early June stories 128 particularly stories that ended in one or both members of the central couple dying from suicide 129 By the mid 1990s happy endings were more common 129 when tragic endings are shown the cause is typically not an interpersonal conflict between the couple but the cruel and intrusive demands of an uncompromising outside world 130 Thorn theorizes that depictions of tragedy and abuse in yaoi exist to allow the audience to come to terms in some way with their own experiences of abuse 131 Subgenres and related genres Edit Main articles Bara genre Shotacon and Omegaverse Bara 薔薇 rose also known as gay manga ゲイ漫画 or gei komi ゲイコミ gay comics is a genre focused on male same sex love as created primarily by gay men for a gay male audience 132 Gay manga typically focuses on masculine men with varying degrees of muscle body fat and body hair in contrast to the androgynous bishōnen of yaoi Graham Kolbeins writes in Massive Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It that while yaoi can be understood as a primarily feminist phenomenon in that it depicts sex that is free of the patriarchal trappings of heterosexual pornography gay manga is primarily an expression of gay male identity 133 The early 2000s saw a degree of overlap between yaoi and gay manga in BDSM themed publications the yaoi BDSM anthology magazine Zettai Reido 絶対零度 had several male contributors 19 134 while several female yaoi authors have contributed stories to BDSM themed gay manga anthologies or special issues 134 occasionally under male pen names 133 Shotacon ショタコン shotakon is a genre that depicts prepubescent or pubescent boys in a romantic or pornographic context Originating as an offshoot of yaoi in the early 1980s the subgenre was later adopted by male readers and became influenced by lolicon works depicting prepubescent or pubescent girls 112 the conflation of shotacon in its contemporary usage with yaoi is thus not universally accepted as the genre constitutes material that marketed to both male and female audiences 65 Omegaverse is a male male romance subgenre that originated in American Star Trek fandom 135 that later emerged in the 2010s as a subgenre of both commercial and non commercial yaoi 136 137 Stories in the genre are premised on societies wherein humans are divided into a dominance hierarchy of dominant alphas neutral betas and submissive omegas These terms are derived from those used in ethology to describe social hierarchies in animals 138 Media EditMain article List of yaoi anime and manga In 2003 3 8 of weekly Japanese manga magazines were dedicated exclusively to BL Notable ongoing and defunct magazines include Be Boy June Craft Chara Dear Opera Ciel ja and Gush 17 Several of these magazines were established as companion publications to shōjo manga magazines as they include material considered too explicit for an all ages audience Ciel was established as a companion to Monthly Asuka while Dear was established as a companion to Wings 139 A 2008 assessment estimated that the Japanese commercial BL market grossed approximately 12 billion annually with novel sales generating 250 million per month manga generating 400 million per month CDs generating 180 million per month and video games generating 160 million per month 140 A 2010 report estimated that the Japanese BL market was worth approximately 21 3 billion in both 2009 and 2010 141 Fan works dōjinshi Edit Main article Dōjinshi Yaoi dōjinshi are typically derivative works based on existing media as in this fan art of Harry Potter and Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series The dōjinshi 同人誌 same person publication i e self published fan works subculture emerged contemporaneously with yaoi subculture and Western fan fiction culture in the 1970s 43 44 Characteristic similarities of fan works in both Japan and the West include non adherence to a standard narrative structures and a particular popularity of science fiction themes 86 Early yaoi dōjinshi were amateur publications that were not controlled by media restrictions were typically derivative works based on existing manga and anime and were often written by teenagers for an adolescent audience 44 142 Several legitimate manga artists produce or produced dōjinshi the manga artist group Clamp began as an amateur dōjinshi circle creating yaoi works based on Saint Seiya 66 while Kodaka Kazuma 143 and Fumi Yoshinaga 144 have produced dōjinshi concurrently with professionally published works Many publishing companies review yaoi dōjinshi to recruit talented amateurs this practice has led to careers in mainstream manga for Youka Nitta Shungiku Nakamura and others 145 60 Typically yaoi dōjinshi feature male male pairings from non romantic manga and anime Much of the material derives from male oriented shōnen and seinen works which contain close male male friendships perceived by fans to imply elements of homoeroticism 20 such as with