Wai Series: A Preliminary Statistical Study

  • Natthanont Sukthungthong The Y[aoi] World Research Project, Institute of East Asian Studies, Thammasat University
  • Poowin Bunyavejchewin Institute of East Asian Studies, Thammasat University
Keywords: wai series, yaoi, boys love, BL, Thailand

Abstract

In recent years, “series wai” (Y[Aaoi] series) have been increasingly popular among youth interested in Thai media. Series wai is defined as television drama series that thematically focus on romantic love and partnership between two cute and/or stylish young men. Despite the fast-growing popularity of this Thai genre, there is a lack of systematic data collection and empirical analysis. The present study has three aims: (a) to report preliminary data on the number of Thai series wai; (b) to examine the way in which the wai phemonenon should be observed based on quantitative analysis; (c) to explore whether or not centering romantic male–male relationship as the main plot has relationship with the parental guidance rating of series wai, assigned by production companies.

The results indicate that (a) the wai phenomenon should be observed through the series, whose plots center around romance between good-looking and effectiminate young men (wai-couples); (b) the main plot featuring male same-sex romance statistically associates with the parental guidance rating of series wai, assigned by their production companies.

The study argues that the following factors played a role in the unstoppable rise of series wai: (a) the embeddedness of sao-wai culture (b) the 2007 genre shock in the Thai mediascape, (c) potential business opportunities, and (d) smartphones and social media. It concluded by stating, that the cultural odorless-ness of wai media might be the key making the genre popular among East Asian youth.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Abu-Bader, S. H. (2016). Using Statistical Methods in Social Science Research: With a Complete SPSS Guide (2nd ed.). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Bangkok Post. (2017, December 1). While TV viewing shifts to apps, cinema stays strong as ever. Bangkok Post.

Baudinette, T. (2019). Lovesick, The Series: adapting Japanese ‘Boys Love’ to Thailand and the creation of a new genre of queer media. South East Asia Research, 27(2), 115-132. doi:10.1080/0967828X.2019.1627762

Blair, M. M. (2010). 'She should just die in a ditch': Fan reactions to female characters in boys' love manga. In A. Levi, M. McHarry, & D. Pagliassotti (Eds.), Boys’ Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre (pp. 110-125). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

Bunyavejchewin, P. (2018, May 25-27). The Wai (Y[aoi]) Genre: Local BL Media in Thailand. Paper presented at the Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures, Kyoto.

Bunyavejchewin, P. (n.d.). The Queer If Limited Effects of Boys Love Manga Fandom in Thailand. In J. Welker (Ed.), Queer Transfigurations: Boys Love Media in Asia. (in preparation).

Farmer, B. (2011). Loves of Siam: Contemporary Thai Cinema and Vernacular Queerness. In P. A. Jackson (Ed.), Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights (pp. 81-98). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Jackson, P. A. (1999). Tolerant but Unaccepting: The Myth of a Thai 'Gay Paradise'. In P. A. Jackson & N. M. Cook (Eds.), Genders & Sexualities in Modern Thailand (pp. 226–242). Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.

Jackson, P. A. (2011). Capitalism, LGBT Activism, and Queer Autonomy in Thailand. In P. A. Jackson (Ed.), Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights (pp. 195-204): Hong Kong University Press.

Jung, S. (2009). The Shared Imagination of Bishōnen, Pan-East Asian Soft Masculinity: Reading DBSK, Youtube.com and Transcultural New Media Consumption. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, (20). Retrieved from http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue20/jung.htm

Kanokwan, M. (2019, October 24). LINE TV Doenna Khayai Than Phut Mok Lum mass Phrom Chap Aep Long Thiwi Rap Sen A Yai. Forbes Thailand. Retrieved from https://forbesthailand.com/news/it/line-tv-เดินหน้าขยายฐานผู้ชมก.html

Leesa-nguansuk, S. (2019, October 28). Line TV adding shopping feature for viewers in 2020. Bangkok Post. Retrieved from https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1781179/line-tv-adding-shopping-feature-for-viewers-in-2020

