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4:45 pm - 03/27/2013

Fudanshi: Boys who like girls’ manga for girls who like boys who like boys



If you go down to the Boys’ Love section of Animate in Otome Road in Ikebukuro today, you’ll most likely see, alongside the crowds of fujoshi (“rotten girls”) browsing the stacks for a fix of sugar sweet boy-on-boy romance, the occasional guy checking out the mildly titillating depictions of young gay love. Yes, Fudanshi are boys who like manga written by girls for a female audience about boys who like boys, and, according to J-Cast, they’re on the rise.

Though Boys’ Love — yaoi — is a niche genre that’s been going strong for some time, with a fervid if furtive following of female fans, up until recently it was thought that men had little or no interest in the scene. Indeed, with their own, far more explicit “bara” (or Mens’ Love) titles, gay men have generally scorned the rather treacly voyeuristic erotic fantasies of female Boys’ Love authors.

Now, however, more and more fudanshi are coming out of the woodwork. J-Cast reports a lot of fudanshi activity on Twitter. Tweets tend to be imagined romances between pop idols or favorite anime characters, as well as discussions between those who share the same interests. A 2chan fudanshi thread has also attracted a lot of traffic. One 2chan user explained how he got into the genre: “My eyes were opened thanks to the influence of my sister.”

The influence of older sisters, a fondness for shōjo manga (young girls’ manga) or mistakenly buying a boy’s love dōjinshi (amateur manga title) featuring a well loved character from a favorite manga or anime, were all reasons cited for stirring up a passion for boy’s love in male hearts.


Taimatsu Yoshimoto,  a self-described fudanshi who does research into the history of the otaku, agrees that fudanshi appear to have increased lately. He’s quoted by J-cast as saying, “It’s a hidden hobby, but around ’05 to ’06 society began to be a lot less censorious of fujoshi, that is, those who’d previously hidden it would introduce themselves as fujoshi. On Mixi and Twitter men calling themselves fudanshi started to appear.”

Fudanshi can, of course, be gay, but they are also bisexual or even straight. “Fudanshi Nante Yomu no?” is a blog by Tamaki, a self-confessed Boys’ Love manga fan. In his profile he describes his sexuality this way: “If you had to sum it up in one word, I’m gay. I’m not interested in any other guys apart from my boyfriend, but because I like women I guess you could say I’m bi.”

It’s hard to say just how many fudanshi there are out there as Boys’ Love continues to be a secret passion even among female fans. However, we were interested to note that the Japanese Wikipedia page on Otome Road states that fudanshi have been spotted shopping for Boys’ Love in the area.

source
harukakamiya 27th-Mar-2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
This is pretty interesting but of course it's just a no-brainer. There's always going to be fans of any niche genre, no matter what their gender identity is.

I think it's actually kind of cute that boys are getting into what is usually perceived as a girls-only group, especially since it involves homosexual male relationships.

Now if only I could find good boys' love stories that DON'T involve the rape/abuse is love trope and the seme/uke stereotypes. :\ (yes I know I have Gravitation icons Shuichi is my spirit animal FIGHT ME)
miss_faces 27th-Mar-2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read Junko's mangas? They're pretty nice and not too much stereotypical... I love all that I've read :3
miss_faces 27th-Mar-2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
I have some boy friends who like yaoi and none of them like this bara genre...
Anyway, it's great to see it growing more and more popular between guys <3
kinari_pamyu 27th-Mar-2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
I know a couple of fundanshi guys. One is gay, but the other is straight (and didn't really know much about BL until I introduced him to it). I think it's awesome that fundanshi feel more comfortable to express their preferences on and offline recently :D
hpswf1 27th-Mar-2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
I remember when I searched for SMAP's doujinshi in Akihabara's Book Off back to 2010 there was a guy who searched FMA's yaoi doujinshi x) But I thought he want resell x) But maybe he was fudanshi x)
asth77 27th-Mar-2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
Omg it's been freaking years I didn't read a yaoi story or whatever.
I was a freaking teen and it was some kind of dangerous hobby ... I got sick very quickly of the stereoypes in the story though, really most of them were dumb stories.
Idk, things ave changed I hope.
uledy 27th-Mar-2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
I'm just here for the title and awesome Blur reference <3
atelierlune Did someone say27th-Mar-2013 10:39 pm (UTC)


myharu 27th-Mar-2013 10:42 pm (UTC)
lol that reference is pretty much the reason I decided to click on this article
myharu 27th-Mar-2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
I don't really read BL/yaoi, but I'm on a reading kick right now, so I'm gonna leave this page up for titles I might want to read
kinari_pamyu 27th-Mar-2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
I just checked my yaoi bookshelf and here's a list of interesting artists to check out;

