Yaoi

Yaoi (; Japanese: やおい, Japanese: [ja.o.i]), primarily known as boys' love (BL) (ボーイズ ラブ, bōizu rabu) in Japan, is a Japanese genre of fictional media focusing on romantic or sexual relationships between male characters, typically marketed for a female audience and usually created by female authors. Yaoi also attracts male readers, but manga specifically marketed for a gay male audience (bara) is considered a separate genre. The main characters in yaoi usually conform to the formula of the seme (the "top", or dominant figure) who pursues the uke (the "bottom", or passive figure). Material classified as yaoi typically depicts gay relationships between male characters and may include homoerotic content. Although the yaoi genre is also called Boys' Love (commonly abbreviated as BL), the characters may be of any age above puberty, including adults. Works featuring prepubescent boys are labelled shotacon and seen as a distinct genre. Yaoi derives from two sources; in the early 1970s, shōjo manga magazines published tanbi (aesthetic) stories, also known as shōnen ai (boy love), featuring platonic relationships between young boys. The other influence began in the dōjinshi (fan fiction) markets of Japan in the late 1970s as yaoi, a sexualized parody of popular shōnen manga and anime stories. In the late 1970s, shōjo magazines devoted to the new genre began to appear; and, in the 1990s, the term boys' love or BL was invented for the genre, which replaced earlier terms such as tanbi, shōnen ai and juné in Japanese usage. In Japan, the term yaoi continues to refer mainly to parody dōjinshi; among Western fans, however, yaoi is used as a generic term for female-oriented manga, anime, dating sims, novels and fan fiction works featuring idealized gay male relationships.
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