[Fujoshi Friday] Top 10 Boys Love Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

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Boys love, also known as “shounen-ai” or “yaoi” or “sexy gay anime boys being sexy and gay” (okay, maybe not that last one), is a niche genre that’s seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. The plots tend to focus on the growing love between two beautiful young men and cater towards a largely female audience. Boys love manga were too obscure and taboo to get more than a handful of anime adaptations in the old days, but now we’ve got plenty to choose from!

So today, we’re going to count down the top 10 boys love anime, both old and new. From wacky comedies to serious mafia dramas, and from fantastical adventures to quiet slice of life tales, there’s bound to be an anime in here for you. So put on your fujoshi goggles and let’s dive right in!


10. Super Lovers

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: April 2016 – June 2016

If you’re looking for a light and fluffy take on the boys love genre, you could do a lot worse than Super Lovers. It tells the tale of high schooler Haru and his younger stepbrother Ren, who spent a summer together in Canada getting to know each other. But when Ren comes to live with Haru in Japan five years later, Haru doesn’t seem to remember anything! Can they repair their relationship and figure out how they really feel about one another?

Though the underage and incest-y overtones may turn some people off, this anime is very light on sexuality. Instead, it features adorable moments of bonding and love that are enhanced even further by the gorgeous music and animation from Studio Deen. It doesn’t necessarily do anything new for the genre, but the story of this cute young couple will give you the warm fuzzies nonetheless.


9. Hitorijime My Hero (My Very Own Hero)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2017 – September 2017

This anime takes the common teacher/student romance and brings it closer to the real world and modern sensibilities. Our young protagonist, Masahiro, was resigned to being bullied by neighborhood gangs, but that all changed when a mysterious figure known as Kousuke Oushiba saves him from his plight. He thought he’d never see his hero again, but a year later, Masahiro finds out that Kousuke is his new math teacher! Will he be able to get closer to his beloved Kousuke, or will their different stations in life keep them apart?

Since these two knew each other beforehand and all romantic moments have clear consent, there isn’t as much of an uncomfortable status difference between them as tends to happen in similar boys love relationships between a superior and an underling. Masahiro and Kousuke also face realistic prejudice against their unorthodox relationship, and their struggles with the world around them strengthens their bond all the more. If you’re a longtime boys love fan and want something that bucks the trends, check out Hitorijime My Hero.


8. No. 6

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 2011 – September 2011

Ooo cool, a sci-fi boys love anime! If you love dystopian young adult fiction but wish there was a little more gay in it, this could be the series for you. No. 6 is a light novel adaptation set in the titular perfect city that’s blocked off from the post-apocalyptic wasteland surrounding it. It follows Nezumi, a fugitive from outside the walls, and Shion, a boy who protected him long ago and was booted out of the upper class because of his actions. Together, they explore the city’s hidden underbelly and uncover what’s really going on in No. 6.

This anime is well worth watching just for its 1984-esque social commentary, but the romance between Shion and Nezumi is the icing on the cake. Their upbringings and personalities couldn’t be more different, and yet they bring out the best in each other over the course of their adventure. For a dramatic sci-fi yarn with just the right amount of boys love and fujoshi fanservice, give No. 6 a shot.


7. Mo Dao Zu Shi

  • Episodes: 6+
  • Aired: July 2018 – currently airing

And now for something completely different – Chinese anime! Mo Dao Zu Shi (translated as either “The Founder of Diabolism” or “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”) is set in a fantasy world based on Chinese mythology and stars two men who wander the countryside fighting ghosts, solving mysteries, and even raising children together. But there’s a twist – both of them have recently been resurrected from the dead and used to be archenemies in their previous lives.

Despite this complicated premise, the show is proving to be a blast so far. It shifts constantly between tragic drama and off-the-wall comedy, the animation is an exotic feast for the eyes, and the characters are just as likable and interesting as they were in the original novel. Only time will tell if Mo Dao Zu Shi can gain traction with the Japanese and Western boys love audience, but we sure hope so!


6. Patalliro

  • Episodes: 49
  • Aired: April 1982 – May 1983

If you think today’s anime pretty boys look feminine, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The main characters of Patalliro are so girly that they make Sailor Moon’s Zoicite and Kunzite (who were inspired by this anime) look like frat boys. But even with their long hair, prominent eyeshadow, and impossibly beautiful faces, Major Jack Barbarossa Bancoran and assassin Maraich Juschenfe still kick serious ass.