Favorites from my collection/online finds:

CJ Michalski.
Sakuragi Yaya.
Juguro Isaka.
Kyuugo.
Yukimura.
Minami Haruka.
Levin Aoi.
Miyamoto Kano.
Romuco Miike.
Junko.
Dokuro Jaryu.
Kaname Itsuki.
Madarame Hiro.
Halco.
Koshino.
Noburo Takatsuki.
Nica Kitabeppu.
Ahiru Haruno.
Nase Yamamoto.
Mei Sakuraga.
Kai Asou.
Seiyuu Hyuga.
Moegi Yuu.
Hinako Takanaga.
You Higuri.
Miu Otsuki.
Yonezou Nekota/Yamada D. Yonezou.
Shiuko Kano.
Mishima Kazuhiko.
Watanabe Asia.
Monchi Kaori.
Yamane Ayano.
Tennouji Mio.
Chitose Piyoko.
Asami Tohjou. (Who sadly passed away.)
Hoshino Lily.
Hinako Takanaga.
Naono Bohra.
Honjou Rie.
Ougi Yuzuha.
Mikage Tsubaki.
Zaou Taishi.
Eiki Eiki.
Kiriyu Kiyoi.
Amagi Reno.
Tomcat (LOL).

Recent discoveries;

Neko Kanda.
Mitori Fujii.
Moto Haruko.
Panko.
Sakira.
Tidori Peco.
Shoowa.
Mentaiko.
Kevin Komine.
Yuge Sasamaru.
Miyoshi Riku.
Kitazawa Kyou.
Rokujyo Poco.
Moto Haruhira.
Yuma Satoru.
Delico Psyche.
Ogura Muko.

That's far from every artist I like, but it's a good selection of different genres/styles/plot types etc ^^ You can find all of them scanlated on mangago.com (It's the best place to read yaoi imo because you can hover over covers and get a small plot summary. Mangafox.com is also good. Although if you can support the mangaka by buying the original/a translated copy.)

Edited at 2013-03-27 11:21 pm (UTC)
kinari_pamyu 27th-Mar-2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
I just checked my yaoi bookshelf and here's a list of interesting artists to check out;

Favorites from my collection/online finds:

CJ Michalski.
Sakuragi Yaya.
Juguro Isaka.
Kyuugo.
Yukimura.
Minami Haruka.
Levin Aoi.
Miyamoto Kano.
Romuco Miike.
Junko.
Dokuro Jaryu.
Kaname Itsuki.
Madarame Hiro.
Halco.
Koshino.
Noburo Takatsuki.
Nica Kitabeppu.
Ahiru Haruno.
Nase Yamamoto.
Mei Sakuraga.
Kai Asou.
Seiryou Hyuga.
Moegi Yuu.
Hinako Takanaga.
You Higuri.
Miu Otsuki.
Yonezou Nekota/Yamada D. Yonezou.
Shiuko Kano.
Mishima Kazuhiko.
Watanabe Asia.
Monchi Kaori.
Yamane Ayano.
Tennouji Mio.
Chitose Piyoko.
Asami Tohjou. (Who sadly passed away.)
Hoshino Lily.
Hinako Takanaga.
Naono Bohra.
Honjou Rie.
Ougi Yuzuha.
Mikage Tsubaki.
Zaou Taishi.
Eiki Eiki.
Kiriyu Kiyoi.
Amagi Reno.
Tomcat (LOL).

Recent discoveries;

Neko Kanda.
Mitori Fujii.
Moto Haruko.
Panko.
Sakira.
Tidori Peco.
Shoowa.
Mentaiko.
Kevin Komine.
Yuge Sasamaru.
Miyoshi Riku.
Kitazawa Kyou.
Rokujyo Poco.
Moto Haruhira.
Yuma Satoru.
Delico Psyche.
Ogura Muko.

That's far from every artist I like, but it's a good selection of different genres/styles/plot types etc ^^


Edited at 2013-03-27 11:41 pm (UTC)
michasungbang 28th-Mar-2013 06:57 am (UTC)
eiki eiki \o/ the older sister (or brother?) of Daigo lol
she(or he?) makes great yaoi ;D
atelierlune 28th-Mar-2013 12:21 am (UTC)
I have to put in love for Fumi Yoshinaga. She's done non-yaoi, hardcore stuff, and in between. I can't say she's never done stereotypical plot points, but her characters are real and well-considered.

