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Answerman - There's Bara Manga... Why Isn't There Bara Anime?


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DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 352
Location: Area 51
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:15 am Reply with quote
Heishi wrote:


For my 600th comment, I will say this: I do enjoy beefy women like Mikasa, but I'm talking ripped women.
Women that are very muscular. Like how a lot of straight females enjoy seeing characters like Armstrong from FMA.
I'm one of those guys who really likes the more muscular looking women, so hopefully one day there might be something for us, too.


There’s Armstrong’s other two sisters



FMA really does cater to everyone
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explosionforgov



Joined: 16 Jun 2016
Posts: 80
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:44 am Reply with quote
Heishi wrote:
As a straight guy, I would love some anime with some beefy female protagonists. I, for one, would love to see beefy women protecting their tiny boyfriends. I'm so tired of seeing the same ol story of the strong man having to protect and rescue the smaller woman.
I wanna see a complete 180 of that!


As a bisexual woman who loves beefy women as much as she loves beefy men, same. I just didn't bring it up because this was a discussion about bara, so I was focusing on men.

Yuvelir wrote:

HHMMMMMM


I don't understand what you mean, unless you were making a rippling muscles = The Ripple/Hamon joke? In which case, heh. I wasn't going for that, but let's say I was.

7PhoenixAshes wrote:
I agree with every word in this statement 100%.

I'm glad, thank you.
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Laethiel



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:31 am Reply with quote
Quote:
There are still hentai OVAs, but much fewer than their used to be (and the production values for most new ones are pretty poor).


This has been my experience. I've seen a couple hentai based on good eromanga, including one based on one of my all-time favorites, and... they were just bad. Clearly low budget, low effort works. I'd feel sorry for the bara fans if they finally got something made for them and it turned out that disappointing.
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garlogan78



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 170
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:09 am Reply with quote
DmonHiro wrote:
Lemonchest wrote:
Is much bara about underage/barely legal teenagers?

From my understanding, almost none of it is.




Ehh, quite a bit is. For example, a popular bara mangaka is Mentaiko. He has a series called itai itai itai, which is about high schoolers.

There are plenty set at companies with salaryment and stuff too, but there is definitely a lot of high school ones (also several by Draw-2)...and a lot with adults/high school student pairings (teacher/kid, adult/student who gets paid for sex....etc)
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1444
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:32 am Reply with quote
Romuska wrote:
(Also I own that Massive manga collection pictured in the article. I'll gladly support official releases like this!)


I do as well.

I met Jiraiya at the promotional party at suuuper small bookstore in San Francisco when they were first releasing the book in the US. The place was packed with all the dot com hipsters that worked/lived in that section of SF. The organizers had no idea as to how autograph sessions with Japanese artists work. I was towards the middle of the line and no one had asked about sketches...so when I did (and Jiraiya was totally cool with it), everyone else ran around the store, trying to find a piece of paper so Jiraiya would sketch for them as well. Hipsters can be amusing sometimes.

I wouldn't mind seeing more bara as well. I also enjoyed All Out!, but more for the artwork and less because of the plot.
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MetalEmolga



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:14 pm Reply with quote
katscradle wrote:
I have never heard this idea of it arising out of censorship before so I’m really curious where it comes from Question


I'm basing it off theories I've read from various shojo and bl scholars as well as people who worked in the industry. Such as this editor.

Quote:

The Year 24 Group fought editors who resisted their innovation. Editors would say, ‘The audience of shōjo manga is girls, but you want to write protagonists who are boys or men? That’s impossible!’ But the Year 24 Group won the support of female readers, and proved to the world that their form of expression was valid.

Their epoch-making innovation was to take girls, who back then were not even allowed to behave and express themselves as they desired in the world of fiction, and dress them up as boys.

These desires included sexual desire. Although the characters looked like beautiful boys, the persons inside of them were girls or women – and so, their objects of desire were boys and men. This is why, on the surface, it looked as though these works portrayed pederasty or homosexuality (laugh).

— What is the Year 24 Group? by Sagawa Toshihiko, editor in chief of JUNE magazine


katscradle wrote:
Over the years a lot of academics and artists have looked at BL and asked questions about its appeal beyond a pretty boy/guy with another pretty boy/guy. This has led to theorizing about gender and sexuality or sharing personal experiences with such works. BL can be a vehicle for the safe expression and exploration of fantasies, sexuality, gender, culture constructs, anxieties and trauma. It would seem Takemiya tried to liberate girls and women a bit through her homoerotic works.


While there is some good BL scholarship out there. There are a lot of scholars that seem to pathologize the audience and deny any sexual element in women's interest in BL. A lot of western BL scholars also have a weird habit of ignoring BL's relationship to shojo and josei manga and act like BL tropes are unique to BL. Bishonen character designs are a common example of this. Even though bishonen character designs are just as common if not more common in shojo and josei manga. And have been their before BL was even a thing. I still see people who write long essays speculating wildly on why bishonen are so popular. When it is obvious that their there because many woman find them to be hot.
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Romuska
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
Romuska wrote:
(Also I own that Massive manga collection pictured in the article. I'll gladly support official releases like this!)


