thebibi asked: What do you think of people who hate yaoi of Weekly Shonen Jump series?
(extra bit added from follow-up because this really needs the whole section)
This is a good question, because… Well… I’m a person of moderate opinion on just about anything. I hate to fall on extremes, because opinions are mutable and Tharg knows I’ve said things that I no longer agree with that I wish I’d never said in the first place.
That said, this is part of a larger exception. I hate them. Well, a large subset of them. More on that as we go. And I hate aspects of the yaoi fanwork communities myself. Because both sides of the pro/anti yaoi doujin/fanart argument have problems, even if the anti-yaoi side is stupid and dumb and based heavily in the heavily phobic problems shonen demographic readers have as a majority.
Oh and to keep this interesting I’m going to pepper this answer with cover images from yaoi dojinshi featuring series I’m surprised were given such treatment. Because some of these just surprise me by their mere existence.
fig.1: A Bo-BoBo dojin about Hatenko and Don Patch. You… Wha?
So the ones I hate who hate, by and large, are the phobics. There’s a huge problem with those who read Shonen Jump comics, be it legally or illegally, who are completely averse to anything racial, effeminate, or (heaven forfend) gay. Let’s be real here, a lot of it is because they’re 14 year-old brats who are only just learning to internet and call lame things gay and people who annoy them fags, and that’s a whole new fucking issue to do with how teens choose to be as part of growing up into regular human beings who hopefully don’t pull that shit, but far too often they’re actually adults who just *seem* like 14-year olds; it’s just because like the vast majority of vocal fans of anything that falls into that disgusting net of “geek culture”, these people are stuck in a perpetual state of arrested development without a sense of reality or humanity to make them more amiable towards those who are different to them. And I hate those dudes. It’s so hard to do work examining titles aimed at teenagers if those who consume them are only interested in being the scum of the universe, after all.
Not every reader of Jump is like this, naturally, but those who hate the yaoi stuff mostly fall into this sort of thing and these people get me so het up.
fig.2 an Akaboshi -ibun suikoden- dojin. I know, I’m amazed it exists too.
But yeah, that’s not everyone. I understand a lot of the other types. Those who are readers of, say, The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays are… what, 90% based in its explosively popular yaoi market? Imagine you’re part of the 10% who don’t fit into that demo, where you’re trying to have thoughts and opinions on any given chapter on the merits of what’s actually there and then what dominates any discussion is the (beautiful and occasionally sordid) misinterpretations and imaginative analyses of the relationships between any male character that exchanges as much as a glance towards each other. It can get overbearing when it’s at such an extreme, and so hate can fester. It’s petty, but not altogether loathsome. It’s just something born from an imbalance in the discussion of the megahits of yaoi circles.
fig.3 a non-porny P2! Let’s play ping-pong doujin. Adorable!
Or, um, there’s the part that makes me hate yaoi stuff sometimes (sometimes!), which is how it affects the greater parts of the fanbase. Yaoi interpretations, as with any fan-interpretation of anything, is prone to such painful things as headcanons, aggressive shipping (e.g. flaming those who question or disagree with your ship), and just plain overexposure and obsession. They can be reductive to the original intent of any work and damage the purpose of a title (which is FINE, because creative works can mean whatever anyone wants them to mean to them on a personal level). But I think that aspect of hating on it isn’t limited to yaoi fanworks. I mean with me that level of fan behaviour is basically the case for anything fans get too obsessed with. It’s just that manga communities tend to have this happen far more with yaoi stuff than anything else.
I dunno, that’s a minor gripe, and I don’t think it affects my or really any such person’s opinion of yaoi itself. As an effort to pay tribute to a series that has touched someone on a personal level it is *magical*. People pour their hearts into creating something that matters to them enough to… Jesus, have you seen these things? Heck, the images I’m using here are from obscure or unpopular shonen jump titles, and look at the effort put into those covers. People care! They care so much and make beautiful things, to share their love of this stuff with the world. And so much of it isn’t even porn, as the common misconception goes! It’s romance, it’s the fulfilment of the active imaginations of people who have hearts bursting with hope and love for these prospects they’re seeing for characters that they know will probably never be fulfilled. That’s fucking beautiful.
fig.4 A Soul Catcher(s) dojin. They don’t waste any time getting onto new stuff, huh.
I love this stuff. There’s no area of fan-creations that really rings as true as yaoi doujinshi, adult or otherwise. Even if I don’t read much of it (excl. research material and stuff like Moyashimon doujins because oh god my heart), it’s still something I will just never truly see the point of hating on any level, even when I end up doing so myself.
ramble ramble ramble. I’m worried that on some level admitting I sometimes hate this sorta stuff reflects poorly on me but let’s pretend that I totally made up for it with that last bit.
Final thought, because I really don’t know where I’m going with this. I do actually come across a lot of this sorta stuff while researching for that one podcast I do that makes me feel like crying because I can’t manage to get back on the wagon of creating episodes for it anymore. Sometimes it’s obtrusive, but more often than not it’s great. Seriously, I usually have no idea what my angle is on an episode prior to me doing pre-writing research, and gauging how fans handle the title is core to what I’m gonna talk about. That’s totally why Reborn! talks about fujoshi (I really wish I’d made that just about female readers though, because that’s a naff term that pigeonholes the audience as something other and shameful, like otaku or weeaboo can do with some. for real, it’s far removed from who these fans actually are and proudly wearing the terms like badges only perpetuates the stupidity of others), or why the TeniPuri episode was part of valentine’s month. It’s why the upcoming Shinmai Fukei Killco-san episode focuses a whole bunch on the straight porn that poured forth from the second the serial hit the stands. Readers/fans/et cetera are a great way of understanding a title on a different level than just what a book is.
fig.5 A ST&RS dojin. I just… Yes. Great. I’m super happy about this existing.
Wait, what was the question again? Hmmm… In short, the answer is “they suck, even when it’s me. Because they’re wrong to do so, even when there’s reasonable reasons behind their reasoning”. And also I wish I had a better answer to this because I’m basically rubbish.
Cut, print, publish.