BL RECS

Nov. 4th, 2016 03:56 pm
rosemuse: (Natsume - Nyanko)
[personal profile] rosemuse
I've already compiled a GL manga/anime recs list, which can be found HERE.

Here's a list of BL recs that I've personally enjoyed! (Not in any particular order, lol, sorry.)

(Re. some tws: Just for the record, a lot of BL happen to have NSFW and nonconsent situations. I've added some TWs to some of these, but if you need more info regarding stories that might have it, I'd be fine with letting you know. But, going into this list, just assume that a lot of them might have it.)

ALSO: A lot of these manga have continuing volumes! But they're not always connected to the first volume on some sites, so, please, do make sure to click on the author link at the top of the page and see if there are more installments. JUST FYI.


- Yozora no Sumikko de – by Hayakawa Nojiko (read this one first) summary: A teacher discovers that his old high school crush is now a single dad and his son is in his class. It progresses from there. (complete)

- Yoake ni Furu – by Hayakawa Nojiko (read this one second – it’s a spin-off) summary: The son from the previous story has a romance with his childhood friend. (POV of the friend.) (in progress)

- ANYTHING ELSE BY HAYAKAWA NOJIKO!

- Saiyaku wa Boku wo Suki Sugirusummary: Two young men discover that their families are linked and that they've both inherited a curse of progressive bad luck that will last for one year. Will they be able to survive and break the curse? Fake dating and lots of feels ensue!!! (The romance is RIDICULOUSLY FEELINGSY AND SO, SO SWEET, as well.) A lot of it is kind of melodramatic, though, lol, with a lot of pining. There are also a few sorta one-sided love triangles, but it's apparent they're not going anywhere. Not really sure how other things will play out, though, so. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  (in progress)

- I would probably recommend a lot of Yamamoto Kotetsuko’s stuff. Most of it is very in the vein of romantic comedy and has lots of fun fluff. (Although Yamamoto has written a bit of tragedy as well, it's not... great. Lol.) Generally pretty upbeat and nice to read when you’re feeling down. I’m not going to list all of it here, though, THERE’S A LOT. Yamamoto's work generally features brothers (no incest) and it's occasionally enjoyable w/ some things, but some brother love triangles with the main guys get a little tedious at times, lmao.

Ai ga Love Shite You nanosa - by Jaryuu Dokuro. summary: A high school delinquent, Takeuchi, suspects that Oono, a top student and dress code committee member, hates him. (Due to Oono always reacting badly to Takeuchi every time there's a dress code check.) However, Takeuchi couldn't be farther from the truth. A fun and lighthearted school comedy and romance! (complete)

- Koko ni Aru, Kimi no Oto – by Moto Haruhira. summary: A struggling scriptwriter decides to take a hot springs trip to boost his creativity. While there, he meets a blind staff member at the inn and they begin to get along very well. (in progress)

- Hanakoi Tsurane (Vol 1 | Vol 2) - by Natsume Isaku. summary: I've really enjoyed this one so far!! Sougo is the heir of a Kabuki family and is an up-and-coming Kabuki actor, often playing onnagata (woman) roles. He never really cared much for any other Kabuki actors his age until he sees an outstanding performance by Gensuke, a student who attends his same high school and grade. Not wanting to be outdone, Sougo declares Gensuke to be his rival in acting. Not long after, however, Sougo is thrown into a performance together with Gensuke when he's asked to substitute for another actor. And Sougo begins to learn that his ~rival~ is not at all what he'd thought him to be. It's a fun series! And it goes into some nice detail with acting and Kabuki theater productions as well! (in progress)