I do as well.

I met Jiraiya at the promotional party at suuuper small bookstore in San Francisco when they were first releasing the book in the US. The place was packed with all the dot com hipsters that worked/lived in that section of SF. The organizers had no idea as to how autograph sessions with Japanese artists work. I was towards the middle of the line and no one had asked about sketches...so when I did (and Jiraiya was totally cool with it), everyone else ran around the store, trying to find a piece of paper so Jiraiya would sketch for them as well. Hipsters can be amusing sometimes.

I wouldn't mind seeing more bara as well. I also enjoyed All Out!, but more for the artwork and less because of the plot.


Lucky! Unfortunately I didn't know about the autograph session until it was too late. And yes, hipsters are funny. Jiraiya is great. He had one of my favorite stories in that book but my personal favorite is Seizou Ebisubashi. I really hope his manga becomes more commercially available in English.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:26 pm Reply with quote
MetalEmolga wrote:

While there is some good BL scholarship out there. There are a lot of scholars that seem to pathologize the audience and deny any sexual element in women's interest in BL.

Can you expound on this? Just about everything I've read on the popularity of BL & yaoi boils down to: "it's a "safe" way for teen girls and women in Japan to express sexuality," which to me is an indictment of a culture that expects girls and women to act demure and "pure" (only focused on romance divorced from sex) even as female characters in fictional stories, rather than a pathological take on the intended audience, and *always* mentions sex--even if BL doesn't have actual sex scenes, it's clear that the relationships depicted have sexual desire. I don't know much about early shojo and how it was censored, however, because most of the shojo manga released in the US were written from the mid-to-late nineties to today. A long running shojo romance from this era is way more likely to have a sex scene than, for example, shonen manga.
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 498
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:33 pm Reply with quote
If there ever was one, I'm sure it would be a comedy first so people that aren't into bara could see something in it.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3999
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:13 pm Reply with quote
Heishi wrote:
I'm so tired of seeing the same ol story of the strong man having to protect and rescue the smaller woman.
I wanna see a complete 180 of that!


I'm too lazy to go fishing but I don't think that's really the premise behind most modern anime,manga, or light novels it can't be, if you have people constantly complaining about how the male protagonists come off weak compared to the female cast.

Quote:
In general, porn is not the cash cow it once was, thanks to the never-ending wank-fest that is the internet, and the finances of making adult anime barely even work anymore. There are still hentai OVAs, but much fewer than their used to be (and the production values for most new ones are pretty poor).


The production values for almost anything made prior to at least 2007 wasn't much better either though admittedly I don't recall any of that stuff using overusing still shots or using still shots done a certain way to emulate animation.

Compelled to Reply wrote:
Forced diversity doesn't necessarily reflect whether a society is "behind." Whenever homosexual characters are in something, it goes to show because there's always considerable backlash, especially on the internet.


I'm pretty sure that backlash generally centers around either how they're written or from the camp who might not hate gays (as they claim) they just don't want to have to see them.
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micah007



Joined: 25 Jan 2017
Posts: 99
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:01 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
As a straight guy, I would love some anime with some beefy female protagonists. I, for one, would love to see beefy women protecting their tiny boyfriends. I'm so tired of seeing the same ol story of the strong man having to protect and rescue the smaller woman.
I wanna see a complete 180 of that!


This is why I read Witchcraft Works. The female lead isn't really "buff" so to speak but she's statuesque with a strong build who has to look after her comparably tiny male lead.
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katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 469
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:12 am Reply with quote
MetalEmolga wrote:

I'm basing it off theories I've read from various shojo and bl scholars as well as people who worked in the industry. Such as this editor.


I’m familiar with Proffesor Toshihiko Sagawa. There are certainly ideas about what makes and is proper for a girl. But what your original comment said is artists were prohibited from depicting a girl having sex and had to camouflage it. That seems a little less than true for the period in discussion since artists were testing limits and Hideko Mizuno did portray just that in Fire previous to shounen ai.

The closest idea of heterosexual sex being an issue I can think of right now is in Takemiya's Manga Classroom where she writes “if there is a sex scene between a boy and a girl they [the readers] don’t like that because it seems too real. But if it’s two boys they can avoid that and concentrate on the love aspect.”

It’s the girl in a boy’s body or, girl taking on the perspective of loving a boy in a kind of neutrality or equality. It can be something that allows for the exploration of association between love and sex. This is where the feminist and liberating aspects come.

But that’s still about readers not a censor. Part of the reason it took Takemiya so long to publish The Song of the Wind and the Trees was because she was firm on the sexual aspects.

Indeed girl’s comics experienced a transformation and revolution in the 60s and 70s. There were concerns about focusing on male characters in works for girls from some editors even though there were examples pre-70s. Even artists were nervous about reception like Hagio. And stories with science fiction, or historical dramas like Rose of Versailles and other genres were not thought of for girls. But the artists proved themselves, readers responded and titles sold.


