Doujinshi – Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

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Do you know what doujinshi means? Are they Japanese fanfics, or don’t you know what a fanfic is either? In the world of Japanese manga there are several things that go through unknown, so if you don’t know anything about doujinshi, doujin or similar things, we’ve prepared this complete guide for you.

To begin with the doubt of who opened the article, doujinshi are Japanese fanfics. Fanfics are works written by fans based on other original works that are shared on websites, blogs and events. There are numerous curiosities and different types of doujinshi that we will address in this article. To make it easier we made up a Table of Contents below:

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

The meaning of the word doujinshi

The expression doujinshi [同人誌] refers to independent Japanese publications related to manga, novels and magazines that enter the fanzine and fanfic category. Per year, the doujinshi market moves more than $700 million in Japan alone. These independent works may be original, but the vast majority use existing characters from official works.

The word dōjinshi [同人誌] comes from the expression [同人]doujin which means that it means same person or people with similar interests. Because [同] it means equal, even, while [人] it means person. It’s already an ideogram [誌] that means magazines, documents or records.

Many people have imagined fights between Naruto and Dragon Ball characters, in this case there are tons of independent illustrations, stories and manga that make this desire come. Doujinshi is exactly the realization of these desires, something that everyone wants to see, but officially it is impossible. Even a large part of the doujinshi are for perverts.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Doujinshi is often abbreviated as doujin and may be related to things other than manga like games. A great example to compare is the independent games we have abbreviated from indies games. The size of a doujinshi is usually B5, about 7 x 10 inches or A5 6×8 inches.

Who are the authors of doujinshi?

We all know that manga and animated illustrations dominate the entire media of the country, there are several arts colleges specialized in this subject, many Japanese try to pursue this career as an artist that is never easy. While a tiny percentage succeeds in the manga industry, others use their skills in creating independent works until gaining some visibility.

Many successful works end up being born not only of one-shot more than original doujinshi. Unfortunately this is a rare case and many artists prefer to spend their time making stories of existing characters or works picking up all structure, themes, characters and using without any official authorization.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

The original works are known as ichiji sousaku [一次創作] while doujinshi based on other works are called [二次創作]. People seek doujinshis exactly to see what does not exist or has been counted in original works such as the sexual relationship between characters (pornography) or simply an alternate ending.

Almost half of doujinshi artists are believed to be students, while the other half is divided between people working full-time and part-time. Only 4% say they do this to live, 10% want to become professionals and 22% create these independent works just by hobby or relieve stress. 漫画家

Doujinka (同人化) is the name given to a creator of a doujinshi, as an artist or writer. They are part of circles (いークル) that are like groups that release and distribute the doujin. Sometimes these cirules are called kojin saakuru (いコいークル).

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

The strange marketing of doujinshi

Apparently it is totally illegal to take any work, modify it and market it. We can notice this in the gaming area when people try to make games based on successful franchises like mario. Some even even modify the names or some details but still end up being processed by plagiarism.

In Japan copyright holders do not seem to care about these fan projects. In reality there is a gigantic industry around the creation of doujins that have even seen animations. There doesn’t seem to be a strong oversight which makes there even thousands of doujin with underage lolis characters.

Today doujinshi spread giganticly and are marketed both and specialty stores and the internet through digital publications. There is even a gigantic event called Comiket and many other events (estimated more than 1000) with the aim of disseminating and selling doujins (are called sokubaikai doujinshi).

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Where to find doujinshi to sell in Japan? Mandarake, K-BOOKS and Toranoana are the most common and can be found in most of Japan’s major cities. You can also find online or in second-hand bookstores. Other popular conventions besides Comiket are COMITIA, Comic City, Gataket and Hakurei Jinja.

What do professionals think about the doujin?

For many it must be disappointing to have their work plagiarized or spoiled with some absurd or naughty scene, only many Japanese artists think differently. Many professionals respect these amateur artists and view the doujin publications of their original work as a successful trophy. Even famous mangakás usually make doujins of each other.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Of course not every author will like to see their characters doing perverted or denatured things with other characters. Unfortunately, the authors cannot sue these amateurs for fear of the fas to negative their reputation and work. That is, destroying the doujinshi can be a threat to original work or studio, which results in the freedom of the doujins.

Japan considers niji sousaku as parodies rather than a forgery. These words were spoken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who declared that the doujins do not generate profit in order to harm intellectual property such as streaming anime sands of illegal manga.  Other professionals look at the doujins as a free form of advertising.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Different types of Japanese Doujinshi and Fanfics

When a doujin follows the comic style it can also be called or enter the manga category. A doujin can be called Anthology when it is a collection of several stories by several different doujinka. Copybook is the name given to a doujin not printed by an editor.

Doujin types can be separated by popular genres on manga such as shounen, shoujo, seinen, mecha and others. Of course there are other special genres to refer to the doujinshi we’re going to see now.

Doujinshi intended for women are called joseimuke [女性向け], where the vast majority are BL/yaoi. Doujin intended for men are called danseim[男性向け]uke who are often mistaken for hentais. Although there are many doujin gen (no romance or sex). Gag involves comic elements like crack humor.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Doujin who tell original stories rather than fanworks are called sousaku [創作]. The original BL stories follow the name sousaku JUNE referencing the month of June where the first yaoi magazine was released. And the other categories described in the world of doujin have self-explanatory titles.

