Boys Love Manga Research Paper

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Boys' love genre in manga, Japanese comic, encompasses genres such as shounen-ai and yaoi, both of which are based on male homosexual romance though the latter is the more erotic version. While one might expect readers of boys' love manga to be male homosexuals due to its same-sex male romance content, majority of the audience are, in fact, females. Levi (2010, 1) defines boys' love manga as "same-sex male romances and erotica written mostly by and for women", clearly reinforcing the fact that majority of boys' love manga readership is female. Levi further states that "In August 2007, more than 550,000 people, a majority of them young women and teenage girls, attended Tokyo's Comic Market......to buy and/or sell yaoi-themed doujinshi". This…show more content…
Literally meaning 'Pretty Boys', these bishounen characters are androgynous boys who can are more often than not labeled as the epitome of beauty in the manga. In male-male relationships of boys' love manga, bishounen with highly feminine features often takes up the position which females usually occupy in heterosexual relationships. Using the popular shounen-ai manga, Gravitation, as an example, the main protagonist, Shuichi assumes the female position in a heterosexual relationship. The character possesses not only a feminine appearance but also a submissive and emotional personality. Takemaru (2010, 110) highlights, Japanese dictionaries feminine, or onna rashii in Japanese, as "being gentle, delicate, emotional, submissive, and kind". Based on this definition, Shuichi can be characterised as feminine in both appearance and personality, allowing the fujoshi to empathise with his character emotionally despite his biological sex as a male. By borrowing a male body to represent female thoughts and emotions, fujoshi are able to establish an emotional connection with the bishounen character, thus successfully drawing female interest into the boys' love
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