Gay Japanese Cartoon Love


Our friends over at AfterElton have an illuminating article on gay love in manga, Japanese illustrated serials. (We called them “comics” once and our friend nearly shat. We replied, “Why get bogged down by semantics?” our favorite post-modern linguistic dismissal.) In the article, written by Hikaru Freeman, one learns all about a series called Gravitation.

Set in modern day Japan, the story revolves around up-and-coming rock star, Shuichi Shindo, and his burgeoning love affair with writer, Eiri Yuki. What struck us most about the piece is that there’s an entire genre of boy love manga Freeman refers to as shonen-ai, “which literally translates to ‘young-boy love.'”

We did a little research on the everyman’s encyclopedic website, Wikipedia, and apparently shonen-ai is dated term, and typically refers to actual pedophilia. But, again, semantics… Originally, the genre was marketed to women, who adored the stories of fagling love, but has drawn new audiences as more young Japanese men and women find the strength to come out. If only we had a similar genre when we were young…

“Gay Love in Japanese Manga” [AfterElton]
Shonen-ai [Wikipedia]