Lovesick, The Series

adapting Japanese 'Boys Love' to Thailand and the creation of a new genre of queer media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores the adaptation of Boys Love (BL), a Japanese genre of homoerotic media produced for heterosexual female audiences, to the Thai mediascape through an analysis of Lovesick, The Series (2014). This lakhon represented a watershed moment in representations of queer sexuality in Thai mainstream media, inaugurating a new genre of media known as series wai. Through an investigation of the narrative of the first series of Lovesick, this article shows how the narrative conventions of Japanese BL are ‘glocalized’ to conform to the heteronormative narrative focus of typical lakhon. The article argues that the series’ ‘wavering’ narrative focus between queer and heterosexual romance and its characterization of its male protagonists as stereotypical heterosexual men (phu chai) responds to the need for lakhon to privilege heteronormative romance. But the article also reveals that Lovesick sits within a broader social process whereby Japanese popular culture has come to influence Thai conceptualizations of sexuality. The article thus also shows how the lakhon educates its users into the affective reading practices of Japanese BL fans, introducing queer readings into the Thai mediascape. Overall, the article charts the historical development of a new, affirmative representational queer politics in the Thai mediascape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
JournalSouth East Asia Research
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Boys Love
  • glocalization
  • Japanese popular culture
  • queer sexuality
  • Thai popular culture
  • wai series

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