Talk:Bara (genre)

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Taken from yaoi talk page:

I have created a new page exclusively for bara (also known as gei comi): Bara (manga). While sometimes called yaoi, bara is actually a subgenre of manga created by men for men (homosexual men in this case) and does not abide by the same conventions as yaoi (by women for women). The yaoi article supports this conclusion several times:

"...yaoi came to be used as a generic term for female-oriented manga, anime, dating sims, novels and dōjinshi featuring idealized homosexual male relationships."

"BL creators and fans are careful to distinguish the genre from “gay manga,” which are created by and for gay men.[1][2]"

"Yuri for actual lesbians tends to resemble the opposite of gay men's manga (bara), while men's yuri manga is more like yaoi manga, since both are targeted at the opposite sex and are not about reflecting gay reality."

"Yaoi has become an umbrella term in the West for women's manga or Japanese-influenced comics with male-male relationships,[11] and it is the term preferentially used by American manga publishers.[17] The actual name of the genre aimed toward women in Japan is called 'BL' or 'Boy's Love'. BL is aimed at the shōjo and josei demographics, but is considered a separate category.[11][18] Yaoi is used in Japan to include dōjinshi and sex scenes,[11] and does not include gei comi, which is by gay men and for gay men.[1][11]"

"Recently a subgenre of BL have been introduced in Japan, so-called "Muscle-man BL" or "Gachi Muchi" [25] (which has been referred to as "bara" among English-speaking fans, [26][27] although in Japan this term only refers to gei comi), which offers more masculine body types and is more likely to have gay male authors and artists. Although still marketed primarily to women, [25] it is also thought to attract a large crossover gay male audience. [28] This type of BL should not be confused with gei comi proper."

"Considered a subgenre of seijin (men's erotica) for gay males, bara resembles comics for men (seinen) rather than comics for female readers (shoujo/josei). Bara is more true to actual homosexual male relationships, and not the heterosexual-esque relationships between the masculine seme and feminine uke types that are most common in romantic fantasy in women's yaoi manga. "

"In comparison to yaoi, gay men's manga is unlikely to contain scenes of "uncontrollable weeping or long introspective pauses", and more likely to show characters who are "hairy, very muscular, or have a few excess pounds"."

The exception is "Muscle-man BL" / "Gachi Muchi" which is sometimes called bara, but as it is intended for a female audience it is yaoi, with only physically masculine characters. Otherwise it abides by the conventions of the BL genre.

People interested in bara or gei comi should be able to find it easily on Wikipedia. I searched for it and the disambiguation page listed the article for Barazoku, a publication that is definitely significant in the history of bara. The article, however, does not go into detail about the bara genre. A visitor had to already know what yaoi is and that information on bara could be found in the yaoi article in order to find such information on Wikipedia.

I have pulled information from this and other articles, which I list on the page. I have done my best to make sure the references work correctly, but I'm not an experienced Wiki editor. It is my hope that others will assist in correcting any mistakes and with general revision. I have also categorized the article under a variety of related subjects, such as bears in gay culture, partially in hopes that the article will gain visibility. --SykoSilver (talk) 11:13, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Why "bara"?[edit]

I have chosen to use bara because it returns more results on Google than gei-comi, and I refined it to "bara gay" and "bara yaoi" and it still returns more results. Also, gei-comi is specific to manga, where bara as a genre can extend to anime and erotic games. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:16, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I think it's the more commonly used term in Anglophone discussion, but I'd point out that there are literally hundreds of yaoi manga/games/anime that have bara in the title (roses are super-common in both shoujo and yaoi), so probably a minority of those hits are for bara in the sense used here. - JRBrown (talk) 00:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Anime and Manga Portal[edit]

I have added the portal to the page, and I'm hoping that bara will get added to the genres alongside Yaoi and Yuri. --SykoSilver (talk) 11:39, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

More Images[edit]

We've got an important cover up with is fantastic. But, I think it could use additional images that reflect the variety within the genre. Consider more modern works, hairless, more slender bara characters, bara foreigners, an image with a bara couple, etc. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

There's buckets of bara images on the web, but the problem is finding something that is free use or has a compatible license. The best bet is finding works notable enough to discuss, and adding an illustration of that work. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much critical attention given to bara (in English or any other language, as far as I know), so "notability" is a bit hard to establish. - JRBrown (talk) 23:33, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The applicable policy is non-free content criteria. Having images which can be discussed in the text of the article (with sources) is usually the best bet, as JRBrown said. --Malkinann (talk) 01:07, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Does discussion need to be about specific works, or examples of work by a particular artist in general, in order to include works by that artist? Our history section discusses the styles of some different artists. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I think we'd need a paragraph or so establishing the importance and relevance of either a specific artist or a specific work to justify a non-free image. - JRBrown (talk) 16:37, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
What about a picture from each generation? First gen includes Hirano Go, Mashima Go, Funayama Sanshi, Okawa Tatsuji, Oda Tashimi, and Hayashi Gekko (might be same guy as Ishihara Gojin). The third paragraph discusses the second generation of bara artists, including how their work depicted men more sporty and realistic. We could use a work by Kimura Ben as an example for this trend, such as this one. There's also Junichi Yamakawa (as featured at Kuso Miso Technique) and Sadao Hasegawa (realistic, yes; sporty, no). For the current generation, we could look to Takeshi Matsu, Inaki Matsumoto, or Matsuzaki Tsukasa (I'm not sure where to find non-scanlated stuff, maybe this. An untranslated manga page may be better, since manga is the trend for bara this gen). There's also Fujimoto Go's calendars (NSFW). --SykoSilver (talk) 08:16, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Ideas for more content[edit]

  • Visual style
  • Themes
  • Market/Industry
  • Bara and Western Homoerotica-- has bara influenced western gay comics or artists, such as Patrick Fillion or any of the other artists at Class Comics? How does Tom of Finland relate to bara? Bara and western gay erotica share the same audience, so this would be an interesting way to tie things together. I see Bara as having a rich artistic history that I'm sure has it's place in the west. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

A place to dump random sources[edit]

Starting a new section for parking bits that may be useful at some point.

