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Old 2009-02-15, 10:59   Link #61
Slice of Life
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I'm not fond of either genre and when I browse anidb for worthwhile older shows the genre labels shounen ai/shoujo ai are even exclusion criteria.

Maybe there is a yaoi/yuri romance equivalent of, say, Lovely Complex somewhere out there but I very much doubt it. I'm suspicious of anime about gays for the same reason I'm suspicious about anime about e.g. maids. First of all, it means fetish pandering - and that will have its negative impact on the anime as a whole. At least if you're not in for the fetish. The strange, often mono-gendered settings are only one example.

Other clichés like the gender-bending, "forced" (by the situation) relationships and the general beating around the bush prove IMHO that homosexuality not that well accepted among anime otaku - quite the contrary. (I don't know about the overwhelming rest of the Japanese society but I have my doubts here too).

The only anime right now I can think of that deals with homosexuality not primarily as a fetish or for comedy reasons is Antique Bakery.
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Old 2009-02-15, 11:52   Link #62
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It's not odd at all, because the male protagonist is not meant to be an object of desire, but rather a self insertion. The girls are more interesting and they are the object of desire, but the male lead is needed because that's the point of view of the audience.
I never got the mentality, to be honest. How come people, including quite a few otakus, I am sure, can easily identify with any random teenager with incredible superpowers (insert random shonen action lead as an example), yet they apparently can't identify with anyone with any personality depth in a romance series. He can be a total loser with no social life, if that's needed for them to identify with him, and still have depth and development. Could it be because they are too used to dating sims where self-insertion is almost literal?

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On the other hand, not all the male readers are Otaku, which is the reason you don't see any anime adapted from these manga.
I would venture that the fact that the majority of these manga are either one shots or only few volumes long doesn't help either.
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Old 2009-02-15, 13:19   Link #63
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
I'm not fond of either genre and when I browse anidb for worthwhile older shows the genre labels shounen ai/shoujo ai are even exclusion criteria.

Maybe there is a yaoi/yuri romance equivalent of, say, Lovely Complex somewhere out there but I very much doubt it. I'm suspicious of anime about gays for the same reason I'm suspicious about anime about e.g. maids. First of all, it means fetish pandering - and that will have its negative impact on the anime as a whole. At least if you're not in for the fetish. The strange, often mono-gendered settings are only one example.

Other clichés like the gender-bending, "forced" (by the situation) relationships and the general beating around the bush prove IMHO that homosexuality not that well accepted among anime otaku - quite the contrary. (I don't know about the overwhelming rest of the Japanese society but I have my doubts here too).

The only anime right now I can think of that deals with homosexuality not primarily as a fetish or for comedy reasons is Antique Bakery.
I just finished cardcaptor sakura, if you haven't seen it you can't imagine the amount of weird things they have included...a little girl in love with her female classmate, a boy in love with an upper-classman, a teacher marrying his (female,let's not go that far...) student, a boy playing princess and a girl the prince in a theatrical play,etc. I'd say most of them are comical and even serve in the plot at times.
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Old 2009-02-15, 13:38   Link #64
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Some people say they like yuri because it feels more emotional and less shallow, but I think yuri has an issue with being too much one way or the other. In more traditional yuri, aimed at women, it can very often come across as "pure to the point of sterility", where the main object is nebulous things like "wanting to hold hands" as opposed to any physical desire to consummate love. In that respect it really does feel like a "romantic friendship", where the two girls might very well be happy living out their whole lives together without so much as a kiss.

And then you have the other extreme, more often found in series aimed at men, where the "predatory lesbian" can often reign supreme. That's why I have to sort of chuckle about the previous post about how "oversexed" male homosexuals come across on TV shows, when anime has the same problem when it comes to predatory lesbian groping or leering in the place of what a man might prefer to do.

This, of course, excludes the rare series written by and for lesbians, which tend to be very balanced...and utterly unread by those that aren't lesbians. (Well, I'm not a lesbian, and I enjoy that sort of yuri, but...)

