Shifting Popular Representations of Yaoi/BL Fandom in Japan
This chapter discusses the emergence of fujoshi culture in Japan as a controversial and contested figure in popular culture, arguing that the fujoshi is not necessarily in control of her own image, and a variety of discourses have emerged in the media seeking to explain these “rotten” women. It notes that fujoshi are represented in the media as a kind of otaku, but until the emergence of the fujoshi in popular discourse, female otaku were only ever “a derivative and misty presence.” In recent years, however, the fujoshi, characterized by her interest in male homoerotic has, through online and print media coverage, been given a solid and accessible social presence without precedent. The chapter focuses analysis on three popular multimedia BL narratives: Fantasizing Girl, Otaku-Style (Mōsō shōjo otaku-kei), My Neighbor Yaoi-chan (Tonari no 801-chan), and Fujoshi Girlfriend (Fujoshi kanojo). All three of them involve fujoshi as the protagonist.
Keywords: fujoshi, Japan, popular culture, image, otaku, male homoerotic, Fantasizing Girl, Otaku-Style, My Neighbor Yaoi-chan, Fujoshi Girlfriend