Yaoi, Bara, or BL?

Mr. Qoo

Yaoi, Bara, or BL?

Yaoi BL

Yaoi, Bara, and BL, all three include male homosexual relationships in manga and anime but are just simply three different names for the same thing? or are they each different from one another? QooPedia explores the realm of anime/manga male-male relationships.

Bara

Though the origination of the term Bara is hard to pinpoint, in 1971, Brazoku (薔薇族 – Rose Tribe), an influential men’s homosexual magazine for gay men was founded. The genre, much like the magazine, features homosexual content catered for homosexual men. Typically, Bara manga will feature muscular men with more stereotypical masculine features including well-developed muscles and body hair etc.. Bara as a genre includes gay romance and can often include adult content.

Yaoi

Yaoi is made from the words Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (山[場]なし、落ちなし、意味なし), this simply means that the plot lacks the climax, punchline, and meaning. This was used to portray how the Yaoi genre simply focused on the sex and nothing else. The term Yaoi came to life in the dojinshi boom in 70’s. Unlike Bara which caters to homosexual men, Yaoi depicts male homosexuality for women readers. Aesthetically, Yaoi characters have a more “pretty boy” look compared to the masculine maco characters in Bara.

BL

Finally, BL (Boy Love). BL is like the umbrella term for the “gay men for women reader” genre. From platonic relationships to sexual relationships, as long as the work features homosexual male relationships and is targeted at women instead of men, it can be considered BL.

So in conclusion, Bara = Gay homoerotica made for men, BL = Gay Homoerotica made for women, Yaoi = Gay Homoerotica that focuses on the sexual aspect made for women.

 

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