An Adult Manga Artist's Big Surprise - Uncensored Illustrations Featured in French Newspaper, ComiPress 2007-02-08
Translation of a blog post by Gengoroh Tagame, regarding use of his illustrations in the January 25th 2007 edition of the French newspaper Libération

Assorted articles on bara/yaoi artists and anthologies:
Simona's BL Research Lab: Boys Love for the Boys
Simona's BL Research Lab: Reibun Ike, Hyogo Kijima, Inaki Matsumoto (specific artists/authors - mostly crossovers from yaoi into light bara/"gachi muchi")
Simona's BL Research Lab: Hibakichi (on S&M manga anthologies)
Menslove Sales Stats
Gay Erotic Art in Japan Vol. 1: Artists From the Time of the Birth of Gay Magazines Has translation of introduction

Bara anime/games, if I can find any:
Review at Insert Credit of, Ie, Tatemasu!, a bara doujin dating sim - pretty much the only extended English-language discussion of a bara H-game I've found (as far as I know there are no commercial bara H-games)
Color me a liar, I just found this:
Screenshots from assorted bara games, some of which are apparently commercial (although they seem to be very small, startup companies)

Bara game companies (I think these are not doujin):
Futuregames, has one(?) game and assorted manga DJs
Tarutaru (related to a publisher called Okada??) three games

Dōjin soft groups:
Underground Campaign - did the Ie, Tatemasu! game mentioned above
Rycanthropy - seems to be defunct?, also did DJs

- JRBrown (talk) 17:04, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

U.S. publishers sticking to typical yaoi as a barrier to other homoerotic manga
"I think the male audience that came to yaoi manga excited, has gravitated more toward homegrown gay erotic comics and manga. Naturally, the stories are going to be less fetish, and more smut with a touch of substance."
"Now there are about four major pubs with manga anthologies that cater to 'male fans'." What are those four major pubs?
"I have noticed that nearly all 'ML' anthologies, their publishers, and the online stores that sell them have extensive "English" pages. They actively seek foreign readers." Would be great to include info on foreign readers, maybe complement with that market data link. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Re "yaoi as a barrier to other homoerotic manga": I'm not sure what she means by this; I think the major issue is that yaoi just sells so much better than gay men's comics (or, for that matter, heterosex smut). Somewhere on his blog, Simon Jones of Icarus, who publishes ero-manga in translation, mentions considering licensing some gei comi but deciding he couldn't make a profit off it; I can try to track that down. Also, there's somewhere a cite by Yaoi Press saying they cancelled their OEL Pinned! series, which had muscular guys and was designed to have crossover appeal, because it just wasn't selling enough copies to be worth diverting attention from their mainstream-yaoi stuff.
Yaoi as a barrier to homoerotic manga is just what is says. Pubs here actively seek in their very brand design with pink purple flowering logos to make the distinction that their product is not intended for gay male readers. The "m/m" distinction is made by homoerotic fiction publishers [most recent being running press] to have their books put in the general romance section and not in the GLBT section of bookstores. Gender specific branding is also what they appear to be trying to do in Japan with the term 'Menslove'.--Gynocrat (talk) 19:34, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Could you elaborate on that a bit? I would LOVE to get more info in the article about bara outside of Japan--especially considering publishers. And for "Menslove", with gender-specific branding, do you mean that they are trying not to get it put in GLBT sections, as with yaoi? Also we need refs before we can add it to the article. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:23, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
"less fetish, and more smut with a touch of substance": I think this is Ms Anderson's prediction at the time, based on what she thinks gay men (would) like. I'm not sure it is strong enough to cite (and I'm also not convinced has been borne out by sales, if I'm interpreting "fetish" in the way she means it; if she's strictly talking about BDSM it's probably true).
"about four major pubs": Offhand, I'm only aware of Bakudan and Aqua as "major" publishers. I'll rummage around for info on any others.
Hi there, Anderson here. Four major publishers handling 'ML' and 'BL for men' are: Bakudan, Kousai, Ookura Shuupan [OAKS] [what you're calling Aqua], and at the time of my interview on ANN, Terra Publications was reissuing old BADI Comics material. --Gynocrat (talk) 20:12, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Re Kousai; could you expand on this? There is a Kousai Shobou imprint of Issuisya, but their output looks very mainstream-yaoi to me. J-list has a pile of bara-esque stuff credited to Kousai Shobou, but all the other sources I can find list those same books as from Aqua/Okala Shuppan/Ookura Shuppan/whatever the blank their name is. - JRBrown (talk) 22:08, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
English pages: Pages from publishers and creators would be great, but I'd be cautious about using more than bare-bones info (date of publication, format, etc) from retailers. Reviews and whatnot on a commercial site probably won't meet reliable sources criteria. - JRBrown (talk) 16:33, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, Simon Jones cite towards the bottom of the page here: "Now, we did look into licensing some gay manga, but the math just didn’t work out. =(". Also, some more pages check out:
  • Interview with Chris Butcher of the Beguiling in which he briefly mentions "baru", which he translates as "bear porn".
  • Interview with Tina Anderson in which she briefly discusses differences between bara and yaoi.
  • Article about a bara-themed dakimakura with a built-in dildo...
- JRBrown (talk) 17:02, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Queer Love Manga Style Calls bara "the next big porn trend coming out of Japan." Also discusses yaoi & gay readers a bit. --SykoSilver (talk) 03:15, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Happy Gay Pride Week! - Go Fujimoto Info & links for Go Fujimoto. --SykoSilver (talk) 04:57, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Volume 2? of Gengoroh's erotic art book --SykoSilver (talk) 05:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

a blog that talks about it --SykoSilver (talk) 05:18, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Seizoh Ebisubashi's site, has a gallery and has sample scans of his manga work (not scanlated). --SykoSilver (talk) 08:29, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I think I may have found an actual bara anime: Legend of the Blue Wolves. Wohoo! _ JRBrown (talk) 21:19, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The article also calls it yaoi though. I would say it's "arguably bara" at best. Some may consider it "gachi muchi." --SykoSilver (talk) 22:23, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Possible Early Bara artists / influences[edit]

