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On The Iconic Difference between Couple Characters in Boys Love Manga Febriani Sihombing Abstract: Boys Love offers

the romantic narratives between two male characters, which read by mostly women. Despite the foundation of relationship between the characters is based on that of heterosexual, the physi ues of the characters do not represent those of individually man or women. !his paper relates and explores the iconic difference between the two characters and relates it the capability of difference to represent BL text. Keywords: BL " manga " bish#nen !he contemporary manga industry has grown in diversity, as can be seen by the existence of manga maga$ines and compilations covering specific themes targeted at specific audiences. !his genre diversification was impossible to find in the time before %orld %ar &, when genre categories did not yet exist within manga'. (ne of the genres that now holds a share of roughly ''.) billion yen *+S,'--.. million/ *Sugiura 0112, 03/ in the industry covers the theme of romantic relationships between two male characters, 4nown as Boys Love *BL/0. !he storytelling and the visual narratives of this genre are similar to and often overlap with those of shjo manga, from which BL developed as a sub5genre *6amamoto 011., '0/. !his is probably the main reason of why it is mostly read by heterosexual females *7aga4ubo 011.8 9aneda 0113/ instead by the gay community. &n the BL genre, the main characters fall into two categories : seme and uke : according to their roles in sexual intercourse. !he terms of seme and uke are solely used in the circle of the BL franchise8 in which the seme character inserts his penis and the uke character uses his anus to attain sexual pleasure. Seme and uke strictly do not switch sexual roles in the ma;ority of BL text *6amamoto 011., ')/ as their physical relationship is modeled on heterosexual relationships *<ori 011)8 =i$oguchi 01118 7aga4ubo 011./. !hus, seme and uke can be compared to both the male and female in a heterosexual relationship. !he combination of seme and uke plays an importance in the genre. !his combination is termed >coupling? *kappuringu/ or >pairing? and >shipping? in the %estern part

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of the world, and stated by the symbol BCD in Eapan or BxD and also B"D in the %est. Summaries on BL commodities fre uently state the sexual roles of the characters through a simple B* seme character/C*uke character/D statement on the product information. !he use of this statement to represent this product relies on the universal expectations of the representation of the combination of seme and uke characters to represent BL story and as well as the taste of its readers. *Fu;imoto 01138 9aneda 01138 <ori 011)/. Aisuali$ation of the characters is similarly powerful in providing information on sexual roles for the characters. !he information is encoded within the paired character images8 which explains why readers can distinguish between the seme and uke from illustrations on the pac4ages of BL products. &n the case of BL manga, the ma;ority of readers also have a general idea of the sexual roles of the characters by seeing manga covers and processing encoded information as they continue reading until the final confirmation of an explicit or non5explicit sexual intercourse scene. Determining the iconic codes of the drawn image of seme and uke will be the focus of this paper. Discovering such codes in BL is made difficult due to the fact that even though seme and uke characters are metaphorical representations of the male and female in a heterosexual relationship, there is no binary adaptation of overtly masculine and feminine images in BL. &nstead, the ma;ority of main characters are an embodiment of both male and female features, but representing neither. !his type of male character is called bishnen. Bishnen characters in BL, as in shjo manga, have uni ue physi ues, especially when compared to the typically well5muscled male leads in Fmerican comics. !he bishnen phenomenon can be trac4ed bac4 to the ')31s, when BL was 4nown as shnen ai. !he sub;ect of male homosexual relationships made its debut to the manga world through wor4s from a group of female writers such as 9ei4o !a4emiya and =oto <agio, which depicted romances between adolescent boys with big and long eyelashes, with androgynous loo4s and figures as seen in Fig. 'G. !he term itself means >pretty boys?. &n the recent years, bishnen is not exclusively associated with adolescent boys, but generally male characters with good5loo4ing, androgynous features-. !he figure of pretty male characters eventually assumed more masculine features although traits such as bulging muscles remained scarce as they are

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considered an extreme depiction of masculinity that is undesirable in bishnen *7a4a;ima ')H3, )'/. !his nature of bishnen influenced the assessments of BL in the context of academic research and social criticism.

