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Japanese comics known as manga and its related products such as anime play an important role in contemporary cultural consumption in Japan and beyond. This paper focuses on female manga fans called Fujoshi and examines their unique way of enjoying manga from a gender perspective. Drawing on theories of media consumption and enjoyment in leisure and using qualitative research methods, this paper identifies three factors that characterize they way Fujoshi enjoy manga: the importance of enjoyment or an experience of what Csikszentmihalyi calls „flow‟, the lack of oppositional reading, and the importance of interaction with other Fujoshi. The authors conclude that Fujoshi‟s way of enjoying manga involves ambivalences. Though it has positive impact on their quality of life, its contribution to the transformation of gender relations is limited. Also, interactions within a Fujoshi fandom can not only nurture mutual understanding and friendship but also cause certain tensions among them.
Keywords: manga, gender, popular culture, leisure, Japan