Captain Tsubasa 21 and Saint Seiya two titles which popularized yaoi in the 1980s 44 Weekly Shonen Jump is known to have a large female readership who engage in yaoi readings 146 publishers of shōnen manga may create homoerotic themed merchandise as fan service to their BL fans 147 Yaoi fans may ship any male male pairing sometimes pairing off a favourite character or create a story about two original male characters and incorporate established characters into the story 21 Any male character may become the subject of a yaoi dōjinshi including characters from non manga titles such as Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings 148 video games such as Final Fantasy 149 or real people such as actors and politicians Amateur authors may also create characters out of personifications of abstract concepts as in the personification of countries in Hetalia Axis Powers or complementary objects like salt and pepper 150 In Japan the labeling of yaoi dōjinshi is typically composed of the two lead characters names separated by a multiplication sign with the seme being first and the uke being second 151 Outside of Japan the 2000 broadcast of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing in North America on Cartoon Network is noted as crucial to the development of Western yaoi fan works particularly fan fiction 152 As yaoi fan fiction is often compared to the Western fan practice of slash it is important to understand the subtle differences between them Levi notes that the youthful teen look that so easily translates into androgyny in boys love manga and allows for so many layered interpretations of sex and gender is much harder for slash writers to achieve 153 English language publishing Edit Shelves of yaoi books and magazines at Books Kinokuniya in San Francisco The first officially licensed English language translations of yaoi manga were published in the North American market in 2003 by 2006 there were roughly 130 English translated yaoi works commercially available 75 and by 2007 over 10 publishers in North America published yaoi 154 Notable current English language publishers of yaoi include Viz Media under their SuBLime imprint Digital Manga Publishing under their 801 Media and June imprints Media Blasters under their Kitty Media imprint Seven Seas Entertainment and Tokyopop 43 155 Notable defunct English language publishers of yaoi include Central Park Media under their Be Beautiful imprint Broccoli under their Boysenberry imprint and Aurora Publishing under their Deux Press imprint 98 Among the 135 yaoi manga published in North America between 2003 and 2006 14 were rated for readers aged 13 years or over 39 were rated for readers aged 15 or older and 47 were rated for readers age 18 and up 156 Restrictions among American booksellers often led publishers to label books conservatively often rating books originally intended for a mid teen readership as 18 and distributing them in shrinkwrap 157 Diamond Comic Distributors valued the sales of yaoi manga in the United States at approximately US 6 million in 2007 158 Marketing was significant in the transnational travel of yaoi from Japan to the United States and led to yaoi to attract a following of LGBT fans in the United States The 1994 original video animation adaptation of Kizuna Bonds of Love was distributed by Ariztical Entertainment which specializes in LGBT cinema and marketed the title as the first gay male anime to be released on DVD in the US 159 The film was reviewed in the American LGBT magazine The Advocate which compared the film to gay art house cinema 160 A large portion of Western fans choose to pirate yaoi material because they are unable or unwilling to obtain it through sanctioned methods Scanlations and other fan translation efforts of both commercially published Japanese works and amateur dojinshi are common 161 162 Original English language yaoi Edit When yaoi initially gained popularity in the United States in the early 2000s several American artists began creating original English language manga for female readers featuring male male couples referred to as American yaoi The first known commercially published original English language yaoi comic is Sexual Espionage 1 by Daria McGrain published by Sin Factory in May 2002 163 As international artists began creating yaoi works the term American yaoi fell out of use and was replaced by terms like original English language yaoi 164 global yaoi and global BL 165 166 The majority of publishers creating original English language yaoi manga are now defunct including Yaoi Press 167 DramaQueen 168 and Iris Print 169 170 Digital Manga Publishing last published original English language yaoi manga in 2012 171 outside of the United States German publisher Carlsen Manga also published original yaoi works 172 173 Live action television and film Edit Japan Edit While Japanese BL manga has been adapted into live action films and television