Boy’s Love has taken over all the female anime watchers like a tsunami. The BL genre has become quite popular in recent years with some great attention from big-time anime studios like MAPPA, Lerche, and many more.
The genre also attracts the male audience, don’t get me wrong but it is catered more to the female audience, it has good-looking boys, dynamic relationships which cross all societal norms and some sexual tension, and in some cases even more than just tension.
BL, or sometimes referred to as the Yaoi genre has a rich history but it took to the audience in the 1980s when several female mangakas finally got their works published. Started out as fanworks the mangas and other works grew so popular that now it has become one of the most popular anime and manga genres of all time!
In this article, we are going to attempt to compile a list of all the popular Boy’s Love anime! I asked a lot of my female fellow weebs for help on this one, so let us hope I do not offend a bunch of fans.
20. Suki na Mono wa Suki Dakara Shou ga Nai!
Starting off our list with Sukisho, an old school anime that aired back in 2005. I think I was a toddler back then, I might not have aged well but this anime sure did!
Sukisho is about Sora, a foody guy with an easy-going personality. The plot begins with Sora suffering from a really bad injury after falling from the fourth story of a building. He cannot recollect his memories.
Then Sunao is introduced as Sora’s new roommate. Sunao tells Sora that his name was Ran, but actually, both of them have a spilt personality, Ran is Sora’s and Yoru is Sunao’s which they had since their youth.
Watch as they both try to navigate roommatehood and the fact that Ran and Yoru are deeply in love with each other! The anime is very cute and entertaining of course.
19. Haru wo Daite Ita (Embracing Love)
Next up on the list is Embracing Love with two wonderful OVAs and some great-looking main characters that any girl would fall for.
This 2005 anime has the most attractive male characters, Iwaki and Katou. Both of them are co-actors who have starred together in many adult films.
In the auditions of one of the popular movies, Iwaki beats Katou for the role, during this audition and their time together Katou realizes that he has fallen for Iwaki but it takes some time for Iwaki to find out where his heart lies.
The anime has some great drama and ofcourse some juicy scenes between the characters.
Loveless is a pretty unique anime, it combines the mysteries of a fantasy world with an interesting and dynamic relationship between the main characters revolving around that fantasy world.
In the world that Loveless is set in people are born with a tail and cat ears which only disappear when the person has a sexual encounter. So basically anyone can tell if you have had sexual intercourse or not just by looking at you!
Also, there is fighting involved and it is only done in pairs where one is called the “sacrifice” and the other is the “fighter”, basically the uke and seme in the yaoi couple.
We follow a 12-year-old boy named, Ritsuka who suffers from amnesia as he tries to uncover the mysteries surrounding his brother’s death. He meets Agatsuma Soubi, his late brother’s partner and together they try to find the truth behind his brother’s death.
A good blend of boys love and pop music, Gravitation is all about Shuichi and his dream of becoming a famous pop star like his idol, Ryuichi Sakuma.
Shuichi forms a band with his friend Hiro and they call themselves, Bad Luck and with Shuichi’s talent, they even get signed to a record label. As the deadline approaches, Shuichi and Hiro realize that they are way behind the schedule and they don’t even have the lyrics yet.
Out on an inspiring walk trying to write some lyrics Shuichi stumbles Eiri Yuki, who reads Shuichi’s lyrics and tells him to quit as he has no talent in writing whatsoever.
Watch as Shuichi tries to prove a point to Yuki which leads to more and more between the both of them!
16. Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku (Hey! Class President)
Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku might seem kind of an obvious anime but not so much. You would think that the Class President would be the confident guy with a charming personality but Seitokaichou breaks the norms.
Yuuzou Kokusai is a timid and naive guy. He doesn’t understand the advances made towards him and neither does he understand how the world around him works. Chiga-kun the Vice President, is always up for protecting his naive president.
As the plot progresses Chiga-kun cannot believe that he is attracted to a naive country boy despite being an intellectual himself. The anime is one of the better relationship dynamics of all couples featured in this list.
15. Antique Bakery
Next up on number fifteen we have Antique Bakery. It is an anime about one-sided high school love that somehow reunited down the line after 14 long years.
Ono Yuusuke who once confessed his love to the middle-weight boxing champion, Keiichirou, and got a real harsh no but Ono has grown since then. He goes on to become a world-class pastry chef and there is probably no one who can resist his charms.
