As requested I decided to just try and recommend some BL (meaning Shonen Ai and Yaoi mangas). I can tell you what happened, after I started thinking about it…I had too many!!! Seriously, I had so many recommendations that I had to make a list and put them in order and give away points. Well, in the end it was too exhausting so I just decided to wing it. I can always make more Parts right? XD
So here are some (mainstream) BL manga recommendations. In Part II I will reveal some hidden gems that I discovered overtime and that I love sooooo much.
Note: I will put some general notes to everythings about whether it’s Yaoi or Shonen Ai and how long and so on. Since there IS a difference and some might appreciate the difference.
Details: long, and as far as I know still ongoing / there is an anime with 2 seasons / earlier on it’s Shonen Ai, later on it gets a little bit of Yaoi…but not much tbh
Super Lovers is one of the biggest mainstream BL mangas out there. If you read BL manga and haven’t at least heard about it then…where have you been? It tells the story of Haru, the oldest of three brothers (two half-brothers), who one day goes to Canada to visit his mother. Right after his arrival he meets Ren, a little boy who is closer to the wild than to humans and is taken in by Haru’s mother. With a lot of work and dedication Ren opens up to Haru. On his way back to Japan Haru has an accident and forgets everything that happened in Canada. After some time, suddenly there is a young boy on his doorstep saying that he is there to collect on their promise.
To say the least, Haru is the most amazing and strangest brother ever told about. Seriously, he gives everything for his family whether they are directly related or not. And it’s just heart-warming to see his and Ren’s feelings grow and how they become closer.
I love this manga and I regularly read the new chapters and volumes, although I admit, that the mangaka seems to repeating the story archs a little bit at the moment, but let’s see where it goes.
Details: long…still ongoing as far as I know / there is an anime with 3 seasons! / definitely Yaoi, no doubt, no doubt at all
The classic of the classics. This is like Love Sick of Thai BL series. It’s the classic of the BL stories and the one that paved the way for so many others. It tells the story of Misaki who is struggling with his college exam, so his dear older brother Takahiro introduces him to his best friend, the popular novelist Akihiko Usami. It doesn’t take long for Misaki to notice that Usami is secretly in love with Misaki’s brother. While in the beginning seemingly at odds Usami and Misaki become closer and when Takahiro introduces them to his lovely fiancée, some things happen and their relationship changes into something more…
So first off, JR includes three storylines and couples, all of them a little bit intertwined with each other but not so much that you would actually see a lot of the characters cross over. It’s just mentioning some names and so on. The other stories are definitely wonderful too and also manage to mesmerize but the main story is and will always be Misaki and Usami. Misaki is such a lovely and hardworking character, you just cannot hate him and Usami is such a strange person. Yep, that’s all I’m gonna say about Usami. Let’s just say, his whole character (and his family) make up pretty much 80% of the manga’s comic relief. JR is definitely one of my favourite long running BL mangas and mangas in general. Do not get turned away by the drawing style though, you will fall in love with it over time ^.^
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi: Onodera Ritsu no Baai
Details: from the same mangaka as Junjou Romantica / still ongoing as far as I know / Yaoi but maybe not as hard and often as in JR, still YAOI / there are 2 anime seasons and I think a few OVAs
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi proved to me that Shungiku Nakamura (the mangaka) is good at what she is doing. Definitely. Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi tells the story of Onodera Ritsu, a very jaded and cynical person. He just transferred from his father’s publishing company to Marukawa Shoten (also publishing company) and while he wanted to go to the literature departement he lands in the Shoujo Manga division. There he meets the departement chief Takano. They rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning but soon they discover that they have actually met before…before, when they were in a relationship and (in short) broke each other’s hearts and it ended badly.
Maybe it’s old to compare it to JR but I just have to. SH is (and not just the manga but also the anime) a lot more romantic than JR, at least the beginning. I think that is because the mangaka had more experience but also because the characters are already grown-ups, have a backstory and because it is not as comical as JR. For me, I will always JR, since it was one of my first BL addictions but SH comes close after because the story is just so sweet and all those feelings!!!
Details: two volumes / completed / there is a life-action movie / Shonen-Ai, no Yaoi at all – a good start for beginners
I already recommended the Seven Days life-action movie in my BL recommendations but now I am talking about the manga. This manga made me consider buying the special manga version in the shop. I had the normal one but the other one had some extras, bigger pictures and some more colours and so on. Normally I don’t do stuff like that because as long as I can read it in the other manga I’m happy but I am totally in love with this manga, seriously.
The story: Senior high school student Shino Yuzuru has a beautiful face and an undesirable personality: he is laid back, impolite, and blunt. A lot of people dumped him because of difference in expectation and reality before. His junior Seryou Touji is a well-known ladies’ man. There is a rumor, stating that Seryou will agree to go out with the first person to ask him out on Monday and date that person for a week. When he doesn’t fall in love he dumps the other person on Sunday. Hearing the rumor, Shino becomes curious. One day he jokingly asks Seryou out. Seryou takes him seriously, and so begins Shino’s seven days with him.