Sadao Hasegawa, Funayama Sanshi, Hirano Gô, Mishima Gô a.k.a. Tsuyoshi Yoshida, Oda Toshimi, Echigoya Tatsunoshin, Kimura Ben from (NSFW) --SykoSilver (talk) 23:46, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

History Section[edit]

A section like this would add a lot of depth. We've got some great references that we can use, such as the translated introduction of "Gay Erotic Art in Japan Vol. 1" (link found above). Also, some of the artists listed in there are the same artists as I pulled from the Homoerotic Art Museum website. Some of these artists are deceased and their work may be in public domain, which means we can choose some images to supplement the text. We've already got a little bit of history, but it would be great if we got in there the artists who started it all, even if Tagame is the king of bara. --SykoSilver (talk) 00:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

History would be great, the problem is finding cites. Regarding images: Decease of the author is not enough to put something into public domain; an image of Japanese art isn't public domain in the US unless either it was published before 1923 or it's 95 years old (or the author chose to release it into public domain, of course). There's a special case for certain items published between 1923 and 1977 - see third section ("Works First Published Outside the U.S.") of this chart - but I'm not up to looking into Japanese copyright law to see what would fall under this clause. Since gay art doesn't seem to have gotten off the ground in Japan until the 1960's, it's unlikely that anything important is free use at this point. As mentioned above, images that can be connected to discussion of notable works will then fall under "fair use", so I think we should focus on finding notable works. Unless you know any artists that might be persuaded to contribute, of course. :) - JRBrown (talk) 01:45, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I think that's the history section for now. If you guys can make it better, or think it should be condensed, feel free. Personally, I like it longer than the versus yaoi section, because it seems like it should have more weight. --SykoSilver (talk) 05:12, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Does "bara" apply to homoerotic artwork?[edit]

I've visited sites like y!Gallery where it's popular to identify art with the visual style of bara as bara itself. Does the bara genre extend past fictional media to artwork as well? It's tricky because a lot of "bara" posted on sites like y!Gallery is not from Japan. Does it still qualify as anime/manga-esque? Does it need to in order to be "bara"? And then we get into the tricky question of whether the term "bara" can be applied to more western works. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:33, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I feel one thing that can at least be agreed on is that bara = homoerotic, focusing on "same sex love and desire." But using the word "relationships" feels like a disservice to me, considering that a lot of "bara artwork" can have a single character. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:59, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you can have yaoi fanart and images, why not bara fanart and images? And if you can have "GloBL" yaoi, why not non-Japanese bara? Some people do argue that yaoi, or manga/anime in general, must be made in Japan by a Japanese person to be "the real thing", but a larger number are comfortable using the term for non-Japanese works in a compatible style. - JRBrown (talk) 23:28, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I expanded it to be more inclusive, but emphasized the Japanese origin. --SykoSilver (talk) 00:14, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't it always be best to go by what the actual creators of the work in Japan call it? We have 'GloBL' manga because we creators in the states wanted to distinguish our m/m manga-style works from those created in Japan. ^_^ If you look at G-Project's Menslove initiativeMensLove 2008 'created by mangaka at publisher Bakudan and obviously started to sell titles by that publisher--ignoring works by other publishers from involved mangaka' but it does list a primer of sorts for what is the best cross section of "ML", it shows many styles of work [beru, BL for men, etc] but they seem to insist on calling it ML. If you read the mangaka's blogs you'll see the same thing; "bara" is a term that's become umbrella here in the states, and like "yaoi" it's come to signify what "we" call the genre, not necessarily what those making it, call the genre. ^_^ Just keeping that in mind. --Gynocrat (talk) 20:22, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand everything that's going on with Bakudan, but I do agree that "bara" is an umbrella term. I don't know if it's completely western, considering its Japanese origin, but it seems like the most appropriate term to use on Wikipedia because 1) it's apparently the most common in western language and 2) Wikipedia is for a western (specifically, English) audience. I do believe we should add what's going on over at Bakudan to the terminology section--that the Japanese creators tend to call it "ML". Similarly, we already have the note that gei-comi is used often for bara manga. It is very similar to the "Yaoi"/"BL" situation between western and Japanese audiences. As for a bara equivalent to 'GloBL'... I'm not sure there is one. Is there a notable distinction between global and Japanese ML? It doesn't seem like there's much global bara right now, outside of homoerotic art communities like y!gallery. Would it have to specifically be manga-style works? It's difficult because some "bara" is very realistic as far as visual style goes. I know there's Class Comics and artists like Fillion, but I don't know if they or their audiences would consider them "bara." Please feel free to elaborate. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:52, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia is an English-language resource, as they keep reminding us, and it is probably more useful to the end-user to use the terms most common in Anglophone discussion; this is, in fact, official Wikipedia policy. I think you are the primary, if not sole, person using the term menslove on the English-language web; most discussion I've seen is calling it bara or gei comi or "manga for real gay men". :) We have redirect pages up for the less-common terms. - JRBrown (talk) 22:27, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I've had the2008 Men's Love Bakudan page translated by my partner:
The Furukawa bookstore has categorized male companions love and sex comics as Men's Love Comics, in order for adults to read. Boy Love just isn't good enough. You want to read men's manga that an adult can enjoy. We have selected 40 manga that perfectly suit your feelings. This summer, won't you reach out and touch the world of men's love?
It seems more like the bookstore's calling it Men's Love, than the creators. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:51, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Did you know? Proposals[edit]

