Why rename Shoujo-AI to Female Romance?

Posted in

#1 by vukp
2018-08-31 at 06:03
This doesen't make any sense. VNDB always used Japanese terms/tags for genres, so why would you suddenly change a well known tag like shoujo-AI to something newly made up like female romance?
#2 by savagetiger
2018-08-31 at 07:20
There was a huge discussion in the tag thread about renaming yaoi and shounen ai to 'male on male sex' 'male romance', think it started about here t3617.1225.

So it just seemed a bit hypocritical to only do it to one half of those tags, so the female side was renamed too.Last modified on 2018-08-31 at 07:21
#3 by kiru
2018-08-31 at 07:28
Shoujo-Ai isn't even a Japanese term. It's a western made up term. And it should really die anyway, because it means something completely different in Japan.

I dunno why they didn't just call it "Girl's love" which is a frequently used title in Japan for this kinda stuff and would probably give you a better idea of what it is than "female romance". Like seriously, those terms have absolutely no intuitivism to them. My first idea of what that's supposed to be is "romance written for females", which is obviously not quite correct. Should've maybe been discussed a little more.
#4 by vukp
2018-08-31 at 12:42
kiru Well Shoujo-AI literary means Girl's love, Shoujo = Girl/maiden, AI = Love. And it's a well known term.

"female romance" on the other hand... Like what is that suppose to mean? They could at least name it something like lesbian romance, GxG or girl's love like you suggested.
#5 by dk382
2018-08-31 at 12:52
Well Shoujo-AI literary means Girl's love, Shoujo = Girl/maiden, AI = Love. And it's a well known term.
It's still a made-up term that isn't actually used in japan in this manner. In Japan, the term "shoujo ai" actually refers to pedophilia, essentially romance with little girls. Same with shounen ai. The difference in meaning across regions is part of the reason why the tags were changed.

That said, I think simply "female romance" and "male romance" can give the wrong idea as to what these tags represent. "female on female romance" and "male on male romance" would be better, imo. "Girl's love" and "boy's love" would be decent names as well.Last modified on 2018-08-31 at 12:54
#6 by ramaladni
2018-08-31 at 13:11
It's funny, when I spoke to my Japanese friend about Shoujo Ai, he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, and that was when I found out the term does not exist as we know it, like others mentioned above.

I partially agree with you though. Female Romance is slightly ambiguous, while those terms are more recognizable.
#7 by butterflygrrl
2018-08-31 at 15:35
Girls Love is recognisable as the genre name if you've heard of it.

Female-Female Romance would be more clear to someone completely unfamiliar with the subject, as it obviously refers to two female characters. Lesbian Romance would also.

"Female Romance" to me implies "Female Love Interest" and therefore might get accidentally tagged on BxG games.Last modified on 2018-08-31 at 15:35
#8 by surferdude
2018-08-31 at 16:05
While we're at it, please make a separate Lesbian Protagonist tag. Seeing Homosexual Protagonist while browsing yuri games makes me uncomfortable.
#9 by kominara
2018-08-31 at 16:08
#8 It's literally what the word means, though. It's not even an argument if you want to find games with lesbian protagonists; you just search for Homosexual Protagonist and Female Protagonist.
#10 by surferdude
2018-08-31 at 16:25
^ You mean just like Shoujo-Ai literally means Girl's Love, but it should be changed anyway because reasons?
#11 by saluki
2018-08-31 at 16:25
I applaud the death of the "shoujo-ai" tag. It means pedophilia in Japan yet clueless westerners keep using it to mean yuri romance. However, it should be changed to something better because "female romance" is confusing. Better candidates are:

- Lesbian Romance: pro: super clear, keeping in line with the newly created Lesbian Sex, Lesbian Rape and Lesbian NTR tags. Con: the male equivalent "Gay Romance" is gender ambiguous.

- Girls' Love: pro: actual term used in Japan in tandem with Yuri to indicate romance between females, the male equivalent Boys' Love is also legit. Con: none.

- Female-Female Romance: pro: super clear. Con: long.

I don't care which one, but please change because any of the above would be miles better than the current one.
#12 by kominara
2018-08-31 at 16:35
#10 I think the only reason it was changed was because the Yaoi and Yuri tags were also being renamed. In that case, it was justified; over half of the tags for yuri in the database were simply referring to one or two lesbian sex scenes. I don't think that Shounen Ai or Shoujo Ai really needed to be changed.

