Boys Love Manga and BeyondHistory, Culture, and Community in Japan

Boys Love Manga and BeyondHistory, Culture, and Community in Japan

Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Welker

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781628461190

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Boys Love (or simply BL) has emerged as a mainstream genre in manga, anime, and games for girls and young women. This genre was first developed in Japan in the early 1970s by a group of female artists. By the late 1970s, many amateur women fans were getting involved and creating and self-publishing homoerotic parodies of established male manga characters and popular media figures. The popularity of these encouraged a surge in the number of commercial titles. Today, a wide range of products, produced both by professionals and amateurs, is rapidly gaining a global audience. This book provides an overview of the BL phenomenon in Japan, its history and various subgenres and introduces translations of some key Japanese scholarship not otherwise available. The book looks at a range of literary, artistic, and other cultural products that celebrate the beauty of adolescent boys and young men. In Japan, depiction of the “beautiful boy” has long been a romantic and sexualized trope for both sexes and commands a high degree of cultural visibility today across a range of genres from pop music to animation. Drawing from diverse disciplinary homes, the chapters unite in their attention to historical context, analytical precision, and close readings of diverse boys love texts.

Table of Contents

Boys Love Manga and Beyond

An Introduction to “Boys Love” in Japan

Mark McLelland AND James Welker

A Genealogy of Boys Love

Barbara Hartley

The Evolution of BL as “Playing with Gender”

Fujimoto Yukari TRANSLATED BY Joanne Quimby

What is Japanese “BL Studies?”

Kazumi Nagaike AND Tomoko Aoyama

Politics of Utopia

Rio Otomo

Moe Talk

Patrick W. Galbraith

Fujoshi Emergent

Jeffry T. Hester

Representational Appropriation and the Autonomy of Desire in Yaoi/BL

Ishida Hitoshi TRANSLATED BY Katsuhiko Suganuma

Queering the Cooking Man

Tomoko Aoyama