Thursday, May 17

Boy love manga obsession

Japan's young women are obsessed with comics packed with stories of male homosexual sex, according to Shukan Shincho (5/17.)

Tens of thousands of women packed the Super Comic City exhibition held in Tokyo's Ariake over the Golden Week series of holidays, with a large chunk of them looking for Boy's Love.

Super Comic City is an exhibition for dojinshi, fan-created comics, with a 22-year history. In just two days, this year's version attracted 92,000 visitors, 99 percent of them women.

And about 40 percent of the comics on display fell under the genre of Boy's Love, which features stories about love affairs between two men. The majority of Boy's Love stories are harmless, but many feature scenes of men kissing or petting, while other hardcore versions don't hold back when it comes to drawing things like the usually forbidden private parts or even sodomy.

Some comics feature stories where the members of all-boy bands are lovers, while another notable favorite told the story of love between two prominent male politicians.

How the subjects are being portrayed as homosexuals when they're not remains a matter of conjecture, but Boy's Love is not popular among gays, instead drawing its fan base almost entirely from young women who are generally referred to as fujoshi, or "wilted women."

"I would absolutely never tell anybody else about the type of comics I bought at the event," one fujoshi in her 20s tells Shukan Shincho.

Another woman in the same age bracket is not so bashful.

"Boy's Love comics can be pretty wild. I guess the people being depicted in them would be pretty mad, but they're really nothing more than a girl's fantasy," she says.

A dojinshi comic seller has a fair idea of the appeal.

"This event gives a chance to be open for women who normally conceal the fact they're an otaku," the seller tells Shukan Shincho. "They really tried hard to get dressed up, put on a nice face and some even come from a long way away just to be here."

Social commentator Shunichi Karasawa explains why young women like the fujoshi have such a fascination with male homosexuality.

"It's said that we're now living in the Age of Women, and women are expected to perform at work as much as men, which makes them just as stressed out as guys. Boy's Love manga and novels are one way for frazzled women to let off a bit of steam," Karasawa tells Shukan Shincho. "Our information age has seen the guilt once associated with playing around disappear and the idea of sex for entertainment no longer exists for many women. The only forbidden love they've got room to imagine is love between men. The homo talk is all fantasy and women otaku are simply letting their imaginations run wild for enjoyment."



Well, this is one trend is going on, I also do wonder how many female anime fans loved boy love stories, something that some of us here befuddled. Oguie from Genshiken is stereotypical representation of this meme.

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