- Ameiro Paradox (Vol 1 | Vol 2 | Vol 3) - by Natsume Isaku. summary: A change in the investigative reporting team at his news job lands Onoe, a journalist, a position with working on stakeouts with the lone-wolf photographer, Kaburagi. Onoe has always secrety considered Kaburagi to be his rival and, at first meeting, their personalities seem to clash. However, in joint pursuit of scandals, they begin to start caring for each other and start learning how to communicate with each other well and support one another. IT'S SO GOOD. While there are heavy subjects of espionage and spying and discussions of morality, it's all wrapped up in a romcom atmosphere and I honestly don't think I've laughed so much over a BL in a while. They are a ridiculous and very endearing couple and it's so much fun to watch them work together and watch their relationship develop, often while they're trying to stay undercover. (in progress w/ a spin-off)

- Umibe no Etranger and Harukaze no Etranger – by Kii Kanna. summary: This is honestly one of my ultimate favorite yaoi manga of all time. (It’s seriously beautiful.) Umibe (the first manga) covers the beginning of Mio and Shuns’ romance. Harukaze covers them ~meeting the family~ and living with them. Shun is a writer and Mio is a part-timer. It addresses their struggles with their families/lack of family and it’s all handled with a very soft and bittersweet tone and is SO nicely written and just gets better as it goes along. It also openly addresses mental illnesses  and some good discussions of sexuality, adoption, family and other things later on. It’s just. ARGH. IT’S SO GOOD. (And Kii Kanna’s art is gorgeous.) (in progress)

- Yuki no Shita no Qualia – also by Kii Kanna. summary: It doesn’t quite have the same tone of the above manga, but it’s still very soft, bittersweet, good and wonderfully thoughtful. Two college men reminisce on their pasts, and how they’ve dealt with loss, and begin to work through things. (tw for brief assault) (complete)

- Ichi Ni No San - by Okuyama Puku. summary: Sort of a breezy high school comedy. After a trio of friends enter high school, puberty hits pretty hard, lol, and they're faced with all of the sudden, weird changes and dating gossip that teenagerhood entails. When Suzu, the only girl in the trio, starts dating another guy, Bun and Choco (as they're so nicknamed) who are two guys, begin assessing their growing feelings for each other. Mostly a lot of silly, oblivious teens just bein' teens. And the art style is so gorgeous and cute! (complete)

- Akai Ito no Shikkou Yuuyo - by Yoshio Akira. summary: For his entire life, Kei has had the ability to see people's red threads of fate (sort of similar to soulmate mythology) - and has never really liked it. When he enters college, he discovers that his own string links to another fellow, male student, Hiro. And, in spite of Kei having a crush on a different girl, and attempting to completely avoid Hiro, they begin to grow closer anyway. When this happens, Kei can't help but wonder if it's fate pushing them together against his will - and if he should fight against it, or if he's genuinely starting to like Hiro. (While Hiro has already completely fallen for him.) (complete)

- Given – by Kizu Natsuki. summary: SO GOOD. (And the art is excellent.) A high school student, and member of a garage band, stumbles across another mysterious student who begs him to fix his broken guitar and teach him how to play it. The story and characters aren't really what they seem to be on the surface, and how they each grow to understand one other and the connections they have, and how they learn to move on or mourn, is beautifully poignant. (tw: for suicide/overdose - none of the main characters, and brief domestic abuse) (in-progress)

- Nee Senpai, Oshiete Yo - by Kojima Lalako. summary: The very un-athletic Hirano starts attending a sports-geared boarding school in order to escape from an overwhelming home environment. While there, he's assigned a school guide - the closed-off and mysterious Morioka, an upperclassman surrounded by dark rumors, who very clearly doesn't want the job. Lol, in spite of the synopsis, it's actually pretty fluffy and funny and very enjoyable, with some nice character development. (tw for some bullying) (complete)

Koi ni mo Naranai - by Hagi. summary: A student, Tajima, finds a fellow classmate and neighbor, Koga, crying one day. He learns that Koga's favorite pet goldfish was killed by a neighborhood cat. (Which is, unfortunately, Tajima's own pet cat.) They end up growing closer, but Tajima wonders just how he'll be able to break it to Koga that it was (pretty much) his fault. (in-progress)