  • Did you know bara, modern homoerotic art from Japan, is older than yaoi?
  • Did you know work of Tom of Finland was published in a Japanese bara magazine? --SykoSilver (talk) 03:55, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I think the WP:DYK has to be directly cited in the article - so even though bara is older than yaoi, unless Tagame says so directly, that's out... --Malkinann (talk) 04:41, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, alright. Well, we've got a few days. --SykoSilver (talk) 04:52, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the DYK nomination, Malkinann. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Unless you have specifics, I would steer clear of that statement. Modern homoerotic art from Japan isn't called technically called bara, but modern gay erotic manga for men called ML, or what we call bara stateside, is relatively a new publishing concept that's sprung out of BL publishing. What did come before BL were homoerotic serial comics that ran in literary and picture magazines aimed at gay men. Homoerotic art and fiction also existed at the same time, but made for women by early shoujo pioneers - these were the roots of BL. Tricky without a quoted reference. --Gynocrat (talk) 20:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Bara is slang, so yeah, it wouldn't make since for it to technically be used for modern homoerotic art from Japan, much like "yaoi". But don't "bara" and "ML" apply to more than modern manga? From what I've gathered, these terms also apply to those homoerotic serial comics you mention, such as the ones published in Barazoku, where bara probably gets its name. It seems more like bara moved out of the fetish magazines and into dedicated manga publications, following the BL example. At least, that seems to be what Tagame was suggesting in his Englist intro to that erotic art book he was involved with. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I know the history, but BL didn't spring out of small serial publications. The 'slash' fujosi trend sprang out of shoujo. Mangaka like Hagio Moto and Takemiya Keiko were writing slashy stories for women long before Barazoku hit shelves. The onslaught of attractive and androgynous characters to shounen in the early-90's gave way to the fujosi invasion of Comiket in the mid-90's Publishers caught on because not only were these women making "yaoi" fan doujinshi [going a step further then the non-explicit romances of the early shojo] - female fans there buying it in droves. The market was there and so publishers acted on it. Don't assume that BL exists because female fans happened upon homoerotic Japanese artwork done by gay creators. ^_^; The modern gay manga beginning to flourish now didn't spring from Barazoku either; it started with gay male fans of 'BL for women'. As publishers like Kousai and OAKS started these anthologies for the cross-gender audience [women into muscle, and men into BL], this opened the door for the more 'gay-male' centered material. SMCA and new anthologies that've recently come out featuring the old-school collections from SMZ and DanDan are in print again only because there's a growing market created by this 'new trend'. --Gynocrat (talk) 14:55, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Watch Tagame's Blog*

He's recently been very critical of seeing his work, and the works of Tom of Finland cited alongside 'western yaoi/manga' compilations. Blog citation --Gynocrat (talk) 20:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Well yeah, that book basically said "not all m/m is yaoi," showed some of his work, and didn't even go into detail about the bara genre, right? I have to agree with him--I hate seeing bara only ever mentioned in the context of yaoi. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Rycanthropy Source*

Rycanthropy is the circle name for mangaka Guy Mizuki, it's not a game publisher. Yes he self-publishes games and comics, but he's also professionally published. You have to make sure you realize the difference between doujin-soft which is self-produced games, and professionally produced and marketed ero games. You won't find much on "bara games" because most of it is self-produced. --Gynocrat (talk) 20:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

If you know of any refs it's be great to expand that little section. Considering how Guy Mizuki is notable for being one of the few bara mangaka making eroge, we should probably name-drop him. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

We've had a nibble at DYK - there's a problem with the amount of tags on the article, especially that on the games section (I think). What can we do about this? --Malkinann (talk) 12:42, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

G-Men pic description[edit]

" of the first magazines to present gay men's manga that was notably different from yaoi..." If G-Men was published in the 1990's, then surely there were bara magazines before it that were notably different from yaoi, right? --SykoSilver (talk) 05:38, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

From what I've read (McLelland, especially), early gay men's manga tended to follow yaoi-inspired conventions of sleek, well-groomed, clean-shaven upper-class men. More muscular and masculine than typical yaoi, but not nearly so macho and blue-collar as GT's stuff. For instance, here's some stuff by Hirosegawa Susumu (NSFW). - JRBrown (talk) 20:19, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, I believe accepted talk page etiquette is to put new sections at the bottom of the page. - JRBrown (talk) 20:21, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm still learning all the rules. Thanks for the link.--SykoSilver (talk) 20:38, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Bara as a character type[edit]

It seems to be suggested in some places that bara is a character type to be contrasted with bishounen. We should try to find solid references describing it as such, and perhaps include a dedicated section to it as a character type. If the bara character type is not necessarily homosexual but simply masculine, large men (just as bishounen are not necessarily homosexual), we could perhaps include examples from popular media (Asuma and Jiraiya from Naruto, Kenpachi and Isshin from Bleach, Guts from Berserk, etc.). Since slash and erotic art featuring such characters could be considered "bara", then they would seem to fit the "bara" character type. A character type is easy to apply to characters once we have proper references defining the character type. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:03, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Bara also seems like it may be a term used in Japan for gay men. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:08, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Applying the "bara" label to characters without a source saying that they're bara-ish could be considered original research, which is problematic. --Malkinann (talk) 00:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
At a certain point, doesn't it become more like an observation than original research? It seems like people throw the "bishounen" label around a lot... --SykoSilver (talk) 22:12, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Bishonen is a term used in Japan by Japanese fans, media folk, and the commentariat to describe 'beautiful boy'. Biseinen is another established term that describes 'beautiful man'. "bara" is not a character type nor has it ever been applied in Japan to describe anything related to gay comics except for an outdated magazine.  :/ The word used to describe beefy characters are 'macho type' or 'muscle' which is Kinniku. I've heard characters described as K-Types before; Again, I don't like the term 'bara' being tossed about as some form of catch-all indicator of style and story outside what it really is - an English-specific fan term for Japanese gay comics. =_=; --Gynocrat (talk) 14:37, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Bara in other media[edit]