The categories listed below may also refer to other fanfic works besides Japanese ones.

  • Lemon – Fanfics with explicit sex scenes between men.
  • Lime – History with adult romance, not precisely sexual.
  • Orange – Fanfic with explicit sex scenes among women.
  • Citrus – Fanfic of adult romance, may or may not contain sex scenes.
Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

Notable artists who made doujinshi

We know that many authors became famous because of Doujinshi as in the case of CLAMP (Sakura Cardcaptor, xxxHolic), Yun Kouga (Loveless, Earthian), Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina) and Osamu Tezuka. Many still continue to doujinshi and participate in events like Comiket.

Others have not become manga but get jobs such as artists, animators and illustrators. This was the case of KAzuma Kodaka who worked on series such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Prince of tennis and Sengoku Basara. Kiyohiko Azuma, creator of Azumanga Daioh and Yotsuba also began doing doujinshi.

If you research the career of some illustrators and artists will come across works that you had no idea existed or what he did. Many artists create cute works that have succeeded but in their obscure arsenal you can find some hentai, yaoi or yuri pesadão.

Doujinshi - Complete guide on Japanese fanfic

List of popular Doujinshi Circles

Below we will leave a list of popular circles and their doujinka:

Plastics echo (プラスチックエコー)Takaoka Nanaroku (高岡七六)
Jack in the BoxPokachi (ポカチ)
Shisinden (紫宸殿)Rinko Sakura (櫻林子) & Mizuki Tachibana (橘水樹)
PARSIFAL (パルシファル)Nikora Ichijou (一条 ニコラ, Ichijō Nikora)
AIMAIME (曖昧me)Kouu Hiyoyo (紅雨ヒヨヨ)
mount10Nozarashi Bugyou (のざらし奉行)
Master and Pupil LOVERShiwo Honjoh (本城シヲ, Honjou Shiwo)
SugarCoco Satoh (さとうここ, Satou Koko)
Kurukuru Girl (くるくる少女)Yuna Akiyama (秋山ゆな) & Rei Miyabi (雅れい)
Gekkou Touzoku (月光盗賊)Nobi Nobita (野火ノビタ)
Konjou Kumiai (根性組合)Yoko Fujitani (藤谷陽子, Fujitani Youko)
Zuihouzakura (ずいほう桜)Rae Hasutsuki (蓮月らえ-/ )
K. Haruka CompanyK. Haruka
EdeDaichi Tachibana (たちばな大地)
Shouyuya (しょうゆ屋)Tsuki Ayumu (槻歩向)
Mirin Kankou Oukoku (みりん観光王国)Miyahara Tatsumi (宮原たつみ)
Atomic PunchMoyo (モヨ)
WILBURAkira Hattori (服部 章)
Super Wild VelvetEwri Fuumin Sumihara (純原悠漓, Sumihara Yuuri) aka “Fuumin”
Nekogami-Dou (猫神堂)shima
Cherry BeansMagumi Hara & Mutsumi Tanaka
Kuchibirukara Sandanju (くちびるから散弾銃)Kira Ukon (右近の綺羅, Ukon no Kira)
G-ZeroMitugu Fujii (藤井貢 Fujii Mitsugu)
ADULT Children (アダルトチルドレン)Anna Shitara (設楽アンナ)
Kagerouza (陽炎座)Ibuki Meguru (伊吹巡), Suzuhara Shino (すずはら篠), Hikaru Kahara (河原光流)
Anmitsuya (あんみつ屋)Shiina Hasuki (椎名蓮季)
SPIRAL*AIR (螺旋空気)Sagiri Nanahara (七原さぎり)
Kurosusutou (黒煤党)Mako Futoshi (真己ふとし Futoshi Mako)
Gangu-shitateya (玩具仕立屋)Kurosawa Falco (黒澤ファル子)
MutsumixMutsuki (むつき)
Inugumi (犬組)Hinomotouta (ひのもとうた)
OMEGA 2-DTomoki Hibino (日比野友輝, Hibino Tomoki) & Seiryuu Shima (嶋成龍, Shima Seiryū)
Akaiusagi (あかいうさぎ)Ren Hazuki (葉月れん)
Nejineji (ネジネジ)Komoto Waka (こもとわか)
FLIP FLAPM Yamada (やまだえむ)
Special Cat (すぺしゃる・CAT)Rimu Shiina
SumomonokiSumomo Momo
Shiokagen (しおかげん)Shiomi Ame (しおみ あめ)
King BusterAnri Sahara (沙原杏里)
Kerorian (ケロリアン)Inaba Shino (因幡しの)
Haribote (はりぼて)Ren Hotaka (穂高連)
Mochiya (もち屋)Sukiya Wabisuke (数寄屋佗助)
Arcon (あるこん)Meiya (メイヤ)
EgoRhythmSakiko (サキコ)
K2 CompanyKazuma Kodaka (こだか和麻)
PIKAPIKATakahashi Mako (タカハシマコ)
HachimitsuChris Miyano (宮野くりす)
Kilinzaibatu (きりんざいばつ)Tomomi Koga (古賀ともみ)
Black TeaYumi Kawamura (河村佑未)
Vivid KidsOOEDO Pal
Mononoke Hobaku Butai (もののけ捕縛部隊)Azami Kubyou (九猫あざみ, Kubyou Azami)
CabotineKiriko Fuwa (不和桐子) & Hana Yakou (夜光花)
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