Omega Chronicles: Mapping the Landscape of Violence in Japanese Manga
Influenced by the traditional Edo culture where homosexuality was prevalent, Japanese manga artists do not shy away from portraying different gender relationships explicitly through art. Among the contemporary homosexual genres of Yaoi, Yuri, Shounen-ai, and Shoujo-ai found in Japanese manga, the concept of Omegaverse, a subgenre of erotic slash fiction, has been gaining popularity. The term “omegaverse” is a combination of the words “omega” and “universe”. The omegaverse is an alternate universe where, apart from the primary gender of male and female, three other secondary genders of alpha (α), beta (β), and omega (Ω), also exists. This results in six genders in total, with each primary gender further classified into three secondary genders. The societal structure is usually based on the “wolf’s hierarchy” where alphas possess the features of alpha wolves and are considered superior. On the other hand, omegas are considered inferior and possess the ability to reproduce, irrespective of being male or female. Though there are also heterosexual and lesbian omegaverses, the term is most widely used for boys’ love genres like Yaoi and Shounen-ai, and is often referred to as a world where men can get pregnant, creating a new subgenre called Mpreg. This article focuses on understanding the dehumanizing factors of omegaverse, which strip humans of the most basic value of reason (which differentiates them from animals), using three manga, namely Kiraide Isasete, The Alpha’s Bride and Remnant Kemonohito, which cater to omegaverse boys’ love.