I’ve always been one of those people who would read most things that landed in front of me. Instructions, ingredients lists, books…you name it, I’ve probably read it. Even today, I read between one to three books a week along with countless news articles. There are things I enjoy reading more than others. Comics have fascinated me since I was a boy. Sometime around 2018, I’ve discovered manga and even more specifically, yaoi and shounen ai manga. Both categories are lumped here under the BL (Boy Love) manga heading. I’m sure you’ve already figured out that’s a category that might appeal to me. Today, I’d like to present 15 of my favorite BL manga.
Disclaimer: Yaoi, shounen ai, and a third type called doujinshi, deal with homosexual relationships between men. Some are very romantic. Some have depictions of sex acts that aren’t always performed by beings who are completely human. Others even have graphic depictions of sadomasochism. If you are underage or offended by these things, I would offer up that perhaps another manga genre would be more to your liking.
On with the List
Without further ado, here’s a list of 15 of my favorite BL Manga. No order is implied by a title’s placement in the listing. Most of the series mentioned here are no longer in production, but the notation “Ongoing” or “Completed” by the title will let you know which is which.
Your Dream is Delicious – (Ongoing) – Demons and humans exist together. Dream demons feed on the nightmares of humans. What happens when a dream demon falls in love with his prey? To make things even better, set all of this amongst the backdrop of school-aged angst. This series is still in production so all I can say is that the beautiful artwork and the story have caught my attention. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.
Fate Makes No Mistakes – (Ongoing) – Goblins, ghostly monsters, reapers, and humans all struggling to survive and a love story spanning centuries proving love wins out even against death. The story moves from the living world to the underworld and into the past. Not always the easiest to follow until you become familiar with all the characters , but worth making the effort to read parts again if you get lost. Gorgeous artwork and characters who end up having a lot more depth than you thought they would originally. This one is still in production. I can only hope the ending does justice to the story so far.
At the End of the Road – (Completed) – Two childhood friends from broken homes separated by life. Two car crashes year’s later, a soul swap between two seemingly unrelated strangers, and those two friends get a second chance at life and love if they can survive some seriously messed up drama. Seriously, I’ve seen daytime soap operas with less drama. I liked the way life gave them a second chance though and the artwork was beautiful, so it made the list.
The Flower of the Month – (Completed) – Growing up a young boy hears stories about a friend his mother used to know when she was in her 20’s. Through those stories and pictures, her son falls for his mom’s old friend. By some twist of fate, the young man winds up back in the past and gets to not only participate in the stories his mother had told him, but also gets the chance to explore his feelings for the man he’d only heard about in stories.
Therapy Game – (Completed) – Two sets of brothers. Three of them are gay. One of them is bi but hadn’t realized it yet. To say that one of them is a total drama queen would be kind. High maintenance is an understatement. The hilarity that ensues when each couple comes together and finds out that opposites really do attract is priceless. I’d also like to add that the artwork in Therapy Game is an amazing feast for the eyes. Just a great story that also spawned 3 spin-offs.
Confessions from Tomorrow – (Completed) – A sweet story set in high school about second chances and learning that life may not be what you thought it would be, but it can still be beautiful if you let go of your preconceived notions for how things should be.
The Devil’s Temptation – (Completed) – An Omegaverse type series. Two men (absolutely gorgeous men) both go after the same guy that works at their company. This is one of those slow burn romances proving what you think you want isn’t always what you need and that you should never judge a person based solely on what you think you know about them. Toss in way too many pheromones and an old style power struggle for control of the family business, and you’ve got a fun read.
Last Paradise – (Completed) – This story starts in high school with two old friends and one new friend. The story spans several years and shows all of the amazingly funny, sweet situations they get into as their little love triangle forms and reforms into something new. One of those goofy scenarios where what should be a third wheel situation isn’t because of the trust they all have for each other in the end.
Love Tractor – (Completed) – OMG…I laughed so much at this series. City boy meets country boy. Let the hilarity ensue. This is what happens when a sweet, country-boy hunk sets his sights on a city boy who just moved to his late grandfather’s farm. That city boy didn’t know what hit him, but by the end of the series, I think he’d agree that he was glad for the change. Another series with beautiful artwork. Even the expressions on the character’s faces are priceless.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter – (Completed) – After an accident kills both his parents, a young man moves in with his mother’s best friend to be raised alongside her own son. Raised together, but not brothers, this story centers around a childhood crush, a misunderstanding, and the love that can blossom if you push through all of that.
Angel Buddy – (Completed) – A young man comes from a family of people who can see ghosts and other supernatural creatures. A powerful angel who longs for nothing more than to leave his past behind. What happens when they fall in love, and what lengths are they willing to go to in order to stay together even after death. Toss in some quirky side characters and some very pervy angelic voyeurs to round out the story. I thought this one was going to be just another funny, sexy romance, but it turned out to be one of the more serious stories on this list.
Blood Link – (Completed) – Okay folks, this is an epic series. Start off with one werewolf, have him fall in love with a vampire, put it in the Omegaverse where omegas bear children whether they are male or female, and then let the story span across from their love story to the story of their parents, on to their children, and then to their grandchildren. All while everyone (most everyone) stays young and gorgeous forever because vampires, duh. This was a wild sexy ride you don’t want to miss.
Here U Are – (Completed) – Another amazing series with beautiful artwork and characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I’m not kidding. Before I wanted to find “my Nick Nelson”, I wanted a man like LiHuan. Tall, gorgeous, not afraid to be vulnerable, and totally devoted. This isn’t a short series. There’s a journey they must go on before the happy ending, but it is totally worth it.
Lick Me, Like Me – (Completed) – I admit it. This one was a bit odd, but still so goofy and charming. Imagine a world where some animals are just animals, and some have the ability to transform into humans when they mature. A veterinarian adopts a stray cat and dog only to discover they are the transforming variety. Oh, and the cat and dog have both fallen in love with the veterinarian. Great artwork. I mean seriously, that dog-boy…er, man is hot. The cat is no slouch either. A love triangle like no other with a healthy dose of drama from side characters thrown in for good measure.
Sign – (Completed) – My all-time favorite to date and the only series I’ve ever read more than once. Johan owns a café, is gay, and thanks to an accident during college, is also deaf. He’s also this hunky, teddy bear of a guy any man would be lucky to have. Soohwa desperately needs a job, but in order to do well at his job, he must learn to sign. Never having thought about dating a guy before, Soohwa is completely caught off guard when he is turned on by Johan’s voice during a tutoring session. Being a guy who has a thing for voices too, I totally get how that could happen. Goofy, slow burn, hilariousness ensues. There’s just enough drama to add tension and a sweet side story involving another employee at the café.
Wrapping it up
Okay! There you have it…my favorite BL manga. Admittedly, I’ve only read about a hundred series. A series can be as little as one issue or can span years with hundreds of issues. There are still over 400 left on my wish list so I can see this list changing or maybe just growing.
If you are wondering where you can read some of these stories for yourself, a quick Google search will give you several options. For those of you with a subscription on Crunchy Roll subscription, they host manga as well as anime. Another site I’ve had some success with is Manga Kakalot. Neither of those links is an affiliate link so click away without any worries.
Do you have a favorite BL manga that isn’t on my list? Leave me the name in the comments. I’m always looking for my next great read.
If you liked this list, you might also enjoy my list of favorite anime. You can jump to that post quickly with this link.