Oh My Hero! - by Kokomi. summary: Inui Chihiro works as a sentai stage-play actor and befriends a single father and his young son, Minoru and Hikari, who frequent the productions he's a part of. A little impulsively, Minoru and Chihiro start up a relationship and begin to find that they're really compatible, talk a lot and get along very well, and start falling in love. It's so sweet and very full of quiet, domestic goodness and the two men being great and supportive dads to Hikari. (tw for some homophobia) (complete)

- Amadare no Koro - by Momoko Suika. summary: Suguru and Yoshiichi, two students at a private middle school, work through some big life changes together. It's a contemplative and quiet sort of childhood friends romance story. Really nice! (tw for some brief homophobia) (complete)

Metro Dog - by Kusama Sakae. summary: Shinoda, a businessman still struggling with the aftermath of a divorce, moves into a new part of town and attempts to settle in. One night, after work, he literally stumbles across an antique shop and strikes up a conversation with the proprietor, Asukura, over some coffee... And keeps coming back for conversations and coffee with Asukura. Just a really nice and thoughtful slice of life/romance that insists, like kintsugi, that there is still value to be found in broken things. (tw for some homophobia) (complete)

- Doukyuusei – by Nakamura Asumiko. summary: It’s a pretty well-known series, I guess, lol. (There’s an anime movie that’s very well-done, too, and I’d highly rec it.) Kind of a typical high school romance – the easygoing (and slightly ‘bad-boyish’) guy and the shy, nerdy and somewhat uptight guy end up falling for each other. It’s very cute, though, and the two of them become a great, supportive couple. (brief tw for some slight teacher/student romance.) (complete with some extras)

- Ganbare! Nakamura-kun!! - by Syundei. summary: I've really enjoyed this series so much! The art style is really cute as well. (Kinda hailing back to Takahashi Rumiko and some 90s manga styles. Although this series is newer, lol, and done around 2015-2017.) It's such a fun high school comedy. The main character, Nakamura has a giant crush on his classmate, Hirose. And, through different events and pitfalls and school adventures, and some actual good communication, they begin to grow closer. It's also been licensed in English, so please, do go buy it!! (in-progress)

- Koi Made Hyakurin – by Amagakure Gido. summary: kind of another romcom! Kotaro has been obsessed with all things Yakuza since childhood, and strives to be the shining example of one. When he notices the quiet neighborhood florist, Toraji, take down a purse thief singlehandedly, Kotaro is determined to make Toraji his mentor. (complete, with some spinoffs which are also worth reading.) (tw for a creepy, predatory character and some major age gap stuff, which I'm typically uncomfortable with, but it's not terrible, here.)

Other oneshots by Amagakure Gido can be found HERE.

- Amagakure Gido has a lot of other great manga, including some very cute yuri, as well as Amaama to Inazuma, about a single dad learning to cook, which was made into an anime!

- Itadakimasu, Gochisousama! – by Kurahashi Tomo. summary: Hiroto, a chef and boarding house owner, ends up taking in Haru, a carefree young man who has been kicked out of his apartment. Things at the boarding house begin to get a little more interesting. (complete)

- All Night Long - by Muno summary: A college student, Noboru, begins questioning his sexuality and comes to the conclusion that he's gay. He decides that he wants to know more and becomes acquainted with with another student, Tomohiro, who is also gay. They become friends with benefits, but Noboru finds himself wanting more from the relationship... and things progress from there! Just a nice, slice-of-life romance story. (tw for some homophobia) (complete)

- The Killer – by Kanai Kei. summary: Yuuya is an efficient, no-nonsense bartender who charms his customers with ease. Sometimes, this brings unwanted advances, however, and, one night, he's rescued from an uncomfortable encounter by a frequent patron, Haibara. Yuuya totally falls for Haibara, but it's difficult for him to tell just what Haibara thinks of him in return. Nicely upbeat and calming. (And the title has nothing to do with murder, just ftr. And much more to do with Yuuya being a charmer lolol.) (complete)

