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Learning Vocabulary Through Boys Love Manga

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Hey everyone, Matt here. Do you know about BL in Japan? BL stands for boys love and it’s a type of manga focusing on well, love between boys. Today rather than just focus on Japanese, I would like to show you some examples of this kind of manga while teaching some vocabulary a long the way.

You might be thinking, “Matt why are you teaching us about something so abstract like boys love manga?” Well 1. because if you come to Japan you will undoubtedly run into this genre and 2. vocabulary just tends to stick when you learn it in some abstract fashion.

This boys love manga is called  エロ猫教育日誌 (えろねこきょういくにっし) (ero neko kyouiku nisshi). What’s it about? Let’s break down the vocabulary in the title:

  • えろ (ero) = erotic
  • ねこ (neko) = cat
  • きょういく (kyouiku) = education
  • にっし (nisshi) = journal; log

So all together we can safely translate this title as “The Journal of Erotic Cat Education”. I don’t think this was a major when I was in college but it sounds like it could lead to a promising career.

There are manga called 同人誌 (どうじんし) that make parodies of the original.

What? Did you think that Eren was into Mikasa in Attack On Titan? I think Levy might have something to say about that.

This Death Note doujinshi leads to think there were more to their games than life and death.

Last but not least for the vocabulary, let’s take a look at this eye catch phrase on the right side of the book “月明かりの下、新たな物語が始まる…”. Alright let’s break it down.

  • 月明かり (つきあかり) = moonlight
  • の = a possessive particle to modify the next word
  • 下 (した) = under, underneath
  • 新たな (あらたな) = new
  • 物語 (ものがたり) = story
  • が = a particle to mark the subject
  • 始まる (はじまる) = to begin

So what do we have when we put it all together in English? “Under the moonlight, a new story begins.” What a beautiful phrase right? I suggest you practice saying the Japanese out loud 10 tens while imaging Light caressing L.

I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone when trying to learn vocabulary. The stronger your experience is with the words, the higher the chance you won’t forget them.

Until next time, じゃね!