Perspectives on BL manga Part I: BL manga as an esoteric fandom.

It’s only been a year since I got into BL and I admit that I’m still not that experienced with the fandom. Yes, as I said before, I’ve been into yaoi for the longeeeeeeest time already but when I got into BL, it’s a totally different experience.

Just the other day, my friend Yee Hun and I met up with Ms. Khursten Santos, one of the organizers of the BLush Convention, to get our own copies of the very first BLush Anthology. The meeting was also for us to discuss further plans with the anthology which then lead to a more in-depth fujoshi talk—which I enjoyed very much! We talked about the old and new BL fandom, the difference between yaoi, BL and their stereotypes. I loved how similar our views were about BL fandom; she was able to enlighten me with words I long thought of but never had the chance to express or explain it clearly especially here in my blog.

When I was into yaoi before, I never called it “BL”—I didn’t even know what BL was.

My BL fandom all started because of a random BL blog I stumbled upon while looking for some new manga. The blog was in Japanese so at first, I had no idea what she was talking about when I saw posts about BL magazines and anthologies. I thought to myself, “Wow, so stuff like this actually exists in yaoi fandom” since I only knew about Shonen Jump before, lol. After reading a few posts from her and discovered new blogs and fujoshi friends along the way, I now succumbed to the very obsessive fandom that is BL.

So what’s the difference between yaoi and BL anyways?

For me I think the right word to describe BL is that it’s such an esoteric fandom that most fans don’t give time to actually understand what the fandom really is so they just tend to only have knowledge about the general facts. Although, before I also used to think yaoi is more on the obscene side while BL on the other hand is just pure love. But it seems they both have matching descriptions which explains a lot since technically, they’re the same. As to what I understood from further readings about the term’s origin, it just depends on how people got used to calling it. In the end, it all differs on how much the fans understand the genre itself.

Up to now I’m still trying to get the right words out of my head in order for me to properly explain my thoughts about what BL really means and how it influenced me as an artist. All I can say is that it greatly influenced me not only for my art but also my perspective in life. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but that’s how it really is for me, haha!

BL greatly changed a huge part of my personality since it provided me personal guidance. Most of the BL mangas I got to read had a very realistic storyline and because of that, it really made me realize what life is all about—as cliche as it may sound. Since BL tends to lean more on the shojo and josei demographic, it often has a mature feel to it. 

My views on eroticism also changed because of BL. To most people, eroticism is pornographic which often leads to negative impressions. I remember Araki Nobuyoshi (a very famous Japanese (erotic) photographer) saying this in one of his interviews:

I think people should be positively dirty-minded and if you are positively dirty-minded, you end up in the most lively and energetic place. 

The quote seems simple but it actually depends on how you understand it.

Other than those, most of what I learned are too complex to include it here. Right now, I’m still trying to expose myself with more BL so let’s just see what further realizations I’ll get to have in my next post regarding the topic! ;v;)/

I hope this short(?) post gave you guys some realizations of your own!
Don’t hesitate to share your own opinions. ;v;)/

P.S.
Cluttered thoughts as always. Sorry if my words seem out of place in every sentence!

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