Throughout the years the yaoi genre has come across many different types of stereotypes fans have come to expect. Whether it is something simple like the big tough seme has to take a sick day or something controversial like a dubious start of a relationship. There are certainly tropes fans will flock to and others that are avidly avoided.
Japanese and American audiences both have different standards on what they deem as acceptable content and what resonates with their local fans. As social media progresses more and more each year, the blending of these cultures has started to see much more common ground.
The biggest and most controversial trope, dubois and/or non consent, has seen the most progress over the years. The "rape-fantasy" has dominated the bl genre for years as a means of coping with homophobia, but at the same time, severely misrepresented the LGBTQ communities for quite a while. Many people that identify with the LGBTQ community have shuned yaoi for this reason among other missteps portrayed in "typical" yaoi books.
Some people, however, read the yaoi genre for this exact reason. Since it is in paper form and not physically hurting someone, this can be used as an outlet for a multitude of reasons. It can help someone overcome their own personal traumas, or used as an outlet for personal expression.
This is not to say that non consent is a healthy start to a relationship by any means. Like "The Tyrant Falls in Love" series, it starts in this trope to later progress into a healthier relationship. More modern titles like "Don't be Cruel," have also started in such a matter, but have later brought up the topic for the characters to discuss and remorse their actions.
As the yaoi genre evolves, as does its tropes and character progressions. With the cultural gaps becoming slimmer and slimmer each year, yaoi audiences world wide are more and more drawn to realistic plots and human emotions. Projects like Juné's yabara collaboration with Velvet Toucher hope to mend the gap between yaoi, LGBTQ, and indie comic book audiences alike.
Below is our video blog discussing "The Tyrant Falls in Love" volume 1 and why you should give older titles a chance. Keeping an open mind, learning what you like to read vs what you do not enjoy, and having healthy discussion in welcoming communities is the best way to keep modernizing the bl genre and bridge the gap between cultures.
The Boys Love Book Club is back with our latest video highlighting the work of Hideyoshico. She has an expressive, atypical yaoi art style in which she highlights the manly features of her men. Hair legs, tough skin, even her character's body language steps away from the typical bishounen look and gives breath to Hideyoshico's own unique style. In this week's BLBC, Gracie covers books one and two of Hideyoshico's "Apple and Honey" series. Watch the video below, read her books, and let us know what you think of this wonderful series!
My first thought when I opened this file was “Wonderful! A vintage title!”. Based on the art style I would have dated A Gentleman's Agreement Between a Rabbit and a Wolf about ten years older than it actually is, and that's a very good thing! The art is my number-one favorite thing about this overall very high quality manga, it reminded me (only visually!) of the work of my favorite mangaka, Mika Sadahiro. The composition is dynamic and well thought out, so each page moves beautifully. Also, the characters are all very different looking and individually recognizable, which I think we all know can not be said nearly often enough when it comes to yaoi. The characters are expressive, too. Their emotions and motivations read not only on their faces but in body language too. Oh, and speaking of bodies, attention to physical detail is very present and anatomy is carefully and realistically rendered, right on down to the unusually, er, plausible endowment. The spicy scenes are very much so, and not in short supply. I was a very happy camper throughout.
A Gentleman's Agreement is a series of one-shots, of which several follow the same couple. These characters are adorable. Between the Rabbit's aggression and the Wolf's responsiveness, these two's interactions never cool off, and despite the fact that this is a workplace story, it contains unusual elements such as furry fetishism and even a supernatural story! The perspective switches between the men and the relationship feels very fleshed out, though I must say there is no conflict o speak of. Sometimes that's okay. The other shots include a School Life story that deals with trauma, a very original and hot Yakuza story, and a lovely workplace story involving megane fetishism, science, and drugs! It's just really fabulous stuff.
Overall this manga is original, entertaining, hot, and excellently executed. I will revisit it many times and it would be a treat for any yaoi fan. I was very refreshed by this work and I hope lots of other readers discover and enjoy it too!
Review By: Dot Ringo
Juné has been through many changes over the last few months: new website, new releases, new youtube, new blog, new news! Keeping with that spirit, Juné will be offering FREE gifts for anyone spending $100 or more this entire month! International or domestic, if you spend $100 or more with us, you will get to select a FREE pink labeled Juné title.
Don't want to spend $100, but still want to get your (yaoi) hands on some classic titles? All pink label titles will also be 35% throughout January!
Browse through our classic yaoi titles and pick out your future gift!
In the coming new year, Juné plans on doing yaoi restocks every month! We have been getting an influx of novel requests in addition to our manga. What novels would you like to see come back in stock first?