What is Danmei? What is Donghua? What’s Danmei Donghua?

 Hey guys, if this is your first time in this blog, you might be wondering what’s with the title and why there are unfamiliar words such as danmei, or donghua. Don’t worry, you’re not the only person on the same page as this had been my thoughts too several years ago and here, I would like to share a short introduction to what this blog is all about and about those two words.


What’s Danmei Donghua?



First, let’s start with an introduction to the word – danmei.




What is Danmei?

According to urbandictionary.com, danmei is defined as gay love, or boys love (BL). It is basically the Chinese counterpart of the Japanese yaoi or homosexual relationship. 

It is a Chinese word that literally means “indulgence in beauty“, in literature and fictional media, danmei is a genre that explores the romantic relationship between men.

Most danmei are written by female authors and targeted toward heterosexual female audiences, just like the Japanese fujoshi culture, danmei in whatever media they are presented are often enjoyed by female audiences or readers.





What is Donghua?

Next, you might be asking what donghua is. Typically means moving pictures in Chinese, it is often considered by many as Chinese animation. Therefore, every work of art that is animated can be considered as donghua, not just in motion pictures, but sometimes the word donghua also refers to animated produced in China.




What is Danmei Donghua?

Now, what is danmei donghua? It is a Chinese BL anime, a boys’ love story presented in animated works produced by people from China.

With the strict censorship in China, you might be wondering how the hell can they produce BL stories out there that won’t gain the ire of the government and also please the audiences. Well, danmei donghua had been quite subtle and ambiguous lately, they are typically censored but the essence of the story can still be understood and often left to the viewers’ interpretation.

Nonetheless, danmei can be explored thoroughly in other mediums such as web novels which gained popularity even outside of China, some of the popular Chinese BL authors are Mo Xiang Tong Xiu and Priest. In fact, their works had been adapted into donghua in recent years, albeit some modification has been made in order for it to pass Chinese censorship.

My favorite works from them include Heaven Official’s Blessing and The Founder of Diabolism from MXTX. While Priest’s novels such as Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire, Liu Yao, and The Defective had been a good ride.

Wu Zhe is another Chinese BL author that I love, her works on Saye and Antidote were both special to me. Saye had been green-lit to receive a donghua adaptation from Tencent and Colored Pencil Animation, while Antidote was already adapted into donghua in 2020.

In Chinese animation, we have plenty of BL donghua that gained popularity all these years with the titles that I’ve mentioned above leading the pack. Nonetheless, there are other boys who love donghua that you should also keep an eye on such as Spiritpact, The Legend of Exorcism, and Epic Light of Divinity to name a few.



What Danmei Donghua Blog?

With all of these things mentioned, I think it is quite easy to figure out what this blog – Danmei Donghua is all about, right? I aimed to share my thoughts on different topics involving boys’ love stories in Chinese animation, as well as give recommendations to my fellow fans who wish to delve deeper into it.