In the other media section, we have erotic games and novels, which is great, but what about anime and webcomics? A found what appears to be a bara webcomic here, though it's in Japanese: --SykoSilver (talk) 02:04, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I took a look around and couldn't find anything on anime, so I didn't mention it. I didn't think to look for webcomics. I don't speak Japanese; have you found any relevant discussion in English (or Spanish/French/Italian/German)? - JRBrown (talk) 20:41, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Like I said below, I have someone who can translate some for us, so long as it isn't overwhelming. But, we have to provide the links. I'm going to try to find something on bara anime. Wish me luck. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:11, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

There's also Fujimoto Go's calendars (Calendar images ok, but site is NSFW). Do those count as other media? --SykoSilver (talk) 08:17, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Bara in other Wikipedia pages[edit]

  • Hentai - Mentions bara under gei comi. Should be switched because "hentai" also applies to other media such as anime. In the classification section, it describes bara inside the context of yaoi. The article should be modified to classify yaoi under shoujo/josei and bara under seinen, and while it is ok to briefly compare/contrast bara and yaoi, it's best to link to either the bara or yaoi article for more information.
  • Oyaji - A casual term used in Japan for fatherly looking men. As a character type it seems like a subtrope of the bara character type. Bara are masculine men, where oyaji are fatherly, experienced masculine men. As oyaji are frequently featured in bara media, it seems like it would be appropriate to include it in the bara article and vice-versa. The problem is that there are no references listed for oyaji as a character type.
  • LGBT themes in comics - Has a paragraph dedicated to bara, but seems to derail into Tagame and Hirosegawa specifically. While they can be mentioned, the paragraph perhaps should focus on bara as a genre, maybe including more about its relevance in Japanese gay culture (gay magazines for example). The paragraph should be more inclusive of bara outside of gei-comi, such as anime and erotic games, and whoever edits it should be careful not remove appropriate criticisms of bara as a genre, such as rape scenes.
Any expansion of this section would be great - but it should only discuss comics, not games or animation, (we don't discuss animation/movies/games based on US comics there either). Great work in creating this article - i'll write a summary of it for the LGBT themes section, if no one else does.YobMod 12:03, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to do so, it would be appreciated. Thanks for your help. --SykoSilver (talk) 14:29, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I modified the sentence in the lead section referring to gay manga to be more specific to bara. There is really no lesbian equivalent distinguished from yuri, so I did not think using the phrase "LGBT customers" was appropriate. Gay manga is really only concerned with gay men as an audience. --SykoSilver (talk) 21:29, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Erm. I may edit that edit in a minute, since there has definitely been an expansion of yuri-for-actual-lesbians material (sample: Rica 'tte Kanji!?), even though it doesn't necessarily have a separate, identifiable name. - JRBrown (talk) 21:45, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Hey, cool. Thanks for that. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:07, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Homoeroticism - Not only missing bara, but Japanese homoeroticism. We have a lot of great information that could complement to this page.
  • LGBT in Japan - Only has a little blurb for gei-comi. Could use some expansion. Also, this article has some good info on homosexuality in Japanese art that could complement our history section, or the Homoeroticism page as previously mentioned.
  • Eroge - Should include information on bara games.
  • BL game - Should not include bara. In keeping consistent with this article, bara should be listed either under ML game or something, right? Or, both could be merged into a new Homoerotic Eroge page. Bara is not BL.
  • Glossary of anime and manga - Perhaps Bara's description should be more in line with this article. Is it appropriate to say bara "refers to a masculine gay men's culture"? Also reconsider word choice like beefcakey.
  • List of pornographic sub-genres - Hentai is listed under Computer-generated, interactive, and animated, but this is an inappropriate placement since hentai extends to manga and erotic literature. Perhaps it should have its own section and give plenty of space to each of the hentai sub-genres. Does not include information on bara. --SykoSilver (talk) 02:31, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Tom of Finland could use a mention of publication of his work in bara magazines --SykoSilver (talk) 09:21, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's enough info to make a "ML game" page, unless we can rustle up someone who can read Japanese. I think it is valuable to point to bara from yaoi-related pages as appropriate, since a) the term is not nearly so well known and b) people not familiar with manga/anime/otaku-ism haven't got the "yaoi is for girls" point completely straight yet. The other suggestions look good. - JRBrown (talk) 20:47, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
My boyfriend is a graduate student in Japanese. He won't want to scour the internet for pages to translate, but if I send him links he may enlighten us a bit. Of course, it's work, so no guarantees, haha. Also, I'm not sure I understand "as appropriate", do you mean be careful when pointing to bara from yaoi-related pages, or to make an effort to point to bara from such pages, to inform people about it? --SykoSilver (talk) 22:01, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
"do you mean be careful when pointing to bara from yaoi-related pages, or to make an effort to point to bara from such pages, to inform people about it?" Primarily the latter; if there's a place where it seems relevant to remind people that yaoi is for girls, there is probably cause for a link to bara, assuming there's a bara equivalent of whatever-it-is. - JRBrown (talk) 23:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Since gay manga redirects here, I added the template thinger directing to [[yaoi]. Likewise, since people confuse bara and yaoi, I added a template thinger on yaoi directing to bara (genre). --SykoSilver (talk) 03:55, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Another thought: calling ML/bara seinen isn't entirely compatible with the usual dual-use of the term to designate both a pseudo-genre and a marketing demographic; bara is marketed to a subset of the seinen demographic just as yaoi is marketed to a subset of the shoujo/josei demographics, but bara is not contained in the normal use of the term "seinen manga" just as yaoi is not contained in the normal use of the term "shoujo manga". As far as I can tell, in Japanese bookstores gei comi (if they carry any in the first place) is racked either with the yaoi or with the ero-manga, not with general seinen manga. - JRBrown (talk) 20:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Alright, understood. It would be great if we could mention somewhere in the article how gei comi is categorized in Japanese bookstores, how it can differ from its technical genre/demographic, and maybe how that can confuse people. But, we would need references. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:01, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
It looks to me like all those magazine listed are mukes [phonebook style magazine anthologies]. There are no ML anthologies in muke format; only omnibus edition collections that resemble the average oversized June Manga publication here in the states. They're tankoban collections not considered 'magazin' or mooks in Japan. If you can find a ML 'phonebook' format I'd love to see it. ^_^d --Gynocrat (talk) 14:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Getting B-class[edit]