dramas since the early 2000s these works were marketed towards a niche audience of BL fans rather than towards a general audience 174 When these works were adapted for a general audience same sex romance elements were typically downplayed or removed entirely as in the live action television adaption of Antique Bakery that aired on Fuji TV in 2001 174 The development of Japanese live action television dramas that focus on BL and same sex romance themes explicitly was spurred by the critical and commercial success of the TV Asahi television drama Ossan s Love 2016 which features an all male love triangle as its central plot conceit 118 While Ossan s Love is an original series it influenced the creation of live action BL works adpated from manga that are marketed towards mass audiences notable examples include the television dramas Pornographer ja 2018 on Fuji TV What Did You Eat Yesterday 2019 on TV Tokyo g and Cherry Magic Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard 2020 on TV Tokyo and the live action film adaptation of The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese 2020 174 Thailand Edit The Thai romantic drama film Love of Siam 2007 which features a gay male romance storyline found unexpected mainstream success upon its release and grossed over TH 40 million at the box office 78 This was followed by Love Sick The Series 2014 2015 the first Thai television series to feature two gay characters as the lead roles 175 Cultural anthropologist Thomas Baudinette argues that Love Sick The Series represented a watershed moment in the depiction of queer romance in Thai media exploring how the series adapted tropes from Japanese BL to create a new genre of media 80 While Japanese BL manga attracted an audience in Thailand as early as the 1990s 176 the success of Love of Siam and Love Sick kick started the production of domestic BL dramas between 2014 and 2020 57 television series in the BL genre were produced and released in Thailand 177 Beginning in 2020 Thai BL dramas gained international recognition after the release of 2gether The Series which attracted widespread acclaim for its family friendly themes lighthearted plot and positive depictions of gay men 178 179 Major producers of Thai BL include GMMTV a subsidiary of GMM Grammy which has produced 2gether SOTUS The Series 2016 2017 Dark Blue Kiss 2019 and Theory of Love 2019 178 and Line Corporation which produces BL dramas in Thailand for distribution on its Line TV platform 79 The genre has seen some backlash from conservative elements in Thai society in 2020 the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission introduced new guidelines around material containing sexually explicit or suggestive scenes while public broadcaster MCOT cancelled the BL series Love by Chance in 2018 78 Thai BL dramas are noted as having gained popularity in Indonesia where LGBT representation in domestic television is less common 177 as well as in the Philippines where many fans view BL as an originally Thai form of popular culture 82 It has been suggested that BL dramas could become a source of Thai cultural soft power in Southeast Asia and beyond 175 79 China Edit Homosexuality is neither prohibited nor legally recognized in mainland China and laws regarding the censorship of LGBT material are unevenly enforced regardless such content is deemed sensitive and is inconsistently but regularly removed from distribution 85 Addicted 2016 the first Chinese BL web series accumulated 10 million views before being pulled from the streaming platform iQiyi 180 178 In reaction to state censorship Chinese BL works typically depict male male romance as homoerotic subtext the web novel Guardian 2012 depicted a romance between its two lead male characters though when it was adapted into a television drama on the streaming platform Youku in 2018 the relationship was rendered as a close homoerotic friendship 181 The BL Xianxia novel Mo Dao Zu Shi 2015 was adapted into an animated series in 2018 and the live action television series The Untamed in 2019 which similarly revise the nature of the relationship between the lead male characters Despite this The Untamed was praised for avoiding censorship while maintaining the slow burn heat of the source material 182 fans of both Guardian and The Untamed discussed the series gay content under the hashtag socialist brotherhood to avoid detection from state censors 181 182 Video games Edit Boys love and yaoi video games typically consist of visual novels or eroge oriented around male male couples The first yaoi game to receive an officially licensed English language release was Enzai Falsely Accused published by JAST USA in 2006 183 That same year the company published Zettai Fukujuu Meirei under the title Absolute Obedience 184 while Hirameki International licensed Animamundi the later game although already nonexplicit was censored for US release to achieve a mature rather