Yaoi Timeline: Spread Through U.S.

A GazeThis is a first attempt at tracking the spread of boys’ love through the U.S., and I’d like readers’ revisions and additions; if you’ll make ‘em in Comments, I’ll update this page accordingly. Thanks to all of you who have contributed!

I’m primarily looking at official releases, although I’ll welcome information about “underground” releases — first scanlation groups, etc. I also need more information on significant anime and video game releases.

1980s – Western fans circulate a fan translation of From Eroica with Love through amateur press associations (article 1, 2).

  • 1996: Aestheticism boys’ love fanzine starts
  • 2000: Gundam Wing, an anime canonical for a large number of yaoi fan fiction and artwork, was first shown on North American TV via the Cartoon Network.
  • 2001: (October) First Yaoi-Con held in San Francisco
    • 2001 – Viz publishes Banana Fish and X/1999, two important bromantic/BL-lite/BL-scented series. At this time there were no BL-proper series published in the US.
  • 2002:
    • (Month?) Ariztical Entertainment releases first two episodes of Kizuna OVA. Its website calls it “the first gay male Anime to be released on DVD in the US.”
    • (May) Sin Factory Comix releases Sexual Espionage #1 by Daria McGrain. First OEL boys’ love comic book produced for sale in comic book stores (?).
  • 2003:
    • (February) TokyoPOP licenses and releases Gravitation 1 in the U.S.
    • (March) Scanlation group MegKF forms.
    • (May) TokyoPOP licenses and releases Fake 1 in the U.S.
    • (September) Scanlation group mochi*mochi forms
    • Scanlation group Nakama forms.
    • Scanlation group hochuuami forms.
  • 2004:
    • (February) Scanlation group Beautiful-Soup forms.
    • (May) Yaoi Press founded (OEL)
    • (June) Anime18 Corporation, a label of Central Park Media, announces Be Beautiful imprint. First publications: Kizuna 1 and Golden Cain.
    • (August) Kitty Media‘s BoyBoy line releases Skyscrapers of Oz.
    • (November) Digital Manga Publishing announces Juné imprint.
    • (November) ICV2 reports that 3 of the top 5 graphic novels sold in the U.S., as tracked by Amazon.Com, are yaoi
    • Scanlation group Countless Time forms.
  • 2005:
    • (March) Juné allows fans to vote on whether it should license the BL novel, Only the Ring Finger Knows; in September, Juné announces it will publish the novel.
    • (May) First Yaoi North held in Canada as “mini-con” under Anime North
    • (May) First Yaoi Press title released.
    • (June) TokyoPop confirms distribution of BLU label
    • (June) Drama Queen founded this year; releases first volume, Brother
    • (June) – First release of Dangerous Pleasure scanlation group
    • (October) TokyoPop showcases BLU line at Yaoi-Con. It is to be dedicated to more adult boys’ love titles.
    • (September) September 2005 – First English publication of a ‘reversible’ title, Embracing Love (Haru wo Daiteita). (Wood, Andrea. (Spring 2006). “Straight” Women, Queer Texts: Boy-Love Manga and the Rise of a Global Counterpublic. WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 34 (1/2), pp. 394-414.
  • 2006:
    • (January) NetComics begins publishing manwha, including among its first three releases youth-oriented shonen-ai series Boy Princess and Let Dai.
    • (February) Iris Print founded (OEL)
    • (March) TokyoPOP releases its first licensed/translated BL novel, Gravitation: The Novel.
    • (March) JAST USA releases first yaoi game licensed in U.S. — Enzai: Falsely Accused.
    • (July) Yaoi Press licenses three Italian boys’ love graphic novels
    • (August) DMP’s owner Digital Manga, Inc. announces 801 Media sister company. It is to be dedicated to more explicit boys’ love titles.
    • (October) DMP announces it’s working on OJEL (original Japanese English language) yaoi manga releases, created by Japanese mangaka for the American market before being released in Japan.
    • (October) 801 Media launches at YaoiCon, announcing among its titles Ichigenme… The First Class is Civil Law, Love is Like a Hurricane and Bond(z).
    • (October) Central Park Media “rebounds” after February’s layoffs and lists 15 new yaoi titles (article)
    • (December) Shi-ran scanlation group shuts down.
    • LiquidEros scanlation group forms.
  • 2007:
    • (January) Wal-Mart pulls its yaoi titles from online store after The Consumerist blasts it for selling “porn” (article)
    • (February) Broccoli Books announces Boysenberry line, starting with Delivery Cupid, Pet on Duty, and Sex Friend.
    • (March) Media Blasters drops shōnen and increases boys’ love titles. (article)
    • (March) Japanese yaoi publisher Libre puts an announcement on its website accusing Be Beautiful of illegally translating and selling its works (article)
    • (March) mochi*mochi scanlation group disbands.
    • (June) Yaoi Press announces Yaoi Jamboree, a new yaoi convention
    • (June) Yaoi Press announces digital publication of titles through Net Comics.
    • (June) Aurora Publishing announces Deux imprint, with licensed titles Hate to Love You, Spring Fever and I Shall Never Return.
    • (June) Be Beautiful stops publishing new titles (to present).
    • (July) Seven Seas Entertainment announces its first boys’ love manga titles, In God’s Arms and OEL Invisible.
    • (September) DramaQueen stops publishing new titles
    • (September) The Pink Panzer scanlation group forms, devoted to classic BL
    • (October) Yen Press announces yaoi titles (article).
    • (November) Iris Print cancels launch of BL Twist yaoi magazine.
  • 2008:
    • (January) First issue of OEL Yaoi Magazine released from Better with Boys Press.
    • (March) None of Seven Seas’ yaoi titles published yet; In God’s Arms removed from website without comment. (blog entry)
    • (April) DramaQueen interview with Publisher’s Weekly announces company reorganization and release of new titles in May. Nothing was released
    • (June) Yaoi Jamboree convention held for first time.
    • (June?) Yaoi Generation established, sets up website.
    • (June) Iris Print officially announces closure (article)
    • (June) TokyoPop lays off number of staff, puts Love Mode and Gakuen Heaven on its “postponed or canceled” list (article)
    • (September) DMP lays off staff and delays publishing certain titles (article)
    • (October) DramaQueen announces that it’s publishing again (article)
    • (October) Christopher Handley charged for possessing obscene manga, allegedly including yaoi without pubic hair (article)
    • (November) Broccoli USA shuts down operations, closing its BL imprint Boysenberry. (article)
    • Forever-More scanlation group disbands
  • 2009
    • Central Park Media, Be Beautiful’s parent company, files for bankruptcy. (article)
    • (October) The main Aestheticism site goes down. (article)
  • 2010
    • (September) Libre Publishing sends cease-and-desist letters to “several” scanlation groups. (article)
    • (October) Mariko Hihara self-publishes Kindle BL novel With All My Loving in U.S. in English (article)
    • (November) Media Blasters says it will restart yaoi line in 2011 (article)
  • 2011
    • TokyoPop shuts down its North American publishing branch, including its Blu line (article)