The story makes very little sense – it starts out with a young king fleeing assassins who ends up in space somehow – but that hardly matters. Its bizarre art style combines old school shoujo with psychedelic imagery in its own dizzying way, and the relationship between Bancoran and Maraich is as dramatic and otherworldly as everything else around it. For a history lesson on the genre and a unique boys love story unlike any you’ve ever seen, take a gander at Patalliro.



5. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi – World’s Greatest First Love)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2011 – June 2011

Written by the same author as the boys love classic Junjou Romantica, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi focuses on the tingly feeling of first love and how it affects people for their whole lives. It follows three couples who are all connected in some way to the manga industry, which lets the anime tell intriguing love stories while also giving insights into a world that most of us are unfamiliar with.

It doesn’t have sci-fi or fantasy elements, fancy animation, or even super original story concepts, but Sekaiichi Hatsukoi makes it this high on the list because of how masterfully it explores its characters and the theme of a pure first love. It isn’t all about sex or flirting – just a genuine relationship between two people who can’t ever forget one another.


4. Banana Fish

  • Episodes: 5+
  • Aired: July 2018 – currently airing

Like Mo Dao Zu Shi, Banana Fish is a fresh face this season. But even though it’s still airing, we can see from its faithful adaptation of the manga so far that it’s bound to match (or even exceed) its legendary source material.

This anime takes place in the underground crime-ridden streets of New York City, updated from the ‘80s setting of the manga to 2018. Hapless Japanese photographer Eiji Okumura finds himself sucked into the life of Ash Lynx, a young gang leader with mafia ties and a shadowy past. Their relationship develops slowly over time from a mutual fascination with each other’s worlds to an actual romance built on trust and understanding. It’s handled subtly and realistically, weaving in complicated issues like culture shock and Ash’s skewed sense of sexuality after his childhood as a sex slave. We’ve only seen a bit of this so far in animation, but we’re confident that the rest of Ash and Eiji’s story will play out brilliantly in this new form.


3. Yuri!!! on Ice

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2016 – December 2016

Perhaps the most mainstream and popular of all boys love anime these days is Yuri on Ice – the 2016 ice skating show that actually had the balls to confirm a gay male relationship between the two main characters. It’s a fairly standard sports anime otherwise, but the adorable and realistically structured romance between Yuuri and Victor is definitely the highlight of the show.

Yuri on Ice avoids the common boys love trope of obvious seme and uke roles by having Yuuri and Victor be close in age, blurring their teacher/student relationship with moments of genuine friendship, and making Victor more flamboyant and girlish than Yuuri while still retaining his manliness. Plus, each of them has heartfelt reactions to scenes like the kiss on the ice and Yuuri telling Victor to quit being his coach, further cementing them as real human beings with their own lives and feelings who desperately want to spend their lives with each other. For those of us who’ve been waiting decades for a realistic gay relationship in anime, Yuri on Ice is here to please.


2. Gravitation

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2000 – January 2001

If Patalliro is the progenitor of old school boys love, Gravitation does the same thing for modern yaoi anime. It was an outlier at the time of its release, since its engaging characters and catchy music actually garnered it a fair amount of popularity even outside of the typical boys love demographic. It proved that yaoi didn’t have to be explicit or solely catered towards girls in order to be successful – it just needed to tell a great story.

The main characters, Shuichi and Yuki, are the classic uke and seme pair right down to their character designs. But since they’re such well-written characters with realistic goals and interactions, this structure doesn’t take away from their relationship. It could even be said that they’re the best examples of the seme and uke archetypes in modern anime, leaving room for later shows like Yuri on Ice and Banana Fish to change up the formula that they perfected. Gravitation was revolutionary in its day, and still holds up almost two decades later.


1. Doukyuusei (Doukyusei –Classmates–)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: February 2016

With only a 60 minute run time, how can this movie weave a romance that warms our hearts so much that it beats out all of the longer anime to top this list? We’re not exactly sure, but watch Doukyuusei to find out for yourself. It tells the story of Rihito and Hikaru, two complete opposites who bond over their mutual love of music. They don’t realize at first what they’re in for, but their young hearts begin to beat in sync as they slowly come to love one another.

