A new cafe for female otaku in Osaka says neither boys nor normies are allowed. Naturally, we had to check it out for ourselves!
Will the fact that they’re perpetually soft boost or hinder sales?
Do you love you anime crush enough to sit on his face?
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…
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?
The fujoshi (“rotten girl”) subculture is well-established in Japan with its sizable population of girls and women who enjoy the past time of homoerotic fan art. Its members are often a contentious presence on the internet for their particular passion of sometimes corrupting young men’s adolescent heroes into love interests. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say Goku and Vegeta cuddling and making out itself isn’t right. It’s just not right for them.
Depending on your own parenting aims you may want to steer your young girl away from drawing pictures of unrealistically well-groomed samurai lying naked beneath the sheets together, or you may find it a relatively harmless pastime compared to something like airplane glue sniffing and thus want to encourage fujoshi tendencies in your young one.
Either way, one Twitter user claims to have unlocked the environmental conditions (seven in total) that make a young girl go fujoshi and presented it for peer evaluation on Twitter. But do they hold up to the scrutiny?
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.
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”)!
Not too long ago, we took a look at an anime girl figurine with its butt lovingly crafted out of soft, pliable silicon. Clearly, this is a sign of the hyper-sexualized nature of certain Japanese animated series, and the depressingly horny psyche of many male otaku.
Except, the fact of the matter is that everyone loves butts. As proof, feast your eyes on these pervy mouse pads for female anime fans.
There is something thrilling about finding people who like the same things as you do. You finally get the chance to gush about your passion with people who can match your enthusiasm. And when like-minded people get together, they come up with some weird ways to show their love for their particular fandom.
Take this recent Twitter hashtag. The trend is for girls to post an honest drawing of yourself as a male high school student with some personal information. While a lot of girls are posting some pretty ridiculous drawings re-imagining themselves as high school boys, girls who identify themselves as “fujoshi” have posted some pretty over-the-top renditions.
We’ve been bringing you news of the BL craze in Japan, with cafés, books and even university courses featuring homoromantic male relationships, commonly referred to as Boys Love. With more and more people becoming exposed to the trend, what began as an underground sub-culture is becoming more well-known and popular, with men and women alike.
Now it seems the boys have gone mainstream, as stars of a major campaign for supermarket chain Ito Yokado. Only they’re not advertising beauty products or clothing lines. They’re advertising meat.
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!
Japan should officially be known as the land of themed cafés. From cat cafés to owl cafés, character cafés and maid cafés… there’s even a café where you can pay 980 yen (US$9.57) to get two young men to share a stick of Pocky. Mouth to mouth. And that’s not all that is on their fantasy-inducing menu.
Regardless if you’re a fujoshi (girls who are fans of homoerotic fiction) or not, you should take a peek behind this particular curtain, because honestly, this probably isn’t something you’d get to see on an average day!
Usually when I think of pork, I think of a delicious salty-yet-sweet meat that will one day lead to my first and third heart attacks. I never really took the time to think about the elegant back story that goes on around the slaughterhouses… Excuse me, how gauche; abattoirs of Japan.
Luckily, Japan’s Silky Pork is bringing all the drama and intrigue of the pork product industry to the forefront in a sexy new online manga series. Titled Four Men of Pigs: The Silky Porco Story, it’s kind of like popular soap Dynasty, only with pork, the legendary Pig of Happiness, and a discernible lack of any female characters.
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.
If there’s anything Fifty Shades of Grey has taught us, it’s that SM isn’t quite as underground as some might think. Of course, it’s also showed us what bad writing looks like, but mostly it’s the SM thing. Whether this mainstreaming of SM will prove to be a fad like Kabalah in Hollywood, or a long-term change, is still unclear, but there’s no doubting that a lot more people have come to appreciate a bit of domination in their lives.
Of course, just because you like domination in your personal life doesn’t mean you necessarily want it from your boss, Secretary and Be My Slave notwithstanding. In fact, “power harassment” has become a bit of a hot topic in Japan, along with sexual harassment. It’s gotten enough attention to warrant a public education campaign, complete with posters for the workplace. One poster in particular has been getting a lot of attention on Twitter…though not exactly for the reason you might expect.
The concept of women envisioning and writing male homoerotic stories has been around for quite some time. Around the 70s, it seemed to have taken a hold both in America where it became known as “slash” and seemingly independently in Japan where it acquired the name “yaoi” and its writers took up the nickname “fujoshi” or “rotten girls.”
Both arts take male characters which are living, completely fictional, or derived from other popular fictional works, and place them in romantic or erotic situations. All throughout the genre’s evolution, it has found trouble with the general public around the world, and this time it appears a group of fujoshi have run afoul of the law in China, where such works are called “dan mei”, and are looking at possible prison time for violating the country’s decency laws.