I also have loved Venio Tachibana, and I cannot find where I hid my yaoi or I would share more names.

I wish I could meet a fudanshi.
raatkerani 28th-Mar-2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Have known male friends who like BL since a few years back. They're open enough about their hobby when they're among people who are into manga/anime in general. Not sure if their number is rising or they just came out of the closet.
serria 28th-Mar-2013 01:50 am (UTC)
I have a fudanshi friend, I guess you could say,though he's a gay American who loves Japanese stuff in general so I'm not sure if that counts. I am a huge yaoi fan, but I'm a lesbian, which I guess is weird. I've found that a lot of yaoi fans are lesbians though.

This is interesting to me, though -

“If you had to sum it up in one word, I’m gay. I’m not interested in any other guys apart from my boyfriend, but because I like women I guess you could say I’m bi.”

I'm really supportive of people defining themselves however they feel most comfortable, but I wonder why he thinks of himself as gay when he only is interested in his boyfriend? Because of the yaoi? Well, to each one's own. I also call myself gay but I am sometimes attracted to guys, I just don't like the idea of being with them sexually as a woman, but if I were a guy I think I'd still be gay.

I'm really interested in sexual orientation vs. fantasy interests, and how they are related, so this is fascinating to me. :D
eevaleena 28th-Mar-2013 04:22 am (UTC)
I've never met a fudanshi or knew any of them. It'll be nice if I had some. lol.. although, I'm actually a casual BL fans. I don't like hardcore stuff, with sex/rape is the ONLY main theme. I prefer mild and soft ones. Just a tiny bit of hint is enough to make me happy. Maybe I should say, rather than yaoi, I'm actually more into Shounen-ai. Fluffy, cute and sweet relationship is the best! ;p But I haven't been following any of the manga/anime since I got into J-POP ^^;
prismboy 28th-Mar-2013 06:08 am (UTC)
I used to consider myself a fudanshi at a younger age (13-17) mostly. Now 21, it's something I've lost complete interest, but sometimes I may read some BL/yaoi as nostalgia. But I've definitely moved to bara.
michasungbang 28th-Mar-2013 06:40 am (UTC)
does all fudanshi have to be gay or bi? I like to read some yuri (some hardcore as well) sometimes and I'm completely straight :D

though I love mah yaoi 8D (but I still can't with S&M -.-)
a_cheshire_grin 28th-Mar-2013 09:38 am (UTC)
Mhm...I like Yuri too, but sadly I've never found a lot of manga that have Yuri WITHOUT "Hentai" in it! -.-''

I like "Utena" and "Card Captor Sakura" though! Two of my favourites. ^.^<33
And OF COURSE "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon" - I've such a crush on Haruka-san, but don't tell Michiru-san, ne?! ^.~
kinari_pamyu 28th-Mar-2013 09:42 am (UTC)
No, my friend is a fundanshi and he considers himself to be straight, but just curious about the wider world of manga/anime and artwork in general.
serria 28th-Mar-2013 10:34 am (UTC)
The article says many fudanshi identify as straight. :)

and many straight girls like yuri, so I've heard, my roommate is one of them. I think you can like what you like, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your orientation.
arashicraze 28th-Mar-2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
hehehehehehe~~ way to go girls ! We're BL (boy's love) fans.
johnnypenn 28th-Mar-2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't see what is so weird about this; when I got into anime/manga I didn't go for the girly-girl titles. I hate romance as a rule (though I do make exceptions) however, I went for G Gundam Mobile Fighter, Rurouni Kenshin and YGo which are all based around fighting (dueling in the case of YGO) I liked the intricate plot structures as opposed to the more romance based manga/anime because those, to me, seemed pretty simple and I'm just used to reading more complicated things.

Anyway -Reading this, to me, just meant that someone was tired of being in the closet and decided to just say that they liked Yaoi romances, even if they're sometimes trite. I read Ouran just to get a break from the heavy, dark stuff that I read/write on a daily basis.

It's no different than reading...Twilight...or Fifty Shades. But I opine that the yaoi manga is better written and has better sex scenes. :)
citrine047 28th-Mar-2013 11:38 pm (UTC)
fascinating read, tho personally i can never relate to liking anything yaoi (or yuri fr that matter).

but really op, could you not just have typed 'boys who like yaoi' and spared my brain from some pain instead? lol just kidding
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