The Homoerotic Requirement

In the previous post, I noted that one of the baseline requirements for a boy boom in Japan (where “boy boom” is my flippant way of talking about foreign male star booms) is the presence of a homoerotic something. In the case of the first beautiful British boy boom, that requirement was fulfilled in no small part by the films Maurice, based on E.M. Forster’s novel of the same name and starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant, and Rupert Graves, as well as the earlier film Another Country (Marek Kanievska, 1984), starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, and Cary Elwes, released in Japan in 1985. Yet, the foregrounding of two films with narratives centering on male homosexuality in YNoB and its follow-up, Young Noblemen of Britain Part II, is hardly compelling evidence of a generalizable requirement for some kind of homoerotic element in the emergence of a foreign ‘boy boom’, so what other evidence is there to support this assertion?

The First ‘Beautiful British Boy Boom’ (1988-1989)

Note: I’m currently conducting research on the history of foreign (male) star ‘booms’ in Japan, beginning with what’s been called the “first beautiful British Boy Boom” (第一英国美男子ブーム) and eventually ending with the present-day second British Boy Boom. I’ll be posting bits of this as I go, beginning with this introduction to the first phenomenon and its origins.