than adults only ESRB rating removing some of both the sexual and the violent content 185 Compared to yaoi manga fewer yaoi games have been officially translated into English the lack of interest by publishers in licensing further titles has been attributed to widespread copyright infringement of both licensed and unlicensed games 186 Demography EditMain article Yaoi fandom Suzuki notes that demographic analyses of BL media are underdeveloped and thus much needed in yaoi BL studies 187 but acknowledges that the overwhelming majority of BL readers are women 187 80 of the yaoi audience in Thailand is female 176 while the membership of Yaoi Con a now defunct American yaoi convention was 85 female 188 It is usually assumed that all female fans are heterosexual but in Japan there is a presence of lesbian manga authors 19 and lesbian bisexual or questioning female readers 189 A 2008 surveys of English speaking readers of yaoi indicated that 50 60 of female readers self identify as heterosexual 190 Female fans of yaoi are often referred to as fujoshi 腐女子 lit rotten girl a derogatory insult that was later reappropriated as a self descriptive term 191 The male equivalent is fudanshi 腐男子 lit rotten boy Although the genre is marketed to and consumed primarily by girls and women there is a gay 75 bisexual 192 and heterosexual male 193 194 195 readership as well A 2007 survey of yaoi readers among patrons of a United States library found about one quarter of respondents were male 196 two online surveys found approximately ten percent of the broader English speaking yaoi readership were male 157 190 Lunsing suggests that younger Japanese gay men who are offended by pornographic content in gay men s magazines may prefer to read yaoi instead 197 Some gay men however are put off by the feminine art style or unrealistic depictions of LGBT culture in Japan and instead prefer gay manga 19 which some perceive to be more realistic 21 Lunsing notes that some of the yaoi narrative elements criticized by homosexual men such as rape fantasies misogyny and characters non identification as gay are also present in gay manga 19 In the mid 1990s estimates of the size of the Japanese yaoi fandom ranged from 100 000 to 500 000 people 19 By April 2005 a search for non Japanese websites resulted in 785 000 English 49 000 Spanish 22 400 Korean 11 900 Italian and 6 900 Chinese sites 198 In January 2007 there were approximately five million hits for yaoi 199 Analysis EditAcademic and critical response Edit Yaoi has received considerable critical attention especially after translations of yaoi became commercially available outside Japan in the 21st century 200 In Manga Manga The World of Japanese Comics the 1983 book by Frederik L Schodt that was the first substantial English language work on manga Schodt observes that portrayals of gay male relationships had used and further developed bisexual themes already extant in shōjo manga to appeal to their female audience 201 Japanese critics have viewed boys love as a genre that permits their audience to avoid adult female sexuality by distancing sex from their own bodies 202 as well as to create fluidity in perceptions of gender and sexuality and rejects socially mandated gender roles as a first step toward feminism 203 Kazuko Suzuki for example believes that the audience s aversion to or contempt for masculine heterosexism is something which has consciously emerged as a result of the genre s popularity 204 Mizoguchi writing in 2003 feels that BL is a female gendered space as the writers readers artists and most of the editors of BL are female 2 BL has been compared to romance novels by English speaking librarians 96 121 Parallels have also been noted in the popularity of lesbianism in pornography 100 75 and yaoi has been called a form of female fetishism 205 Mariko Ōhara a science fiction writer has said that she wrote yaoi Kirk Spock fiction as a teen because she could not enjoy conventional pornography which had been made for men and that she had found a limitless freedom in yaoi much like in science fiction 206 Other commentators have suggested that more radical gender political issues underlie BL In 1998 Shihomi Sakakibara asserted that yaoi fans including himself were gay transgender men 207 Sandra Buckley believes that bishōnen narratives champion the imagined potentialities of alternative gender differentiations 208 while James Welker described the bishōnen character as queer commenting that manga critic Akiko Mizoguchi saw shōnen ai as playing a role in how she herself had become a lesbian 209 Dru Pagliassotti sees this and the yaoi ronsō as indicating that for Japanese gay and lesbian readers BL is not as far removed from reality as heterosexual female readers like to claim 157 Welker has also written that boys love titles liberate the female audience not just from patriarchy but from gender dualism and heteronormativity 209 Criticism Edit