As promised here is Part II of my Introduction to BL, for all those out there who want to know more about the international phenomenon BL or in full “boys love”.
If you haven’t already read it, here is Part I: Introduction to BL 101
The previous post had all about the definitions and terms used in the BL world, this time, let’s learn a little bit more about the history and the changes in the BL world. Stuff you should know or that is asked frequently.
I am not going to go deeply into the history of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide, seriously we would sit here for a long time since the topic is pretty complicated and this post would not be enough to discuss the topic. What I’m gonna talk about is some history behind BL shows and movies and their origins.
Note: This is all influenced with my opinions and how I interpreted what was happening. I don’t give a guarantee that everything is a 100% correct. If you find an obvious mistake you can correct me in the comments and I’ll edit the post accordingly 🙂
— The beginning —
The origins started from two sources. One, Manga or specifically Shonen-Ai and Yaoi manga (see Part I for definitions). Some genius somewhere in Japan had the idea to film a live-action of some of the movies and shows. Two, the Thai series Hormones.
The manga source is much more prominent that older than the Thai series and it influenced other productions as well as other countries. There were a lot of fans who also wished for shows and movies from other countries and so that came about. So you could say Hormones was one of the reactions to the Manga influence. Also note, that Hormones was not mainly BL but only had a BL story line included. Still, while Japan produced a lot of movies, they did not produce a lot of BL shows and focused much more on the movies. After Hormones, though, a lot of things changed.
The show started something that created a lot more BL fans and it became clear that something new was possible. I think it is amazing that so many shows nowadays come from these Asian countries while one would think that these countries accept less regarding homosexuality…but let’s get to that later on.
After Hormones, the field was open and some amazing person decided to produce this show called Love Sick The Series.
Note: a lot of shows come from novels released online in the respective countries, only a few are totally original as a series. I’m not totally sure what shows have a novel origin and which ones are original so I’m gonna treat them the same here.
Hormones gave the first push, Love Sick was the one show that really started everything. The story of the two high school boys Phun and Noh falling in love and dealing with the world and making sense of their feelings for each other captured a lot of hearts. It got so popular that after a 12 episode first season they made a second season with 36 episodes. And with LS a lot of people recognized that BL is a genre that could garner a lot of fans and viewers. But just know, we are still only talking about Japan and Thailand. Well, that’s because it’s mostly those countries that started it. After Japan’s movies and Thailand’s shows the genre became much more popular and common. Thailand continued with its new-found possibilities and continued producing a lot of shows, while it’s still on the backtrack with movies. There are some, but less than in Japan. Japan also continues to release movies but they are becoming more rare, I think that is mostly because Thailand and other countries continue releasing shows with a better production quality. Still, Japan went into the series area with their new drama Ossan’s Love. I was originally produced as a movie and later on rebooted as a series. I love the show and I’m curious whether Japan is gonna start producing more BL shows from now on and not just movies.
— Countries —
So that is one of the reasons why the biggest producers of BL shows are Thailand and Japan and yes…the USA (but I’m not gonna mention about that one since they do produce a lot but also mostly as side characters and less as main couples). So what about other countries?
China did produce some movies and series, most known the Addicted series. It was a big hit and most BL fans I know who have watched it are fans and wish for another season since the ending leaves a lot of possibilities open. Well, one useful info here: If you haven’t watched it, watch it! It deserves to be named one of the great BL shows out there, but also do not expect another season. Right when it was airing and everyone was hoping for another season China released its ban on television and radio regarding different contents, including homosexual content. Read more here: China bans depictions of gay people on television
We all still hope there’s gonna be a second season but it’s probably not gonna happen. This is another reason why with China, they produce some of the most awesome bromance chemistry couples but they mostly end as huge teases and you’ll never get any close intimacy. Still, they do have a lot of great shows with good chemistry between the male leads, I admit. We all can dream, right?
As for other countries: Taiwan has some shows, more than mainland China, less than Thailand and other countries. Taiwan and also Vietnam seem to have some shows that have non-typical story settings. So you don’t get the usual story lines but a lot of new dynamics, I think. Maybe that’s just me though, maybe that’s why there’s not that much though.
