One of the cultural developments that Japan can be proud of is its creative illustrations and manga, and the community that has grown around it. There are many communities dedicated to creators such as Pixiv, drawr, and others. We are starting to see communities dedicated to even more specific groups of people. PictBLand is one example, where the target users of the site are ‘Fujoshi’ or so-called ‘rotten girls’. This modern term refers to females who likes novels and manga about male homosexuality (love between two males is often described as ‘boys love’ in Japan, hence the ‘BL’ in the service’s name).
On PictBLand users can view other people’s illustrative works, or post their own. There are many original works as well as creations that imitates well-known manga such as
Interestingly this illustrations community was an open website at the very beginning, but it later switched to a closed service a month after its launch (now requiring user-registration to view uploaded works).
There are other features unique to the site, such as Antenna tags and Exclusion tags. The Antenna tag lets users can show off certain works, whereas the exclusion tag eliminates creations that you don’t want to show from the timeline. As a result, all works showing up in a timeline are exactly the ones that they want to be shown. Many can be viewed freely while some require users to join specific threads in order to see the actual works.
Of course the genre of this online community could generate some controversy. But by optimizing the site to a closed space, users can freely express their love for this very specific type of illustrations. The community is slowly growing, gaining more and more fans with time. It will be interesting to see what the site will grow into in the near future.