Some gay and lesbian commentators have criticized how gay identity is portrayed in BL most notably in the yaoi ronsō or yaoi debate of 1992 1997 see History above 19 11 A trope of yaoi that has attracted criticism is male protagonists who do not identify as gay but are rather simply in love with each other with Comiket co founder Yoshihiro Yonezawa once describing yaoi dōjinshi as akin to girls playing with dolls 100 This is said to heighten the theme of all conquering love 107 but is also condemned as a means of avoiding acknowledgement of homophobia 210 Criticism of the stereotypically feminine behaviour of the uke has also been prominent 103 Much of the criticism of yaoi originally rendered in the Japanese yaoi debate has similarly been voiced in the English language fandom 102 211 212 213 Rachel Thorn has suggested that yaoi and slash fiction fans are discontented with the standards of femininity to which they are expected to adhere and a social environment that does not validate or sympathize with that discontent 214 215 Legal issues Edit Yaoi has been the subject of disputes on legal and moral grounds Mark McLelland suggests that BL may become a major battlefront for proponents and detractors of gender free policies in employment education and elsewhere 216 while yaoi artist Youka Nitta has said that even in Japan reading boys love isn t something that parents encourage 217 In Thailand the sale of unauthorized reproductions of shōnen ai manga to teenagers in 2001 led to media coverage and a moral panic 218 In 2006 an email campaign pressuring the Sakai City Central Library to remove BL works from circulation attracted national media attention and promoted a debate over removal of BL works constituted a form of discrimination 216 In 2010 the Osaka Prefectural Government included boys love manga among with other books deemed potentially harmful to minors due to its sexual content 219 which resulted in several magazines prohibited from being sold to people under 18 years of age 220 Anhui TV reported that in China at least 20 young female authors writing danmei novels on an online novel website were arrested in 2014 221 In 2018 the pseudonymous Chinese BL novel author Tianyi was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison under laws prohibiting the production of obscene material for profit 222 Zanghellini notes that due to the characteristics of the yaoi BL genre of showing characters who are often underage engaging in romantic and sexual situations child pornography laws in Australia and Canada may lend themselves to targeting yaoi BL work He notes that in the UK cartoons are exempt from child pornography laws unless they are used for child grooming 95 See also EditGlossary of anime and manga Boys Love Manga Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross Cultural Fandom of the Genre Pornography in Japan Gay pornography Gay pulp fiction Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths Tweek x Craig Notes Edit The term bishōnen manga was occasionally used in the 1970s but fell out of use by the 1990s as works in this genre began to feature a broader range of protagonists beyond the traditional adolescent boys 2 In Chinese male male romance fiction danmei the Mandarin reading of the word tanbi is used 9 In Japan the term yaoi is occasionally written as 801 which can be read as yaoi through Japanese wordplay the short reading of the number eight is ya zero can be read as o a Western influence while the short reading for one is i 14 15 16 Kubota Mitsuyoshi says that Osamu Tezuka used yama nashi ochi nashi imi nashi to dismiss poor quality manga and this was appropriated by the early yaoi authors 16 The acronym yamete oshiri ga itai やめて お尻が 痛い stop my ass hurts is also less commonly used 19 American yaoi publishers have historically been slow to adopt the term boys love believing that the term carries the implication of pedophilia 22 While What Did You Eat Yesterday is not a BL series it is often discussed in the context of live action BL media as it focuses on a gay male couple and series creator Fumi Yoshinaga has authored multiple BL and BL influenced works notably Antique Bakery 118 References Edit a b Suzuki 2015 p 93 118 a b c Akiko Mizoguchi 2003 Male Male Romance by and for Women in Japan A History and the Subgenres of Yaoi Fictions U S Japan Women s Journal 25 49 75 a b c Welker James 2006 Beautiful Borrowed and Bent Boys Love as Girls Love in Shojo Manga Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society 31 3 842 doi 10 1086 498987 S2CID 144888475 a b Welker James Intersections Review Boys Love Manga Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross Cultural Fandom of the Genre Intersections Archived from the original on 8 November 2014 Retrieved 29 November 2014 a b Bauer Carola 2013 Naughty girls and gay male romance porn slash fiction boys love manga and other works by Female Cross Voyeurs in the U S