Anyone have any suggestions for improving the article's referencing and citation, coverage and accuracy, structure, and accessability? We're good on grammar and supporting materials. We may want to start with the lead section and accessability. --SykoSilver (talk) 21:04, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Here's Jinnai's comments (reformatted for clarity):
  • Referencing and citation: missing a few items that need citation that would likely be challenged
  • Coverage and accuracy: one section is tagged as expand
  • Structure: several short sections including the lead
  • Accessibility: some terms need to be explained in the article with brief idea (especially if they are mentioned in the lead) like "yaoi"
I'll see if I can take a look at some of this later. - JRBrown (talk) 22:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
The coverage and accuracy and structure crosses can be pretty much summed up as "more please!", the accessibility cross seems to be because there's a whole bunch of terminology going left, right and centre. Both of these are relatively straightforward fixes. The comment on citation strikes me as the oddest, perhaps ask User:Jinnai for clarification? Sometimes when one source is used for a lot of things in one paragraph, it looks like only the last part is from the citation (unless you go and read the source yourself). It is a lot harder to get B-class now (and it keeps getting harder all the time) than it was even when Yaoi was reassessed as B-class in October and November of last year - if you look at the B-class criteria, you only need to have a structure, it doesn't say anything about length. So don't be discouraged by ratings - I've found focussing on getting the article right, rather than assessments, helps more. --Malkinann (talk) 00:53, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

fact tags[edit]

Added {{fact}} tags to the citations most likely to ne challenged. For the game section the lack of any sources is probably the biggest problem.Jinnai 02:42, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The word is getting out[edit]

Yaoi 911: What is bara? now links to us. I'm guessing this doesn't qualify for Template:Onlinesource. :) But I think, considering how the article is coming along, it shouldn't be long before it's being tossed around the internet. --SykoSilver (talk) 04:36, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Interview questions for an expert[edit]

We need refs. I figure maybe we can try and contact an expert and get some info? There's Tina Anderson. I don't know if we could get Tagame, haha. Is there a system already in place on wikipedia for this? --SykoSilver (talk) 06:06, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if I consider myself an expert. I read and buy the stuff, have a good relationship with some editors of it, know a few mangaka that make it, and have a good email-relay with the owners of Rainbow Shoppers in Japan. I don't think this would make me an expert - shoot, I'm an author of published material and Wikipedia still questions my notability. ^_- --Gynocrat (talk) 19:22, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
But perhaps you can be a relay. Editors, mangaka, and Rainbow Shoppers all seem like they would be appropriate. Ideally, we would want to get responses from different people. The thing is, it would probably need to be published to the web on a reliable site. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:05, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Upon learning that you're Tina Anderson, I think you're considered an expert, but of course it needs to be published to the web on a reliable site before we can cite anything you say. Still, we'd love to hear from a variety of people. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

A project for the very ambitious[edit]

I just found a cite for two articles that look very interesting, but are in Japanese, and in a fairly obscure journal; if someone with access to a really good Japanese library feels like tackling some heavy reading:

Tomoko, Yamada (2007). "Boizu Rabu to Nakanaore: Shitataka ni Ikiru Manga no Naka no Gei Kyarakutātachi (Reconciling with boy's love: Tough living gay characters in manga)". Eureka: Poetry and Criticism. Vol 39 (Number 16): 82–88. 

Fumiko, Yoshimoto (2007). "Gei Manga to BL Manga no Ekkyō (Crossing the boundaries between gay manga and BL manga)". Eureka: Poetry and Criticism. Vol 39 (Number 16): 247–48. 

Both found in endnote #98 to chapter 2 in "Reading Japan Cool: Patterns of Manga Literacy and Discourse", John E. Ingulsrud & Kate Allen - JRBrown (talk) 17:34, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I'll see what I can do. --SykoSilver (talk) 22:01, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
This is the publication that has the articles, a December 2007 special edition of a journal called "Boys Love Studies." It's 299 pages and costs 1300 yen, ~14-15 U.S. dollars. Kinokuniya doesn't have it so it's probably not at any libraries here in the U.S. It's on Amazon, which is probably the best place to get it. I'm not sure my university library would be very interested in carrying it, considering California's university budget crisis. --SykoSilver (talk) 23:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The Role of Bakudan in Forming the Gay Manga Market, and Why their ML term Should be Considered over Bara.[edit]

I'm shocked someone thought G-Project was just a bookstore. ^_^

G-Project is a Bakudan-specific site, but let's look at Bakudan a little closer. Bakudan the male-erotic leg of publisher Furukawa Shobou Bakudan and all It's Imprints Looking at the mastheads in their popular magazines and reading the staff listings in their new comic anthologies, one sees the obvious inter connectivity of editors, writers, and mangaka. These men know each other; they talk about each other in blogs and attend cons with one another. These men [and the occasional woman] had working relationships with Bakudan before the many gay comics anthologies; their projects were regulated to ‘comic and fiction’ features in lifestyle magazines like G-Men, Pride, SM-Z, etc.

