Earlier today, Viz posted a listing for a Boys’ Love editor. The description notes that applicants must have knowledge of the market, and that the ability to work on adult-oriented material is a must. If one connects the dots, it’s pretty easy to see that the company plans to throw its hat into the growing ring of Boys’ Love providers.
Viz’s entry into Boys’ Love is both a blessing and a curse. Viz, is a powerful force in the manga industry that has the blessing of backing from Shogakukan and Shueisha. They have strategic advantages in the realms of capital, workforce, and distribution. And, frankly, they’re able to get the job done and done decently in a set timespan. Their works on One Piece and the rest of the Shonen Jump lineup have given the company a reputation for being particularly friendly with longer-running titles.
However, Viz also has a terrible habit of dropping lower-performing titles mid-run. At the same time, the company is apt to sit on these titles, regardless of whether they intend to continue or not. Titles like Eat-Man and Gintama are poster children for the company’ slash-and-burn policies.
Hopefully this won’t happen with the company’s Boys Love line. Many titles are fairly short, and wouldn’t be able to feel the pain of cancellation. In addition, the few longer titles tend to have a devoted following that likes to actually buy what comes out. If all goes well, we should see this support translate into enough sales to keep the title alive.