Male customers can receive same-sex kabe-don with romantic ear-whispering from the staff member of their choice this Valentine’s Day.
Kitty-chan seems to have no problem with a bit of boys’ love.
Earlier this week, we took a look at Out Division, a boys love online game produced by BLobby, and its unique nipple matching memory game. Even among fans of the genre, people who generally enjoy the visual delight that is dishevelled men, some found the nipple-centric features of Out Division to be slightly disturbing and borderline ridiculous.
But it seems the game maker’s fixation with man nips doesn’t end there: BLobby has announced its participation in this year’s Animate Girl’s Festival, and it has prepared some rather eye-catching merch for the event…
With its pudgy, simplistic character designs and sharp-edged humor dicing up current trends, American animated comedy South Park is about as different from anime as it can be in look and tone. But every now and again the show’s focus swings around to Japanese culture, and the theme of its most recent episode was none other than yaoi/boys’ love, the anime subgenre of male homosexual romance that’s loved by legions of female fans.
So while the episode featured the inane logic of South Park’s citizens and resulting laughs fans expect, it was also filled with anime-style artwork depicting its two male characters who had become the darlings of the city’s amateur artist community.
The international anime fan community has adopted a number of Japanese loanwords for concepts that originated in Japan and don’t have succinct, ideal vocabulary equivalents in other languages. English-language discussions between foreign fans are peppered with terms like otaku (fans whose enthusiasm for their hobby is so strong it affects their life balance), tsundere (a person whose expressions of emotion towards an object of affection run hot and cold), and moe (a feeling of devotion and protectiveness, often in response to a display of innocence or purity), just to name a few.
Now, though, the shoe’s on the other foot, as one woman in Japan with a soft spot for anime showing deep, emotional bonds between male characters is calling for the popularization of an English loanword to help her avoid being mistaken for a fan of homoerotic anime and fan fiction.
Japanese game makers and gamers take their chosen medium of entertainment very seriously, and there are titles out there for just about every conceivable audience, even niche genres such as “BL” (boys love). Although it may seem like the audience for such titles may not be so big, there are numerous BL titles on the market to satisfy the desires of fujoshi gamers.
Even among the many titles, however, one particular game titled Out Division has managed to catch its players unaware with a unique take on the classic memory game. Fancy playing a game of nipple matching, anyone?
This may be a rather random question, but are you capable of drawing a man in various states of undress? Most of us can probably visualize how it should look, but turning those thoughts into illustrations doesn’t always come at a snap of the fingers.
Coming to the rescue of budding illustrators and manga artists is a new pose reference book dedicated solely to men undressing. From T-shirts to kimono to boxer briefs, this is probably the most educational book we’ve seen filled with men stripping off their clothes.
Boys’ Love (BL) is a genre of fiction in Japan, usually taking the form of manga and anime, that depicts men in romantic relationships with one another. These homosexual stories are generally produced by and for women who want to fangirl over impossibly beautiful men getting frisky with each other.
Like with the maid cafes that cater to male otaku in Akihabara, it was only a matter of time until fictional fantasies started spilling over into the real world. My fellow reporter, Evie, and I went to visit a BL cafe near Otome Road in Ikebukuro, an area filled with stores catering to female otaku and fujoshi.
The blue and black (or white and gold to some) dress took the Internet by storm recently, splitting netizens into two major factions: team blue-and-black and team white-and-gold. I, for one, thought it looked somewhat like discolored blue and gold.
While most people were still busy debating with friends over the color of the dress (which has already been revealed, by the way) or getting creeped out by how the dress “changed colors” right in front of their eyes, some creative netizens basically went all “Who cares what color that dress really is, let’s just create a fandom for it!” and created these blue-black-white-gold inspired illustrations!
Fujoshi, (literally: “rotten girls”) are fans of manga and novels which feature romantic relationships between men, a genre is often referred to as “Boys Love.” There are an increasingly large number of women around the world that identify themselves as fujoshi and in Japan they take the fandom far beyond just reading manga or watching anime.
In summer 2014, these “rotten girls” enjoyed turning themselves into their Boys Love counterparts but only now has that trend come to the attention of the rest of the Internet. Japanese forums and websites are bustling with comments about girls drawing themselves as men, but there is one negative thought that, if you’ve got time to remember one more Japanese phrase, is startlingly more prominent than any others: kimochi warui (“nasty”)!
