Tanbi is no longer written. Tanbi is a word meaning 'the worship and pursuit of beauty'. It was used to describe the early male/male stories that mainly ran in June
was heavily influenced by a well-known author and literary critic who used multiple pen names, so many of the stories utilized a high literary style. These stories came to be called tanbi - stories written for beauty and pursuit of beauty only. Tanbi style includes flowery language and uncommon kanji
/words, which makes it a difficult read for foreigners.
The tanbi style is mainly a thing of the past. It has been replaced by BL stories - mass written, easy-to-read stories. Even authors known for their tanbi works like Yoshihara Rieko (Ai no Kusabi
) now write mainstream BL and no longer use tanbi style. It's probably because tanbi, like its name, pursues beauty both in language and storyline. It's not simple and fast-paced like the modern BL stories.
Tanbi is like shounen ai
, no longer written but important in the evolution of modern BL.
Tanbi sometimes is used interchangeably with boys' love
by bookstores, but that's an old usage.
Ai no Kusabi was lovely.