Wait, is there a specific term for when an English-language speaker fucks up Japanese?
When was the last time a decent BL manga got adapted into an anime?
Yeah, that’s what I thought – and, no, Junjou Buttsexica doesn’t count as “decent”.
Being a BL fan is in many ways supremely frustrating. BL doesn’t have the same market cachet as does yuri. Now, leaving aside the whole debate over who makes up the bulk of the yuri audience, let me point out that yuri has cross-audience appeal where BL simply doesn’t. This is, interestingly enough, a reflection of a more generalized pattern, which is that women are much, much more likely than are men to be willing to read/watch stories intended for a male audience than the reverse.
There are a lot of reasons for this, probably most obvious of which are that a. women are not socially/culturally penalized as strongly as men are if they happen to enjoy a piece of media intended for the opposite gender, and b. the market is, ultimately, male-dominated, as men control the bulk of levers at every level on the production side of things – which is to say that properties are more likely to come from a male mindset and more likely to be meant for males. Interestingly enough, but not terribly surprising if you’re at all familiar with anime/manga and genre specifically in Japan, the Japanese media sphere is actually more diverse in this respect than are American media – “interesting” because of the fact that Japanese society much more patriarchal than is American (although America still, honestly, has a long way to go itself).
However, I digress.
More to the point – many women will read yuri. Many men will not read BL. Thus, yuri inherently has a larger audience (even so, though, yuri is by and large not written for lesbians… and neither is BL meant for gay men).
I feel as if this is, well, mainly due to socializing patterns which we all go through as we grow up. Culture has a male gaze; thus, it is permissible for women to look upon other women as attractive, and for it to not have any indication of homosexuality on their part. A man looking upon another man as attractive is inherently suspect – otherwise, there would be no need for that obnoxious suffix of “no homo” when guys make positive comments about one another that are not related to athletic prowess or ability to seduce women. It also helps to explain the “bro” phenomenon, which has no female counterpart. Women don’t feel the need to justify close, intense relationships with one another because it is considered par for the course and not potentially threatening to heteronormative standards.
Ugh, I keep drifting into these tangents that I don’t really want to address, but come up as relating to the topic at hand regardless. So, shorthand version – women will read yuri because no one is going to point at them and go, “THAT’S SO GAY!” Men? Yeah, I think you can see where this is going. And, yes, I think the same applies, essentially, even if a guy protests, “But I don’t like gay stuff, that’s why I don’t read it!” because I’d argue that one wouldn’t react so viscerally to it if they haven’t been receiving such negative cultural feedback about it for years.
But, really, my main issue here is that because of market forces being what they are, BL languishes in the backwoods of anime, particularly in the new age of reduced OVA-output. And because of this, then, the BL fan is forced to watch the shittiest shows in the universe in pursuit of even just a few drops of BL. The BL fan also pursues shows that have absolutely no explicit BL content because they are willing to read between the lines, their desperation so strong. Meanwhile, yuri-service has basically become a prerequisite for getting people to watch you tits-and-ass parade shows… and good yuri manga have found themselves in animated land.
Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the corner with Junjou Buttsexica. And an incomplete Close the Last Door (WTF?!?!). I prefer not to think about Maiden Rose.
On the other hand, though, BL manga has found a much stronger toehold in America than has yuri manga. DMP’s BL imprint, June, has flourished astoundingly in an increasingly difficult market, while Blu Manga seems to be plugging along steadily. Seven Seas Entertainment, which had seemed to be interested in cornering the yuri market in America, hasn’t done so hot (of course, it would probably help if they didn’t waste their time on pseudo-yuri junk like the wholly bland Voiceful). This may be due to the make-up of manga buyers in the U.S. – roughly 60% of manga buyers in the U.S. are female (something which is in sharp contrast to the comics marketplace as a whole).
So at least there’s something.
I guess I also have to be thankful that the denizens of fanfiction.net aren’t in charge of BL as a whole – otherwise I’d have to be gritting my teeth through rape scenes and male pregnancy all the time. And it’d probably all be Axis Powers Hetalia and… Hitman Reborn. Oh, fuck, and Naruto. Hmm. I must be old – where’d all the Gundam Wing stuff go? I’d even settle for some Digimon crap… just as long as I never have to see another Durarara!! fic in which Izaya rapes Kida ever again. Oh, for my long-lost youth… the spring of my youth! How I weepeth for thee.
I would, though, like to be able to look at a TV schedule for a coming season and see a good BL show on it for once, and I am positive that I am not alone. I’ll watch the Junjou Romanticas, but it doesn’t have to be that way! I suffered through Strawberry Panic, and ye deities of the anime world rewarded me with Aoi Hana and more MariMite! Why must my BL fan-self not be rewarded similarly?!