As for a lot of the other Asian countries: South Korea also produces some movies, a few web shows and in the recent years a few BL characters in main stream shows. In general South Korea is still keeping the down low with the topic though. I wish they weren’t though because I really wanna see a BL with the production quality South Korea normally has. Let’s wait and see what the future brings. As for the other countries, there are some shows and some movies, mostly movies though, and I’d love to say there are a lot, but there aren’t. There is a reason why there is a whole paragraph on Thailand and Japan and not really that much on other countries.
— Trends and Future —
In general, in the recent years, a happy ending for BL shows is coming more and more into trend. Also we are getting a lot more shows than movies than before, which is really awesome. The genre also build a steady fan base and is growing each day and I hope one day every fan can proudly stand and say they are a BL fan.
I hope you liked this short origins introduction. Sorry if it was complicated or chaotic. I kinda lost track during the writing process. I still hope it is somewhat in order. The next one is more understandable, I promise!
Next Introduction post is coming on the 4th/5th of February 2019.
Welcome to the world of BL. You only heard some general stuff about it but don’t really know where to begin? Don’t worry, that’s what this post is about. Here you’ll get a little introduction to the whole scene as well as some definitions you may not know yet.
If you don’t like BL (=boys love) please leave this post. Thanks.
Ok first some DEFINITIONS:
BL – Boys Love: meaning love between two boys or two men
Seme: the top partner of the relationship, mostly in regards to the sexual aspects of their relationship. Who tops the other? Originally comes from Mangas.
Uke: the bottom partner of the relationship, also mostly in regards to the sexual aspects of their relationship. Who gets it from the other? Also originally comes from Mangas.
Mangas: Japanese comics generally but really different from the American superhero etc comics.
Bias: Favorite cast member of something
Shonen-Ai: essentially BL, just in regards to mangas. More in regards to feelings and less sexual than Yaoi.
Yaoi: essentially BL, just in regards to mangas. More erotic and sexual scenes than Shonen-Ai.
Fujoshi: Women who like Yaoi.
Tease: A movie or series that is not BL but more like bromance but really teases the BL without giving the fans anything.
What to know about BL?
BL fans exist all around the world, of course. In some cultures such things are more accepted compared to others. The BL shows I’m talking about are mostly Asian BL shows. Of course the US and others have a lot of shows too but Asia takes it to a different level. Here’s a few facts about the country variety of BL:
USA: more open to BL characters but usually just featured as side or supporting characters. Also appear in shows where there are a lot of main characters (ex. Glee, Shadowhunters). Usually produced with quality pictures and a more developed show production
SouthKorea: not as open about BL as other countries. Therefore not that many big BL shows or movies and mostly just indie productions. Seldomly some BL in mainstream but mostly teasing the fans with bromance.
China: put out a ban where every homosexual content was prohibited from airing. One of the reasons why when watching Chinese BL do not expect too many touchy scenes. They do have good “couple” chemistry though.
Japan: BL got more popular in Mangas and Anime and went on to live-action movies. Normally kinda cheesy and not really high production quality but the stories can be amazingly touching.
Thailand: the one country that produces a lot of BL shows with good quality of pictures and story. Sometimes with total newbie actors but they have a lot of fans and don’t just tease fans.
So this was some info about general stuff to know what I’m talking about.
Where can you get more information about shows, also like reviews and stuff?
Well, I do have recommendation posts, but if you want a general “wikipedia” for BL, then I recommend mydramalist.com
It offers everything you want regarding Asian movies, series, shows, actors and actresses.
Okay, I admit that’s it for part one of the BL Introduction 101. I think I’m gonna cut it into multiple parts:
Or something like that 😀
I know this was like veeeery general but cut me some slack, I’m only starting out with this post series 😉 Next part comes on the 28th of January.
Since last year’s BL recommendations 2018 got so many likes and comments I decided to make another one for this year to support all my fellow BL lovers.