I'm not trying to claim that BL is a bastion of realism (because "lol, just...no"), but I think you more often find a little more of a mixture between the dramatic passionate relationship coupled with a strong physical attraction. You'd have to go back to the seventies to find a series where two guys from a "shounen ai" series are content with holding hands and mooning at one another. And, likewise, if a guy is canon gay in a BL series, you don't see endless scenes of him grabbing another guy's junk or nosebleeding in the locker room--even though his attraction will be obviously manifest.

BL also has a stronger range of genres and subjects it covers, whereas yuri seems regulated to the "boarding school ghetto", mainly because of the pervading notion that persists to this day that the only reason a girl could be attracted to another girl is because there are no men around. The girl's sexuality is still orbiting around men, it's just that she was treated cruelly by them and seeks "immature" solace with another woman. At least BL deals with the concept of girlfriends and societal disapproval, even if it's in the most general sense of "but we're two guys".

As a final note, anyone who is crowing about the superiority of yuri in terms of depth of quiet, subtle emotion should go read "Kinou Nani Tabeta" right now.
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Old 2009-02-15, 14:03   Link #65
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As a final note, anyone who is crowing about the superiority of yuri in terms of depth of quiet, subtle emotion should go read "Kinou Nani Tabeta" right now.
I never compare BL with yuri. Regardless I personally think that, except for its origins in girls' manga, your description of yuri (and it's audience) is way off.

Female-oriented yuri manga like Gakujou Drops can be pretty ecchi. Conversely, male-oriented yuri manga like Sasameki Koto can be pretty tame when it comes to sexual elements.

Or it can be the total opposite. It really has little to do with the audience.

EDIT: Ah, and lesbian mangaka usually work for both, female- and male-oriented mangazines. I think it's more than clear lesbian readers read both too.
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Old 2009-02-15, 14:17   Link #66
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This topic is...kinda about comparing yuri to BL, so...

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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Female-oriented yuri manga like Gakujou Drops can be pretty ecchi. Conversely, a male-oriented yuri manga like Sasameki Koto can be pretty tame when it comes to sexual elements.

Or it can be the total opposite. Ir really has little to do with the audience.
Yuri's audience isn't as clear cut as you're making it out to be. Most yuri magazines I'm aware of are aiming for a dual readership--it's the only way to stay afloat. (I've lost track of how many times Yuri-Hime or whatever it's called now has been canceled)

Also, I was speaking in generalized terms. When you see a lesbian in a male-oriented show--regardless of whether that show is "yuri" or not--chances are that their lesbianism is a tool used to titillate the male audience. (Conversely, a male homosexual is often used for pure comic relief) In pure yuri, like Simoun, where the cast is focused on female relationships in general, you're more likely to get something other than "The Lesbian" syndrome, but how often do we really get "pure yuri" series?

Manga tends to be a bit wider in what it shows. If we're going by manga, then we do have several series that go beyond "catholic schoolgirl lesbians" to things like lesbian idols, ect, ect. But I still don't see the same breadth that I do in BL--where I can read about gay diplomats or lawyers or soldiers or aliens or angels or knights or...I'm sure you get the picture. But I guess that might be the limitations of culture in terms of careers for women. It's just, you know, even lesbian OLs might be nice--aside from lesbian-oriented 4koma.

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EDIT: Ah, and lesbian mangaka usually work for both, female- and male-oriented mangazines. I think it's more than clear lesbian readers read both too.
You misunderstand. I'm talking about series like Rica'tte Kanji. I'm well aware that there are lesbian mangaka working for things like Yuri-Hime, ect.
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Old 2009-02-15, 14:21   Link #67
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BL also has a stronger range of genres and subjects it covers, whereas yuri seems regulated to the "boarding school ghetto", mainly because of the pervading notion that persists to this day that the only reason a girl could be attracted to another girl is because there are no men around. The girl's sexuality is still orbiting around men, it's just that she was treated cruelly by them and seeks "immature" solace with another woman.
Really? I can't really think of many instances in yuri manga or anime where a female character turns to girls love mainly because some evil bastard of a man treated her harshly. In quite a few yuri mangas there are no men whatsoever in any capacity. The girls only school cliche is way too prevalent, true. But then again, twenty something or older female main characters in the anime industry are an extreme rarity, so it's not too surprising that the yuri genre follows this (rather annoying) trend.

