'Boys love' in anime and manga: Japanese subcultural production and its end users

Aleardo Zanghellini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Yaoi and BL ('boys love') are a genre of Japanese cartoons, comics, videogames and fan art whose subject matter is erotic and romantic relationships between males. Its producers and consumers are predominantly women. Until very recently, there was virtually no English-language research on the fan base of yaoi/BL. While the gap in quantitative knowledge is beginning to be filled, there are still virtually no English-language qualitative studies addressing the Western fan base of the genre. This article aims to redress the lack of qualitative literature on yaoi/BL's fan base. Its goal is to gain a better understanding of the nature and appeal of yaoi/BL by tapping the perspectives of Western consumers of the genre through the analysis of a particular kind of textual material where these perspectives are expressed: reviews of yaoi/BL works contributed voluntarily by yaoi/BL aficionados on the English-language website Boys on Boys on Film.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-294
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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