Society & Culture
Boys' Love - Boys Keep Swinging
This week, we need an expert to get to the bottom of the difference between yaoi and shonen-ai, for starters, as we dive into the world of Boys’ Love fans (just in time for Anime North)!
Sara is the writer and moderator of the blog Feminist Fujoshi on Tumblr and WordPress. Sara’s work on Feminist Fujoshi started on Tumblr in 2013 and she has even done some academic research on the subject!
History and Origins:
In English, often abbreviated BL. Written as BL or ボイズラブ in Japanese. The manga and anime genre of fictional male homosexual romance, created for a female audience. Used interchangeably with yaoi and shounen ai in English (but not in Japanese).
— Fanlore - Boys’ Love
Based on the search data, interest in the literary genre of “Yaoi” is, generally, up. There was a wave of interest that appears to have started in 2011, peaked in Summer of 2015, then has been on a bit of decline ever since. It appears that Yaoi might be the general term that Google wraps up search terms under.
The top 10 countries, by search volume, for Yaoi, are as follows: Thailand, Phillipines, Chile, Vietnam, Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Russia.
Did this genre emerge simply because folks saw these elements in other stories and wanted to make a quick buck? Or was it about expressing themselves?
How much BL is sports manga?
Is there a golden standard for “this is the best BL manga” OR is it getting better as time goes on?
Is there a distinction between Yaoi and Boy’s Love? Why has the terminology changed?
I really like Love Live? Where are the boy bands? Are there boy idols?
"hewwo i’m 5 wats yaoi"
G is in. Gravitation struck him like a lightning rod.
T is in. Going to check out some of Sara’s recommendations. Wants to feel things!
Z is in. Standing in front of the door to BL. Wants to open the door to vulnerability.
Sara is in. Complex genre with a really rich history! There’s probably something for everyone, but you might have to dig.
Yaoi North was originally created in 2004 by Bishounen Hideto and Gryvon, after a discussion in Anime North 2004’s yaoi panel about the need for an East Coast version of Yaoi-Con. A few months later, Hideto and Gryvon approached the Anime North staff with the idea of Yaoi North, a one-room event inside Anime North similar to the J-Rock room. They were given the go, and from there Yaoi North was born. Hideto pulled Chris in as staff to do artwork for us while Gryvon grabbed both Matan and Covarla as her lackeys, originally having Matan run Gay Sex 101 and Covarla check IDs. Yaoi North 2005 was the first run of the con. The majority of the programming was taken over by viewings, but a number of staple panels grew out of this year - namely Crossplay 101, World History of Homosexuality, and the ever-popular Gay Sex 101, which ran over its original one hour timeslot to become the longest running panel in con history.
— Yaoi North - About Us
This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Pretty Heroes!
Who was the first pretty hero?
Who was the more popular female hero of the 90s? Xena, or Buffy?
Where does Lina Inverse sit in the roster of pretty heroes?
Empowerment fantasy… young girls… How do people feel about magical girls? What are some of the discussions around that?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the most creative).
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.
Special thanks to Sara for taking the time to chat with us!
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