So As It Turns Out I’ve Been Using The Term Yaoi Wrong

Hello Grimms!

Today we’ll learn a little about language and translations!

I am sure you are all familiar with the word Yaoi but maybe not as familiar as you think. When I first heard it here in America I thought I understood it but guess what guys? I was wrong. Somehow through the grapevine of translation the term has become to mean more in America than it actually does in its original form. Many times in America it is used to describe anytime there is any sort of romantic relationship/feelings between two male characters. Based off this I would describe for example a show like Yuri on Ice as Yaoi because of the feelings between Viktor and Yuri.

So imagine my surprise when I learned other people didn’t consider this show Yaoi!!! “What do you mean?” I wondered, and then raged when people said it wasn’t Yaoi because they didn’t have sex. Cue me getting on my soap box, “Blah, blah, blah, they don’t have to have sex to be yaoi. We don’t expect straight couples to always have sex. Blah, blah, blah.”

Welp guess what. That’s exactly what it means. See I was going by how America has begun to use the word and not how the word is actually used.

THIS is the actual definition in Japanese…

Yaoi is a Japanese term for manga that features sexual romance between men, specifically as created by and for women.

yaoi2

So by definition if the relationship isn’t sexual, it isn’t Yaoi. One of the big reasons why it is important to understand how America has come to use the term/verses what it actually means is so that we can give meaningful insight when consuming this genre. One of the things I mentioned ages and ages ago about Yuri on Ice that I loved was that it was yaoi and they didn’t feel the need to rush the relationship into a sexual stage. However that really isn’t true because the the show isn’t yaoi by definition. Also the idea that I expect yaoi manga/anime not to rush into a sexual relationship isn’t a fair expectation because the whole point of the genre is exactly that, to portray a sexual relationship between to men.

Now I’m not saying that the genre as a whole could work on a few things when it comes to how that sexual relationship is initiated (surprise the first contact could in fact be CONSENSUAL by both parties) but to expect a slow, fleshed out build up that takes the course of a few volumes isn’t really the style of how this genre does things. So that has to be taken into consideration. My bad for not fully understanding the term!

Anyway I hope you all learned something today, I know I did ❤

See you next time!

 

*I do not own these images

3 thoughts on “So As It Turns Out I’ve Been Using The Term Yaoi Wrong

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