Glocalization of Boys Love Dojinshi in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia

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The increasing global access to Japanese culture has been shaping youth cultures and practices in Southeast Asia and Australia. Various Japanese fan practices; such as cosplay; a portmanteau of costume and play; have been widely embraced by young fans of anime and manga in the region. Recent developments in digital and online technologies have also made it easier for fans to produce fan works; and to an extent; self-published magazines known in Japanese as dōjinshi. These dōjinshi are highly associated with fan works; that range from essays to short stories and comics; that creatively critique popular anime and manga. Dōjinshi has also been a platform for young artists in Japan to experiment with original narratives. Boys love (BL) dōjinshi; in particular; has been a platform for young artists to explore and play with gender and sexuality. Young creatives in Southeast Asia and Australia have also embraced this practise by producing their own BL stories; also known locally as yaoi zines or comics. This chapter examines three BL artists from the Philippines; Malaysia; and Australia who have embraced this practice of self-publishing boys love stories in their respective countries. These artists confront various local challenges in producing their yaoi comics; which include religious cultures; censorship laws; and conservative fan spaces. Their works reflect their constant negotiations with these challenges; creating nuanced local versions of boys love. Through the yaoi zines of these artists; this paper argues the increasing glocalisation of BL culture in Southeast Asia and Australia seeks to find and create safe spaces within local youth cultures.