4 Responses to Yaoi Timeline: Spread Through U.S.

  1. I would add “Sexual Espionage #1″, a one-shot yaoi comic book published by Sin Factory Comix (adults-only imprint of Radio Comix) in 2002. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first English-language yaoi comic book produced for the general comic book market (stores). This was followed by the yaoi anthology series “Dangerous” in 2003 and 2004 (3 comic issues and 2 thin squarebound books).

  2. Yaoi Press was founded in May of 2004.

  3. soundofsilence

    1980s – Western fans circulate a fan translation of From Eroica with Love through amateur press associations. ( http://www.matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/girls_stuff/gs94-03-08.html http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/may02/johnson.shtml )

    2001 – Viz publishes Banana Fish and X/1999, two important bromantic/BL-lite/BL-scented series. At this time there were no BL-proper series published in the US. ( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/685.html )

    2003 – Scanlation group Nakama forms.

    2003 – Scanlation group hochuuami forms.

    March 2003 – Scanlation group MegKF forms.

    September 2003 – Scanlation group mochi*mochi forms

    2004 – Scanlation group Countless Time forms.

    February 2004 – Scanlation group Beautiful-Soup forms.

    September 2005 – First English publication of a ‘reversible’ title, Embracing Love (Haru wo Daiteita). (Wood, Andrea. (Spring 2006). “Straight” Women, Queer Texts: Boy-Love Manga and the Rise of a Global Counterpublic. WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 34 (1/2), pp. 394-414. http://web.archive.org/web/20080129141951/http://www.bebeautifulmanga.com/showSeries.cfm?seriesid=5 )

    June 2005 – First release of Dangerous Pleasure scanlation group

    2006 – LiquidEros scanlation group forms.

    December 2006 – Shi-ran scanlation group shuts down.

    March 2007 – mochi*mochi disbands.

    September 2007 – The Pink Panzer scanlation group forms, devoted to classic BL.

    2008 – Forever-More scanlation group disbands.

    October 2008 – Christopher Handley charged for possessing obscene manga, allegedly including yaoi without pubic hair. ( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13813.html http://matt-thorn.com/wordpress/?p=334 )

    November 2008 – Broccoli USA shuts down operations, closing its BL imprint Boysenberry. ( http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6617732.html )

    April 2009 – Central Park Media, Be Beautiful’s parent company, files for bankruptcy. ( http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-04-28/central-park-media-files-for-chapter-7-bankruptcy )

    October 2009 – The main Aestheticism site goes down. ( http://tanbi.livejournal.com/24684.html )

    September 2010 – Libre Publishing sends cease and desist letters to “several” scanlation groups. ( http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-09-25/publisher-libre-confirms-notices-to-manga-scan-groups )

  4. soundofsilence

    January 2000 – ComicsOne releases two volumes of shonen-ai manga as ebooks. (Thompson, Jason (2007). Manga: The Complete Guide. Del Rey. p. 417. ISBN 0345485904. .. via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaoi#cite_ref-97 )

    July 2005 – DMP begins release of Antique Bakery manga – a slashable shoujo manga which contains one gay character ( http://www.dmpbooks.com/books/51/ )

    June 2006 – DMP completes release of Antique Bakery manga ( http://www.dmpbooks.com/books/54/ )

    August 2006 – DQ announces Tyrant Who Falls in Love by Hinako Takanaga ( http://comipress.com/news/2006/08/07/574 – date, http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/the-tyrant-falls-in-love/gn-1 – for why this is important)

    October 2006 – Blu begins release of Junjou Romantica

    March 2008 – DQ again announces Tyrant Who Falls in Love is coming soon

    14 April 2010 – NetComics removes Aurora Publishing titles, including those from Deux Press. ( http://www.netcomics.com/news/notice.htm?uid=368 )

    May 2010 – Nozomi Entertainment releases season 1 of Junjou Romantica ( http://www.rightstuf.com/1-800-338-6827/catalogmgr/43-BBJNcITmCr6S6TM/browse/item/86679/4/0/0 )

    August 2010 – Blu releases vol 12 of Junjou Romantica.
    August 2010 – June Manga releases first volume of The Tyrant Falls In Love ( http://www.junemanga.com/books/670/ )

    September 2010 – Tokyopop begins release of Hetalia: Axis Powers, a very slashable work.

    April 2011 – Blu Manga site goes offline.
    April 2011 – Nozomi Entertainment releases subtitled DVD of Antique Bakery. ( http://antique.rightstuf.com/ )