Osaka Regulating "Boys Love" Manga

After considering the issue, the Osaka Prefectural Government has begun regulating boys love manga.

As previously posted, Osaka Prefecture was "considering the regulation of women's comic magazine and Boys Love materials". Known as "yaoi" in the West, boys love, or BL, focuses on homosexual relationships between male protagonists. The intended readers are not gay men, but rather, women. These manga are created largely by females. Manga for gay men is known as "Men's Love".

The Osaka government has dubbed eight boys love manga as "harmful publications" and cannot be bought by anyone younger than 18 years old. The Asahi Shimbun did not list the titles of those eight "harmful" manga.

"Harmful publications" contain sexual acts or other prohibited content on at least 1/1o of its page count. According to website Anime News Network, Osaka has been keeping a running tab of "harmful publications" that includes some women's magazines and a handful of shojo magazines.

The appeal of BL for female readers is the flexibility it gives them in identifying with characters in the manga. Perhaps the submissive lead is closer to their personality - or maybe, it's the dominate male protagonist. Or maybe they aspire to be like one of the characters in the manga. BL gives female readers that freedom by not pigeonholing them into narrowly defined gender roles. Besides manga, there are BL video games geared towards female players.

In the past, boys love manga was not heavily regulated for reasons that have included "no one would be stimulated with sexual feelings by them".

ボーイズラブ雑誌、R18に 大阪府が「有害図書」指定 - 社会 [Asahi via ANN] [Pic]