#11 Girls' Love isn't all too common, though. If we're going strictly by Japanese terminology, Female Romance should be changed to Yuri and Male Romance should be changed to Yaoi.
#13 by sakurakoi
2018-08-31 at 16:39
Lesbian Romance would also.
But Gay Romance would not...

"Girl's love" and "boy's love" would be decent names as well.
and Male Romance should be changed to Yaoi.
and that would pretty much upset the one who demanded the change so fiercely to begin with because it is not what the sub-niche defined it to be...

In Japan, the term "shoujo ai" actually refers to pedophilia, essentially romance with little girls. Same with shounen ai. The difference in meaning across regions is part of the reason why the tags were changed.
Welp, I guess Loli and Shotacon for once does not equal pedophilia then~

though to be frank, the western chosen definition is not bad for there should be a difference between with and without sex... at least when one already differentiates between handsome/youthful, manly/buff and males from amateur/professional works.

Female Romance is slightly ambiguous
It's (and the other are) only asking to be misunderstood as Otome Game (or Galge)... not that #7 is too far off either.

Shoujo-Ai isn't even a Japanese term. It's a western made up term. And it should really die anyway, because it means something completely different in Japan.
Then this must be named advdb.org!

Seriously, one should always consider if there is merit in such conflict.

Yuri and Yaoi could be on point, easily memorable and they are just 4 letters long, that's why they were accepted for so long. Now Lesbian Sex (11) and even worse Male on Male Sex (14) are long and no real terms even, thanks to "gay" being applicable to both because raisin.

Likewise Shounen- and Shoujou-Ai are apart from being easily memorable also fulfilling a function which is not filled by other ones. Both Girl(')s Love and Boy(')s Love are synonymous with Yuri and Sex, there is no distinction for non-sexual romance. Similarly Yaoi was "appropriated" because no one could agree to what the term for male homosexuality is but instead, well "professional vs doujin".

In short, terms and definition are scary, especially here where all is still young. Add on top of that Japan and the West do not communicate with each other...

at least do not try to remove what was painfully established and accepted but suggest (a pair of) terms which do not conflict with others. "Female Romance", "Male Romance" and "Male on Male Sex" pretty much show how one just decided by themselves "I do not want to deal with this anymore so this is that now!". Ironically there was not even anything wrong with Yuri.
#14 by maggierobot
2018-08-31 at 17:11
iirc the mods didn't want to use Girl's Love/Boy's Love exactly because it's the name of a genre.
Like, if a game have only a couple GxG scenes, but it's still mainly a BxG game, people could argue it's not of the GL genre (I mean, they wouldn't be wrong, but then again they could read the tag description)
On the other hand, GxG/BxB Romance works quite well.
#15 by beliar
2018-08-31 at 17:24
I personally never liked the terms "Male Romance" and "Female Romance", but the former was strongly pushed by some users and I had no better alternative, so I went with it and then named the counterpart accordingly.

I strongly dislike the terms Girl's Love and Boy's Love, because Sakurakoi nailed it:
Both Girl(')s Love and Boy(')s Love are synonymous with Yuri and Sex, there is no distinction for non-sexual romance.
I'm afraid the terms by themselves scream the opposite of "the sexual content is not necessarily present".

I actually agree with Maggie in thinking that GxG/BxB Romance could be used as the main tag titles rather than aliases.
#16 by saluki
2018-08-31 at 17:26
#12: GL and BL are very common and universally used across the globe.

#13: shounen-ai and shoujo-ai should die in a fire. First of all, they are made-up term with terrible meaning in the original country. Second of all, they are made-up JAPANESE terms to cater to WESTERN fans - that's cringy. If you want to be a weeb, at least be a knowlegeable one and not half-assed about it. Either use the correct Japanese terms (good for looking things up, avoid confusion for Japanese VNDB users and Japanese-speaking western users), or use pure English (good for all English speakers regardless of familiarity with VNs).

The need for an umbrella tag of all lesbianism (or all male homosexuality) trumps the need for differentiation between lesbian romance with and without sex. What's the point of such a differentiation anyway, when Sexual Content indicator exists? I hate having to check multiple tags just to keep up with lesbian content.
#17 by saluki
2018-08-31 at 17:34
#14: thank you for the explanation. That's a fair reason. Yeah I agree GxG Romance and BxB Romance as better tags then.