!he phenomenon of BL as a male5homosexual text but written and read by mostly heterosexual females pi ued the interests of researchers who largely employed it as a case study of social and gender studies. (ne of the most popular theories to answer the uestion of why girls love BL is escapism. Sociologist Ihi$u4o +eno argued that females can experience the freedom and ambition they are prohibited from by relating themselves to the BboyD in the BL text *+eno '))H, '03/. !he identification of female readers with a boy character is made possible because of the androgynous nature of bishnen, which +eno calls the >ideali$ed personification of self? *females/ *ibid, 'G'/. Fnother notion on the sub;ect was also made by author F$usa 7a4a;ima, stating that girls can escape their sexual inferiority by associating themselves with the uke in BL *7a4a;ima 011., G0G:G0-/. !his theory sounded more reasonable to the public, especially remembering that this theory was proposed by 7a4a;ima, who was also active as a BL novelist under the pseudonym of 9aoru 9urimoto.. <owever, opinions towards this genre have changed and BL is in dire need for researchers to study it as a text instead of a superficial reflection of mentality of its authors and readers. First, there is now greater diversity in readership motivations. %hile BL is still regarded by some as a >massage space? free from forms of oppression uni ue to individual readers *Fu;imoto 0113, -0/, BL as a sub5culture *+eno 0113, G2/, is also en;oyed as a form of entertainment as opposed to escapism from social insecurities *9aneda 0113, 'G/. !here are &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '.0

also differences in the emotional identification of readers. Female readers cannot be generali$ed as identifying with the uke as the one fulfilling female sexual roles8 readers can empathi$e with either the seme or uke *=i$oguchi 01118 6oshinaga 0113/, to both the seme and uke *7aga4ubo 011., 0.)/, or to neither and instead en;oy the third party voyeuristic view *=i$oguchi ibid.8 6oshinaga ibid./. <ence, it is impossible to reach a general consensus on the BL reading phenomenon, given that BL wor4s have expanded diversely and ta4ing into account the tastes of readers. Despite the diversity in BL readership and opinions, and the primarily bishnen appearance of both the seme and uke, the uke is generally depicted in a more feminine manner. Uke can be associated in such way because of the presence of the seme. By presenting both characters together in any form of text, readers can recogni$e the more masculine or feminine of the paired characters. !his is one reason why representation of the pairing is specifically important8 it puts them in a state where they can be compared and contrasted to each other. !his way, the comparison shows the contrasting traits of seme and uke while maintaining their character diversity but with the same gender identity. *7aga4ubo 011., '11/. Literature researcher 6#4o 7aga4ubo in Yaoi Shsetsuron *Discourse of Yaoi Novel/ proposed the topic of comparison in the context of BL novels, which arose from emphasi$ing encoded male and female gender codes from respectively seme and uke. For example, a Bcool and charismatic bas4etball club captainD can be the seme character for a Bcute, short, but beautiful freshmanD uke. Similarly, Bbeautiful voiceD for seme and Bnormal boyD for uke can act as codes that suppress over5masculinity for seme and over5femininity for uke. (n the other hand, essayist 6umi4o %atanabe states that the differentiation ensues from a hierarchical or any similar power5based relationship between seme and uke *%atanabe 0113, 3'/. &n her opinion, a seme should be the one showing dominance over his counterpart. For example, in the summary of F4ira 7ori4a$u?s manga Heart Strings *0113/ written below: F real man with a dangerous scent : ya4u$a top member Sa4a4i *Seme/ vs charismatic masculine club host 6u4i *+4e/J +nexpected events lead Sa4a4i to be 6u4i?s patron in the club he?s wor4ing for. <ow will 6u4i deal with the situation, after 4nowing that Sa4a4i?s sweet 4isses are B;ust for funDJK *my translation/ &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '.G