Academic Discourses S l Anchor Academic Publishing p 81 ISBN 978 3954890019 Suzuki 1999 p 250 a b Suzuki 1999 p 252 Suzuki 1999 p 251 Wei John 2014 Queer encounters between Iron Man and Chinese boys love fandom Transformative Works and Cultures 17 doi 10 3983 twc 2014 0561 a b c d e f Definitions From Japan BL Yaoi June aestheticism com Archived from the original on 5 June 2009 a b c d e f g h Vincent Keith 2007 A Japanese Electra and Her Queer Progen Mechademia Project MUSE 2 64 79 doi 10 1353 mec 0 0000 S2CID 120935717 What is Danmei Futekiya Dai Nippon Printing 19 June 2020 Retrieved 14 November 2020 a b c What is Boys Love Futekiya Dai Nippon Printing 8 March 2020 Retrieved 14 November 2020 Aoyama Tomoko April 2009 Eureka Discovers Culture Girls Fujoshi and BL Essay Review of Three Issues of the Japanese Literary magazine Yuriika Eureka Intersections Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 20 Archived from the original on 17 February 2012 Retrieved 10 February 2012 Tonari no 801 chan Fujoshi Manga Adapted for Shōjo Mag Archived from the original on 19 January 2008 Retrieved 1 February 2008 a b c Ingulsrud John E Allen Kate 2009 Reading Japan Cool Patterns of Manga Literacy and Discourse Rowman amp Littlefield p 47 ISBN 978 0 7391 2753 7 a b c Galbraith Patrick W 2011 Fujoshi Fantasy Play and Transgressive Intimacy among Rotten Girls in Contemporary Japan Signs 37 1 211 232 doi 10 1086 660182 S2CID 146718641 a b Mari Kotani foreword to Saitō Tamaki 2007 Otaku Sexuality in Christopher Bolton Istvan Csicsery Ronay Jr and Takayuki Tatsumi ed page 223 Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams University of Minnesota Press ISBN 978 0 8166 4974 7 a b c d e f g h i j Lunsing Wim January 2006 Yaoi Ronsō Discussing Depictions of Male Homosexuality in Japanese Girls Comics Gay Comics and Gay Pornography Intersections Gender History and Culture in the Asian Context 12 Archived from the original on 10 February 2012 Retrieved 12 August 2008 a b Thorn 2004 p 171 a b c d e Wilson Brent Toku Masami 2003 Boys Love Yaoi and Art Education Issues of Power and Pedagogy Visual Culture Research in Art and Education Archived from the original on 10 June 2010 a b c d e f Zsila Agnes Pagliassotti Dru Orosz Gabor Demetrovics Zsolt 2018 Chiesi Francesca ed Loving the love of boys Motives for consuming yaoi media PLOS One 13 6 e0198895 Bibcode 2018PLoSO 1398895Z doi 10 1371 journal pone 0198895 PMC 6002055 PMID 29902228 a b BL vs Yaoi vs Shounen ai Futekiya Dai Nippon Printing 11 April 2020 Retrieved 10 November 2020 Nagaike amp Aoyama 2015 p 120 Cha Kai Ming 7 March 2005 Yaoi Manga What Girls Like Publishers Weekly Archived from the original on 4 December 2014 Retrieved 28 November 2014 a b Wood Andrea 2006 Straight Women Queer Texts Boy Love Manga and the Rise of a Global Counterpublic WSQ Women s Studies Quarterly 34 1 2 394 414 Hahn Aquila Meredith Suzanne 2007 Ranma Fan Fiction Writers New Narrative Themes or the Same Old Story Mechademia 2 34 47 doi 10 1353 mec 0 0017 de Bats 2008b p 133 134 McLelland amp Welker 2015 p 6 7 de Bats 2008b p 136 McLelland amp Welker 2015 p 7 McLelland amp Welker 2015 p 7 8 Hartley 2015 p 22 Brient 2008b p 7 a b Welker 2015 p 45 Welker 2015 p 44 Welker 2015 p 47 a b c Welker 2015 p 51 Angles Jeffrey 2011 Writing the love of boys origins of Bishōnen culture in modernist Japanese literature Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press p 1 ISBN 978 0 8166 6970 7 Toku Masami 2007 Shojo Manga Girls Comics A Mirror of Girls Dreams Mechademia 2 19 32 doi 10 1353 mec 0 0013 S2CID 120302321 a b McLelland amp Welker 2015 p 9 a b Welker 2015 p 62 a b c Strickland Elizabeth 2 November 2006 Drawn Together The Village Voice Archived from the original on 20 August 2009 a b c d McHarry Mark November 2003 Yaoi Redrawing Male Love The Guide Archived from the original on 17 April 2008 a b Welker 2015 p 54 Welker 2015 p 55 56 Matsui Midori 1993 Little girls were little boys Displaced Femininity in the representation of homosexuality in Japanese girls comics in Gunew S and Yeatman A eds Feminism and The Politics of Difference pp 177 196 Halifax Fernwood Publishing Welker 2015 p 54 56 Kincaid Chris March 8 2013 Yaoi History Appeal and Misconceptions Japan Powered Japan Powered Archived from the original on March 27 2020 Retrieved March 28 2020 James Welker Boys Love BL Media and Its Asian Transfigurations Center for East Asian Studies The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania March 27 2018 Archived from the original on March 26 2020 Retrieved March 28 2020 Liu Ting April 2009 Conflicting Discourses on Boys Love and Subcultural Tactics in Mainland China and Hong Kong Intersections Gender History and Culture in the Asian Context 20 Retrieved 28 March 2020 Welker 2015 p 59 60 Welker 2015 p 61 Welker 2015 p 59 Welker 2015 p 60 62 Brient 2008b p 5 7 Thorn 2004 p 170 Welker 2015 p 57 a b Welker 2015 p 64 65 a b