Dōjinshi (同人誌, often transliterated doujinshi) is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. Dōjinshi are part of a wider category of dōjin including art collections, anime and games. Groups of dōjinshi artists refer to themselves as a sākuru (サークル, circle). A number of such groups actually consist of a single artist: they are sometimes called kojin sākuru (個人サークル, personal circles).
Since the 1980s, the main method of distribution has been through regular dōjinshi conventions, the largest of which is called Comiket (short for "Comic Market") held in the summer and winter in Tokyo's Big Sight. At the convention, over 20 acres (81,000 m2) of dōjinshi are bought, sold, and traded by attendees. Dōjinshi creators who base their materials on other creators' works normally publish in small numbers to maintain a low profile so as to protect themselves against litigation. This makes a talented creator's or circle's dōjinshi a coveted commodity as only the fast or the lucky will be able to get them before they sell out.
The term dōjinshi is derived from dōjin (同人, literally "same person", used to refer to a person or people with whom one shares a common goal or interest) and shi (誌, a suffix generally meaning "periodical publication").
The pioneer among dōjinshi was Meiroku Zasshi (明六雑誌), published in the early Meiji period (since 1874). Not a literary magazine in fact, Meiroku Zasshi nevertheless played a big role in spreading the idea of dōjinshi. The first magazine to publish dōjinshi novels was Garakuta Bunko (我楽多文庫), founded in 1885 by writers Ozaki Kōyō and Yamada Bimyo. Dōjinshi publication reached its peak in the early Shōwa period, and dōjinshi became a mouthpiece for the creative youth of that time. Created and distributed in small circles of authors or close friends, dōjinshi contributed significantly to the emergence and development of the shishōsetsu genre. During the postwar years, dōjinshi gradually decreased in importance as outlets for different literary schools and new authors. Their role was taken over by literary journals such as Gunzo, Bungakukai and others. One notable exception was Bungei Shuto (文芸首都, lit. Literary Capital), which was published from 1933 until 1969. Few dōjinshi magazines survived with the help of official literary journals. Haiku and tanka magazines are still published today.
It has been suggested that technological advances in the field of photocopying during the 1970s contributed to an increase in publishing dōjinshi. During this time, manga editors were encouraging manga authors to appeal to a mass market, which may have also contributed to an increase in the popularity of writing dōjinshi.
During the 1980s, the content of dōjinshi shifted from being predominantly original content to being mostly parodic of existing series. Often called aniparo, this was often an excuse to feature certain characters in romantic relationships. Male authors focused on series like Urusei Yatsura, and female authors focused on series like Captain Tsubasa. This coincided with the rise in popularity of Comiket, the first event dedicated specifically to the distribution of dōjinshi, which had been founded in 1975.
As of February 1991, there were some dōjinshi creators who sold their work through supportive comic book stores. This practice came to light when three managers of such shops were arrested for having a lolicon dōjinshi for sale.
Over the last decade, the practice of creating dōjinshi has expanded significantly, attracting thousands of creators and fans alike. Advances in personal publishing technology have also fueled this expansion by making it easier for dōjinshi creators to write, draw, promote, publish, and distribute their works. For example, some dōjinshi are now published on digital media. Furthermore, many dōjinshi creators are moving to online download and print-on-demand services, while others are beginning to distribute their works through American channels such as anime shop websites and specialized online direct distribution sites. In 2008, a white paper on the otaku industry was published, this estimated that gross revenue from sales of dōjinshi in 2007 were 27.73 billion yen, or 14.9% of total otaku expenditure on their hobby.
To avoid legal problems, the dōjin mark (同人マーク) was created. A license format inspired by Creative Commons licenses, the first author to authorize the license was Ken Akamatsu in the manga UQ Holder!, released in August 28, 2013 in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine.