So here it is, my BL recommends for 2019, in no specific order. Some of them did appear in last years post too since it wasn’t totally clear abck then when it would come out, Only now we know it wasn’t 2018, so maybe in 2019 we have more luck with those.
2019 is all under the motto: GMMTV and LINE is stepping up the game but let’s see if we get another surprise like Love By Chance 🙂
SPOILERS AHEAD for all the shows where previous seasons aired already
What the Duck 2
What the Duck. You can either love the first season or ask yourself what you just watched for – wait let me look it up – 20 episodes. Yes, I do belong to the second group. I liked it…kind of but I’m not really on board with it.
Story: The story in season one was about Pop who fails his exam to become a flight attendant and ends up working for the airlines’s catering service where he meets Oat. Oat also works at the catering service and starts getting interested in Pop, who has a girlfriend, Mo (you remember Knock’s really mean girlfriend from Together With Me – yep, that’s the same actress). Well, I don’t really get why Pop and Oat seem to get along and than hate each other again every five minutes but I guess there was a nice kiss scene.
Also this show features the one couple everyone thought seemed liked such a nice couple in real life (even though I do think they are just friends…I think, I’m not too sure): Mew and Art, or as they are called in the show, Pree and Rambo. In the show they had serious communication problems and I don’t know whether they will make an appearance in season 2 – wait, I just looked it up, yup they will.
So, I AM curious how it continues but mainly because I want to know how they writers want to save what chaos they created in the first season.
Side note: this show is said to start in 2019 but I don’t think there is a start date yet.
HeartBeat The Series
It’s always a good sign when a series has a trailer. That normally means it’s gonna happen in the span of the next year. If there is no trailer than normally there is no series that soon.
Well, HeartBeat has a trailer and it’s actually quite nice.
It’s about Toy, a (I don’t know what for) famous kid, who’s supposed to sing a song at graduation day and Bas, the vocal and leader of a school band. Both are put together to collaborate on a stage for graduation day. They don’t really like each other and are not really happy about their tasks but it’s a BL story so we know where I’m going with this right?
I don’t know anything more about it but maybe check out the trailer and see for yourself.
motor-Cycle: The Series
This is one of the shows in this list where I am really curious about the story. Because it seems quite different from the other stories I know.
Run is a high school student who sneaks out every night and rides around on his motorcycle. When he has to get it fixed he brings it to Mike, a free spirited but shy mechanic. While they do fall for each other, they are unsure about each other’s feelings and orientation until both find out that the other one has a boyfriend. Suddenly hope comes back…but well, now they both already have boyfriends?
It’s different from the usual story since it is not just about one of them falling for the other but both falling in love and being insecure and also not discovering their feelings together but only AFTER already finding other boyfriends. I am really curious about we are gonna get from this ^.^ Posters are out and with actors so let’s see when we’ll get it.
HIStory 2: Boundary Crossing 2
After HIStory 1 got as famous as it is, HIStory 2 had A LOT of pressure to live up to the hype. Well, it did not just live up to it but it totally triumphed over it and got even better. See below, the producers seemingly decided to cut HIStory 2 at two story lines: Boundary Crossing and Right or Wrong . Right or Wrong was a pretty closed story (although we all want more), Boundary Crossing gave us the typical kiss at the end and then walk into the sunset closure. Well, it seems there were enough fans because we are getting a second season! Which is awesome especially because no one really expected it. We did not think it possible, but it is happening.
I don’t know whether it will really air in 2019, since HIStory 3 is actually planned for 2019, but maybe they give us another surprise and show us Boundary Crossing 2 too.
I’m too lazy to write down the premise. You should check it out anyway, so yeah 🙂
HIStory 3: Trap
Like I mentioned above, HIStory 2 was actually supposed to be three storylines. Probably because there is a second season for Boundary Crossing they decided to make Trap and Miracle to their own part of the series HIStory 3.
