The Many Faces of Affect: A Multimodal Analysis of Boys Love (BL) Manga Covers

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2021)
Title: The Many Faces of Affect: A Multimodal Analysis of Boys Love (BL) Manga Covers
Stream: Other
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation


The unconventional complexity of Boys Love (BL) manga as a social practice in which women create and consume homoerotic fiction has been extensively discussed, with arguments mainly revolving around representation and fan culture. However, the multimodal potential of the covers has yet to be addressed despite being at the intermediary forefront between content and readers that are often rhetorically composed. This paper qualitatively investigates the discourse of BL on the covers at the intersection of its meaning-making facility from the perspective of multimodality in consideration of interdisciplinary remarks made on the genre. Drawing on an integrated social semiotic framework (van Leeuwen, 2008; Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006), four covers are multimodally examined to disclose visual and textual interplay with a focus on their strategic arrangement. This is done to demonstrate the characters’ significance over textual features as visual social actors to communicate meaning with the target audience which is reflected compositionally through strategies of placement, salience, and framing. By uncovering the deliberate deployment of appeal and affect within the cover’s limited space, this research offers alternative insights on BL from the semiotic choices made to frame trajectories realizing production interest while contributing to the consumption experience.

Virtual Presentation

Conference Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed
Irina Stanova
An extremely clear presentation and such an interesting case study! Thank you so much! It would be very interesting to expand the corpus and perhaps identify trends and particular patterns in manga covers of this genre. Also, I suppose that a diachronic analysis of manga covers could yield fascinating results.
Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Presentation