John Oppliger of AnimeNation stated that creating dōjinshi is largely popular with Japanese fans, but not with Western fans. Oppliger claimed that because Japanese natives grow up with anime and manga "as a constant companion", Japanese fans "are more intuitively inclined" to create or expand on existing manga and anime in the form of dōjinshi. Since Western fans experience a "more purely" visual experience as most Western fans cannot understand the Japanese language, the original language of most anime, and are "encouraged by social pressure to grow out of cartoons and comics during the onset of adolescence", most of them usually participate in utilizing and rearranging existing work into anime music videos.
In most Western cultures, dōjinshi is often perceived to be derivative of existing work, analogous to fan fiction and almost completely pornographic. This is partly true: dōjinshi are often, though not always, parodies or alternative storylines involving the worlds of popular manga, game or anime series, and can often feature overtly sexual material. However, there are also many non sexually explicit dōjinshi being created as well. The Touhou Project series for example, is known to be notable for the large amount of dōjinshi being produced for it that are not pornographic in nature. Some groups releasing adults-only themed materials during the annual Touhou only event Reitaisai in 2008 were only estimated at roughly 10%.
Like their mainstream counterparts, dōjinshi are published in a variety of genres and types. However, due to the target audience, certain themes are more prevalent, and there are a few major division points by which the publications can be classified. It can be broadly divided into original works and aniparo—works which parody existing anime and manga franchises.
As in fanfics, a very popular theme to explore is non-canonical pairings of characters in a given show (for dōjinshi based on mainstream publications). Many such publications contain yaoi or yuri (hentai involving two or more males resp. females) motives, either as a part of non-canon pairings, or as a more direct statement of what can be hinted by the main show.
Another category of dōjinshi is furry or kemono, often depicting homosexual male pairings of furries and, less often, lesbian pairings. Furry dōjinshi shares some characteristics with the yaoi and yuri genres, with many furry dōjinshi depicting characters in erotic settings or circumstances, or incorporating elements typical of anime and manga, such as exaggerated drawings of eyes or facial expressions.
A major part of dōjinshi, whether based on mainstream publications or original, contains sexually explicit material, due to both the large demand for such publications and absence of restrictions official publishing houses have to follow. Indeed, often the main point of a given dōjinshi is to present an explicit version of a popular show's characters. Such works may be known to English speakers as "H-dōjinshi", in line with the former Japanese use of letter H to denote erotic material. The Japanese usage, however, has since moved towards the word ero, and so ero manga (エロ漫画) is the term almost exclusively used to mark dōjinshi with adult themes. Sometimes they will also be termed "for adults" (成人向け seijin muke) or 18-kin (18禁) (an abbreviation of "forbidden to minors less than 18 years of age" (18歳未満禁止 18-sai-miman kinshi)). To differentiate, ippan (一般, , "general", from the general public it is suitable for) is the term used for publications absent of such content.
Most dōjinshi are commercially bound and published by dōjinshi-ka (dōjinshi authors) who self-publish through various printing services. Copybooks, however, are self-made using xerox machines or other copying methods. Few are copied by drawing by hand.
Not all category terms used by English-language fans of dōjinshi are derived from Japanese. For example, an AU dōjinshi is one set in an alternate universe.
Comiket is the world's largest comic convention. It is held twice a year (summer and winter) in Tokyo, Japan. The first CM was held in December 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees. About 80% of these were female, but male participation in Comiket increased later. In 1982, there were fewer than 10,000 attendees, this increased to over 100,000 attendees as of 1989, and over half a million people in recent years. . This rapid increase in attendance enabled dōjinshi authors to sell thousands of copies of their works, earning a fair amount of money with their hobby. In 2009, Meiji University opened a dōjin manga library, named “Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library” to honour its alumni in its Surugadai campus. It contains Yonezawa's own dōjinshi collection, comprising 4137 boxes, and the collection of Tsuguo Iwata, another famous person in the sphere of dōjinshi.