Trap is about a police officer falling into the ‘trap’ of a gangster’s son and them falling for each other. I shortened it a lot but that’s pretty much it. I’ve seen a few promo photos so I think we can really expect it this year. Normally HIStory aired before fall so it should come in the next …8 to 9 months 🙂 I am excited for it though, since it seems to be a lot more grown up from the HIStory 2 stories.
HIStory 3: Miracle
No one really could explain to me what Miracle really was about. I mean its premise is kind of mysterious and as rough as it can get.
Something about someone missing someone and then recalling memories, I guess?
I may not be a hundred percent interested but I am intrigued. Also I really doubt it’s gonna come in 2019 but let’s see. HIStory 2 came unexpectedly too.
Your Voice, my Heart
A series from Taiwan. Taiwan is normally less strict about BL stories than Mainland China, but I don’t know. I’m not good about what the laws and restrictions are in both locations. I wanna travel to Thailand and Australia, guys, China is not on my list, yet.
So, the story is quite simple: Su Ye Xin has to move out from his home because his parents don’t support him being gay. He continues supporting his crush but doesn’t want his crush, Sheng Sheng or Xie Xiao Sheng, to think badly of him, so he pretends to be a girl online. Then he also meets the guy in real life and well…the story goes on from there I guess…
The story sounds easy enough but also seems to include a lot of potential. Another thing I liked: the promotional posters only includes guys. Not that I don’t like women but normally women in these posters mean there is gonna be a lot of straight/gay girlfriend/boyfriend drama, which I do not like in BL shows.
I am definitely waiting for this one to come out. It seems fun and exciting enough.
A Chinese BL show…we all know what to expect, right? So get your feelings in check, because you may get some sweet time but in the end you’re gonna be disappointed*
*I’m referring to the wonderful (“hear the sarcasm please”) law China has to ban everything too homosexual.
Funny thing is, I don’t actually know whether this is supposed to be BL or what? Since the storyline does read, that one of the characters is actually a woman pretending to be a man and to hide this they have to work together or something like that. But the actors involved, at least some of them, are all male, so don’t ask me what this is gonna be. Let’s get ourselves a surprise, I guess.
The Effect is based upon a novel that has two versions and it seems like no one really knows whether it’s gonna be the lighter version or the dark version. Personally I’m hoping for the lighter version but judging from the posters I guess it’s not.
The story is about Shin a university student who doesn’t have many friends and one day meets Keng. They become friends and maybe more but soon rumors start spreading and endanger their relationship.
I don’t know much else but let’s see what we get. Normally with shows like this, they won’t air for a long time and then suddenly get a trailer and some more info and then get released so I bet on a 2020 release although it is said to start airing in March 2019. It’s a LINE show so it’s possible.
Oh, and the guy friend from Love By Chance appears in it I think O.O yay.
Theory of Love
GMMTV is definitely managed by very smart people. Not only did they see the potential in some of the Kiss couples (see down below) but also took their best chemistry duo – Off and Gun – and put them in another show. This time though, they give them quite different personalities.
Theory of Love is about Third, a student who is in love with his best friend, Kaii, a pretty free-spirited guy. And while Third always though he would never confess his feelings to Kaii, a small conversation makes him change his mind and he takes the next step…if only Kaii took his confession seriously.
I love the fact that they gave Gun a more outgoing and confident role right from the beginning. Also they did not just meet but have known each other for years in the story and Kaii seems to be confident in doing whatever he wants to. I think this story is gonna be more about them realizing each others feelings instead of dealing with their homosexuality which was one of the topics in their previous series Puppy Honey. I’m excited 😀
Fly In Shallow
Another Chinese one, oh why am I even torturing myself this much?
Okay, all the summaries of the story are translated in google translate style – meaning they make sense until they don’t and are just a bunch of words put after each other.
What I have found out: It is about a childhood friends turning lovers story but it also features female characters interfering and it’s a big contender for either being very boring and working too much with symbolism or ending in all including tragedy.
