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Wood, Andrea: "Boys’ Love anime and queer desires in convergence culture. Transnational fandom, censorship and resistance." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4.1 (2013), S. 44–63.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Wood2013
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Keywords: Animation, Fankultur, Gender, Japan, Politik, Randformen des Comics, TV
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Despite its ever-growing international popularity, Japanese anime and the industries that support it are in the middle of a crisis. In an era of media convergence, popularity has not translated into consistent profits as anime producers continue to lose money at home and overseas to rampant file sharing and ubiquitous streaming video sites illegally hosting copyrighted content that can be viewed for free. As a result, convergence is simultaneously fuelling the current anime industry crisis while also opening up new opportunities to make participatory culture work for both fans and producers – especially for niche markets like Boys’ Love. This article explores how Boys’ Love fans in Japan and other countries often operate in contradictory tension with and against anime industries and socio-cultural values as they access, consume and create around a form of homoerotic media that they do not want to be assimilated into mainstream culture and its norms. As more transnational publishers and distributors are licensing and selling Boys’ Love manga and anime, the boundaries between margin and centre have begun to blur, producing intersecting and divergent desires among fans and producers around the commodification and adaptation of queer texts. The first part of this article focuses on how convergence is shaping the dynamic between anime producers and fan consumers, where niche markets have begun to figure into this situation, and what is politically at stake in the consumption and circulation of Boys' Love texts. The second part of the article examines several examples of Boys' Love television anime and Original Video Animation (OVA), with particular attention to Youka Nitta’s Embracing Love and Shungiku Nakamura’s Junjo Romantica, to assess how deliberate censorship in anime adaptations can sometimes efface important queer meaning in a text while in other instances it can open up new fantasies and ways of reading for viewers that are in keeping with the queerness the author ascribes to the genre.
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