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Yaoi, also known as Boys' Love (Shōnen-Ai) and its abbreviation "BL", is a genre of female-oriented manga that focuses on homoerotic or homoromantic male relationships.

Concepts and themes associated with the Yaoi ganre include androgynous men (bishōnen); diminished female characters; narratives that emphasize homosociality and gay equality; and variations of rape fantasy.

History[]

The Yaoi genre originated in the 1970s as a subgenre of Shōjo manga (comics for girls). While several terms were used to refer to the emerging genre, including Shōnen-ai (少年愛, "boy love"), tanbi (耽美, "aesthetic"), and June (ジュネ), the term "Yaoi" emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s within the fanmade dōjinshi culture as a portmanteau of the label "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi" ("no climax, no point, no meaning"); referring to how the works tended to focus on sex and excluded plot and character development. At this time, Yaoi works also tended to be fanmade parodies of mainstream manga and anime that depicted male characters from popular series in sexual scenarios.

As the genre grew, the term "Boys' Love" was later adopted by Japanese publications in the 1990s as an umbrella term for male-male romance media marketed to women.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • Yaoi is typically created by female authors for a female audience and is thus distinct from "Bara" (Gay Manga); a genre of homoerotic media created by gay men marketed to gay men. That being said, Yaoi does also attract a gay male audience and can be produced by gay male creators.
  • The term Shōnen-Ai (Boys' Love) 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.
  • A defining characteristic of Yaoi and Yaoi fandom is the practice of pairing characters into the relationship roles of "Seme"; the sexual top or active pursuer, and "Uke"; the sexual bottom or passive pursued.
  • In Japan, female fans are called "Fujoshi" (腐女子, lit. "rotten girl"); alluding to the premise that a woman who enjoys fictional gay content is "rotten" and "too ruined to be married". A male fan of yaoi is called a "Fudanshi" (腐男子, "rotten boy").
  • Zombina and Shiishii are both Fujoshi (female otaku) who enjoy Yaoi doujinshi.



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