But I’m gonna be optimistic: Maybe we finally get a happy and wonderful BL story from China that isn’t banned. Maybe. We can dream. Just watch the trailer and you know it’s not gonna be…if it ever sees the day of light, since the trailer is actually from 2016 and it seems like it hasn’t been released yet.
Dark Blue Kiss
If you are not excited for this, don’t call yourself a BL fan! Seriously, New (from Kiss: The Series / Kiss Me Again / Sotus / WaterBoyy The Series / Our Skyy etc) has always given us great chemistry but his chemistry with Tay (pretty much all the same shows except for Sotus and Waterboyy but he has a lot others too) is just really good. Especially after Our Skyy, where I really got the vibe of good guy dating the bad boy and both being happy and protecting each other, I’m like totally over the top after hearing the news of another Kiss installment. Yes, it is another Kiss installment but this time seems to be central to BL couples which – while I did like the others too – really LOVE! Thank you!
Well, the show got a trailer pretty much immediately after it was announced and it’s pretty save to say it’s gonna air in 2019 since it’s part of GMMTV’s 2019 line up.
So check out the trailer and tell me your thoughts in the comments down below! I loved it and I’m also excited to see Kao and Pete, as well as the others, again ^.^
And we all wanted the other couple to happen, admit it 😉
This series has been teased for how long now? I think it’s about two years now? If I remember it correctly, the problem was the casting and that the cast has already changed multiple times? I’m not a hundred percent sure though.
I also don’t know what the story is about. Maybe I wrote something about in the last BL recommendations 2018 post but I’m too lazy too look it up. It’s been a year, cut me some slack.
Well, I guess it’s about college students. Oh and funny fact, I saw a picture of Saint (you know the sweet cheeks from Love By Chance – he was also called Pete 🙂 I’m only gonna call him Sweet Cheeks) connected to this series. It could be that the picture I’m talking about is before Love By Chance though, so it’s probably old news.
They DO have an official picture with people on it now, so maybe we are going in the right direction though ^.^
Out Last Day The Series
This one I actually DO remember from my last recommendations 2018 post. Even back then I had no idea what it was about, I only knew it was being recast. Or at least some roles were recast that’s probably why it hasn’t aired yet.
Well, I still do not know what it is about and I still worry for the title and the tragedy behind it but if it airs this year, I’m gonna check it out after all.
Love Sick: The Series Season 3
YES!!! The classic of the classics and the one show that made all this possible. The show Hormones showed it for the first time but Love Sick got all of us BL fans out there and support the genre!
I just cannot get over this series. I think I have probably rewatched it fifty times already and now FINALLY they announced a season 3.
I think I heard, some of the actors confirmed it. I’m still curious who is gonna come back, since there have been some scandals and rumors about the actors but I’d just like all of them to be back.
Of course I am afraid it’s gonna be a total disaster but the joy my heart felt, when I heard about a season three is just so awesome I’m gonna watch this series as long as it keeps going with it’s main couple. Oh, and come on guys, one real kiss has to be in their somewhere, right?
I understand it wasn’t the best thing to do when everything just started out but now we’ve had Together With Me, Kiss Me Again and SOTUS. I’m so excited for this one. Not too sure whether it will air in 2019 or 2020 though.
The Best Twins
I don’t really know whether this is BL or just about a family not being on board with a character being gay. It seems like BL but well…don’t know
Story: Car and Per are twin brothers. Per is straight and Car is gay and is dating their neighbor Ball. When finding out that Car is gay, their sister Pad is against him being gay (as if that was decided by a vote *facepalm*) When Car’s ex-boyfriend Tee returns, the chaos gets even more chaotic.
What I’m excited about is the two actors from the first installment of Love’s Coming being back together. Depending on how the writers handled all the chaos, the series could be awesome or horrible. Let’s see!
2 Moons 2 The Series
OHHH! All the drama around this series. So much drama. So many angry fans when it was announced that the cast would be fully changed.
Well, you may hear a little bit of fun in these lines. No, I’m not making fun of all the devoted fans but I just want to point out that saying bad stuff about the new actors is not right either. They didn’t decide the fate of the others but were recast after the decision was made.