!he sexual roles of the characters in the text above are apparent even if the intentional use of the terms seme and uke was omitted. !he words to describe Sa4a4i : real man, dangerous, ya4u$a top member, a patron for the other character : proved that he is more masculine and dominant from 6u4i, whom although not depicted with any feminine codes is proved uke by the circumstances of the text. &nformation on sexual roles obtained through comparison can also be seen in simple pairing combinations, such as in S S! *0113/, a young adult novel series by +nit Aanilla, which advertises the premise of their stories as simply BSpain &nvader C Beautiful &ncan 7obleD or BStrongest Lerman Fighter C Moman Leneral.D Despite the information of the sexual roles shown by the convention of BCD, the description of the characters contributes to forming images of seme and uke. &n the first combination, !he &nca noble is accompanied by the word >beautiful? showing that he is more feminine than the Spain &nvader8 while adding the word strongest gives the impression that he is more powerful than the roman general whose ran4 is higher. !he three provided examples demonstrate that it is not necessary to apply excessive female codes on the uke" or over5masculine ones on seme. Simple gender codes will provide sufficient comparison needed to decide the sexual roles of the characters. !hus, both %atanabe and 7aga4ubo are similar in the way they of distinguish the seme and uke by comparison although the criteria : gender appearances and hierarchical relationship : they use differ. !he challenge addressed by the present paper is how to see the coded differentiation in the form of illustration instead of written text. Meaders ta4e less time to loo4 at a picture than read a text, yet they can discover the same amount of information, if not more, on said sub;ect. (ne way of determining visual clues from a character is by adapting &nuhi4o 6omota?s character codes, a methodology he proposed in #anga $enron *'))-/ *%rinciples of #anga/ to define character drawings. Iharacter codes were originally proposed by 6omota to discover how a single character can be recogni$ed through different drawings, as there was nothing such as the same precise drawing in manga. &n the chapter of Iharacters Iodes,

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6omota stated that every recurring character in manga has three basic codes that he named character codes *kyarakut& k'o(: default persona code *tj jinbutsu k'o/, emotion code *kanj k'o/, and action code *k' k'o/. Default persona code is the code used repeatedly in order for a character to be recogni$ed in various drawings. !his code is the initial code that is uni ue for every character. For example, a character?s face shape, eye shape, mouth shape, and hair vary according to the drawn scenarios, but the initial shapes are similar. Nmotion code is the code that shows the emotion of the character, for example, the mouth and eyebrows, where changes in shape can signify different emotions of the characters. !he last of the codes show the action of the characters, portrayed by the usage of characters? limbs, thus the term >action code?. Iharacters codes were initially intended to trac4 one character throughout different drawings, but this research is adapting the same rules proposed by 6omota to find shared codes of respectively seme character and uke character and discover the visual differences between the two. Oersona codes can provide gender clues for the characters. For example, thin eyebrows, longer eyelashes, thinner lips, and a small ;aw can give a feminine impression to a character, sufficient for him to be identified as an uke. <owever, such persona codes are not definitive if only one of the characters is present. Fnother character : presumably his counterpart : needs to be drawn next to him in order to unveil the gender difference. Similar to the thesis proposed by 7aga4ubo in the case of novels, a firmer assumption can be made by comparison of the drawings of the two characters. !he set of three figures below demonstrates an example of the importance of gender differentiation by persona code. Fig. 05i shows an opening illustration of F4ira 9anbe?s )orokeru ho'o ishiteru *0112/ ** Love You So #uch * +eel *,m #elting/. From the first, it is clear that the character depicted on the left has more feminine facial features and a smaller build than the character depicted on the right, giving the impression that the character on the left side is the uke. <owever, if the uke character is replaced by a drawing of a man with sharper eyes, thic4er eyebrows, and more muscular as seen in Fig. 05ii, the illustration now gives the impression that the character on the right is an uke. F different interpretation can be made if the character on the right side is replaced with a boy of more feminine features as

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shown in Fig. 05iii8 the character on the left side can now be seen as seme. !his example shows that depiction of two characters is needed to provide a frame of reference and therefore comparison is re uired to determine the sexual roles of the character.

Fig. 05ii. Flteration of the u4e character depicted in Fig. 05i

Fig. 05i. (pening &llustration of !oro4eru hodo Fishiteru *0112/ by F4ira 9anbe

Fig. 05iii. Flteration of the seme character depicted in Fig. 05i

7evertheless, there are cases in which gender differentiation cannot be distinguished by comparison. !hese occur mostly when the seme and uke have similar persona codes ma4ing &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '.2

it difficult for the readers to find significant gender differentiation. Fig. G is a prime example for this case. !he two different characters depicted in this case, 6P4a 7itta?s +light -ontrol *0112/, have no significant differentiation on their persona codes. !hey have almost similar eye shapes, eyebrows, lips, and face shapes, although they have different eye color and hair. <owever, the author presumably drew the characters in such a deliberate way due to the fact that her series Haru .o Daiteita */mbracing Love/ is one of the rare examples of BL characters switching their sexual roles. <owever, if the characters are not intended as one with reversible sexual roles, the visual clues of their sexual roles are found by loo4ing at other provided character codes : the emotion and action codes.

