18 Best Shounen Ai Anime of All Time

I hope I don’t get all the women angry and riled up after reading this article! Since I’m definitely not very much into this genre, I took help of my fellow female otakus to give you all the best list I could muster.

After researching and writing this article there is one thing I’m certain that shounen-ai is a heavily misunderstood genre. I know it is for the women and all about the “Boys Love” concept but it also has some amazing emotional scenes and plotline that can be appealing to boys as well

In this list, we are going to explore the best of the best anime with shounen-ai elements and some amazing eye-candy for all the otaku girls out there.

So let us get started with all the juicy shounen-ai anime without further ado!

18. Tanaka kun is always listless

Tanaka kun is always listless

Starting our list with a guy who is always listless, Tanaka-kun. The protagonist of the anime is a lazy guy who wishes everyday pass by like a breeze without him having to exert his energy.

The plot follows a high school teenager, Tanaka, and his friend Oota and their daily life! Tanaka has a knack for being inattentive and clueless and also the power of sleeping in the most random places in like five seconds.

Our listless protagonist often needs help with his day-to-day activities so he relies on Oota and sometimes his family members.

Watch this anime for some youthful comedy, amazing character personalities and a good plot, and of course the shounen-ai element.

17. The Morose Mononokean

The Morose Mononokean

Next up on the list is, Fukigen no Mononokean(The Morose Mononokean) an anime about a young high school boy who gets indebted to a mononokean, who turns out to be his classmate.

Possessed by a yokai, which is growing in power day by day the lead protagonist, Hanae Ashiya seeks the help of a mononokean to exorcise the yokai and get better. After getting the yokai exorcised Hanae realises he has no money to pay the fees of the mononokean.

Indebted to this mononokean who turns out to be his classmate from high school he has to work as his assistant in order to pay off the debt.

This anime has a lot funny moments and some juicy eye candy for the ladies.

16. Vassalord


On number sixteen we have Vassalord, a manga about vampires, lords and the Vatican. The plot revolves around two young and sexy vampires, Johnny and Charles.

Johnny is the old vampire who loves to live a rich and lavish life, being old he’s probably seen it all and done it all. He like to live a playboy lifestyle.

Charles is actually a vampire hunter who works for the church and is the vassal of Johnny thus the name Vassalord.

The manga has some good artwork, sexy scenes, and quite a good plotline. Vassalord also got its own anime adaptation but you know how sometimes the manga and your imagination are just way better than the anime.

15. Yami no Matsue

Yami no Matsue

Next up on number fifteen, we have an anime with two beautiful-looking shinigami, Asato and Hisoka. Yami no Matsue(Descendants of Darkness) follows the life of a cute shinigami (God of Death) who has been working for the last 70 years as a shinigami.

Although Asato has been working for a long time he is not quite satisfied as he is still gets paid very little and works in the worst possible division.

Asato likes to work alone but shinigami are supposed to work in pairs but now he’s got a partner he can’t get rid of. The stubborn and cunning Kurosaki Hisoka.

The plot thickens as with each case they get closer and closer to finding out the mysterious serial killer, Kazutaka. Asato and Hisoka grow closer together as the story progresses but there are a lot of unexpected twist so be ready for a thrilling experience.

14. Tight Rope

Tight Rope

Next up we have a great Boys Love manga with an above average anime adaptation, Tight Rope. The anime is about two best buddies who have been together since their school days.

The lead protagonist of the anime, Ryuunosuke Oohara or just Ryu is the descendant of Yakuza Family, Oohara. Ryu is an amazing guy, he’s a good fighter and a caring guy but sometimes he can be childish.

He has been in love with his childhood best friend, Naoki Satoya since their primary school days. Satoya is his best friend and the anime is about both of them and their relationship.

On this one as well, I’d suggest my fellow weeb girls to check out the manga before jumping on to the anime.

13. Ling Qi

Ling Qi

On number thirteen we have an oddball anime with a good set of supporting characters, Ling Qi. The anime follows the story of the descendant of an old and famous exorcist, You Keika (Yang Jinghua).

