Call it yaoi – or boys love or shonen ai – a lot of people are still puzzled by this genre of manga. Featuring gay relationship stories that go from chaste to x-rated, the stories are all aimed at an audience of women.
Juné Manga is the boys love imprint at DMP (Digital Manga Publishing) and they’ve just released an infographic with some interesting statistics about the changing audiences for yaoi (made by girls for girls) and bara (made by men for men) manga.
The world of manga has cooled a bit from its feverish pitch at the turn of the century, but many smaller publishers have persevered to survive to today’s more tha solid market. According to the PR that came with the infographic, Juné is hoping to “blur the lines between comics for women and comics for the LGBT community” with a new genre called “yabara” that will combine “the erotic tone of bara with the story driven character development of yaoi.”
Sounds wild, but the accompanying infographic does show a crossover potential for this idea, including a larger acceptance for yaoi themes among anime fans in general, and an interest in horror, yakuza and psychological themes.
According to a Juné spokesperson, the data was gathered from ecommerce reports, Google analytics, polls from publishers, search terms, and customer surveys.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.