Okay, now that this is done, let’s go to the series. No one really knows whether it is going to be another installment or a reboot or a remake (which is basically a reboot) or whatever. It seems like it is going to be a remake and not a second installment. I am curious though how they are going to work with that and if they can bring the story back again since we all know what the story is about now and how its gonna develop, but I’m totally on board for giving them a chance, so I’m curious.
Though I also don’t know whether it’s gonna come this year or only next year. Since the fans are calming down and getting a little more excited for season 2 I guess, maybe, we can expect it this year.
My Bromance 2: 5 Years Later
The one movie everyone is angry about because it was so awesome and ended so badly. Muahahahahaha, I still have not watched it. I absolutely despise bad endings, so every single part of my body avoids this movie, or at least the first installment.
Well, it seems there were enough fans for the producers to think of a way to continue the story and make a second part.
Okay, just to bring you up to date, there seems to be something like a special that already depicts the story after the movie but I don’t know whether there really was much to it. Well this time it’s captioned as a special so no idea whether it’s a movie, a series or whatever. The main actors from My Bromance The Movie will reprise their roles though, so let’s just wait and see…oh, and the trailer seems ominous so it doesn’t seem like the producers have changed their colors though, so better be careful when watching XD, still gonna watch though.
Ossan’s Love 2
The Japanese hit BL is back. Yes, Ossan’s Love which first started with a really nice movie and continued (or redid itself) with a series is getting a season 2. The decision between the two men is done and the story is gonna continue from the ending of the first season or shortly after I think.
I’m really excited for this one especially since Japan does have some BL movies but not really that many shows, so yay, cannot wait for it! Don’t know how long production is gonna take though, so maybe it’s only gonna air 2020. I’m hoping for a 2019 release though!
He’s Coming To Me
This one definitely has one of the most interesting couple’s in this whole list. I don’t know whether it will be a real BL story and not just a one sided love story though. (I have the feeling I’m repeating myself with the “I don’t know…though). Well, it’s Singto (Sotus / Sotus S) and Ohm (Make It Right Season 1 and Season 2) and Singto is gonna be a lonely ghost who one day meets a boy who can see him. They become friends but Met (Singto) starts developing feelings for Tunwa (Ohm).
It sounds like the perfect premise for a one sided love and tragedy but who knows. Maybe it will end good? It’s a production by LINE and GMM so I’m definitely gonna watch it ^.^
Oh, we also have a lot of our other GMM boys in other roles.
Why R U? The Series
I know absolutely nothing about this series, except it is supposed to be from a pretty popular novel it seems. I think they are still casting, so it’s probably not gonna be 2019 but a 2020 release.
That’s My Umbrella
No idea what to expect from this one. If I knew which channel was airing this, maybe I knew more but I have no idea.
It’s about Kondee and Fahfon. Kondee confessed his love to Fahfon before – in front of their whole university campus – so afterwards he is avoiding Fahfon at all costs, while Fahfon tries to spend more time together.
It sounds interesting enough but I’m getting different vibes regarding when this will be out and what kind of series it will be. I will check it out though.
Club Friday The Series Season 10: Khon Tee Mai Yorm Rub
The premise for this one definitely made me laugh. I don’t know whether there will actually be a BL couple. There will definitely be a gay guy dating a girl and realizing he really is gay.
Well, at least he didn’t just decide he likes girls after all, so I’m on board. It’s by GMM and it actually has a release date, yes! February 2nd til February 23rd. It’s a Club Friday series so only has 4 episodes but I’m looking forward to watching it in February. After Club Friday 8 with Meng and Tod I’m happily giving them another chance. The chemistry back then was awesome so let’s see if they can top that ^.^
So these are all my recommendations for 2019. You may see it’s more than the year before and I think that is because the fans are so devoted and the channels, like GMMTV or LINE, are listening to the fans wishes and bring us more amazing BL stories. Let’s continue supporting them the best we can!!!
BL recommendations, K-POP stuff & TV and movie mania!!