Yet somehow Keiichirou is the only man Ono is attracted to and the only man who pays no attention to Ono’s manly charms and his style. The show has great drama as the four main characters try to run this cute Bakery!
14. Ai no Kusabi (Love Wedge)
Next up on our list is Love Wedge, an anime set in a futuristic timeline with an alien environment but similar social norms.
The anime takes place on the planet Amoi, a planet that is controlled by a supercomputer named after the gas giant in our solar system, Jupiter.
The planet has a dominant male population with some male humans that possess light-colored hair are deemed to be of an elite class and these elite class members of the society often keep other dark-haired males as their personal mongrels.
The story is about Iason, an elite class male, and his mongrel that he found in the slums named Riki. Watch as they grow closer together and how society frowns upon their relationship.
13. Soul Contract
Ling Qi (Soul Contract) is a Chinese anime produced by Tencent Animation and Comics, aired in 2016. The anime is about the young heir of an old and famous exorcist who endured a life of poverty due to the sudden and untimely death of his parents.
Yang Jinghua (You Keika in the Japanese version) starts a part-time job to feed survive in this time of adversity. Yang meets a strange white-bearded man in some junkyard. After this encounter when he wakes up, he realizes that he has passed away in an accident and has taken a spirit form.
Later it was revealed that the white-bearded man was actually a famous exorcist. The man offers him a contract where Yang has to be his spirit shadow in return he will be protected from humans by the white-bearded man.
12. Wei, Kanjian Erduo La!
I like cats and oh boy cats have a lot of importance in the world of anime! There are several anime that either feature cats, catgirls, or many that have characters that resemble a cat.
Wei, Kanjian Erduo La! (Look I can see your ears) is an anime that has a catboy! The anime is about Dashu a rising mangaka whose works don’t sell much yet but he hasn’t given up hope yet. One day he meets Myou, a catboy who keeps on getting in trouble.
Dashu’s life completely changes after meeting Myou as they both start to share a room together. The anime was adapted in 2018 into 12 episodes and is based on a Manhwa!
This is a lovely short and sweet anime! Give it a shot, it doesn’t even take a lot to finish this one!
11. Love Stage!!
Izumi Sena belongs to a showbiz family with his mother as an actress, dad a producer and his brother is a rockstar but apart from an advertisement when he was a child, Izumi has shown no interest in the family business.
Izumi actually wants to become a manga writer and works for that. Ten years down the line Izumi and all the child actors involved in that advert get called back for the 10 year anniversary. Izumi has a fateful reunion with Ryouma Ichijou, a popular actor now.
Izumi finds out that Ryouma has had a crush on him since their first meeting but due to Izumi’s feminine looks and unisex name, Ryouma thought that Izumi was a girl.
Watch the anime to see what happens when Ryouma discovers the truth! What will Izumi do about this? The story gets really interesting in the latter half.
10. Hitorijime My Hero
This anime aired in 2017 and was soon amongst the popular shounen-ai anime of all time! The story revolves around a teenage boy, Masahiro Setagawa, a weak and fragile boy who is always bullied into being an errand boy by his neighborhood gangs.
His life changes when Kousuke comes to his neighborhood. The “Bear Killer” soon eradicates all the gangs in Masahiro’s neighborhood.
Later in high school, Masahiro and his friends Kensuke find out that the Bear Killer is actually their Math teacher. The three of them grow closer together and Masahiro starts thinking of Koususke as his hero!
The plot takes a turn when another pretty character is introduced as Kensuke’s childhood friend, Asaya.
9. Beryl and Sapphire
Beryl and Sapphire is an anime adapted in 2018 from a Manhwa written by the artist Ocarina. The anime features two cute-looking boys Beryl and Sapphire.
The anime has 72 episodes and guess what each of the story arcs is set in different worlds where Beryl and Sapphire somehow manage to find each other every time!
I know that is a lot of angst but hey you would definitely get a surprise with this one and how it ends! The episodes are only 8 mins long so it is not that time-consuming moreover it is definitely entertaining.
8. No. 6
The plot of the anime is set in a dystopian future where humankind has taken residence in six city-states that were not affected by the world war that destroyed the rest of the world.