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Some people say they like yuri because it feels more emotional and less shallow, but I think yuri has an issue with being too much one way or the other.
I agree, the yuri genre seems to struggle to find the middle ground between innocence and smut. Which is one of the reasons I enjoy the most the manga or anime in which the predatory lesbian achetype is shown in a more or less humorous light.
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Old 2009-02-15, 14:30   Link #68
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Originally Posted by musouka View Post
This topic is...kinda about comparing yuri to BL, so...
That doesn't mean it makes sense. They're totally different creatures, so I don't think you can draw any useful comparison.

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Yuri's audience isn't as clear cut as you're making it out to be. Most yuri magazines I'm aware of are aiming for a dual readership--it's the only way to stay afloat. (I've lost track of how many times Yuri-Hime or whatever it's called now has been canceled)
It was canceled once, and the audience for some of these magazines isn't that unclear either.

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Also, I was speaking in generalized terms. When you see a lesbian in a male-oriented show--regardless of whether that show is "yuri" or not--chances are that their lesbianism is a tool used to titillate the male audience. (Conversely, a male homosexual is often used for pure comic relief)
But I don't see the point of discussing those series. If we're talking about yuri and BL, then let's talk about that, not about any series with some yuri or BL content.

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In pure yuri, like Simoun, where the cast is focused on female relationships in general, you're more likely to get something other than "The Lesbian" syndrome, but how often do we really get "pure yuri" series
Actual yuri in anime... never gonna happen

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Manga tends to be a bit wider in what it shows. If we're going by manga, then we do have several series that go beyond "catholic schoolgirl lesbians" to things like lesbian idols, ect, ect. But I still don't see the same breadth that I do in BL--where I can read about gay diplomats or lawyers or soldiers or aliens or angels or knights or...I'm sure you get the picture. But I guess that might be the limitations of culture in terms of careers for women. It's just, you know, even lesbian OLs might be nice--aside from lesbian-oriented 4koma.
There are Yuri Hime one-shots about OLs. Sadly, most are only that, one-shots.

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You misunderstand. I'm talking about series like Rika'tte Kanji. I'm well aware that there are lesbian mangaka working for things like Yuri-Hime, ect.
Ah, sorry then. I do need to read Rika'tte Kanji. And yeah, this kind of manga (like Plica or Honey and Honey) are pretty rare. I love Plica btw, it's damn funny.
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Old 2009-02-15, 15:13   Link #69
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Really? I can't really think of many instances in yuri manga or anime where a female character turns to girls love mainly because some evil bastard of a man treated her harshly.
I'm talking about how many times you'll have girls say "men are disgusting" or "I hate men" ([insert trauma here about a dad that sucks, or something]) as the reason for why they are interested in women. It's all about the man, in that case. It's not about "women are beautiful" or "I'm attracted to women", it assumes that women would "normally" be attracted to men, if men hadn't done something to turn them off. Which is ridiculous.
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Old 2009-02-15, 15:51   Link #70
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Yuri. Being a straight guy, I prefer to see two girls getting it on. Which isn't to say that I necessarily hate yaoi, but I only care for it when its used for comedic subtext.
My sentiments echo yours up until the point of "I don't necessarily hate yaoi"...

That can go ahead and burn, along with many other dregs of anime of which can be saved for a grievance thread...

