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Bara is a genre of manga and art made by gay and bisexual men, for gay and bisexual men. In Japan it's more commonly known as "gei comi", "gei manga", or "menslove". Bara generally features mature and realistic(ish) relationships, rather than overly melodramatic soap opera plots. Bara plots tend to be simple, short, and to cut to the chase, If You Know What I Mean. Since All Men Are Perverts (doubly so if they're gay) plays it hard here, bara is almost always very explicit, to the point that "Bara Hentai" is a redundant phrase. Another important characteristic is that bara emphasizes manly and muscular (sometimes hairy) characters with varying degrees of body fat, as opposed to the androgynous and effeminate boys commonly found in Yaoi. It also, usually, tends to avert, subvert or invert the Uke and Seme dynamics eg. most of the time the Seme is someone younger and much more "cuter" looking.

Bara evolved from illustrations and manga in gay men's general-interest (and/or pornographic) magazines, which partially accounts for the differences in style and tone, as well as the generally short story length. It is generally considered a separate genre from yaoi; many Japanese bara artists would be offended if their works were called yaoi. The term was popularized by a Japanese gay magazine called Barazoku (lit. rose tribe), the same magazine that coined the term Yurizoku (lit. lily tribe) that later became Yuri. See the Wikipedia on Bara.

Although gay men's general-interest magazines have published occasional manga stories since the 1970s, the first all-manga gay magazines to become commercially successful date only from the early 2000s. The two major commercial publishers at the moment are Furukawa Shobu (a publisher of gay men's magazines) and Oakla Shuppan (a yaoi publisher that also has some bara manga magazines). Kinniku Otoko (literally "Muscle Man") is one of the manga magazines that focuses on this genre. Gengoroh Tagame is an example of a well-known artist.

Other popular and well-known artists include Gamma, Jin, Kazuma, Manya, Takeshi Matsu, Inaki Matsumoto, Ron-9 (who drew the top picture), Takakunozomu, and Matsuzaki Tsukasa. Outside of Japan, there is also Braford (Argentina), Captain Ger Bear (Canada), Forge the Wielder (USA), Furry Revolution (Italy), Galen (Spain), Grisser (Thailand), Gez Tank Skunkrat (Mexico), Ralf König (Germany), Kupopo (USA), Kyuuhari (Malaysia), Rrowdy Beast (USA), and Tom of Finland (Finland).

Unlike Yaoi Fangirls, Bara fans don't worry about Shipping and are not so vocal about it either. Monogamy and chastity are usually total non-issues in bara, where Everybody Has Lots of Sex as easily as they live and breathe, as if it were a hello or a handshake.

Fan Yay plays an important role on the bara fandom, since official works were quite rare until recently, so fans have to rely on Doujinshi, Fan Art and Fan Fiction.

Tropes commonly associated with bara are:

See also the Distaff Counterpart, Yuri. Contrast and compare with Yaoi. Example works that aren't Bara but attract a strong Bara fandom are listed under Fan Yay.

Examples of Bara Genre include:


Anime and Manga

  • Legend of the Blue Wolves is a rare, perhaps the only, yaoi OVA that has Bara elements. It mixes bara and Mecha together. It tells the story of Leonard and Jonathan, mecha pilots that are fighting in a war against the Apocalypse, while they go through all sorts of tribulations such as rape and betrayal. Better Than It Sounds.
  • Kuso Miso Technique, a one-shot, was one of the earlier baras by famous mangaka Junichi Yamakawa, and the source of the yaranaika meme. It's So Bad It's Good. Because of it, the phrase "Yaranai-Ka?" is now synonymous with bara and gay sex (it means "Shall we do it?", but it's used by men only. If a girl uses it, expect laughs), hence its inclusion as the page-quote. A warning that this manga is Exactly What It Says on the Tin ("kuso" = "shit"; "miso" = "a type of soup").

Comic Books

  • Cable and Deadpool come damn close. In fact this could be combined with Naughty Tentacles in that one scene.
    • Many muscular superheros who get slashed with each other in fandom could fall under this as well.
  • Tom of Finland's comics can be seen as an early Western version of bara, as sexually oriented comics by and for gay men with a strong Bear or Leather Man aesthetic.
  • J. Bone's pin up work definitely counts.
  • Ralf König's comics are basically German bara. The film version of his Killer Condom series delights in the trope.

Other

  • G-men is a Japanese magazine aimed towards men who prefer 'macho' or muscular men, also including manga.
  • George Quaintance, who is also known for his homoerotic art and was an inspiration to Tom of Finland.
  • Rammstein's song Mann Gegen Mann is an ironic ode to this, especially the video thereof. Highly NSFW.

Web Comics

  • Blur the Lines is all about chubby chasing and bears. Completely runs on Author Appeal, showing lots and lots of plumber's cracks (he describes it as the gay version of cleavage).

Web Original

Video Games

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