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Although not the same, a yaoi construct similar to seme and uke is the concept of tachi and neko.

This archetypal pairing is referenced more often in older yaoi volumes - in modern yaoi, this pairing is often seen as already encompassed by seme and uke or simply unnecessary to address.

Although the yaoi genre is also called Boys' Love (commonly abbreviated as BL), the characters may be of any age above puberty, including adults.

Works featuring prepubescent boys are labelled shotacon and seen as a distinct genre.

(1982) which showed a romance between two supporting characters, an adaptation of Kaze to Ki no Uta (1987) and Earthian (1989), released in the original video animation (home video) format.

The tachi partner is conceptualized as the member of the relationship who pursues the more passive partner, the latter of whom is referred to as the neko.

Seme and uke is similar but not identical to tachi and neko because the former refers primarily to sexual roles, whereas the latter describes personality.

The use of yaoi to denote those works with explicit scenes sometimes clashes with use of the word to describe the genre as a whole, creating confusion between Japanese and Western writers or between Western fans who insist on proper usage of the Japanese terms and those who use the Westernized versions.

Yaoi can also be used by Western fans as a label for anime or manga-based slash fiction.

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