Embedded Niche Overlap

A Media Industry History of Yaoi Anime’s American Distribution from 1996 to 2009


  • Finley Freibert University of California, Irvine




Media Industry Studies, Distribution, Retail, Anime History, Yaoi, lgbt, queer


This article offers an industrial history of yaoi anime’s distribution in the United States by companies that acquired official distribution licenses. During the course of this history, the term “yaoi” was not always dominant in American anime vernacular; rather, it only ascended to widespread American usage after it was adopted by American distributors as an industry term. Yaoi anime’s complex distribution history reveals that, unlike yaoi manga, yaoi anime began and continues to be industrially situated at the overlap of seemingly disparate niche categories.


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