Rihito and Hikaru’s adorable relationship is just young love, pure and simple. It’s realistic, raw, and lays bare the troubles that teenagers face as they mature and have to face their future. No tricks, no tired tropes, just love. And in the end, that’s all we fans wanted in the first place.


Final Thoughts

Even though boys love is a genre that has its own tropes and expectations, the range of stories it can tell is amazingly wide. By incorporating a gay male romance into other genres like sci-fi, spy intrigue, or sports, we can come up with all kinds of new tales to tell. Here’s hoping that the coming years bring us even more outstanding boys love for us to fawn over!

Did you agree with our list? What are your favorite boys love anime? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

Hitorijime-My-Hero-Wallpaper-500x499 [Fujoshi Friday] Top 10 Boys Love Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

Writer

Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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Original Article Below

Hitorijime-My-Hero-Wallpaper-500x499 [Fujoshi Friday] Top 10 Boys Love Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

Let's enter the world of Boy's Love anime!

In anime, there are different genres of stories following relationships between men. There are shows where you totally lose control and fantasize about the characters being in yaoi relationships, and then there are the official Boy's Love anime, where you don't have to feel guilty and where the guys are clearly fond of each other.

Of course, each BL anime is different and there are a lot of genres covered, so that everyone (especially the fujoshi that we are) can enjoy a great relationship between men with a lot of cuteness and/or drama aspects.

So, take a deep breath, prepare your ovaries and let's see which are the best BL anime that you could watch!

10. Gravitation

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Oct 2000 – Jan 2001

Shindou Shuuichi dreams of following in the footsteps of his idol, Sakura Ryuichi, a member of the pop band Nittle Grasper. With his best friend, Shuuichi decides to form the group Bad Luck and they luckily manage to sign a contract with a major recording label. But then, Shuuichi struggles with the lyrics of their song and is even told that he has no talent.

The story is quite funny and interesting and any fans of music should really enjoy this show. The main character is really energetic and determined to show that he can stand on stage. The relationships of rivalry/love shown in this anime are entertaining and there is some fan-service and lovey-dovey moments so you should really watch this show.

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9. Loveless

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2006 – Jun 2005

After his older brother Seimei had been killed, Aoyagi Ritsuka has to go live with his insane mother. As he enters a new school, he meets Agatsuma Soubi, who apparently knew his brother and fought at his side in a particular battle. Soubi was the “Fighter” and Seimei, the “Sacrifice”. Finding himself to inherit from his brother, Ritsuka has to enter the battle while investigating the murder of Seimei.

A peculiar story full of mystery and drama with a strong supernatural element because of the types of battles the characters participate in. The BL aspect is well-mixed with every aspect of the scenario and this is a pretty enjoyable show.
The relationship between the main characters is beautiful and complex and it feels like the two of them really complement each other.

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8. Togainu no Chi

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct 2010 – Dec 2010

After the Third World War, also called the Third Division, Japan has been split in two. After a few years, the destroyed town of Toshima is controlled by the criminal organization Vishio, which organizes a fighting game called Igra.

After being wrongly accused of murder, Akira is arrested. Then, mysterious persons propose that he participate in the game Igra in exchange for his freedom. In order to dismantle Vishio, Akira will have to enter the fight in Toshima.

The atmosphere is dark and sometimes creepy, but it is what makes the story interesting. The BL part may not be as present as some other shows, but as the story is pretty dark, it makes sense that there are not really any lovey-dovey characters. If you enjoy fantasy and drama stories, you will like this one!


7. Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (Betrayal Knows My Name)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Apr 2010 – Sept 2010

Sakurai Yuki is a young man who is living in the Asahi orphanage. He dreams of independence, but has a peculiar ability which makes this quite difficult. When he touches somebody, he can see that person’s past and the darkness which it caused. As he tries to help them, he usually has a problem of being overly sensitive towards them. Unable to control his power, which keeps growing stronger, he meets a man who claims to be his brother.

A mysterious, yet endearing story in a fantasy and supernatural atmosphere. The characters are all charming and each one has a pretty dark past. The story is also entertaining and the excellent voice casting completely plunges us into the setting of the show. Though the relationships between the characters are quite soft and not clear, the fujoshi that we are should have plenty to fantasize about!