- That Probably Means I'm Dear to You - by Minaduki Yuu. summary: After an injury, Kumagaya gave up on his dreams of becoming a pro athlete and took up a job with a moving truck business, wanting to put his past behind himself as much as possible. He ends up reuniting with an arrogant and pretentious old, high school acquaintance, Ino, when he helps him move into a new apartment. But when Kumagaya finds that Ino keeps a pet hamster that he dotes on, he begins to wonder just what kind of person Ino actually is. I enjoyed the exploration of bottled-up emotions and loneliness in this series quite a lot. The two characters are pretty flawed and prickly, but they begin to work well together and start to come to terms with some personal difficulties and healing. (complete)

- Hare no Hi – by Asada Nemui. summary: A gay father discovers that his son is also gay and is going through some of the same experiences that he'd had as a teenager. The story illustrates generational differences, insecurities and inner struggles, and some great hopes for the future. Really good! (complete)

- Tatoeba Konna Koi no Hanashi - by Hamada Kamome. summary: Kind of an interesting, biographical story about a gay guy who met his boyfriend through a cooking blog that he started up online. The mangaka based it on an actual story and consulted the guy. (Who has some commentary in the end part.) And apparently the guy's mom is a BL mangaka, too, so he grew up helping her out a lot and cooking for her and her assistants at home a lot. It's pretty interesting! (tw for some homophobia, relationship issues.) (complete, i think.)

Koi Monogatari - by Tagura Tohru. summary: I've REALLY LIKED this one so far. It's pretty nicely and realistically written. High school student, Hasegawa, notices that Yoshinaga, a fellow classmate and acquaintance, might possibly be gay. When Yoshinaga confirms this, Hasegawa begins wondering what he can do to make Yoshinaga feel more comfortable in their friends group and starts to try to learn more about gay people. It's just so thoughtfully written and really, deeply addresses a lot of the fears and issues that some gay people have in regards to coming out, publicly. And really has some excellent relationship development and thoughts on relationships and friendships and trust. (tw for some characters being outed before they were ready (and this action really being called out/well addressed!) some bullying, homophobia and family and relationship issues, some teacher/student romance with some side characters.) (in progress)

Sweet Crazy Days - by Mofumofu Edako. summary: Haru, a chef, and Meiji, a writer, have been dating since high school and living together for a few years as adults. When a new chef takes up a job at Haru's workplace, and begins prying into Haru's life, things become a little chaotic. Really liked it, in spite of how short it was! Haru and Meiji have a pretty good balance together. There are also some major implications that Meiji has severe depression/anxiety and other characters criticize Haru for having a relationship with someone so 'unstable'. However, Haru continues to be there for Meiji, in spite of others' doubts and comments otherwise. Nicely written! (Definitely some tw for ableism and some dysfunctional relationship stuff.) (complete)

- Strategic Management of Love - by Mofumofu Edako. summary: An office-worker oneshot. I've enjoyed this mangaka's work for their really straightforward approaches? They'll play with tropes that you expect to go a certain disastrous way, but they'll subvert them and turn them into something really wholesome and pleasant and I LIKE IT. :p Anyway. Hoshino is promoted to working on projects with the very efficient Osaki. There are rumors swirling around that Osaki is gay and very promiscuous, but as Hoshino gets to know Osaki, he decides to work on forming his own opinions.

- Hana to Kurumi to Amai Seikatsu – by Ryouko. summary: The main character starts working as a florist for his admired mentor’s demanding and high-maintenance younger brother. (complete)

- Hana nomi zo Shiru – by Takarai Rihito. summary: Very pretty art! Youichi is a popular and well-liked college student. However, when he meets the aloof and quiet Misaki, he begins to feel determined to get to know more about him. (complete) (tw: some abuse and sexual abuse, age gap stuff re. a side character.)