MetalEmolga wrote:

While there is some good BL scholarship out there. There are a lot of scholars that seem to pathologize the audience and deny any sexual element in women's interest in BL. A lot of western BL scholars also have a weird habit of ignoring BL's relationship to shojo and josei manga and act like BL tropes are unique to BL. Bishonen character designs are a common example of this. Even though bishonen character designs are just as common if not more common in shojo and josei manga. And have been their before BL was even a thing. I still see people who write long essays speculating wildly on why bishonen are so popular. When it is obvious that their there because many woman find them to be hot.


I agree I think some Western academics can get a little out of hand. I’ve seen them springboard off of an interpretation of something Japanese academics or artists have said in unintended ways. Though that is not to say Japanese counterparts are always scholarly either.

That translation of Sagawa and statements about JUNE he’s made before may go against the point you make as well. In case I've annoyed you too, I thought I wrote bishounen are not exclusive and indeed there is a sexual component probably more at the fore for most when I put the word "fantasies" first in my list of ways BL can be valuable. JUNE definitely stressed its pursuit of beauty. Takemiya had an obsession with the Vienna Boys’ Choir which also was a fad sparked from girl’s comics in the late 60s. So I agree that people shouldn't ignore the sexual components (it's even rather annoying people question women more on their libidos) but, I also don't think it negates every other perspective.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:02 am Reply with quote
Lord Oink wrote:
There's lot of gayness in anime, just not the kind you want. Like people said, it's aimed at men and women into cute yuri and yaoi, because that kind of stuff will sell way more than butch lesbians or bara gays. There's just no profitable interest or market for it.


The weirdest part of this is that, while yuri manga seems to have this whole cutesy male demographic thing down to a science, the same can't be said for male-oriented yuri anime. In the past twenty years, we've seen a grant total of one "show explicitly about girls who want to kiss each other" break the 10k sales barrier... based on a shoujo light novel series, with a huge pre-existing fanbase. (It was already well into its sixteenth installment by the time the first season started airing - and this was two years before the 2006 light novel boom!)

The interest is clearly there - look at how much better slice of life shows perform with the injection of even a little bit of yuri subtext - but when you compare the success of actual-factual yuri shows to their yaoi counterparts, it's clear that they don't have the formula quite right.
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MetalEmolga



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:00 pm Reply with quote
katscradle wrote:

I’m familiar with Proffesor Toshihiko Sagawa. There are certainly ideas about what makes and is proper for a girl. But what your original comment said is artists were prohibited from depicting a girl having sex and had to camouflage it. That seems a little less than true for the period in discussion since artists were testing limits and Hideko Mizuno did portray just that in Fire previous to shounen ai.

The closest idea of heterosexual sex being an issue I can think of right now is in Takemiya's Manga Classroom where she writes “if there is a sex scene between a boy and a girl they [the readers] don’t like that because it seems too real. But if it’s two boys they can avoid that and concentrate on the love aspect.”


The impression I was given from what I've read. Is that editors were reluctant to publish certain stories. And that stories depicting women with sexual agency were more controversial back then than now. Even the example of a shojo with sex you provided features a male protagonist.

While there are some fujoshi who absolutely won't read het sex. I'm not convinced there the majority of fujoshi. Or that their driving force behind BL's popularity. Someone can both like BL and Shojo the fandoms aren't enemies.

katscradle wrote:

That translation of Sagawa and statements about JUNE he’s made before may go against the point you make as well.


Not really. Bishonen type characters were popular in Shojo before BL become a thing. If you include ukiyo prints then it's an old beauty ideal that BL writers repurposed. BL doesn't necessarily have to have bishonen characters either. There's a subset of BL that has more buff, muscular characters like the ones you see in gay manga.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:29 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
The weirdest part of this is that, while yuri manga seems to have this whole cutesy male demographic thing down to a science, the same can't be said for male-oriented yuri anime. In the past twenty years, we've seen a grant total of one "show explicitly about girls who want to kiss each other" break the 10k sales barrier... based on a shoujo light novel series, with a huge pre-existing fanbase. (It was already well into its sixteenth installment by the time the first season started airing - and this was two years before the 2006 light novel boom!)

The interest is clearly there - look at how much better slice of life shows perform with the injection of even a little bit of yuri subtext - but when you compare the success of actual-factual yuri shows to their yaoi counterparts, it's clear that they don't have the formula quite right.


I'd argue the same applies to women. Yuuri on Ice after all did much better than Super Lovers, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, or any other explicit BL stuff has ever done. Throw in Free and similar sports shows if you want which have thirsty female BL fans.

Subtext and bait sells better, whether because it allows non yuri/yaoi fans to enjoy the work as well and attract more audiences, or because it's more cute. Madoka x Homura is huge, despite the show not being a yuri. Pretty Cure as well, though most yuri doujins end up being futanari. Having a popular gay fan pairing is usually more profitable than making a full on gay show. You can watch Madoka and Yuuri despite not being into gayness, but there's little reason to watch a yuri or yaoi show unless you're into it.
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