The movie is nice and all but I think the manga is really really nice. Nothing more to say than that though ^.^
Details: 6 volumes, completed / DEFINITELY YAOI / there is gonna be an anime!!!
Story: When the President got into an accident, Shirotani Tadaomi met Kurose. On their very first meeting, Kurose could tell right away that Shirotani is mysophobic and said that it’s pretty bad while suggesting it would be better to consult a doctor about it. Shirotani was left perturbed by the encounter. Who is Kurose? And how was he able to tell Shirotani’s condition? (source: myanimelist.net)
I was too lazy to write about the story so yea…Ten Count has really nice drawings and is really nice to read. For me the story was kinda heavy even if there were no real reasons for it to be…it just had this heavy feeling – and I don’t mean this in a bad way, not at all. I really enjoyed reading it and I will definitely re-read it. I warn you though: If you are only into Shonen-Ai and have not read a Yaoi manga yet, DO NOT START with Ten Count!!!
Details: 4 volumes, completed / definitely Yaoi
Story: Skipping class on the rooftop one day, Shunpei’s best friend Fumi tells him he thinks he might be gay. All set to freak out (“Then up ’til now he’s been thinking that way about me?!”) Shunpei’s a bit nonplussed when Fumi’s confession turns out…to have nothing to do with him at all! In fact, Fumi’s already going out with someone else. Cue adolescent meltdown. (source: myanimelist.net)
I love this manga. I love it. I love the characters, the drawings, the story, the little jokes inbetween, the character development. I love it. The ending could be a bit more satisfying, I admit, but otherwise I love it ^.^ You will fall in love with the characters and the relationship between the main leads is really funny and heart-warming.
Details: ongoing / the mangaka has sooo many good works, check them out / Yaoi
Story: In college, Naoto has an unexpected reunion with ex-boyfriend Taichi who he broke up with for denouncing him as “sexual gratification.” Naoto had been firmly influenced by his hatred of this past incident but, little by little his heart is starting to forgive Taichi who has really grown when compared to their time in high school… While that’s happening, their friend Fumi-chan seems to be in love with Taichi…? When they are friends, they have extraordinary compatibility, but turning it into love isn’t going too well. A love story filled with emotional scars. (source: myanimelist.net)
EJ is drawn really really really well. Maybe it is just me liking this kind of drawing style, maybe but still, I love it. The story line is full of emotions and reading the feelings behind someone’s actions and less about what they say to each other. There seem to be serious communication problems between the leads but otherwise this manga is definite recommend from my site.
Note: it is currently stuck on a very big cliffhanger though, so I hope it continues soon…
Details: ongoing, as far as I know / Yaoi / from the same people as Elektel Delusion but sometimes seems like it’s from someone else
Hidoku Shinaide tells more than one story. I think there is the good student – bad boy relationship (Maya and Nemugasa) …no wait…the other couples were in another manga…I think. Well, the main couple is a good student with good grades and a playboy / bad boy. It starts off pretty superficial and more on Yaoi than on actual storyline but soon the focus shifts more into the story departement and the sexy scenes are just a bonus. HS is a story you read for the overall development and I think it’s really nice seeing the main characters fall more and more for each other.
Details: ongoing / starts out strongly as Shonen Ai and includes a little bit of Yaoi but not much – good for beginners / there is supposed to be an anime somewhen in the future
Story: A change in the stakeout team throws Onoe, reporter for a weekly magazine, together with his contemporary, Kaburagi, a photographer. Onoe secretly considers Kaburagi his rival, and Kaburagi’s haphazard way of doing things goes against Onoe’s strong sense of ethics—there’s nothing but conflict between them.
But, in joint pursuit of a scandal, the two of them begin to care about each other…? (source: myanimelist.net)
I like this manga as an inbetweener. It is not my favourite, no, but it is nice to read. The reason why it’s not my favourite? Because it seem like they never really figured out if this is a comedic romance story, a romance or a comedy story with some romantic inclinations…
Details: ongoing / Yaoi, but I think in the beginning it starts with Shonen Ai? I’m not too sure though
Story: Ueda Tomoharu is a cop manning a local koban station, and he’s quite happy with his job and relatively quiet life until he happens to run into yakuza member Gotouda Aki while chasing down an underwear thief… and is suddenly confessed to! Aki doesn’t seem bothered in the least about their “star-crossed lovers” status and eagerly dives into a super lovey-dovey relationship with his policeman, but Ueda’s about to find out just how dangerous it can be dating a mobster… in more ways than one. (source: myanimelist.net)
The dynamic between the characters is definitely one of the strong points of this one. It is really nice to see the character development and how they try to figure out how to handle their relationship. What I like with this one is how they present a problem in their relationship, have some drama but then solve it pretty quickly. It’s not just drama but two characters trying their best to make their relationship work.
So these were my (mainstream) BL manga recommendations. In my next post about BL manga I will recommend some not so known mangas, which also means that a lot of them will not have too many chapters but who cares if the story and the feelings are awesome XD
I hope you liked it, tell me in the comments below if you want some specific recommendations or if you have any questions and I will answer as soon as possible.