And speaking of yuri, the great thing about this is that there are no guys involved...It's the male lead that really destroys a good harem cast, really...
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Old 2009-02-15, 16:18   Link #71
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That doesn't mean it makes sense. They're totally different creatures, so I don't think you can draw any useful comparison.
Their roots started similarly, so you can learn things about where they diverge and why. Personally, I like comparing the two, even though I have a slight preference. I still like yuri a lot, I'm just more picky with what I read of it. (I love classic shoujo in general, so my reading habits are of the Epic Tragic variety spiced with stuff like Rica'tte to remind me that lesbians can be happy too. )

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It was canceled once, and the audience for some of these magazines isn't that unclear either.
I'm pretty sure it's been canceled more than once, or at least canceled and restructured more than once. Regardless, I'm confident in my assertion that it's reaching for a dual readership, as it's a relatively niche product and I remember reading something along those lines concerning it.

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But I don't see the point of discussing those series. If we're talking about yuri and BL, then let's talk about that, not about any series with some yuri or BL content.
I don't think it's a waste of time to explore how the concept of BL and yuri is used in mainstream media, especially as the lines blur more and more in terms of pandering to audiences.

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There are Yuri Hime one-shots about OLs. Sadly, most are only that, one-shots.
Well, you don't get a lot of non-one shot BL office romances either, to be fair. (Personally, I have little interest in Yuri Hime stuff aside from what is personally recced from me after reading the magazine several times and coming to the conclusion that it was like your average BL mag in its overall lack of substance. Which, I suppose, is technically a good thing...but not a thing I want to be reading on a regular basis...)

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Ah, sorry then. I do need to read Rika'tte Kanji. And yeah, this kind of manga (like Plica or Honey and Honey) are pretty rare. I love Plica btw, it's damn funny.
Plica is wooonderful. I haven't gotten around to reading "Honey and Honey" myself, though...
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Old 2009-02-15, 16:31   Link #72
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I'm talking about how many times you'll have girls say "men are disgusting" or "I hate men" ([insert trauma here about a dad that sucks, or something]) as the reason for why they are interested in women.
I don't know...First, I haven't come across this too often and also it's not always the reason why a girl becomes a lesbian, sometimes it's just played for laughs. But sure, when such things are said seriously, it seems rather silly.
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Old 2009-02-15, 16:50   Link #73
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Their roots started similarly, so you can learn things about where they diverge and why. Personally, I like comparing the two, even though I have a slight preference. I still like yuri a lot, I'm just more picky with what I read of it. (I love classic shoujo in general, so my reading habits are of the Epic Tragic variety spiced with stuff like Rica'tte to remind me that lesbians can be happy too. )
lol Watching how the lesbian/gay character in regular anime/manga always gets the short end of the stick kinda make you think the producers want you to believe homosexuality leads to a life of misery
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I'm pretty sure it's been canceled more than once, or at least canceled and restructured more than once. Regardless, I'm confident in my assertion that it's reaching for a dual readership, as it's a relatively niche product and I remember reading something along those lines concerning it.
Well, the stated target demographic is not always the real target, so who knows. Speaking about their mobile phone yuri manga, the target audience is usually stated on the authors' websites, but that may not be consistent with the publishers' marketing intention.

My point is just that many of Ichinjinsha's yuri manga are stated as female-oriented, either by the authors or the publisher itself.
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I don't think it's a waste of time to explore how the concept of BL and yuri is used in mainstream media, especially as the lines blur more and more in terms of pandering to audiences.
Well, anime is not really mainstream (with few exceptions) but an Otaku-oriented market. But anyway, it's like you said, in anime BL and Yuri is just there to pander to the audience: as fanservice or comic relief; nothing more. That's why I don't think to much about it.
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(Personally, I have little interest in Yuri Hime stuff aside from what is personally recced from me after reading the magazine several times and coming to the conclusion that it was like your average BL mag in its overall lack of substance. Which, I suppose, is technically a good thing...but not a thing I want to be reading on a regular basis...)
I tend to agree with that. There are just a few running stories I really like. The rest I just read it because you really don't have a lot to chose from when it comes to yuri.
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Plica is wooonderful. I haven't gotten around to reading "Honey and Honey" myself, though...
Honey and Honey is a bit difficult to swallow, because it revolves to much about the most stereotypical things about being a lesbian: you know, slang and things like that. Plica is way more refreshing: she's like "who cares" and just want to get it on .
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Old 2009-02-16, 12:05   Link #74
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I used to be one of the greatest Yuri fans, probably in this entire world, but now I posess naught pictures of them whatsoever. I only have the Strawberry Panic! series on DVD but that is all.

