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.
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Border Volume 1 by Kazuma Kodaka
Welcome to a behind-the-scenes detective agency staffed by the most stunning men on the street…but don’t mistake this smooth, stylish crew for gumshoes! They always one-up the law with the greatest of ease and nab every crook, schemer, and gang lord…but can they solve the mysteries of their own confused past? In the end, which of these sleuths will be rewarded with an everlasting love?
Border bares all in a fast-paced, funny and bittersweet tale of the lengths one detective will go to in order to protect his best friend teammates! Is it possible to honor the memory of a long-lost love and find peace in the present? When every day on the job brings the possibility of death, there’s simply no time to lose!
The Tyrant Falls in Love Volume 2 by Hinako Takanaga
University study Tetsuhiro Morinaga has been in love with his homophobic, violent and tyrannical sempai Souichi Tatsumi for more than four years now. Even though he’s told Tatsumi how he feels and even managed to steal a kiss, expecting anything more seems like nothing more than the stuff of dreams... That is until the long-oppressed Morinaga gets his biggest chance ever. Might his unendingly unrequited love finally be returned?
Mr Mini Mart by Junko
Shy Nakaba has been a shut-in ever since gossip at school destroyed his reputation. But when his mom snags him a job to help him break out of his shell, he’s forced to face a co-worker who knows a thing or two about courage and commitment! Can Nakaba stand tall and speak up for what he truly wants? Mr. Mini Mart serves up a sweet-and-salty story filled with brave confessions and bold crushes! Will the past catch up to a boy who wants nothing more than to hide away forever? Or will the future finally shine with the promise of brand-new beginnings?
Seven Days: Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday by Rihito Takarai
It is rumored that Touji Seryou, one of the more popular boys at school, would go out with anyone who asks him out on a Monday morning. But on this particular Monday morning, the first person he meets at the school gate is no other than Yuzuru Shino, Seryou's sempai at the archery club.
On a whim, and well-aware of Seryou's reputation, Shino asks Seryou to go out with him. Thinking that it will be treated as a joke, they’re both guys after all, imagine Shino's surprise when Seryou takes him up on the offer!
There is a catch, though. While Seryou does go out with the first girl who asks him out on a Monday morning, the other side of the coin is - by the end of the week, he will break up with that person. In essence, Seryou is a lover with a one-week expiration date. But will Shino prove to be the exception to that rule?
Private Teacher Volumes 1-4 by Yuu Moegi
Kaede is the perfect tutor -- he’s brilliant, funny and completely hot. But Rintaro had better watch out when he underperforms! Kaede’s very strict when it comes to his pupil’s scores…and he has no problem keeping Rintaro late for a little extra one-on-one! Will these study sessions turn into a steamy excuse to dish out discipline and discover forbidden desires?