Due to unfortunate and untimely death of his parents, You had to live a life of poverty and hand to work part-time as a fortune teller to pay off his debts and expenses.

After meeting this weird old white-haired man, You wakes up to realise that he has been killed in an accident and now roams as a spirit.

Later he realises that the old man was actually a famous exorcist. The man, Tanmoku Ki (Xi Duanmu) offers You to become his spirit shadow in exchange of protection from the humans and then we get to see the adventures they both take on!

12. Gravitation


Next up we have an anime about pop singing and music and the adventures of a young boy trying to become like his pop idol. Shidou Shuuichi, the lead protagonist of the show wants to become a famous pop singer like his idol, Ryuichi Sakuma.

Shuuichi forms a band with his friend Hiro and they call themselves, “Bad Luck” and even get a brand deal with a studio. As the deadline approaches, we find Shuuichi in quite the pickle because he hasn’t been able to write any lyrics for their album.

Lacking inspiration, he has an encounter with a mangaka, Yuki. After reading Shuuichi’s lyrics Yuki smashes him and calls him talentless and the story goes even crazier from here on out!

This has one of the best story lines of the anime on this list and of course there are some great scenes, if you know what I mean.

11. Super Lovers

Super Lovers

This might be one of the controversial anime on the list but it is certainly loved nonetheless. Super Lovers is a great Boys Love anime.

The lead protagonist Haru Kaidou is the eldest son of the family who lives in Japan, one day upon hearing that his mother is sick he travels all the way to Canada. He later finds out that he was fooled by his mother and now has to take care of his cute but introverted adoptive brother, Ren Kaidou.

This anime has some good twists, making its plot more and more amazing as it progresses. Haru promises Ren that someday they can live together in Japan but due to an accident he loses all memory of Ren.

Now Ren is just a random person claiming to be his brother! Watch this anime for some youthful comedy and some good quality drama.

10. Hitorijime My Hero

Hitorijime My Hero

Starting off our top ten with a feel-good shounen-ai, Hitorijime My Hero (My Very Own Hero). The anime is about a pushover, Masahiro Setagawa. He is just a weak teenager with bad luck, always getting in trouble with the neighborhood bullies.

The life of the errand boy Masahiro cahnges when he meets his very own hero, Kousuke Ooshiba. Now you need to know that Kousuke is also called. “Bear Killer”, now you know what kinda guy he is!

Kousuke takes down the all the gangs in their neighborhood and protects Masahiro from all the bullies. The story takes a wild turn after a year when Masahiro finds out that Kousuke is his math teacher and even crazier things happen when another character is introduced in the mix

The anime has good story and a greatly executed love triangle scenario. All girl weebs, don’t miss out on this one, its quite good!

9. Loveless


At number nine we have, Loveless with some crazy world-building and a complicated storyline. In the world of Loveless, you are born with neko ears and a tail, isn’t that cute and kinda innocent!

The cat ears and the tail are actually a symbol of virginity in the world of Loveless because you lose them after having a sexual encounter! In this world, we follow a teenage boy, Rituska Aoyagi who undergoes a series of miserable events after his brother’s death.

He then meets his brother’s partner, Soubi Agatsuma who befriends Ritsuka, and together they uncover the mystery of Ritsuka’s brother’s death.

As I said if you enjoy complicated storyline and a unique world building experience watch this anime.

8. Doukyuusei


On number eight we have another feel good anime with some music element and some very emotional scenes and a good story. Doukyuusei, the movie.

The story revolves around a teenage high schooler Hikaru Kusakabe, a happy go lucky person. He is also a part of a boyband. In the summer while being forced to work for their school festival, he has a fateful encounter with a fellow classmate who loves singing.

The movie is absolutely amazing and we get to see their relationship grow and develop into something very beautiful. I’d recommend this movie to all weebs.