#15: GL and BL are not strongly associate with sex. I don't know where you got your information, but that's wrong (plenty SFW yuri and yaoi doujinshi got tagged as such by their authors). Your false impression might come from the fact that you thought yuri and yaoi themselves mean sex, when they are merely umbrella term for the genre. Only in the West do people differentiate SFW/NSFW homosexuality, Japan do not do that. Meanwhile, all shounen-ai and shoujo-ai contents in Japan ARE sexual of pedophilic nature.
#18 by leery
2018-08-31 at 18:16
I've got no horse in this race, but count me in the "boys'/girls' love is not about sex" camp. I find no sexual connotation whatsoever in those terms. In fact, I find the connotation specifically non-sexual.

(Incidentally, this is the first time I've heard that 少女愛 is used in Japanese and am now reading the wikipedia page on it. It seems to be written more as a translation of the Western term 'girl love' (n.b. not "girls' love") rather than from a Japanese perspective... It most certainly cannot be a widely used term, can it?)
#19 by maggierobot
2018-08-31 at 18:35
#18 I'm not that familiar with GL japanese fandom terms, so I don't know how widespread are their uses, but for BL, "shounen ai" is literally pederasty and it was never used for "BL manga without sex" JP Wiki

But since we're renaming one, might as well both for consistency.Last modified on 2018-08-31 at 18:47
#20 by kiru
2018-08-31 at 19:59
@14: Mystery is a big genre. A ton of VNs are tagged with it, that aren't part of. If you wanna change that one, have fun. The entire taggings system would get destroyed.

Finally, Girl's Love has nothing to do with sexual content. It's a typical term used in Japan, for pretty much anything Yuri related. Just like Yuri really, though with Yuri you kinda have the year long "that's only lewds" stigma. GL DOES imply there's romance, and it's not just subtext. But to my knowledge, that's it.Last modified on 2018-08-31 at 20:01
#21 by vukp
2018-09-01 at 18:03
#16 Labeling porn and romance together is a terrible idea. To begin with they are two completely different things, just as romance is different from ecchi and hentai, and not everyone likes both of them. Labeling them together would pretty much destroy the purpose of having a genre/tag at all as it wouldn't really tell you anything about what kind of content it offers.

The need to tell GxG romance apart from GxG ecchi and hentai far surpasses the need of people that are simply too lazy to check all the tags.

This is the main reason that I think removal of Shoujo-AI is a sad and terrible thing for GxG fans. Even if there might have been some problems with name of the tag, that tag surved a very important rule.Last modified on 2018-09-01 at 18:06
#22 by krykry
2018-09-01 at 18:18
Might as well have used proper terms, something like Lesbian Romance.
#23 by entra
2018-09-01 at 22:27
@22 That's not correct either, in many works the girls do not identify as lesbian, may decide in the end they are straight etc. I think the tag would be missed or wrongly applied if it was named that.

IMO, regardless of Shoujo-Ai being a western term, it does at least have a clearly understood meaning. I often see romance/sex labelled differently as 百合 and レズ respectively so not sure I buy the "no distinction in Japan" either.

Girl's Love is better than Female Romance and to me, does not have any sexual connotation. Girl x Girl Romance would be best if the tag really has to be renamed; it's clear if a little long.
#24 by kominara
2018-09-01 at 23:34
#23 I've never seen a single yuri/shoujo ai/girls love/whatever the hell game where anyone decides that they're straight at the end. Sure, both yaoi and yuri games often have characters who are either undecided or straight at the beginning and decide to make an exception for this one person (and the 4 other love interests in the other routes), but I've never seen it go the other way.

Either way, the term lesbian doesn't just refer to the sexual orientation, but also to the type of relationship. If two bisexual women were in a relationship with each other, it would still be a lesbian relationship. I still think it would be a better idea to rename it to Girls Love; I always though it was weird how there were two different terms used to represent the same concept in the tags list.

While we're at it, could we change the tag for Male Romance and Male Romance Only? The entire naming convention is weird and kind of stupid.Last modified on 2018-09-01 at 23:34
#25 by vukp
2018-09-02 at 00:21
#23 I agree, regardless of terms origin or what it means in Japan, it is a well known term in west for GxG romance, and as VNDB is meant for western people I don't see the reason to change it. It's not like it would be a first time that a same term has a different meaning in different parts of the world.

And if term absolutely has to be changed, then at least change it to something that can be understood. As it is now, the name of those tags are a mess that nobody would understood what they actually mean.

Girl's love, GxG romance, lesbian romance would all be a lot better. And I agree Girl x Girl Romance would be the best of those if we really can't have Shoujo-AI.


You must be logged in to reply to this thread.