Many dōjinshi are derivative works and dōjinshi artists rarely secure the permission of the original creator, a practice that has existed since the early 1980's, despite being a direct violation of Japanese copyright law. Copyright holders take an unofficial policy of non-enforcement towards the dōjinshi market, due to it having beneficial impact on the commercial manga market, as well, by creating an avenue for aspiring manga artists to practice, and talented dōjinshi creators are contacted by publishers. Mehra, a law professor at Temple University, hypothesizes that because dōjinshi market actually causes the manga market to be more productive, and that strict enforcement of copyright law would cause the industry to suffer.
There are two notable instances of legal action over dōjinshi. In 1999, the author of an erotic Pokémon manga was prosecuted by Nintendo. This created a media furor as well as an academic analysis in Japan of the copyright issues around dōjinshi. At this time, the legal analysis seemed to conclude that dōjinshi should be overlooked because they are produced by amateurs for one-day events and not sold in the commercial market. In 2006, an artist selling an imagined "final chapter" for the series Doraemon, which was never completed, was given a warning by the estate of author Fujiko F. Fujio. His creation apparently looked confusingly similar to a real Doraemon manga. He ceased distribution of his dōjinshi and sent compensation to the publisher voluntarily. The publisher noted at this time that dōjinshi were not usually a cause of concern for him. The Yomiuri Shinbun noted, "Fanzines don't usually cause many problems as long as they are sold only at one-day exhibitions," but quoted an expert saying that due to their increasing popularity a copyright system should be set up.
The story is an AU Swan Lake set after the Princess Tutu anime series... F.A.Q... What does AU mean? Alternate Universe.
Afro Samurai (アフロサムライ, Afuro Samurai, stylized as ΛFΓO SΛMUΓΛI) is a Japanese seinen dōjinshi manga series written and illustrated by manga artist Takashi Okazaki. It was originally serialized irregularly in the avant-garde dōjinshi manga magazine Nou Nou Hau from November 1998 to September 2002. Inspired by Okazaki's love of soul and hip hop music and American media, it follows the life of Afro Samurai who witnessed his father, Rokutaro (owner of the No. 1 headband) being killed by a male gunslinger named Justice (owner of the No. 2 headband) while he was a child. As an adult, Afro sets off to kill Justice and avenge his father.
The Afro Samurai dōjinshi was adapted into an anime miniseries by Gonzo in 2007, along with the television film sequel Afro Samurai: Resurrection in 2009, which gained two Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation, which it won and Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More). After the release of the anime series, Okazaki remade the original Afro Samurai dōjinshi into a two-volume manga. To be only released in North America, Tor Books and Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the title and published it under their new Tor/Seven Seas imprint.
In addition to the success of the anime series, Afro Samurai has also been adapted into a video game and an upcoming live action feature film. For the TV series and the film, two soundtracks by the RZA of Wu-Tang Clan have been released as well as a profile book in Japan.Anime music video
An anime music video (AMV), known in wasei-eigo as MAD (music anime douga), typically is a fan-made music video consisting of clips from one or more Japanese animated shows or movies set to an audio track, often songs or promotional trailer audio. The term is generally specific to Japanese anime, however, it can occasionally include American animation footage or video game footage. AMVs are not official music videos released by the musicians, they are fan compositions which synchronize edited video clips with an audio track. AMVs are most commonly posted and distributed over the Internet through AnimeMusicVideos.org or YouTube. Anime conventions frequently run AMV contests who usually show the finalists/winner's AMVs.
AMVs should not be confused with music videos that employ original, professionally made animation (such as numerous music videos for songs by Iron Maiden), or with such short music video films (such as Japanese duo Chage and Aska's song "On Your Mark" that was produced by the film company Studio Ghibli). AMVs should also not be confused with fan-made "general animation" videos using non-Japanese animated video sources like western cartoons, or with the practice of vidding in Western media fandom, which evolved convergently and has a distinct history and fan culture. Parallels can be drawn between AMVs and songvids, non-animated fan-made videos using footage from movies, television series, or other sources.
