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Boys' Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre Paperback – April 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (April 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078644195X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786441952
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,258,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Manga has become a phenomenon, available in schools, public libraries, and bookstores. One of the genres that is becoming more popular is “boys' love” manga, also known as yaoi or shonen-ai. This collection of essays covers various aspects of these books. The quality of the selections varies; some are clear and lively; others are bogged down by the authors' apparent wish to appear erudite. Interestingly, the most accessible articles are those written by women. Boys' Love Manga is not a readers' advisory or a primer on the best examples of the genre. Its function is as a discussion of various aspects of it and would fit in public libraries with avid readers of BL, librarians with an interest in the subject, or as a resource for university-level course work. Unless a high school is very progressive and has a course in the sociological aspects of all forms of manga, its usefulness in a school library is limited.Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"At last, this collection pries open the last of the closet doors and allows for the analysis of the narratives of gay, transgendered, and intersexual subjects to emerge. Manga have been a unique source and archive of such work, slowly developing what has become a massive, global fan base. Each of the narratives in this anthology takes on a particular facet of the complicated and complex area of culture that surrounds the boys' love genre, moving the discussion--finally--out into the light of day." --Frenchy Lunning, editor-in-chief of Mechademia and professor, Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

"This volume, with its cross-cultural approach combined with a strong focus on fannish activities, is certainly a valuable contribution to the [manga studies] movement." --Transformative Works and Cultures

"Boys' Love Manga is a very welcome contribution to the field of manga and anime studies. It has something to offer in particular to scholars of gender and sexuality, of globalization, and of new media." --James Welker, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific

More About the Author

Dru Pagliassotti writes steampunk (Clockwork Heart) and horror (An Agreement with Hell) and owns The Harrow Press, which publishes horror fiction anthologies (Midnight Lullabies, Day Terrors, and the upcoming Mortis Operandi). Her stories can be found on Amazon as standalones (Alien Shots: After the Sleep) and in anthologies (Apexology: Horror and Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances).

Dru is also a professor at California Lutheran University, where she teaches media studies and, to her colleagues' bemusement, researches boys' love manga (Boys' Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre) and male/male romance fiction.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T.F. on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Although aimed at an academic audience this book will be of interest to all intelligent readers of yaoi (m x m homoerotic graphic novels). The essays are diverse and explore a very wide range of ideas which intersect with yaoi. Some of the highlights for me were;

Hope Donovan's exploration of the exchange system involved in dojinshi and scanlation groups: "anthropologically speaking anime and manga companies operate on capitalist terms, which clashes with anime and manga fans' longstanding participation in a gift-giving economy" (p. 11)

M. M. Blair's examination of readers' responses to female yaoi side-characters as expressed on fan message boards. A comment regarding a character from Kano Shiuko's 'Otonage' was, "Kanako's a major c*** and should just die in a ditch slowly and painfully" (p. 114) and Blair looks at why primarily female readers react to female characters so negatively.

Mark Vicars and Kim Senior's personal experiences of discovering yaoi when living in Japan. I especially enjoyed Senior's discussion of the challenges of translating yaoi; "pulling my eyes away from a familiar decoding practice into a plural envisioning of a text" (p. 201).

Dru Pagliassoti's comparison of traditional romance tropes with contemporary yaoi plots.

Uli Meyer's unpicking of the gaze in yaoi, which include a look at the use of colour and symbolism to indicate transgressing characters in manga and anime.

Mark McHarry's look at the abject in yaoi, primarily through a discussion of Takemiya Kaiko's 'Song of Wind and Trees' (1976) (sometimes known as 'Poem of Wind and Trees.')

Most of the authors are either drawing upon personal experiences of enjoying yaoi, or on material from interviews with yaoi fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca L. Tushnet on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
There's a fair amount of repetition across the essays in this book, which was nonetheless quite useful to me. The ethnographic parts focus on non-Japanese fans, mostly German and American (with some mentions of Korean manhwa and Korean fans), though the bibliography includes some pieces more about Japanese fans specifically. A lot of the contributions talk about the debate over whether BL is feminist/liberating or appropriative of gay men's lives (or, maybe, both?), but reach the same lack of resolution that similar discussions of slash have--turns out there were active debates on pretty much the same terms among Japanese and Korean fans.

Overall, unsurprisingly, the participants were highly sympathetic to BL and its fans. Spot the contradictions about the genre and its readers in Pagliassotti's account: "Although write-in choices were generally in accord with stereotypes for the seme (e.g., bad boy, dominance, confidence), the write-in responses included a few strong rejections of the uke stereotype, including the uke's perceived `femininity' .... This rejection of the uke's tendency to be assigned stereotypically feminine qualities seems to fit in with Western BL manga readers' response that they appreciate the subgenre's freedom from gender stereotypes." I did like the note that because Japanese laws have traditionally suppressed genital display, "many Japanese BL manga contain scenes in which hands grip blank spaces that spurt liquids or one character penetrates another with emptiness, bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of the absent phallus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Journey's End on November 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This really helped when I was doing a research paper & powerpoint for my Human Sexuality class on Japan's yaoi genre. It was indepth and very informative. I recommand it :)
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there are so books out there doing serious analysis of BL manga. this is a great collection. and the bibliography will keep you researching long after you finish the book.
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