Bollmann Tuuli 2010 Niskanen Eija ed He romance for her yaoi BL and shounen ai PDF Imaginary Japan Japanese Fantasy in Contemporary Popular Culture Turku Interna tional Institute for Popular Culture 42 46 Archived from the original PDF on 19 March 2015 Welker 2015 p 63 Suzuki 1999 p 261 a b Welker 2015 p 64 a b Brient 2008b p 10 a b c d Madill Anna 2017 Smith Clarissa Attwood Feona McNair Brian eds Erotic Manga Boys love shonen ai yaoi and MxM shotacon The Routledge Companion to Media Sex and Sexuality Routledge doi 10 4324 9781315168302 13 ISBN 978 0367581176 a b Kimbergt 2008 p 113 115 a b Sylvius 2008 p 20 23 Liu Ting 2009 Intersections Conflicting Discourses on Boys Love and Subcultural Tactics in Mainland China and Hong Kong Intersections Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 20 Archived from the original on 28 January 2013 Retrieved 8 September 2009 a b Hishida 2015 p 214 Nagaike amp Aoyama 2015 p 121 Welker 2015 p 65 66 Welker 2015 p 65 de Bats 2008b p 142 a b Welker 2015 p 67 a b c d McLelland Mark 2006 2007 Why are Japanese Girls Comics full of Boys Bonking Refractory A Journal of Entertainment Media 10 Archived from the original on 15 April 2008 Brient 2008b p 11 Sylvius 2008 p 36 37 a b c Watson Joey Jirik Kim 15 June 2018 Boys love The unstoppable rise of same sex soapies in Thailand ABC News Retrieved 17 November 2020 a b c d Kishimoto Marimi 14 November 2020 Japanese style boys love dramas captivate Thai women The Nikkei Retrieved 17 November 2020 a b Baudinette Thomas 3 April 2019 Lovesick The Series adapting Japanese Boys Love to Thailand and the creation of a new genre of queer media South East Asia Research 27 2 115 132 doi 10 1080 0967828X 2019 1627762 ISSN 0967 828X S2CID 198767219 tbaudinette 7 March 2020 Recorded Lecture Thailand s Boys Love Machine Producing queer idol fandom across Southeast Asia Thomas Baudinette Retrieved 18 September 2021 a b Baudinette Thomas 2020 Creative Misreadings of Thai BL by a Filipino Fan Community Dislocating Knowledge Production in Transnational Queer Fandoms Through Aspirational Consumption 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Masafumi April 2018 The Beautiful Shōnen of the Deep and Moonless Night The Boyish Aesthetic in Modern Japan PDF ASIEN 147 64 91 permanent dead link Matasaburo Shimizu 29 April 2019 平成BL漫画の絵柄遍歴を描いてみた in Japanese Chil Chil Retrieved 20 July 2019 a b Grace Madison 24 January 2017 What is yaoi and where does it go from here June Manga Retrieved 20 July 2019 Grace Madison 27 March 2017 Yaoi then vs now June Manga Retrieved 20 July 2019 Aoki Deb 22 July 2015 TCAF 2015 Gengoroh Tagame Talks Gay Manga Bara BL and Scanlation Manga Comics Manga Archived from the original on 24 September 2017 Retrieved 12 January 2019 Baudinette Thomas 1 April 2017 Japanese gay men s attitudes towards gay manga and the problem of genre East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 3 1 63 doi 10 1386 eapc 3 1 59 1 ISSN 2051 7084 Aoki Deb 3 March 2007 Interview Erica Friedman Page 2 Archived 21 June 2013 at WebCite Because the dynamic of the seme uke is so well known it s bound to show up in yuri In general I m going to 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Regulating Boys Love Materials Anime News Network Retrieved 23 February 2020 Loo Egan 28 April 2010 Osaka Lists 8 Boys Love Mags Designated as Harmful Updated Anime News Network Retrieved 23 February 2020 天天故事会 神秘写手落网记 超级新闻场 v youku com Archived from the original on 15 May 2019 Retrieved 2 December 2018 Gan Nectar 18 November 2018 Outcry as Chinese erotic writer jailed for more than 10 years over gay sex scenes in novel South China Morning Post Retrieved 10 November 2020 Bibliography Edit Brient Herve ed 2008a Homosexualite et manga le yaoi Manga 10000 images in French Editions H ISBN 978 2 9531781 0 4 Brient Herve 2008b Une petite histoire du yaoi Homosexualite et manga Le yaoi in French 5 11 de Bats Hadrien 2008a Entretien avec Hisako Miyoshi Homosexualite et manga Le yaoi in French 17 19 de Bats Hadrien 2008b Le yaoi est il gay Homosexualite et manga Le yaoi in French 132 144 Kimbergt Sebastien 2008 Ces mangas qui utilisent le yaoi pour doper leurs ventes Homosexualite et manga Le yaoi in French 113 115 Sylvius Peggy 2008 Le yaoi en francophonie Homosexualite et manga Le yaoi in French 20 37 McLelland Mark 2005 The World of Yaoi The Internet Censorship and the Global Boys Love Fandom The Australian Feminist Law Journal 23 61 77 doi 10 1080 13200968 2005 10854344 S2CID 144134070 Archived from the original on 19 July 2008 McLelland Mark Nagaike Kazumi Katsuhiko Suganuma Welker James eds 2015 Boys Love Manga and Beyond History Culture and Community in Japan University Press of Mississippi ISBN 978 1628461190 Hartley Barbara 2015 A Genealogy of Boys Love The Gaze of the Girl and the Bishōnen Body in the Prewar Images of Takabatake Kashō Boys Love Manga and Beyond History Culture and Community in Japan 