Retro term once used in Japan to depics softcore romantic relationships between men, aimed for women's entertainment (& not for mockery either). Some people who have touble adjusting or reading Japanese or staying updated still call it Shounenai, but now it's called BL.
Go to, switch settings to Japanese language only, type in BL. You'll gets tons & tons of links. For you buffs who know katakana & cut-&-paste, try adding wods like gallery & illust for picture BL sites.
by Allaiyah January 14, 2004
Top Definition
Anime, manga, or fanfic that depicts non-explicit relationships between two males. Usually focuses on the romantic/ loving/ emotional side of the relationship, unlike yaoi which focuses on the passionate/ lustful/ physical side. Usually no more than PG-13 rated.
Non-homophobic soccor moms would have no problem with shounen-ai.
by K. R. H. August 19, 2005
Shounen-ai is an obsolete term. Shounen-ai refers to stories about strong relationships between pubescent or pre-pubescent boys. The stories featured angsty, poetic, platonic or romantic relationships. It is used only to point to shoujo manga written in the 70's and early 80's by authors such as Hagio Moto, Takemiya Keiko, etc. (Titles such as Gymnasium in November, Heart of Thomas, and Song of Wind and Trees.) Shounen-ai is no longer written, ceased to exist as a sub-category of shoujo long ago, and this term has long since fallen into disuse. Later stories with male/male sexual relationships are termed yaoi, tanbi, june, or boys' love.

Shounen-ai is NOT the same term as boys' love.

The current common usage of shounen-ai in Japan is to refer to adults who like young boys (i.e. pedophiles).
Why are Americans always so misinformed?
by Bunneh February 01, 2004
Bunneah was half right, but the prepubesent boys genre is refurred to as Syouta (Shota to American fans)

Shounenai, like Tanbi, is no longer written. It was replaced by BL (Boys' Love) which are much more likely to have happy endings & have less drama.
Japanese girls will litteraly roll their eyes at you if they hear you say shounenai ai instead of BL.
by Allaiyah February 29, 2004
A genre for manga and anime, as well as fanfiction. Means 'boy's love'. Tends to be about boy's love but not necessarily about boy's sex and emphasizes the emotions over the sex.
Holly writes mostly shonen ai stories since she's never written a lemon (sex scene).
by Alexi Dalziel August 12, 2003
Its literal meaning in Japanese is 'boy love'. In Japan, it's associated with paedophilia and is an obsolete term. In the West, however, it's taken on new meaning to refer to the less graphic depictions of male/male romantic relationships aimed at women. More descriptive art and fiction are often referred to as yaoi. Female/female relationships are called either shoujoai or yuri, depending on how graphic they are.

Many people have different attitudes to its use. Others will demand you use the term BL/boy's love as they do in Japan, some will say it covers all m/m relationships, but most follow the above description.
"This story is shounen ai, so please don't read if that offends you!"
by Kat January 21, 2004
A genre of anime/manga with the age rating of no more or less than PG -
13. Shounen-ai is aimed towards younger audiences and focuses more on the main characters' relationship and bonding rather than the Sexual/physical side like yaoi
Shounen-ai means "Boy's love" and focuses usually on the life stories of two homosexual/Bisexual males.
I'd rather watch/read shounen-ai than yaoi
via giphy
by THEAnimuLief July 27, 2016
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