When Ookura Shuppan [OAKS] OKLA/Aquagarnished sizable male readership with its 'muscle-BL' romance anthology called Nikutai-ha, [an anthology marketed to women] Bakudan’s limited page-space players suddenly had a new opportunity: entire publications dedicated to their comics, fiction, and art.

Bakudan has spent the last three years doing what early BL publishers did in the mid-90’s: cultivate a money-making market by putting out diverse and plentiful anthologies for a specific readership. They started with Gekidan. When Gekidan debuted, it had a nice style mix of comics [beru, beast-man, muscle-love, BL romance, and bondage] but as the volumes caught on, more and more stories began to reflect only 'muscle-love, BL, and maybe a beru comic. The fans were still largely fujosi [women], and men who liked "BL". Some polite criticism appeared on the net from creators whose stories weren't being published in Gekidan much anymore, the stories that didn't fit were put back into serialization in photo/lifestyle mags like G-Men, SM-Z, and others. Then came Uragekidan. This anthology featured the same mix that Gekidan started with but with ZERO BL art-style stories, and less muscle-love romances. As Uragekidan began to take shape, fans expressed what they liked and didn't like via feedback postcards in the books and correspondence online via a site set up by Bakudan called G-Project...and this time it was the bondage and beast-man stuff stories that were filtered out. Then there was the SMCA anthology. Bakudan now had three imprints catering to specific styles of gay comics; one noticeable thing was that all of these comics were getting plenty of attention from foreign fans. When Lumiere owned Rainbow Shoppers started their English page, suddenly Bakudan’s G-Project did too. Out of the blue, Bakudan released G-Bless last year. It collects new stories from their most popular mangaka [in Japan spread out in various imprints] and puts these creators all in one anthology; along with Bakudan most popular male-model spreads and plenty of gay-specific advertising. You get a muscle-love story from Matsu, a BL for men story from Melu, some beru from Jiraiya, a bit on bondage from Takehito, some beast-man from Jin, and gay-fiction. G-Bless is the perfect catalog for anyone curious about what Bakudan has to offer, saving the new reader from spending money on various imprints that may not interest them.

Bakudan has set itself up as the only publisher with multiple imprints exclusively for 'gay male readers' whereas their biggest competitor, OAKS [Aqua] is still catering to a bi-gender market, with heavy bias for the fujosi. I can't cite blogs in English, only what I've seen in Japanese, and heard from fans who attend the cons and buy the material - but the gay male mangaka and editors at Bakudan seem to be the ones spearheading this 'new genre'. That said, I think it's only fair as English fans of the material, to consider the Bakudan specific term 'ML' as a proper, because it's obvious that the term is being pushed by those associated with a company that's sole interest appears to be 'making gay male comics for gay readers', a legitimate sales category. --Gynocrat (talk) 15:56, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't doubt that menslove is the more common/preferred term in Japan, and it would probably be a good idea to clarify Anglophone vs Japanese usage in the lead, but Wikipedia is not intended to be prescriptive; the guidelines I linked to above clearly encourage using the terms that are being used in English, and particularly the terms used in formally published and/or academic sources. So far there are a few uses of "bara" and "gei comi" (or related romanization) and none of "menslove"/"men's love"/"mens' love" in the formal literature (or, more specifically, that part of the literature searchable though Google...). It's trivial to rename the article if the Anglophone usage changes; we've got Mens' Love, Men's Love, and ML marked out as redirect pages. Also, just on the basis of practicality, "menslove" is not a usefully Google-able term, since there are overwhelming numbers of pages containing the words "mens' love" or "men's love" that have nothing to do with the topic discussed here. - JRBrown (talk) 17:51, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, what is this "beru" stuff? You've used the term a couple of times, but I can't find any info on it. - JRBrown (talk) 17:53, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it's in reference to bears (gay culture. --SykoSilver (talk) 20:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Tina, I'm going to have to side with JRBrown on "bara" versus "mens' love". I think that it's awesome that you're in-the-know about Bakudan and their efforts to push the "mens' love" term in Japan. If you published that to a website we would definitely cite it in the article (I am especially interested in expanding our publishing and online stores/foreign markets sections, since I believe many people coming to the article are looking for such information). But for the article and in reference to the genre within the article, we should stick to the term "bara", because that's common usage (particularly in the western world and outside of Japan). The differences between Anglophone and Japanese terminology should be mentioned in the article. But people need to easiliy be able to find what they're looking for, and using the common Anglophone term makes that easier. Personally, I have never heard "mens' love" used aside from yourself and in Japan. I have several friends who like the genre and they all refer to it as "bara". Online communities also seem to be favoring "bara". -SykoSilver (talk) 20:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok you win. I just think the term 'bara' as an umbrella term like 'yaoi' is more harmful than helpful; especially when [if] a publisher stateside decides to pony up and begin publishing the material for English readers. [Anyone remember the BL mangaka took exception to their work being called 'yaoi' when they came to America?] As for me publishing anything worth citing online, I do not have the time but hopefully someone will. Also, my feelings on Wikipedia these days aren't cool considering that my own entry is still considered 'not notable enough' for inclusion, so fact-gathering for Wiki is on the bottom of my list of things to do with my free time. ^_^v One thing that does bug me though: you're writing about and promoting a genre of comics from Japan, and yet because you can't find sources via google [an English search engine] you count out many things brought to your attention. Perhaps you should find a fan fluent in Japanese that will link you to proper articles on the subject to better educate those acquiring info outside the fandom [that's the point of the Wiki article, right?] ^_^; --Gynocrat (talk) 14:22, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
If you happen to know of any books or articles that are relevant, I could probably hunt them down; there's a good university library in my city that has, or can get access to, pretty much everything in print. Google searches perfectly well in other languages if you give it the right input; I did try a web search using メンズラブ (menzu rabu) but couldn't get anything useful out of the results; the top hit is the Japanese Wikipedia page for "boy's love" and most of the other hits were for random stuff like music or perfume. It did pull up a modest amount of "bara", but the most-common manga-related item I could find was a mainstream yaoi manga titled メンズラブ... There are no relevant hits at all in Google Books or Google Scholar; I doubt Google's coverage of the Japanese literature is as comprehensive as the English, but ボーイズラブ (boizu rabu) pulls up at least a few dozen on each.
As to your entry, a lot of pages on less-well-known authors and books get tagged for notability; I doubt it was personally motivated. I see that the "notability" tag has since been removed, but, in any case, notability is established not so much by what you have written but by what others have written about you. Here's Wikpedia's guidelines for notability of authors; for your average fiction-writing shmuck the most relevant criterion is probably #3, particularly the "multiple independent periodical articles or reviews" clause. As an OEL writer, you don't fall under the WikiProject Anime and Manga's somewhat more relaxed standards for reliable sources, so try to get your latest opus reviewed in a big-name venue, like the New York Review of Books. ;) - JRBrown (talk) 19:49, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
That's funny, my books have been reviewed by offline reviewers, my last one got a review in a horror mag. Truth is, nearly half of those so called OEL writers haven't been reviewed by major publications either. This all sprung from some self-published notable engaging in attention-whoring and name-dropping me all over the place in their attempt to save their own page from deletion. I'm going with the flow, I know it's not personal - but it's lame. As for articles in Japan, that's a tough nut to crack. Homosexuality is not mainstream acceptable as many otaku into yaoi would like you to beleive. Finding Japanese authored outside sources on the 'gay' subjects is going to be near impossible without purchasing the mags they're in. Another unfortunate thing about comics is, it's all relative. When Mangaka speak about their genre and push their work, they're doing so 9 times out of 10 because their publisher has asked them to, and so any genre-specific conversations will revolve around works for that publisher. We all do it, even Japanese mangaka [notably Tagame]. It's fine line to talk between promoting your genre [which means talking about rival pubs and other mangaka] and 'turfing' which is doing interviews about your genre, but promoting only your work and your publishers. --Gynocrat (talk) 16:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

