Yaoi

Yaoi is a anime/manga concept
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A sub-genre of shoujo and/or josei manga featuring boys and/or men in homosexual relationships.

Overview

Etymology and Terminology

Fujoshi  
The term used widely for a female fan of yaoi/ BL. It literally means "rotten girl/woman". It can also be used for grouping female otaku as a whole.

Yaoi 
The word "yaoi" comes from the Japanese phrase "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi," which is generally translated as "no climax, no resolution, no meaning." Although the term was originally documented as referring to a boys love manga; however, it was not intended to name the genre, as pornography of many types could fit the description. However, the term came into occasional use in Japan and then became the primary term for such manga and anime in the western fandoms. It was not used as heavily in Japan until more recently, perhaps due to the influence of western fans. In the west, some fans prefer to use "yaoi" specifically to refer to hardcore, explicit titles (as opposed to softer romance titles with no actual sexual depictions).

Boys Love 
One of the more common terms for the genre in Japan, often shortened to BL. Boys love is frequently used as a catch-all to refer to the hardcore, the softcore, titles of Japanese origin as well as of western origin, etc.

Shounen-Ai 
Originally, this phrase was used to refer to a now-obsolete shoujo subgenre which featured young (pre- or mid-pubescent) boys in relationships that varied from friendly to romantic, usually not sexual. However, western fans-- perhaps because it literally translates to "boys love" --began tagging the word onto BL manga, anime, fanfiction, etc. Some fans use the term to specify that a title is softcore as opposed to an explicit hardcore title, which would be called "yaoi."

Seme
In most BL manga (although not all), there is a "seme" character who is the "top," dominant character. The word comes from the Japanese verb "to attack."

Uke
In most BL manga there is also an "uke" character, who is the "bottom" submissive character. "Uke" comes from the Japanese verb "to receive." 

Bara  
Also known as "Mens' Love" and gei-comi (gay comics). Should not EVER be confused with yaoi. These works are for gay men, not women. Unlike the bishonen types in BL/yaoi manga, these works dominantly feature masculine hairy, gay men, and are often written by men, and not women. Writers of bara include Goh Fujimoto and Gengoroh Tagame, among others. Bara is also not as common as BL, as well.

History

It's unclear exactly when yaoi manga started or became a significant chunk of the manga market in Japan, but it appears to have occurred sometime in the 1960s. It's worth noting that around the same time, "slash" (i.e. the taking of characters from a popular franchise and writing stories featuring them in a homosexual relationship-- most notably Star Trek's Spock and Kirk) was developing independently of yaoi among western fandoms.

In 1978, Japan's first yaoi manga anthology, June (joon-eh) was established. Now there are considerably more such publications, and an entire day at the doujinshi convention Comic Market is devoted to yaoi doujinshi, usually of characters from popular series but also some original works. There have even been cases of mangaka who write softcore yaoi manga creating hardcore doujinshi of their own works, such as Fumi Yoshinaga's Antique Bakery doujinshi and Maki Murakam i's Gravitation doujinshi.
General Information Edit
Concept Name Yaoi
Japanese Name: ボーイズラブ
Romaji Name: Boizu Rabu
Aliases Boys Love
BL
1st manga book:
1st anime episode:
1st anime movie:
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