Fig. G. (pening &llustration of Flight Iontrol *0112/ by 6P4a 7itta Nmotion and action codes of seme and uke characters showcase differentiations which are not related to the physical aspect of gender identity. &nstead, they reveal power and dominance ine uality. !he seme will have with expressions or postures indicative of power and dominance, while the uke will be showing shyness and fragility. &ne uality in power and dominance can also be represented by ob;ects: clothing and text with information about their social ran4s and positions. <owever, emotion and actions codes are the components that can trump such ob;ects, as shown in the next example. !he color spread for 6aya Sa4uragi?s Nee" Sensei0 *0112/ *Hey" )eacher0/ in Fig. - is an opening illustration for the story of the romance between a teacher and his student. !he two characters are depicted in their uniforms, and the written text also provides &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '.3

additional explanation about the bac4ground of the characters. &n a school environment, the teacher should ran4 more superior to the student. <owever, the teacher wears a submissive expression and his hands are held by the student, who has a seductive smile and eyes, with one of his hands is ta4ing the teacher?s hands and the other on the teacher?s shoulder. !his gives the impression that the student is the seme and the teacher is the uke8 overthrowing the standard of social ine uality given by the connotative meanings of the ob;ects and text. Nmotion and action codes in this illustration imply the differences between the characters, shown due to the similarities of the persona codes.

Fig. -. (pening &llustration of 7ee, SenseiK *0112/ by 6aya Sa4uragi Nmotions and action codes are the most powerful codes to signify differentiation between couple characters in BL genre. Oersona codes probably have different bars of differentiation according to the situation due to the diversity of character designs. <owever, emotions and actions to show dominance and submission are fundamentally universal in most cases. BL readers in particular will 4now when the sign reappears in different cases, and can instantly associate the said emotions and actions with a sexual role. Nmotion and action codes can even override differentiation by persona codes, and often are sufficient to show the sexual role of a character even if the character is depicted alone. Nxamples of strong emotion and action codes on singular characters can be seen from the next examples. Fig. . shows the illustration of Oiyo4o Ihitose?s manga 1aikan #ugen'ai Sapuli *0113/ *Supplement for *nfinite /cstasy/, in which a blushing character willingly shows his anus towards the reader. <is emotion codes are depicted by the raise of eyebrows, half5 &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '.H

lidded eyes, half5opened mouth showing submission and the blush on the chee4s showing embarrassment. !hese are the emotion codes of uke that also was seen before in Fig. 05i and presumably in various case uke expressions. <e also has his hands on his buttoc4s to show his anus, suggesting the possibility of him using it to achieve sexual pleasure. !his encourages the immediate conclusion that the character is an u4e. !his can also apply to seme characters, for example in Fig.2, an opening illustration for Meibun &4e?s )okage to -h2ukai *011H/ *Li2ar' an' Hinge/. !hrough the sharp angle of his eyes and eyebrows, the character displays a grim, stern, and powerful stare which, in con;unction with his crude action of pulling someone?s feet and biting its toes shows that he is the dominant figure in the relationship.

Fig. .. (pening &llustration of 9ai4an =ugendai Sapuli *0113/ by Oiyo4o Ihitose

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(n the other hand, the absence of emotion and action codes ma4e it more difficult for a reader to assign a sexual role for the character, as shown previously in Fig. G, and now in in Fig. 3, an opening illustration for 9ai !surugi?s Yume .o tsugu mono 3 1uro no 1ishi *0112/ *Heir of Dream 3 Black 1night /. !his type of illustration can be a double edged sword, because by not giving a hint of the sexual roles, the readers will be drawn to read the boo4 out of curiosity, but it will not appeal to readers who have specific taste in BL pairings, and are unsure if the boo4 will satisfy them. !his leads to another reason why pairing is important in BL: that one of the ways of reading BL is reading the pairing *Fu;imoto 0113, -08 9aneda 0113, .0/. Meaders have different &mage @ 7arrative, Aol '0, 7o' *01''/ '21

