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Given Volume 1 cover

I watched the Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable at this year’s Comic-Con@Home event and watching it made me think about whether we now have a second mainstream manga category after shonen – “boys love.”

Halfway around the presentation, a question was asked about titles or categories that maybe wouldn’t have gone well years ago. Yen Press’s Mark de Vera said that 2 of the publisher’s biggest releases of the year for them were BL titles – Shou Harusono’s Sasaki and Miyano and Mika’s I Cannot Reach You. Both titles became 2 of their best-selling titles of the year. Kodansha USA’s Ivan Salazar mentioned Keito Gaku’s Boys Run the Riot and how well-received the title has been by BL fans, not just fans who want to see transgender representation in their media. Square Enix Books’ Leyla Aker mentions Yuu Toyota’s Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! getting a 3rd printing in the United States despite no anime adaptation and Okura’s I Think Our Son Is Gay surpassing all of her sales expectations. VIZ Media’s Kevin Hamric talked about Reibun Ike’s Dick Fight Island making the top of Amazon’s romance manga section, Okura’s That Blue Sky Feeling selling well, and Natsuki Kizu’s Given being Sublime’s best-selling title of all-time. DENPA Books’ Ed Chavez mentions that the books under their BL line, KUMA, have been getting reprinted as well.

I think it’s phenomenal that BL has made its mark here. Some of the publishers have been wondering why BL has just exploded the 2-3 years. I’ve been thinking about this myself. Ivan mentioned how BL fans really want to see themselves in various different media and BL manga gives them a chance to do so. I remember writing about the power of fujoshi …continue reading