There are an awful lot of red links in the article[edit]

In general, editors should avoid linking to articles that do not exist. Someone with knowledge about the red-linked writers and groups should create at least a stub article, then tag it as a stub -- hentai-stub or anime-stub, I would think -- and the appropriate categories. If the person is not sufficiently notable, however, the link should be removed. Otherwise, great article! TechBear (talk) 20:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

"Gay" or "homosexual"[edit]

As the term "gay" and its often connotations in Western society regarding lifestyles and behavior is much frowned upon in Japanese society which has very much its own traditions of homosexuality which are also much more integrated into the cultural traditions of the whole society, would it not be appropriate to not use the term "gay" in this article when referencing homosexuality in Japanese culture and perhaps also explain some of this cultural disparity? __meco (talk) 10:59, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Having read as much of the literature on homosexuality in contemporary Japan as I can wrangle access to, the issue of which groups finds "gay" appropriate/inappropriate/offensive and why is probably rather too tangled to adress in this article. I don't think there's such blanket condemnation of the term as to require complete avoidance of it. - JRBrown (talk) 20:46, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, in the actual article text the term "homosexual" occurs only 13 times in comparison with "gay" which is present in 57 places. I suggest, in light of the issue at hand, that the gay word should be used rather more sparingly. __meco (talk) 21:10, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

"Mens' [sic] Love"[edit]

The article's first sentence begins, "Bara (薔薇, "rose"), also known as the wasei-eigo construction "Mens' Love" (メンズラブ, menzu rabu) or ML...." Of course the possessive form of 'men' is "men's," not "mens'." Is this solecism part of wasei-eigo or just a mistake? --zenohockey (talk) 16:45, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Good catch. I'm inclined to say that it is a grammar mistake. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 17:44, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
The Japanese can't express the apostrophe, and so there is no consensus where it should be or whether there is one. For comparison, menzu rabu is based on the term bōizu rabu, which can be written as boys love, boy's love, boys' love or boyslove, as you prefer. "Men's love" is probably less confusing to the reader, but the most common romanization of boizu rabu (in Japan) appears to be "boys love", so "mens love" (no apostrophe) might be preferred. - JRBrown (talk) 19:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC)


日本語で書かせて頂きます。日本では1980年代頃まで男性同性愛や男性同性愛者(gay men)を指す隠語として「薔薇」が、非同性愛者向け媒体や、ゲイ雑誌の中の一部で稀に使われた事はありました(1990年代以降は決して呼びません)。しかし男性同性愛作品を薔薇と呼んだことは一度もありません。ホモビデオ、ホモ小説などとは呼んでも、薔薇とは呼ばれていません。当該ページはゲイ男性向け小説、漫画などについて書かれており、それを薔薇という名前で記事にしていることは不適切だと思います。「日本における男性同性愛者向けポルノ作品」とタイトルを改めるべきだと思います。-- (talk) 16:53, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi! I'm sorry I cannot respond in Japanese. It is Wikipedia policy that the names of articles about foreign phenomena should follow the terms most commonly used in English to refer to those phenomena, and at the moment "bara" is the most common term used in English to refer to Japanese gay men's comics and related media. Your suggestion of "Japanese gay men's porn works", while very descriptive, is perhaps a little too general as the title for this article. - JRBrown (talk) 20:41, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

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