tastes with regard to relationship and tension between seme and uke. Fny form of text that delivers information on the pairing allows them to choose according to their preferences similar to an >order made? feature *Fu;imoto, ibid./. &n case of written text, combination by the BCD symbol is the simplest form of stating the differentiation8 while in illustrations, iconic differences can be found by seeing at the Iharacter Iodes. !he examples of the study cases in the previous section show that an illustration depicting two characters together will provide differentiation that is needed to determine the sexual role of each character. !he examination of character codes is conducted by performing study cases on the opening illustrations for all twenty issues of BL manga anthology b4Boy %hoeni5 *0112:011)/ which consists of ')2 short stories. !he result shows that '-0 out of ')2 cases have two characters depicted together on the opening illustrations. !his signifies the importance of both the seme and uke in representing BL story and the importance of the comparison to differentiate the two characters.

7umber of cases

Oercentage

' 7umber of characters depicted (ne -G 00 !wo '-0 30 in the illustration !hree or more H 7one G 0 0 Sexual roles identification 6es '-) 32 7o -3 0from iconic differentiation G Iodes available from the Oersona code ')1 )3 Nmotion code H' -' illustrations Fction code H. -G (thers *text, etc/ 01 '1 7othing H 'H !otal of cases ')2 '11 !able '. Mesult of the examination conducted on b4Boy %hoeni5 short stories *0112:011)/ !he result above also shows that there are ''. cases *21Q/ of the illustrations in which seme and uke can be distinguished by comparing persona codes. !his proves the popular belief

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that BL still depicts the physical appearance of the uke character as more feminine than the seme. &n the same sub;ect of persona code, 3. *GHQ/ of the cases showing that sexual roles of the characters cannot be determined by persona codes alone, indicating that either seme and uke have very similar appearances, each is depicted alone, or neither is depicted in the illustration. &n the cases of emotion and action codes, from H' cases of characters bearing obvious emotion codes, 3H cases shows the differentiation of seme and uke8 while HG out of H. cases of action codes also displayed differentiation by action codes. !hese results show that despite the least fre uency of appearance, the two codes provide more definitive information regarding sexual roles. !he examination conducted on these study cases shows no exact pattern in BL pairings, which is representative of the diversity in BL wor4s. Megardless, the methodology conducted here highlights the process in determining the iconic differences between paired characters, which brings the result that is similar to the popular opinion of diversity in BL. Iomparison of either gender appearances or power and dominance between the characters can show differentiation which provides information on their sexual roles. <owever, differentiation by comparison is a tool that is not uni uely applied to BL. %hen similar codes reappear on characters and sub;ects that are out of context of BL, it is possible for the readers indoctrinated in BL to reinterpret non5romantic relationships of the characters outside of BL texts into romantic ones. &t has become a new avenue of reading for the readers accustomed to reading BL. !he evidence of this phenomenon is the flourishing of d#;inshi culture in Eapan. Fs early as ')31s, the growth of BL was nurtured by fan activities offline by the existence of fan conventions and online after the spread of internet. Fan based conventions such as bi5yearly Iomi4et2 provided a place for fans to sell self5published fan$ines such as 'jinshi, which contents are forms of parody of already existing manga, anime, drama titles or other cultural and sub5cultural wor4s. By 011., each Iomi4et convention contains twenty three thousand booths and is visited by roughly four hundred thousand people of approximately 3.Q consists of female visitors who generally are in favor of the BL genre *9omi4etto Eunbi4ai 011., 0)1, G11/. !he ma;ority of 'jinshi cast the friendship and"or rivalry between two male characters in