7. Merman in My Tub

Merman in My Tub

Next up we have, Orenchi no Furo Jijou (Merman in My Tub) an oddball anime with some gritty comedy, funny moment and some good eye candy scenes combined in one package.

The anime follows a teenager, Tatsumi while returning from school finds a beautiful merman, Wakasa on the banks of a river. Due to pollution and waste, Wakasa is unable to live in the waters, feeling responsible for this Tatsumi offers his bathtub to the merman.

Ladies, imagine a sexy merman living in your bathtub, what would you doing right now? The story gets even more interesting and the comedy doesn’t stop at all.

6. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi

Coming in at number six, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (World’s Greatest First Love) is an anime about an aspiring mangaka trying to make it big in the industry and how his life gets really interesting after a series of events.

The lead of the show, Ritsu Onodera is a young and aspiring mangaka who quits his father’s company and transfers to another publishing house where he ends up working for a team headed by Masamune Takano.

The story takes an unexpected turn when we realize the relation between Takano and Onodera and it gets more and more fun after this!

This anime has some very intense and very emotional moments, would definitely recommend watching this one to all my fellow female weebs.

5. Shounen Maid

Shounen Maid

Let’s get on with the Top 5 on this list of amazing shounen-ai anime. On number five we have, Shounen Maid, another great Boys Love anime with a protagonist who works as a maid in a complete maid costume!

Chihiro Komiya, the lead of the show is left with no money and homeless after the unfortunate death of his mother. Despite all this his life changes when he meets his rich long lost uncle.

His uncle takes him in but Chihiro finds that his uncles house is big mess of dust and unorganized chaos. Instictively he puts on a maid costume and starts cleaning, which I thought was hilarious.

Watch this anime for some good situational comedy and a crazy bunch of characters.

4. Love Stage!!

Love Stage!!

Next up on the list is Love Stage!! an anime about showbiz, mangas and of course some good Boys Love action. Love Stage!! follows the story of Izumi Sena, a seemingly normal teenager but he actually belongs to a showbiz family.

When everyone is expecting Izumi to enter the family showbiz, he announces that he wants to become a manga artist, a great choice in my opinion. If only I could draw!

But luck has it’s own way, Izumi’s child acting performance is recalled by the advertisers and he meets his old buddy, Ryouma Ichijou and finds out that Ryouma had a crush on him all along.

3. Junjou Romantica

Junjou Romantica

Starting off our Top 3 with Junjou Romantic, a great Boys Love anime with great storyline.

The anime follows Misaki Takahashi, a teenage high schooler studying for entrance exams. Under stress of his studies he seeks the help of his brother’s friend to help him study.

The anime is really popular with the female weebs and that’s definitely for a reason. It has some funny moments, some very romantic and emotionally intense moments, definitely worth watching.

2. Given


Oh what do I even need to say about this masterpiece. I have watched it and loved it so much! Given is about a boy band and the relationship dynamics between the boys.

The lead of the show, Satou Mafuyu, the guitarist of the band is just another teenage high schooler. One day while dozing off in the school gym he has an encounter with one of his classmates, Ritsuka, who yells at him for not mainting his guitar.

Later after much pleading from Satou, he finally gets to be a part of a jam session with Ritsuka and his band mates.

The anime is super intense and has some of the most lovely anime moments in all of romantic anime ever! This one is my personal favorite on the list so do watch!

1. Yuri on Ice

Yuri on Ice

This is one of the most popular shounen-ai anime out there and definitely doesn’t need any introductions or anything. Yuri on Ice is about ice skating, obviously no twists there!

The lead of the anime, Yuuri Katsuki is a 23 year old Japanese figure skater, at the start of the plot we see him returning home from a loss.

After meeting Viktor who offers to his mentor, Yuuri changes his lifestyle and tries better to revive his career and do good as a figure skater.

There is a reason why this is the best shounen-ai anime and obviously it is worth watching!

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About the Author

Anukul Saini

Anime and gaming enthusiast with a passion for sharing my knowledge and insights. I've watched over 1000 anime and spent countless hours playing video games.

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