shoujo ai

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Two connected etymologies. Either interpreted as a loan translation of Japanese 少女愛 (shōjo ai), or a specialized neologism created in analogy to shounen ai (少年愛; shōnen ai) using Japanese vocabulary.


shoujo ai (uncountable)

  1. (neologism, anime, manga) Anime and manga that explore emotional, but largely platonic, homoerotic relationships between women.
  2. (slang) A genre of manga, anime, or hentai featuring lesbian sex and romance; yuri.
  3. (slang) lolicon.

Usage notes[edit]

(japanese vis-à-vis western usage): The terms shoujo ai and yuri are commonly interpreted as two separate genres among Western audiences, distinction which is generally not made in Japan. As of 2009, the term yuri is used in Japan to mean the depiction of any attraction between women (whether sexual or romantic; explicit or implied) in manga, anime, and related entertainment media, as well as the genre of stories primarily dealing with this content.[1][2] The "wasei-eigo" construction "gāruzu rabu," occasionally spelled "Girl's Love" or "Girls' Love", or abbreviated as "GL", is used as a synonym. Yuri originated as a form of jargon, or fanspeak, amongst fans of the medium, but its usage by authors and publishers has increased since 2005.[3][2][3][1] The term "Girls Love", on the other hand, is primarily used by the publishers.[2][4]

In North America, yuri has initially been used to denote only the most explicit end of the spectrum, that which depicts sexual relationships and sex scenes, and as such deemed primarily as a variety of hentai.[5] Following the pattern of shounen ai, Western fans coined the term shoujo ai (also rendered shōjo-ai) to describe yuri without depiction of sex.[5] In Japan, the term shōjo-ai (少女愛; lit. "girl love") is not used with this meaning,[5] and instead tends to denote pedophilia (actual or perceived), with a similar meaning to the term lolicon (Lolita complex).[6] The Western use of yuri has broadened in the 2000s, picking up connotations from the Japanese use.[2] American publishing companies such as ALC Publishing and Seven Seas Entertainment have also adopted the Japanese usage of the term to classify their yuri manga publications.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 “Joseidōshi no LOVE wo egaita, danshi kinsei no "Yuri būmu" gayattekuru!?”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], Cyzo, accessed 2008-03-21
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 “Interview: Erica Friedman (page 1)”, in Manga[2],, accessed 2008-05-17
  3. 3.0 3.1 Morishima, Akiko (January 2008), “YurixYuri Kenbunroku”, in (Please provide the title of the work) (in Japanese)
  4. ^ Comic Yuri Hime official website”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[3] (in Japanese), Ichijinsha, accessed 2008-01-19 Ichijinsha classifies their yuri manga publication Comic Yuri Hime as a "Girls Love" comic magazine.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Friedman, Erica. What is Yuri?. What are Yuri and Shoujoai, anyway?. Yuricon and ALC Publishing. Archived from the original on 6 April 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2005.
  6. ^ Miyajima, Kagami (April 4, 2005) Shōjo-ai (in Japanese), Sakuhinsha, →ISBN
  7. ^ “ALC Publishing”, in Yuricon[4], accessed 2011-12-05
  8. ^ “Yuri on the Seven Seas!”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[5], Seven Seas Entertainment, accessed 2007-11-20, archived from the original on 3 March 2016