21 41 doi 10 14325 mississippi 9781628461190 003 0002 Hishida Hitoshi 2015 Representational Appropriation and the Autonomy of Desire in yaoi BL Boys Love Manga and Beyond History Culture and Community in Japan 210 232 McLelland Mark Welker James 2015 An Introduction to Boys Love in Japan Boys Love Manga and Beyond pp 3 20 doi 10 14325 mississippi 9781628461190 003 0001 ISBN 9781628461190 Nagaike Kazumi Aoyama Tomoko 2015 What is Japanese BL studies A historical and analytical overview Boys Love Manga and Beyond pp 119 140 Suzuki Kazuko 2015 What can we learn from Japanese professional BL writers A sociological analysis of yaoi BL terminology and classifications Boys Love Manga and Beyond History Culture and Community in Japan pp 93 118 doi 10 14325 mississippi 9781628461190 003 0005 Welker James 2015 A Brief History of Shōnen ai Yaoi and Boys Love Boys Love Manga and Beyond History Culture and Community in Japan 42 75 doi 10 14325 mississippi 9781628461190 003 0003 ISBN 9781628461190 McLelland Mark 2000 Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan Cultural Myths and Social Realities Richmond Surrey Curzon Press ISBN 0 7007 1425 1 Suzuki Kazuko 1999 Inness Sherrie ed Pornography or Therapy Japanese Girls Creating the Yaoi Phenomenon Millennium Girls Today s Girls Around the World London Rowman amp Littlefield 243 267 ISBN 0 8476 9136 5 Thorn Rachel 2004 Kelly William W ed Girls And Women Getting Out Of Hand The Pleasure And Politics Of Japan s Amateur Comics Community Fanning the Flames Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan State University of New York Press 169 186 ISBN 0 7914 6032 0 Archived from the original on 9 December 2013 Retrieved 12 August 2008 Further reading EditAngles Jeffrey 2011 Writing the love of boys origins of Bishōnen culture in modernist Japanese literature Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press ISBN 978 0 8166 6970 7 Aoyama Tomoko 2013 BL Boys Love Literacy Subversion Resuscitation and Transformation of the Father s Text U S Japan Women s Journal 43 1 63 84 doi 10 1353 jwj 2013 0001 S2CID 143569303 Aoyama Tomoko 1988 Male homosexuality as treated by Japanese women writers in The Japanese Trajectory Modernization and Beyond Gavan McCormack Yoshio Sugimoto eds Cambridge University Press ISBN 0 521 34515 4 Brient Herve ed 2012 Le Yaoi articles chroniques entretiens et manga in French Seconde edition mise a jour et developpee ed Versailles Editions H ISBN 979 10 90728 00 4 Haggerty George E 2000 Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures Taylor amp Francis ISBN 978 0 8153 1880 4 Kakinuma Eiko Kurihara Chiyo et al eds Tanbi Shosetsu Gay Bungaku Book Guide 1993 ISBN 4 89367 323 8 Lewis Marilyn Jaye editor Zowie It s Yaoi Western Girls Write Hot Stories of Boys Love Philadelphia Running Press 2006 ISBN 1 56025 910 8 Levi Antonia McHarry Mark Pagliassotti Dru eds 2010 Boys Love Manga Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross Cultural Fandom of the Genre McFarland amp Company ISBN 978 0 7864 4195 2 McHarry Mark 2011 Girls Doing Boys Doing Boys Boys Love Masculinity and Sexual Identities In Perper Timothy and Martha Cornog Eds Mangatopia Essays on Anime and Manga in the Modern World New York ABC Clio ISBN 978 1 59158 908 2 McLelland Mark 2011 Australia s Child Abuse Materials legislation internet regulation and the juridification of the imagination International Journal of Cultural Studies 15 5 467 doi 10 1177 1367877911421082 S2CID 41788106 McLelland Mark Australia s proposed internet filtering system its implications for animation comic and gaming ACG and slash fan communities Media international Australia incorporating Culture amp policy 134 2010 7 19 Nagaike Kazumi 3 May 2012 Fantasies of Cross Dressing Japanese Women Write Male Male Erotica BRILL ISBN 978 90 04 21695 2 Retrieved 28 August 2013 Ogi Fusami 2001 Beyond Shoujo Blending Gender Subverting the Homogendered World in Shoujo Manga Japanese Comics for Girls International Journal of Comic Art 3 2 151 161 Pilcher Tim Moore Alan Kannenberg Gene Jr 2009 Erotic Comics 2 A Graphic History from the Liberated 70s to the Internet Abrams ComicArts ISBN 978 0 8109 7277 3 Saito Kumiko 2011 Desire in Subtext Gender Fandom and Women s Male Male Homoerotic Parodies in Contemporary Japan in Mechademia 6 Solomon Charles 30 June 2004 Young men in love Los Angeles Times Welker James 2011 Flower Tribes and Female Desire Complicating Early Female Consumption of Male Homosexuality in Shōjo Manga Mechademia 6 1 211 228 doi 10 1353 mec 2011 0007 S2CID 123677562 External links EditYaoiat Wikipedia s sister projects Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons Data from Wikidata Chil Chil Japanese BL Database Anime and manga portal LGBT portal Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Yaoi amp oldid 1053945989, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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