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a romantic light. Booths in these conventions are organi$ed by pairings and characters combinations from the mainstream, series, and this organi$ation then became the map for li4e5 minded fans to find one another. !his growth of fan activities also shows the expansion of BL as a sub5culture, helped by pro5active participations of consumers. &t has become a phenomenon in which the motivations of consumers toned not to be ;ustified nor encourages it to read it as a text of its own. &n this paper, BL wor4s display differentiation between two characters that instantly introduced the readers to the coupling presented in the story. &n written text, these differentiation are designated by a simple BCD between character names or descriptions, while visual image showed the iconic differences through character codes. !he differentiation in both written and visual text is fundamentally based on gender appearances and power or hierarchical dominance as stated by 7aga4ubo and %atanabe. <owever, this genre is still growing and is nurtured in part by the initiative of the BL fans challenging the clichRs. &n present time, the combination of pairing has ;umped the barrier of animate characters into the realm of inanimate ob;ects, giving rise to anthropomorphic pairings such as spoon and for4, buildings, countries, animals, retail stores, stations, and weathers. Determining the basis of differentiation in these novel types of pairings, whether fundamental or iconic will prove an interesting sub;ect for the future. Bibliography Fu;imoto, Eun4o. 0113. B9an4eisei 4ara miru BL no gen$aiD /ureka Aol. G) 7o.'2, December. Fu;imoto, 6u4ari. 0113. BSh#nen ai"6aoi BL 0113 nen gen$ai no shiten 4araD /ureka. Aol. G) 7o.'2, December. <anamaru <enshPbu. 011-. Bi2u !abu Shsetsu no kaki kata6 !#4yo: <a4usensha. <ori, F4i4o. 011). Yokub no 1o4'o 3 #anga ni #iru sekushuariti no Danjosa . !#4y#: Minsen Sh#ten &shida, =i4i. 011H. Hisoyakana 1yiku 4 7Yaoi Bo4i2u rabu8 9enshi. !#4y#: Ma4uho4u Shuppan &t#, L#. 011.. )e2uka i2u 'e''o6 !#4y#: 7!! Shuppan uestioned anymore. !he growth

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9aneda, Eun4o. 0113. B=anga d#;inshi : 9aisha4u no 4y#d#tai no poriti444suD &n Bunka no Shakaigaku, edited by 9enichi Sat#, Shunya 6osmihi, '2G:')1. !#4y#: 6Phi4a4u Frma. 9aneda Eun4o. 0113. B6aoi ron, ashita no tameni sono 0.D /ureka Aol. G) 7o.'2, December. 9urihara, Ihiyo. '))G. B!anbi sh#setsuD &n )anbi shsetsu Bukku gai'o, edited by Ni4o 9a4inuma and Ihiyo 9urihara, G0.:G2H. !#4y#: Bya4uya Shob#. 9omi4etto Eunbi4ai. 011.. 1omikku #a4ketto :;,s +airu6 !#4y#: Seirin4#geisha. =iura, Shiwon. 9aneda, Eun4o. Sait#, =itsu. =iura, Shiwon, 9aneda, Eun4o. 0113. B?Seme x +4e? wo me4uru se4ai : Dansei shintai no miryo4u wo motometeD /ureka Aol. G) 7o. 3, Eune. =i$oguchi, F4i4o. 0111. B<omofobi44u na <omo, Fi yue no Meipu, soshite 9uia na Me$ubianD <ueer =apan Aol. 0, Fpril =i$oguchi, F4i4o. 011G. BSore wa, Dare no, Donna >riaru?K : 6aoi no Lensetsu 9uu4an wo Seiri suru 9o4oromiD *# $/>$/ND/! Aol. -:03:.. 7aga4ubo, 6#4o. 011.. Yaoi Shsetsuron 3 =osei no tame no /rosu HygenD !#4y#: Ihi4uma Shob#. 7aga4ubo, 6#4o. 0113. BEosei tachi no >4usatta yume? S >yaoi sh#setsu? : yaoi sh#setsu? no miryo4u to sono mondaiseiD /ureka Aol. G) 7o. 3, Eune. 7a4a;ima, F$usa. ')H3. Bishnen Ny?gakumon. !#4y#: ShPeisha 7a4a;ima, F$usa. 011.. )anatosu no ko'omo tachi 3 1ajteki no seitaigaku . !#4y#: Ihi4uma Shob#. 7obi, 7obita. 011G. @tona .a Aakatte 1urenai. !#4y#: 7ihon <y#ronsha Sugiura, 6umi4o. 0112. +ujoshika suru Sekai Higashi *kebukuro no @taku =oshi tachi . !#4y#: IhP4o Ma4ure +eno, Ihi$u4o. '))H. Hatsuj Souchi /rosu no Shinario. !#4y#: Ihi4uma Shob#. +eno, Ihi$u4o. 0113. BFu;oshi to wa dare4aK : Sabu4aru no EendT : Bunse4i no tame no oboega4iD /ureka Aol. G) 7o. 3, Eune. %atanabe, 6umi4o. 0113. BBish#nen manga 4ara miru >yaoi?D /ureka Aol. G)57o.3, Eune. 6amamoto, Fumi4o. 011.. Yappari Bo4i2u rabu ga suki B1an2en BL komikku gai'oB . !#4y#: Uta Shuppan.