The first anime music video was created in 1982 by 21-year-old Jim Kaposztas. Kaposztas hooked up two VCRs to each other and edited the most violent scenes from Star Blazers to "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles to produce a humorous effect.Antique Bakery
Antique Bakery (Japanese: 西洋 骨董 洋菓子店, Hepburn: Seiyō Kottō Yōgashiten, lit. "Western Antique Cake-Shop") is a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga depicting the lives of four men who work in a small bakery. It was published in Japan by Shinshokan and in English by Digital Manga Publishing. The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The manga was adapted as a Japanese TV drama, with the title Antique or Antique Cake Store, that was broadcast on Fuji TV in 2001, an anime television series, airing on July 3, 2008 on Noitamina, and a Korean live-action movie.Comic Party
Comic Party (こみっくパーティー, Komikku Pātī), sometimes abbreviated to ComiPa, is a romantic adventure and dating sim video game by the Japanese game studio Leaf. It was first released on May 28, 1999 for Windows with adult content, but re-released with it removed for the Dreamcast, Windows, and PSP. The main focus of the game is the creation of various dōjinshi by the player's character, during which there are varied opportunities to interact with a cast of girls.
Comic Party is inspired from the real world event of Comiket (Comic Market) held in Tokyo each summer and winter. This is a convention where various artists gather together to share both parody, homage, and original work. Since the series was inspired by Comiket, it comes as no surprise that the "Comic Party" convention also takes place in the same building as Comiket, the Tokyo Big Sight convention center near Ariake, Tokyo.
Comic Party has spawned both a manga (illustrated by Sekihiko Inui) and an anime series since its inception, as well as a Dreamcast version of the original PC game which added a new character (Subaru) and removed the pornographic elements (reverse-ported to Windows, that version is called "Comic Party DCE"). Many artbooks, figures, and fan-made homages have been produced for it.
The anime series was licensed in North America by The Right Stuf International and the Sekihiko Inui's manga is licensed by Tokyopop. Comic Party Anthology Comic, a related manga originally published by Ohzora Publishing, is published by CPM under the title "Comic Party: Party Time", which is a series of doujinshi anthologies featuring stories by independent manga artists set in the Comic Party universe. Diverging frequently from Comic Party canon, this offshoot manga series includes more yaoi elements than the original materials. A more recent anime series, Comic Party Revolution, came out in 2003.
The game was ported to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as Comic Party Portable on December 29, 2005. Promotional videos show that the Comic Party Revolution character designs are used, rather than the original designs from the Windows and Dreamcast games and the first anime series. Characters from Comic Party are featured as partner characters Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match, a fighting game developed by Aquaplus with characters from various Leaf games.Comiket
Comic Market (コミックマーケット, Komikku Māketto), more commonly known as Comiket (コミケット, Komiketto), is a biannual dōjinshi fair in Tokyo, Japan. A grassroots, DIY event focused on the sale of self-published dōjin, Comiket is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run event administered by the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC). Inaugurated on December 21, 1975 with an estimated 700 attendees, it has grown to become the largest fan convention in the world, with an estimated attendance of over half a million.Darkside communication group
Darkside Communication Group (暗黒通信団, Ankoku Tsuushin dan) is a publishing group of Japanese Dōjinshi. The group is famous in Japan as scientific and Otaku activities. It is established in 1990s and its address is in Kashiwa city.
Their famous work is Pi one million digits (円周率1000000桁表, Enshuuritu Hyakumanketa Hyou) in 1996. The book is introduced by Japanese TV programs in many times. Monthly Pi (月刊円周率, Gekkan Enshuuritu) which is their monthly magazine, won the prize of "Best titled book in Japan (日本タイトルだけ大賞)" in 2012. Many of members write their books in handle name.Dōjin
Dōjin (同人), often romanized as doujin, is a general Japanese term for a group of people or friends who share an interest, activity, hobbies, or achievement. The word is sometimes translated into English as clique, fandom, coterie, society, or circle (e.g., a "sewing circle").