My interests rose elsewhere (Lolicon) so my interest for Yuri decreased majorly. Now I just have some ecchi pictures of random anime girls and a small number of Loli. My interests are in real Japanese woman these days although I still adore loli for its cuteness.

In conclusion, Yuri, which I once adored greater than almost anything, rises not a lot of interest to me in the present.
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Old 2009-02-18, 10:07   Link #75
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BL also has a stronger range of genres and subjects it covers, whereas yuri seems regulated to the "boarding school ghetto", mainly because of the pervading notion that persists to this day that the only reason a girl could be attracted to another girl is because there are no men around. The girl's sexuality is still orbiting around men, it's just that she was treated cruelly by them and seeks "immature" solace with another woman. At least BL deals with the concept of girlfriends and societal disapproval, even if it's in the most general sense of "but we're two guys".
Could that be one of the reasons why yaoi was able to grow immensely faster with the fanbase and manga publication than yuri especially with yaoi having more variety of subjects? I always want to determine what certain event of time (or at least a time period) when yaoi started to pick up in popularity and kept on relatively increasing its presence so that way yuri can emulate that progress. It just seems horrifically stagnate how most yuri stories seem to relegate to these all-girl school environments and/or involve some sort of crossdressing/genderbending plot.

On another note, how come no Japanese ever came up with an anime or manga plot dealing all about lesbian vampires like Carmilla? That has a lot of potential of nailing a lot of tropes in one shot!
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Old 2009-02-18, 12:42   Link #76
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Could that be one of the reasons why yaoi was able to grow immensely faster with the fanbase and manga publication than yuri especially with yaoi having more variety of subjects?
There are a lot of different factors as to why BL was able to capture the attention of women and solidify its hold until it reached its current "market share". One is the fall of the idealization of "romantic friendship" and the rise of romance. The only pure "romantic friendship" classic BL series I can think of off the top of my head is "Mari and Shingo"--the rest that come to mind are explicitly romantic and deal with romantic feelings. Even "Touma no Shinzou", while being written in the seventies is slightly more coy, is about a boy who was explicitly in love with another boy and got his feelings crushed when he thought the other was just playing with him.

This isn't to say that yuri didn't deal with explicitly romantic relationships too--Shiroi Heya no Futari, ect, ect--but I think you had a stronger mixture of "romantic friendship" along with it because of its lengthier roots.

Shounen manga also had its part to play in the way it fostered the doujinshi scene--unintentionally at first, then more and more intentionally until we're reached the point where it's stranger not to have homoerotic subtext in a popular SJ manga--which led to the current crop of BL writers you see today. CLAMP got started writing Captain Tsubasa and Saint Seiya doujinshi, for example.

So you have something that becomes self-perpetuating, more and more girls getting interested by, perhaps, something they read in a shoujo manga--which even if it's not BL, tends to play around with gender identities a lot--and then can map onto shounen manga with their passionate male/male relationships. They, in turn, draw original series based on their own likes and dislikes and interests...and...we have gay astronauts.