Limkangvanmongkol, V., & Abidin, C. (2018). Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame. In C. Abidin & M. L. Brown (Eds.), Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame (pp. 95-106). Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Mallinson, K. (2015). Smartphone Revolution. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 4(2), 60-66. doi:10.1109/MCE.2015.2392954

Mani, D. (2016, August 15). App economy: Shift from desktop to mobile is the new market trend. The Economic Times. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/et-commentary/app-economy-shift-from-desktop-to-mobile-is-the-new-market-trend/

Margalit, L. (2018, July 19). The Rise of the 'Mobile Mindset' and Its Impact on Customer Behavior. SmarterCX.com. Retrieved from https://smartercx.com/the-rise-of-the-mobile-mindset-and-its-impact-on-customer-behavior/

McLelland, M. J. (2000). The Love Between ‘Beautiful Boys' in Japanese Women's Comics. Journal of Gender Studies, 9(1), 13-25. doi:10.1080/095892300102425

Nagaike, K. (2015). Do Heterosexual Men Dream of Homosexual Men?: BL Fudanshi and Discourse on Male Feminization. In M. McLelland, K. Suganuma, J. Welker, & K. Nagaike (Eds.), Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan (pp. 189-209). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

Nation TV. (2019, August 19). Poet Tua Si Ri Wai Isan TGIF THE SERIES. Nation Channel. Retrieved from https://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/378733454/

Pagliassotti, D. (2010). Better than romance?: Japanese BL manga and the subgenre of male/male romantic fiction. In A. Levi, M. McHarry, & D. Pagliassotti (Eds.), Boys’ Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre (pp. 59-83). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

Pagliassotti, D., Nagaike, K., & McHarry, M. (2013). Editorial: Boys’ Love manga special section. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 4(1), 1-8. doi:10.1080/21504857.2013.793207

Peecharoen, P. (2014). Khwamchop Duai Kotmai Khong Nangsue Katun Yipun Praphet Chai Rak Chai Chak Mum Mong Niti Setthasat [Legitimacy of Yaoi Manga in Law and Economic Aspect]. (Master’s thesis). Thammasat University, Bangkok.

Pimsak, A., & Unthaya, S. (2017). SOTUS Phi Wak Tua Rai Kap Nai Pi Nueng: Kan Prakop Sang Atta Lak Phet Nok Krop Nai Nawaniyai Rak Wairun Naeo Wai [SOTUS The Evil Sophomore and the Freshman: Construction of Queer Identity in the Y Novel; Special issue]. Warasan Kan Borihan Pokkhrong [Governance Journal], 6, 174-193. Retrieved from https://so01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/gjournal-ksu/article/view/98243

Prasannam, N. (2019). The Yaoi Phenomenon in Thailand and Fan/Industry Interaction. Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society, 16(2), 63-89. Retrieved from http://www.plarideljournal.org/article/the-yaoi-phenomenon-in-thailand-and-fan-industry-interaction/

Schodt, F. L. (1996). Dreamland Japan : Writings on Modern Manga. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press.

Srisukho, D. (1987). Kan Thotsop Sommottithan Duai Khaisakhae. Warasan Withi Witthaya Kan Wichai [Journal of Research Methodology], 2(3), 38-51. Retrieved from https://portal.edu.chula.ac.th/pub/jrm/index.php/jrm/article/view/336

Ünaldi, S. (2011). Back in the Spotlight: The Cinematic Regime of Representation of Kathoeys and Gay Men in Thailand. In P. A. Jackson (Ed.), Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights (pp. 59-80). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Watson, J., & Jirik, K. (2018, June 20). Boys' love: The unstoppable rise of same-sex soapies in Thailand. ABC News. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/boys-love-same-sex-dramas-in-thailand/9874766

Published
2019-12-30
How to Cite
Sukthungthong, N., & Bunyavejchewin, P. (2019). Wai Series: A Preliminary Statistical Study. Thai Journal of East Asian Studies, 23(2), 360-383. Retrieved from https://so02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/easttu/article/view/241362
Section
Special Section: Popular Culture in Thailand and Beyond