In Japan, the term is used to refer to amateur self-published works, including manga, novels, fan guides, art collections, music, anime and video games. Some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular publishing industry.
Annual research by the research agency Media Create indicated that of the $1.65 billion of the otaku industry in 2007, dōjin sales made up 48% ($792 million).Dōjin shop
A dōjin shop (同人ショップ, dōjin shoppu) is a store that specializes in dōjinshi, self-published works. They exist mainly in Japan. Dōjin shops can be both brick and mortar as well as online stores. Some sell only second-hand dōjinshi, but particularly larger chain stores also sell new dōjinshi. Many dōjin shops also handle other kinds of dōjin works, such as dōjin music or dōjin games, or commercially published popular media such as manga and anime.Dōjinshi convention
A dōjinshi convention is a type of fan convention dedicated to the sale of dōjinshi, self-published works. Dōjinshi conventions are usually referred to as sokubaikai (即売会, literally "display and sale event") or ibento (イベント, from the English "event”). Thousands of dōjinshi conventions take place in Japan every year, but dōjinshi conventions are also held in other East Asian countries, and sometimes outside that region as well.Dōjinshi printer
A dōjinshi printer (同人誌印刷所, dōjinshi insatsujo, also 同人誌印刷会社, dōjinshi insatsugaisha) is a printer that specializes in dōjinshi, self-published works. They are mostly active in Japan.Haibane Renmei
Haibane Renmei (Japanese: 灰羽連盟, Hepburn: Haibane renmei, Une fille qui a des ailes grises, lit. Charcoal Feather Federation, a girl who has grey wings) is a 13-episode anime series based on the work of Yoshitoshi ABe. It began as an original dōjinshi comic series, The Haibanes of Old Home (オールドホームの灰羽達, Ōrudo-hōmu no Haibane-tachi), which was left unfinished as work on the anime began. The anime series was broadcast by Animax on its respective networks around the world, including its English networks in Southeast Asia under the French title Ailes Grises (Grey Wings).
The series follows Rakka, a newly hatched Haibane (灰羽) (a being resembling an angel), and other characters in the city of Glie (グリ, guri), a walled town with a single gate through which only a mysterious group, the Toga, are allowed to enter or exit.
The music for the series is composed by Kow Otani.Isutoshi
Isutoshi (いすとし) is a Japanese manga artist, creator of erotic comic series Slut Girl and the non-erotic manga called Tende Freeze! (てんでフリーズ!). He started his career in 1994 producing work that would later be published in dōjinshi by the Gerumaru (ゲルマル) circle. His stories typically involve both erotic and humorous situations, focusing on characters' personality and sexual interaction during the story.
Isutoshi has produced a number of short works for hentai anthologies such as SNK Monogatari, Bruem - King of Fighters and Gensen Sexy Fighters, some of which were collected by Gerumaru in the Renge dōjinshi. Isutoshi has also produced short works published in the monthly hentai magazine Comic Kairakuten Beast.Masamune Shirow
Shirow Masamune (士郎 正宗, Shirō Masamune, born November 23, 1961) is the fixed pen name of Japanese manga artist Masanori Ota. The pen name is derived from the legendary sword-smith Masamune. Shirow is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, which has since been turned into two theatrical anime movies, two anime television series, an anime television movie, an anime OVA series, a theatrical live action movie, and several video games. Shirow is also known for creating erotic art.Mine Yoshizaki
Mine Yoshizaki (吉崎 観音, Yoshizaki Mine, born December 2, 1971) is a Japanese manga creator who first started his career by making dōjinshi based on video games. Yoshizaki also worked as an assistant to manga artist Katsu Aki. His first publication was featured in a compilation book published by Shogakukan in 1989.Na-Ga
Na-Ga is a male Japanese artist who is employed as a graphic designer and illustrator for the company Key known for such famous visual novels as Kanon, Air, and Clannad among others. Na-Ga has been working for Key since the production of Air as one of the computer graphic artists, but was able to majorly contribute to character design in Key's sixth visual novel Little Busters! with Itaru Hinoue, along with the later released Little Busters! Ecstasy and Kud Wafter. For Key's ninth title Rewrite, Na-Ga contributed to the game's computer graphics. Na-Ga worked in collaboration with Jun Maeda and ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine to produce the mixed media projects Angel Beats! and Charlotte as the original character designer. Na-Ga once worked for the company Pearlsoft R between 1997 and 1999 where he contributed to two visual novels, Hakanai Omoi: Anemone, and Sweet Days, as the main artist before coming to Key. He also participates in a dōjinshi circle named "from-D".Niigata Comic Market