- Focus – by Nishi Noriko. summary: A photographer on a trip to an island for an exhibition meets the quiet owner of a gallery and decides to take a chance on him. A great and feelings-filled manga that explores closure, what constitutes as healthy/good relationships and the differences between people in relationships. (complete)

- Blue Sky Complex – by Ichikawa Kei. summary: Sort of a typical high school romance, with the whole 'delinquent falls for the studious boy' sort of thing, but it's decently written and I've really enjoyed the exploration of both characters. Narasaki often wants to escape from his loud family at home and he's constantly trying to find quiet places to read. After a teacher catches him skipping school, he's assigned desk duty at the little-used school library with the apparently unsociable delinquent, Terashima, whom he discovers enjoys reading as well. Narasaki starts relishing their quiet afternooons together. The two also start their relationship earlier on in the story and it goes more into depth with the two of them learning more about one another and working through issues together. Which is always kind of nice and refreshing! It's very interesting! And it's fun to see them growing kinder and more thoughtful about each other and the people around them as time goes on. (complete)

- Slow Starter - by Ichikawa Kei. summary: Kiyo and Ino, two students attending different schools, frequently meet each other on the same train but never really talk. One day, however, Kiyo oversleeps on the train and is awoken by Ino, and, from that point on, they begin chatting more and become good friends. Lots of nice, sleepy public transportation feels. (complete) (there's apparently a sequel series coming up, too)

- Seven Days – by Takarai Rihito. summary: Another high school romance! REALLY nicely done. Yuzuru Shino has good looks, but his blunt, rude and unapologetic personality don’t quite match. Once girls get to know him, they usually end up dumping him. Shino finds that one of his schoolmates, the mysterious and well-known ladies-man Seryou Touji, has been the center of some rumors: Seryou will agree to date anyone who asks him out on a Monday and will then dump them by the end of the week. However, during that time, he treats the person he’s dating respectfully and makes them feel very happy, and most people leave the relationship satisfied. On a whim, Shino (somewhat fed up with never having a fulfilling relationship) jokingly asks Seryou out, is surprised when he accepts, and their one week of dating begins. There's a live-action movie as well (part 1 | part 2) which is pretty nice! But, personally, lol, there were a few tiny things about the movie that bothered me too much. (complete)

- Mazu wa, Hitokuchi – by Moto Haruhira. summary: Hasegawa, a hot-headed lawyer, gets caught up in the secret business of his childhood friend, Oda, a mild-mannered farmer. Hasegawa ends up having to help protect the secret of his friend's farm when word reaches media that the pigs on the Oda farm can fly. VERY CUTE and sweet. (tw for some internalized homophobia?) (complete)

- Rutta to Kodama – by Fujitani Youko. summary: Kodama becomes roommates with the former delinquent, Rutta, at their boarding school. A nicely feelingsy school romance. The art might seem a tad rough at first, but it gets better. (complete)

- Dame na Yatsu Hodo Kawaii (chapter 2 only!) - by Ueda Niku. summary: a oneshot set at an all-boy school. a student finds out that a friend of his has mutual feelings with another boy. initially, he's unsure of what to think, but he wants to support his friends and he becomes more curious about his own sexuality. (tw for homophobia, internalized homophobia.)

- Tomodachi Ijou no Koto, Shitai – by Kurahashi Tomo. summary: Two childhood friends become roommates in college and there’s a SHITTON of pining from both sides, without either one of them realizing they're in love with each other. Eventually, something slips. ENJOY. (complete)

- Shiawase Gohan by Nanoka. summary: A ridiculously charming and soft slice of life manga about a gay couple cooking things for their daily meals and looking after their pet rabbit, Pyon. Overall it has a very upbeat tone, but there is some slight drama.This manga just makes me so happy and it also addresses some LGBT issues realistically later on. (tw re. some of Maki's anxiety over coming out to his mom in high school - but it went really really well - and I was so pleasantly surprised as the chapter progressed! Hana's family issues + homophobia, brief suicidal ideation.) (complete)