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6amamoto, Fumi4o. 0113. B0113 nen no BL 4ai wo megutte : soshite >fu;oshi? to wa dare4aD /ureka Aol. G) 7o. '2, December. 6omota, &nuhi4o. '))-. #anga $enron. !#4y#: Ihi4uma Shob#. 6oshinaga, Fumi. 0113. no Hito to 1oko 'ake no @shaberi. !#4y#: Uta Shuppan. Samples Libre Nditorial. b4Boy %hoeni5 Aolume ' : 01. 0112:011). !#4y#: Libre Shuppan 7ori4a$u, F4ira. 0113. H&to Sotirungusu. !#4y#: Libre Shuppan !a4emiya, 9ei4o. '))G. 1a2e to 1i no Uta -h?k i2ban. !#4y#: IhP#4#ronsha !e$u4a, (samu. ')H0 )e2uka @samu #anga 9ensh? CDE tomu 1onjaku #onogatari Fol6 E3C . !#4y#: 9#dansha +nit Aanilla. 0113. S S! C. !#4y#: Libre Shuppan. Febriani Sihombing is Oh.D. candidate ma;oring in =edia and Semiotics, in <uman5Social &nformation Science Department, Lraduate School of &nformation Science, !oho4u +niversity.

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'!he classification of manga into genres such as shnen manga and shjo manga is not found in earlier manga history. !hese two terms originally practiced by the mar4et to refer to the target readers instead of the visual narrative style of the manga *&t# 011., 'G/ such as paneling, words and character designs. !he styles of the said genres were later differentiated by active parties whom are involved in the manga business *ibid/. <owever, these two styles are lately seen overlapping each other *ibid./ !hus, it?s more appropriate to state that the genre in modern manga is not based on the of the visual narrative style of manga, but to the target readers such as seinen *men/ and josei *women/, or themes of the story such as BL and lolicon *lolita complex/ manga. 0!hrough history, BL has adopted several names such as shnen ai, yaoi, =UN/, and Boys Love. Nach of the names is rooted on different aspects in BL phenomenon. Shnen ai, the name popular in the earlier history of BL, came from the depiction of beautiful adolescent boys * bishnen/ in love *ai/ that is generic in that era of BL history *=i$oguchi 011G, 0)/. =UN/ is named adopted from the title of a prominent BL maga$ine that helped the spread of this genre *ibid, G1/. Yaoi is a name based on the nature of fan5made wor4s with lac4 of story contents and excessive depiction of sexual situations. BL itself is a name proposed by famous BL maga$ine B4B@Y in the '))1s *ibid, G'/ due to the connotation of yaoi, the genre name popular at the time. !he differences of the name often misapprehended, leading fans to categori$e sub5genre such as shnen ai to be a story with no explicit sexual depictions and yaoi as a story with graphic visuals of sexual situations. G!here are theories stating that bishnen is an evolved form of Bbeautiful women in men?s clothingD * 'ans suru reijin/ characters that was popular before the emergence of BL *+eno '))H8 Fu;imoto 0113/. !hese theories are implemented in gender studies showcasing BL. !he studies mainly propose a thesis that dressing women with men?s clothes is representing their desires to overcome the gender barrier *+eno ibid8 Fu;imoto ibid/. -&n the present days, the term bishnen has expanded, shown by the emergences of similar terms. For example, biseinen *beautiful men/ and bich?nen *beautiful middle age men/ that both refers to male characters with the same characteristics of bishnen but with different age class. .Nspecially after a serial 4illing incident in the late ')H1s which is committed by !sutomu =iya$a4i, an otaku : a fan of manga, anime, and related sub5culture wor4s, this sub5culture was regarded negatively by the Eapanese society. !he boo4 7a4a;ima written in the sub;ect of BL reading females elevated the public negative opinion towards female otakus in particular, regarding them to having an BillnessD that is in dire to be cured *9aneda 0113, '2H/. 2Iomi4et is the biggest anime, manga, and related culture convention in Eapan. &t opens approximately twenty three thousand booths of mostly non5commercial booths publishing self5funded maga$ines.