I’m no expert, but I’m guessing that one of the reasons why manga is so huge in Japan is not only because the Japanese have been creating manga in all sorts of genres that appeal to various audiences, but also because they have a spread of guidebooks and reference material available to aid budding manga artists along the way.
I mean, there are even illustration guidebooks that specifically teach artists how to draw men’s butts, what else isn’t there? Well, if you’ve ever wanted a posing reference for drawing two men frolicking by the pool, they have a book for that. Just in case you were wondering, that’s just one of the various kinky situations featured in said book!
One of the things that contributes to the hole-in-the-wallet situation many manga and anime fans experience is related merchandise. Along with official merch, fan-made doujinshi and goods are sometimes just as attractive, not to mention rare since these self-made goods are usually produced in much smaller quantities.
For fujoshi (girls who are fans of Boys Love, or homoerotic manga and anime), doujinshi and doujin goods are even more tempting since it is only in these fan-made commodities that they can enjoy the forbidden fruit that is their favorite male characters being paired together. For non-BL fans, however, this is where things tend to get a little awkward. We’re not just talking about male-on-male action here, we’re talking male boob mousepads. See for yourselves after the jump!
You might recall that last year, we introduced the revolutionary Japanese textbook A Fujoshi’s Guide to Japanese and an illustration guide book that made many BL (boys’ love) manga artists rejoice. Well, apparently that’s not all the BL related education there is!
Universities in Japan have actual lectures that delve into the depths of boys’ love literature! As the mighty Wiki explains it, boys’ love is “a Japanese genre of fictional media focusing on homoerotic romantic or sexual relationships between male characters” and it’s said that BL titles make up about 30 percent of romance manga targeted at the female audience. When you’re a literature student, you often have to come in contact with all sorts of literature, and that includes stuff that revolves around sexuality and homosexuality. Let’s take a closer look at some of the BL course content from Japan!
Note: Some of the boys’ love university lecture material is NSFW.
BBC Television’s Sherlock is, without a doubt, one of the best TV shows of the decade–nearly anyone who’s seen the contemporary re-imagining of the legendary Sir Connan Doyle character is bound to agree. From the mysteries themselves to any of the numerous brilliant aspects of the show, it can be a bit difficult to pin down exactly why it works so well.
Well, unless one you’re one of the many Chinese women totally enthralled with the sexual tension between Sherlock and Watson!
If the Fujoshi’s Guide to Japanese was not enough to convince you that the fujoshi (girls who are fans of homoerotic fiction) community is an undeniable market, this illustration guide book that explains how to draw men’s hips should be convincing enough! Released on 7 December, it took merely three days to climb to the top of Amazon’s sale rankings in the illustration book category.
You might be thinking, “drawing men’s hips doesn’t mean it’s homoerotic”, but just wait till you see the illustrations inside…
Anyone who has ever studied Japanese as a second language can tell you that it’s a difficult language to learn, and the textbooks currently available on the market don’t make it any easier. Japanese textbooks are largely outdated, not to mention sleep inducing. Not even the most dedicated language students find joy in flipping open the dry and uninteresting pages of their workbooks or assaulting their ears with the drone of their practice CDs.
Luckily, that could all change, thanks to the ingenious writing of Yumiko Akeba and the online manga distributer, Otome’s Way. This start-up company specializes in “boys’ love” manga and is hoping to bring the appeal of Asian pretty boys to the learning field by creating a series of Japanese textbooks that use everyone’s favorite manga tropes as effective teaching tools. They call it A Fujoshi’s Guide to Japanese.
The Internet is a wild land, filled with many wondrous things to make you laugh or cry. There are cats, silly videos, and a wider variety of romantic entertainments than even a Roman emperor could shake a stick at.
One of the tamer “romantic entertainments” is boys love, a Japanese term for gay and/or female-oriented fiction that tends not to be very explicit. Instead, most BL, as it is commonly known, focuses more on the personal relationships of the characters.
And now a computer game is gaining attention on the Net with its meaty take on the genre.
Robotics Company Boston Dynamics has recently uploaded a video their Legged Squad Support System (LS3) being tested in rugged outdoor terrain. The robot is designed to carry equipment for soldier over uneven landscapes.
It’s a pretty incredible feat of engineering with only one apparent flaw: It reminds Japanese Twitter users of Homo, a recent meme that has swept the nation.