- The Same Time As Always, the Same Place As Always - by Hashimoto Aoi. summary: Uda runs a food cart business, serving up pancakes and Vietnamese banh mi and coffee, with the hopes that he'll be able to save up enough to start his own cafe someday. A regular customer, Sasai, is a rather quiet graphic designer and often visits the food cart to escape from the stresses of work. They hit it off and begin talking a lot! It's just PURE, SWEET FLUFF. And their relationship develops so naturally and they're so genuinely nicely supportive of each other as they start becoming friends. IT'S SO FLUFFY. LIKE FLUFFY PANCAKES. (tw: for some bullying, sorta.) (in progress)

Good Morning, Good Night And Then - by Hamada Komome. summary: A slice of life romance between two restaurant workers, Kaitou and Isuku. They initially start off as roommates, while one attends college, and then start up a relationship together. A lot of the focus is on growing up and pursuing your dreams and goals realistically. The two are immensely supportive of each other and try hard to communicate well - each wanting to balance out the other and keeping conversation open on difficult things/expressing feelings more. Which is really nice! And there's lots of domestic, living-together-in-an-apartment (cleaning, cooking, laundry) fluff. Nice, calming and enjoyable so far! (in progress)

- Yamete Kudasai, Mabushii Desu – by Hiwatari Haruki. summary: The fluffiest and most adorable high school romance. Sasano has always liked soft and cute things and starts falling for his classmate, the very cute and popular Koga. (complete, with a spinoff in progress.)

- Shimanami Tasogare – by Kamatani Yuhki. (Mangaka of Nabari no Ou.) summary: Super interesting and one-of-a-kind manga. The main character is a gay, male high school student with a crush on one of his classmates. One day, after thinking that he might have been outed, he attempts suicide, but is stopped by the owner of a nearby lounge. Said lounge happens to host a number of other LGBT people, each with their own stories. (There's a lesbian couple, a questioning/possibly trans female kid and another who is a transman.) I don’t quite think I’ve EVER seen a fictional story that handles LGBT issues so carefully or sincerely or with such attention to detail and genuine emotions. It’s amazingly done. I’m not sure how things will play out, but, for the time being, I’d highly, highly recommend it. (in progress) (tw: homophobia and transphobia, suicidal ideation, body dysphoria.)

ANIME:

- Yuri!!! On Ice – I REALLY PROBABLY WOULDN'T CLASSIFY THIS AS BL. However, the central (actual, legit canon!) romantic relationship IS between two men (and there are a lot of gay themes/inspiration from some actual LGBT athletes) and it's an anime - which is why I'm including it here. It was geared toward mainstream media much more as a sports series/romcom because the producers didn't want it to be a fetishized and overtly sexual yaoi-type relationship for a lot of various reasons. They just wanted it to be a normal romance and relationship between two dudes, who work through things together and grow closer.
Katsuki Yuuri, who is a Japanese figure skater, suffers a crushing defeat at the annual Grand Prix Final - one of the world's largest figure skating competitions next to the Olympics - after receiving some bad news from home. It comes as a very heavy blow to him, and he decides to return to live with his family in southern Japan in order to sort out just what he should do from then on - whether he should retire or continue on for another season. After one of Yuuri's practice routines goes viral on YouTube, Victor Nikiforov, Russian figure skater + world champion (and Yuuri's lifelong idol) suddenly shows up at Yuuri's home and offers to coach him, much to Yuuri's total bewilderment. (There are lots of other important skaters, but I'm mostly just covering the main relationship, here.) The series takes some getting into, initially, but the latter half gets better and there's an interesting and unexpected plot twist that changes everything and balances out Yuuri and Victors' dynamic. (Which will make you want to re-watch the series just so you can see it from Victor's very different perspective, and why he initially acted the way he did, rather than solely from Yuuri's point of view.) It's honestly quite fun and the developing relationship between Yuuri and Victor becomes sweetly romantic as time goes on. (tw: some weight/binge-eating issues, Yuuri's severe anxiety, panic attacks, mentions of animal/pet death and illnesses. (Don't worry about Makkachin, lol. Just FYI.)) (complete, a movie and possible second season in the works.)

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