(There was also a dearth, until recently, of yuri that ends "happily ever after". It's usually either "die or seperate")

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I always want to determine what certain event of time (or at least a time period) when yaoi started to pick up in popularity and kept on relatively increasing its presence so that way yuri can emulate that progress. It just seems horrifically stagnate how most yuri stories seem to relegate to these all-girl school environments and/or involve some sort of crossdressing/genderbending plot.
If you want a time period, the seeds were planted in the seventies and really sprouted in the eighties. So that's nearly forty years at this point. That's what a lot of yuri-only fans fail to realize when they complain about how popular BL has become--it took at least thirty years to GET to this point--and the fact that it is now to this point is actually helpful to yuri fans, since it's taken a lot less than that for yuri to poke its foot in the door.

If you're wondering why yuri didn't catch on in the same way...there have always been glimmers of interest here and there, even as far back as the eighties with characters like Kei and Yuri of Dirty Pair fame, or the popularity of Sailormoon yuri. And you only have to look as far as Nanoha for another example.

So yuri is exactly the same as BL in that when you have a predominantly singer-gender cast, you're more likely to get homosexual interaction. (Sorry, it just really, really bothers me when people accuse fangirls of being "annoying" or "reading too much into things" when fanboys engage in the exact same behavior more often than not)

The problem was mainly that guys weren't interested in building an infrastructure like women were. If shoujo manga tends to explore things like the concept of gender, shounen manga tends to be very rigid in that respect. Guys, unlike girls, are not generally willing to read shoujo manga, which have stronger and larger female casts with which to play. It's only explosively popular shoujo series that catch their attention or the rare shounen or seinen series that is almost entirely girl-centric. But like I said, that's a relative rarity, and thus yuri is a relative rarity.

Though that's changing as lines blur.
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Old 2009-02-18, 14:54   Link #77
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As long as I'm blathering, one more thing to keep in mind about the difference between classic yuri and BL is the different depiction of love. In yuri, love most often brings sadness or pain. It's either an "impossibility" or "impermanent".

To illustrate what I mean, I'm thinking about a one shot by Kihara Toshie about a young woman who comes to meet someone at a hotel, as they promised while in high school. As it turns out, this person was a woman, and they shared a class s type of relationship in their youth. The women she was supposed to meet does show up...with a fiance in tow. This paints the actual lesbian as a "tragic figure", one that was unable to move on normally like everyone else and is doomed to a life of loneliness as she literally walks off into a foggy morning. In "Shiroi Heya no Futari", the protagonist, after her beloved is murdered, decides to live the rest of her life in quiet, lonely despair.

BL, on the other hand. While you have elaborate tragedies ala "Kaze to Ki no Uta", two other prominent BL stories that shaped the genre are wildly different. In "Touma no Shinzou", Juli eventually comes to terms with the fact that he loved Tomas, and decides to use it as a source of personal strength for the rest of his life--even if Tomas is no longer living. In "Mari and Shingo", even after Shingo admits that he'll never be able to love Mari romantically, Mari will always be the most important person to him. The strength of that friendship might sometimes cause pain, but it's ultimately a positive thing.
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Old 2009-02-21, 00:31   Link #78
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Yaoi wins! no question about it. Yaoi tend to be more popular because only homophobic girls enjoyed it.
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Old 2009-02-21, 18:10   Link #79
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Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amex_Yohko View Post
Yaoi wins! no question about it. Yaoi tend to be more popular because only homophobic girls enjoyed it.
.....

Huh? Homophobia girls enjoy yaoi? You are going to need to expand on this if you want it to make any sense whatsoever.
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Fweakin is offline  
Old 2009-02-22, 03:11   Link #80
Oppius
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hell
Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fweakin View Post
.....

Huh? Homophobia girls enjoy yaoi? You are going to need to expand on this if you want it to make any sense whatsoever.
Because they hate other girls in anime and real-life except for fellow yaoi fangirls. Just look what their did to all female characters that usually in non-yaoi shows. They kill them all inside the world known as 'fanfiction'.

I have a question to all yaoi fangirls in this place "Can you all be a little bit more 'lesbian' ? Not turning yourself into real lesbians but they should stop become overly straight by holding hands with each other, spend more time with your won gender instead. We guys already did".
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