yaoi, japan, anime, lgbtq, gay
yaoi, japan, anime, lgbtq, gay

Anime, Yaoi And Being Gay In Japan

“One thing that you have to remember about yaoi manga and anime is that as a subgenre, it’s produced almost entirely by women and for women. The eroticism is geared towards the female gaze, the characters act largely in a way that female readers would relate to, and the entire scenario is basically intended to be a fantasy for straight women, in largely the same way that lesbian characters appear in material aimed at guys… One of the prevailing theories is that it’s a safe way for women to think about love and sex without having to deal with any of the baggage that can happen with a heterosexual arrangement… Others tend to view that idealization as a form of gay self-loathing.

Many older Japanese are simply unaware that actual gay people are a thing. A lot of people also tend to think same-sex attractions are just a youthful phase that people grow out of. But perhaps the huge amount of gay-sympethetic media in Japan has had an effect, because many gay people have reported that others have been pretty welcoming of them, once they’re openly telling the truth about themselves.

      — Justin Sevakis, AnimeNewsNetwork.com‘s founder and “Answerman“, on why yaoi, or gay-themed anime, manga and video games, usually features characters who deny their own homosexuality, plus what it potentially means for real queer people in Japan. We’re big anime fans here at Unicorn Booty — we’ve not covered too many yaoi titles, because as Sevakis points out in his piece, often yaoi characters don’t feel like real people. There are exceptions of course, like the classic series Gravitation (pictured above)If you’re looking for more anime to check out, may we suggest Pillow Boys or Your Lie In April? Or if you just want a slice of weird Japan, there’s always Gimme Gimme Octopus!