The Niigata Comic Market, commonly known as Gataket (ガタケット, gataketto), is a bimonthly dōjinshi comic book convention held in Niigata a city in Japan. It is currently held at either Toki Messe or the Niigata-shi Sangyou Shinkou Center. It was first held in 1983. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people regularly attend each event. It is the largest dōjinshi comic book market held on the Sea of Japan side of Japan.Tactics (manga)
Tactics (タクティクス, Takutikusu) is a Japanese manga series written as a collaboration between Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama. It was serialized in Comic Blade Masamune. Kinoshita supplied the character "Kantarou", and Higashiyama supplied the character "Haruka". While the manga was previously licensed for released in English in paperback by both ADV Manga and Tokyopop, the manga was only available in English in digital format on JManga for two years before it was no longer accessible.The animation studio Studio Deen adapted the Tactics manga into a 25-episode anime series, which ran on Japanese television from October 5, 2004 to March 29, 2005. The English dub of the anime was distributed by Manga Entertainment in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Tactics resumed serialisation on the 18th of January, 2018, as tactics 新説 on pixiv comics.Tony Taka
Tony Taka (田中 貴之, Tanaka Takayuki, born 1971 in Miyagi Prefecture), also referred to as just Tony (トニー, Tonī), is a Japanese manga artist, video game artist and character designer.Yaoi
Yaoi (; Japanese: やおい [ja.o.i]), also known as boys' love (ボーイズ ラブ, bōizu rabu) or BL (ビーエル, bīeru), is a genre of fictional media originating in Japan that features homoerotic relationships between male characters. It is typically created by women for women and is distinct from homoerotic media marketed to gay male audiences, such as bara, but it also attracts male readers. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, games, and fan production. Boys love and its abbreviation BL are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and have, in recent years, become more commonly used in English as well. However, yaoi remains more generally prevalent in English.
A defining characteristic of yaoi is the practice of pairing characters in relationships according to the roles of seme, the sexual top or active pursuer, and uke, the sexual bottom or passive pursuant. Common themes in yaoi include forbidden relationships, depictions of non-consensual sex, tragedy, and humor. Yaoi and BL stories cover a diverse range of genres such as high school love comedy, period drama, science fiction and fantasy, detective fiction and include sub-genres such as omegaverse and shotacon.
Yaoi finds its origins in both fan culture and commercial publishing. As James Welker has summarized, the term yaoi dates back to dōjinshi culture of the late 1970s to early 1980s where, as a portmanteau of "yamanashi ochinashi iminashi" (no climax, no point, no meaning), it was a self-deprecating way to refer to amateur fan works that parodied mainstream manga and anime by depicting the male characters from popular series in vaguely or explicitly sexual situations. The use of yaoi to refer to parody dōjinshi is still predominant in Japan. In commercial publishing, the genre can be traced back to shōnen'ai, a genre of beautiful boy manga that began to appear in shōjo manga magazines in the early 1970s. From the 1970s to 1980s, other terms such as tanbi and June emerged to refer to specific developments in the genre. In the early 1990s, however, these terms were largely eclipsed with the commercialization of male-male homoerotic media under the label of boys love.
Yaoi currently has a robust global presence. Yaoi works are available across the continents in various languages both through international licensing and distribution and through circulation by fans. Yaoi works, culture, and fandom have also been studied and discussed by scholars and journalists worldwide.