Many chose to believe that the lives they lived inside these walls were all that Earth had to offer but they were wrong. Shion, the protagonist found out about the people who lived in the wastelands when he encountered a boy named Nezumi.
The anime later progresses into Shion and Nezumi getting closer together as they find out about the secrets of No. 6, the sixth city in the world.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the shounen-ai and the shipping that comes along with this anime, I would still watch it for the story it has.
7. Junjou Romantica
Next up on number seven we have Junjou Romantica. The main character, Misaki Takahashi, is a high school student and like all high school students, he is preparing for his University Exams so that he can get into the best of the best universities in the country.
Akihiko Usami is Misaki’s older brother’s friend who offers to help Misaki prepare for the exams. Thinking that Akihiko would help him relieve some stress and get better at studying efficiently Misaki accepts his offer.
But soon he finds out that Akihiko’s books are of lewd nature but that actually ignites something inside of Misaki. The anime is more about corrupting an innocent soul.
It has romance, corruption, lewd scenes and much more for the BL anime lovers.
6. Hybrid Child
On number six we have an anime with one of the most unique plots on this list, Hybrid Child. The plot starts by introducing the meaning of, ‘Hybrid Child’. Basically, they are somewhere between robots and humans. A Hybrid Child can feel emotions and also has their own conscious but they are a mere reflection of the love you show them.
Izumi, the heir to a noble family finds an abandoned Hybrid Child in the garbage, he decides to bring him into his household and take care of him. He names the Hybrid, Hazuki.
Being a noble family, Izumi’s family is worried about their reputation and they are unhappy with Izumi bringing Hazuki to the house. They even try to throw out Hazuki but overcoming all these obstacles their love for one another grows stronger.
The anime does have its ups and downs, and the ending has quite the twist but it is quite worth it!
5. Yuri!!! on Ice
This anime needs no introductions. It is quite popular not just in the BL anime genre but even amongst the most popular anime in all genres.
Yuri!!! on Ice is more than just ice skating, it is about life in general. It teaches many things and takes some away too.
After his failure at the Grand Prix, a 23-year-old Yuri, once the most promising figure skater in Japan turns into a couch potato all because of the standards he set himself to.
A video of Yuri, performing a routine imitating the five-time World Champion Victor goes viral and Victor actually shows up to Yuri’s house and offers to be his coach. Watch what happens next!
Doukyuusei which literally means Classmates is an anime movie released in 2016, produced by Aniplex. I like the protagonist of this movie, especially for his attitude towards life. Hikaru is so carefree and always tries to enjoy what is in front of him. I wish I was like Hikaru!
During the school summer festival, their entire class is forced to participate in the chorus song and because of that, he finds one of his elite classmates, Rihito an honor student practicing singing alone.
Hikaru and Rihito grow closer together as Hikaru helps out Rihito practicing his singing. The two classmates form an unbreakable bond over the summer!
This franchise took over the BL genre by surprise in 2019. It has reached new heights in the genre with its ever-growing fanbase. All of this is because of the amazing storyline and the animation quality it has.
Mafuyu Satou the protagonist has an encounter with Ritsuka, a band member who berates him about his rusted and broken guitar strings. Admiring Ritsuka’s knowledge about the instrument, Satou requests him to fix it and teach him the guitar.
Over the time they spend together Ritsuka is please so much by Satou’s voice that he decides to make him the lead singer in his band.
Given is much more than just a high school band drama. It has romance, love expressed with music, and some of the best heart-warming moments in all of anime.
2. Mo Dao Zu Shi
Wei Wuxian, a cultivator who was led down the Demonic Path, Mo Dao becomes a tyrant ruler who is later brought down by the Cultivation Clan.
He is now reborn into a madman and is reunited with his then classmate Lan Wangji. Both of them stick together to uncover the mysteries of the spiritual world.
1. Banana Fish
The best of these anime was difficult to pick but no one seemed to come up with an anime that was better than Banana Fish so here we go!
Ash is one hell of a protagonist! He is fierce, confident and a complete badass but I was more shocked by Eiji. I was awestruck and so was Ash when he saw Eiji jump that wall to escape the enemies! Best character development scene of the anime!
The anime is two mysterious words, “Banana Fish” the same words Ash’s brother has been uttering since his return from the Iraq war in a paralyzed state.
The anime has tonnes of twists and is quite saddening so please watch at your own mental risk!