6. DRAMAtical Murder

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2014 – Sept 2014

In the future, “Rhyme” is a virtual fighting game which is very popular and is played by many gangs. Living an ordinary life, Aoba is a young man working in a junk shop. Not affiliated with a gang, he stayed away from this virtual game until now. But after mysterious events, he finds himself investigating this game and the various gangs associated with it.

Full of sci-fi and action, the story offers a quite complicated psychological scenario involving the main character and his mysterious past. Adapted from the game of the same name, the main character has his own harem of guys and it is quite an enjoyable anime that’s worth watching.


5. Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Oct 2000 – Dec 2000

Tsuzuki Asato became a Shinigami after his death and his new job is to make sure that the dead remain dead. Every Shinigami has to work in pairs, but Asato never kept a partner for too long because of his temper. Then, he has to team up with Kurosaki Hisoka, a young man whose temper is as bad as Asato’s. As they investigate together about a serial killer, they become closer and closer.

In a supernatural world of fantasy, full of Shinigami, the two main characters are involved in many horrific crimes, but humor is still very present in this show, so everyone can enjoy. There is clearly an attraction between the two main characters and we can see some fan-service so it should be enough to make any fujoshi melt.


4. Love Stage!!

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: July 2014 – Sept 2014

The Sena family is famous in the show business industry. The father, the mother and the eldest son are all great faces of the industry. Only the youngest son, Izumi, is the dark sheep of the family, as his dream is to become a famous mangaka. Against his will, he is involved in a commercial shoot where he has to dress as a girl and because of this, the great Ichijo Ryoma falls in love with him, without knowing that she’s actually a boy.

This show is full of humor from the beginning until the end, which makes it really enjoyable as there is no need to think that much about the story. Based on a misunderstanding, the relationship between Izumi and Ryoma is cute and as the characters are all full of energy, this anime is easy to watch and entertaining.


3. Hybrid Child

  • Episodes: 4
  • Aired: Oct 2014 – Jan 2015

The Hybrid Child is quite an old invention made by a man who lost his loved one. It is an android, not completely human, who can have feelings and has the ability to grow according to the amount of love he receives from his owner. Each one is quite different and continue to grow closer to being humanlike.

In each episode, the story is about different characters and the relationship between a Hybrid Child and his owner. Each story is really cute and touching and some of us could even shed a tear or two while watching this. But this is what makes Hybrid Child a great show !


2. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2011 - Jun 2011

Onodera Ritsu is transferred to the publishing company Marukawa Shoten, after being able to work in his father's company until now. Though he was in charge of editing novels in the previous company, he is now assigned to the Shoujo manga section, which only consists of men. After meeting his chief editor, he finds out that he is actually the senior in high school for whom he had a feelings for.

Centered around different pairings and characters, the story is generally funny and touching. Every character is so energetic that it just increases the hilarity. There are even several points in the show where the cuteness is exaggerated, such as when characters are shown sparkling all over.


1. Junjou Romantica

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2008 – Jun 2008

Revolving around three different pairings and relationships, the story mainly follows Takahashi Misaki, who wants to enter a famous university despite his bad test results at school. In order to help him study, he lives with Usami Akihiko, a friend of his brother’s and a famous novelist. Usami is actually in love with Misaki's brother, but the relationship between the two of them, as they live together, takes a different direction.

Each of the three stories and pairings is interesting and enjoyable, so there is no reason that you should not watch this show if you haven’t already. Every character is funny as they struggle with their feelings in order to accept them as they are in quite complicated relationships. This show has to be one of the best BL anime that have aired until now so you just have to watch it and discover why!


Final Thoughts

All the anime listed above are really famous and are certainly among the best Boy's Love anime that exist, even though there are many others worth watching. As there are a lot of different genres, there should be something to watch for everyone, no matter your taste in anime and BL !

So, what do you think about this Top 10 listof recommendations ? If there is any other show you would like to see in it, let us know in a comment !

Hitorijime-My-Hero-Wallpaper-500x499 [Fujoshi Friday] Top 10 Boys Love Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

Writer

Author: Nafarik

I am a French girl of 23 years old. I was 7 years old when I saw my first anime and since then I couldn't stop watching anime. This is also the reason I decided to learn Japanese so I entered the university. Just before graduating, I had an opportunity to do an internship in Japan and I was clearly the otaku type, spending a lot of time and money on my passion for anime. As soon as could, I return Japan and here I am now !

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