Oh Japanese Yaoi, What Happened to You?

I’ve rediscovered BL manga again.

The stories are no longer as circumscribed as they once were—and the diversity has led to a dumbing down of  works aimed at what was once the exclusive audience of the genre, women.  Current Japanese BL  aimed at female-only readers, now equals inanely stupid plots and formulaic artwork.  There are no editors out there {And in Japan, an editor IS the writer} planning stories for their manga-ka that push sexual and social envelopes, or even entertain in the slightest.  Once upon a time, when the genre was aimed exclusively at women, there was a range of stories that entertained all sorts of fen—not just the diehards.   Current BL now has two forms – the praised books that have cross-gender appeal, and those books that distinctly have no appeal to anyone but your typical fujosi.  I read current BL from Japan and I see two distinct target markets, and sadly—the once exclusive fujosi market, is the one inundated with the crappiest of titles.   Now I like works by manga-ka who make every attempt to portray ‘true gay relationships’; but truth be told…that’s not BL, or at least that’s not what it was when it started.

I like the complete WTFery of Motoni’s Rika the Breeder, a 90’s BL school boy drama, then I ever will Mio’s Meeting You.

Maybe it’s me. Perhaps my palate has changed since the 90’s.  Nah.  I can still read Aoi Futaba and Mitsuba Kurenai’s West End and dig it for all its worth.  Nope, it’s not me that’s changed.   Modern BL stories written for fujosi are ridiculous and outlandish–but not in a bold genre-busting way like they used to be*.  They’re being written to differentiate themselves from the critically acclaimed works aimed at “western readers/gay Japanese men”; and in doing this, the quality of work now earns dismissive sighs or deserved eye-rolls.

Where did the storytelling and art of Japanese BL in the mid-90’s, go?

Well–I’ve learned that appropriating a marginalized group or gender for your own sexual fantasies is wrong.  I didn’t just learn this, mind you– I’ve known it all my life as a girl growing up in a world where Playboy and Hustler were  sold in convenience stores next to all the other magazines–before the 80’s hit and they were exiled into plastic, behind the counter– for the children of course.  You know, all the children, not just the ones that would grow up to be women.  In the west, it’s proper to be an equal opportunity exploiter–and keep it away from children.

So now Japan sees that outsiders are looking in, and those outsiders really like their pop culture.  Comics in particular.   Naturally, women can’t have ground-breaking genre busting porn that fetishizes men [seriously, once upon a plot– the word ‘gay’ was never mentioned in 99.9% of BL titles] let alone gay-men, because…well, Western readers just don’t like it– it’s wrong.   Naturally, if you want to keep making that ‘fujosi’ material, then you better not make anything that’s going to garnish attention outside the immature fujosi market.

*yes, it has occurred to me that the BL boom in the 90’s wasn’t all that ground-breaking–it was just a breath of fresh air compared to what was offered to me by my own culture…either way, the milk has soured.

Ok, enough about what I’m reading– here’s some real life stuff:

It’s June 25th already, and I’ve done nothing but bury myself with work at the bank.  I’m 3 customers from making second tier in referral sales, and sadly—I think I’m burned out.  I wanted to see if I could make second tier, so I pushed myself—but truth be told, I’m a little sick of the process.  I genuinely like discovering new ways to make our customers money [or save them money] but I hate being ‘coached’ on the process.

I care, ok—quite trying to tell me how to care in the most effective way.  >_<

Not one word written since Boy 90.  Another shitty fact?  I’d become spoiled by my GloBL fanbase, and so releasing fiction under my real name and not having it sell right out the gate?  Ego-buster.  ^_^’ Big time fail—and it’s not true failure in that people are reading…they just aren’t buying.  Adding insult to injury is that my digital comic sales have doubled since KINDLE added foreign markets.  0_0

I always said I’d never be like Poe—he longed to write what truly made him happy, but wrote what he could, to remain relevant.  I’ve discovered,  in my time away from the net, that relevance is overrated.

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