As the demand for BL (Boys' Love) shows increases, anime producers are also keen on leveling up their coverage of the rising genre. In this article, we've covered 25 of the best BL anime to watch of all time for your viewing pleasure!
The anime industry continuously changes over the years, which allows various anime genres to arise for the developing demographic.
Boys' Love and Girls' Love enthusiasts need not hide in the shadows anymore as the anime industry has embraced the genre twice as much.
Boys' Love, also known as Shounen Ai, depicts the narrative of love transpiring between two boys or men.
Without further ado, here are the 25 best BL anime (not including BL anime OVAs) to watch of all time:
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
If you want something that is a bit different from other BL anime out there, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window will give you the right amount of horror and mystery along with BL elements.
The anime centers on the introverted bookstore clerk, Mikado Kousuke, who has the ability to see the paranormal, and the exorcist, Hiyakawa Rihito.
Together, they solve the bizarre cases that come their way while growing closer to each other.
Released in 2006, Gakuen Heaven is one of the early harem-themed anime that is based on a visual novel. If you are into BL anime with a lot of bishounen and eye candies, then this one is for you.
Gakuen Heaven follows the fortunate story of Itou Keita as he enrolls in the prestigious academy of Bell Liberty Academy for Boys, an exclusive school for the most privileged, talented, and beautiful.
Upon arrival, Keita attracts the attention of both the student council president, Niwa Tetsuya, and the secretary, Saionji Kaoru.
As he juggles his everyday school life, Keita begins to unravel the secret of his mysterious school invitation.
Set in a dystopian future, No.6 is a combination of genres such as BL, josei, sci-fi, thriller, and tragedy.
No.6 follows the story of a boy named Shion, who lives in an exclusive area, the titular city-state No.6.
Shion's life is changed forever after he rescues a runaway boy named Nezumi.
Gravitation is an anime that came out in the year 2000, a time when BL, shounen ai, and yaoi were still on the rise among anime fans who didn’t perceive the genre well before.
Based on the manga by Murakami Maki, the premise centers on the aspiring professional singer and high school student Shindou Shuichi, who falls in love with the famous novelist Yuki Eiri.
Together with his long-time friend Nakano Hiroshi, Shindou forms a band to achieve his dream.
The story tackles Shindou’s dream of becoming a professional singer amidst the harsh reality of the industry and Shindou's growing feelings for Yuki.
With likable and relatable characters, catchy music, and an interesting premise, the anime will surely leave you with a heart-warming feeling that will make you want to watch more.
Hitorijime, My Hero
Hitorijime, My Hero is based on the spin-off manga of the same name by Arii Memeco. Despite its low ratings on anime databases (perhaps due to the prejudice against BL anime), Hitorijime, My Hero is still a must-watch for BL fangirls out there.
The anime centers on the relationship between the helpless delinquent student, Setagawa Masahiro, and his high school teacher, Ooshiba Kousuke.
The story begins to develop as Kousuke decides to protect Masahiro from bullies. While Kousuke denies his interest in Masahiro, he begins to closely involve himself with Masahiro.
While the anime has a confusing start, it becomes better and better as the story progresses.
It is a romantic story that can soothe your tired and stressed-out nerves from other anime.
Based on the manga written by Eiki Eiki, Love Stage follows the nerdy and outcast Izumi, who was born into a family of celebrities.
With a huge responsibility and familial pressure, Izumi is torn between following his dreams to become a mangaka and following in the footsteps of his family.
One day, Izumi accidentally meets Ichijou Ryoma, who mistakes Izumi for a woman and falls head over heels in love with him. It turns out that Ryoma has met Izumi 10 years ago.
Love Stage is a light-hearted BL comedy with a bit of romantic teasing. It is a must-watch for every BL anime fan, although it is quite short with only 10 episodes on its slate.
Antique Bakery is one of the more familiar BL anime titles, as it came out in 2008. Its story revolves around two former classmates, Tachibana Keiichirou and Ono Yuusuke.
Keiichirou owns the cake shop Antique, and he invites the genius protégé baker Ono Yuusuke to work for him.
The story develops as Yuusuke comes out of the closet and begins his advances toward Keiichirou.
The anime is unique and has a fresh take on the BL genre.
With a solid storyline composed of comedy, angst, and realistic drama, Antique Bakery wows fans with its plot and amazing character development, not to mention the sublime voice acting that keeps viewers interested until the end.
Kyo Kara Maoh!
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable isekai anime ever, Kyo Kara Maoh! has a lot of obvious boy-on-boy action, romantic tension, and bishounen for BL fans to fuss about.
Although it has been released for quite some time now, Kyo Kara Maoh! remains a decent watch for anime fans, whether they love BL or not.
From its interesting take on the isekai narrative to its ridiculous antics, Kyo Kara Maoh! is a must-watch! With some light and soft BL elements, this anime is perfect for any isekai fan.
Kyo Kara Maoh! follows the story of Yuuri Shibuya after getting pulled into the school toilet transport into a world where humans and mazoku exist.
Due to his hair and eyes being considerably black, he takes on the role of the next Maoh (King of the Mazoku) to solve the kingdom’s problems and pacify the relationship between humans and mazoku.
Loveless is a must-watch anime that has a lot of value-adding elements, making it deserving of another season, and perhaps, another reboot.
Loveless is a combination of fantasy, angst, and the josei genre based on the manga by Kouga Yun.
It centers on the twelve-year-old Aoyagi Ritsuka as he becomes Agatsuma Sobi’s partner in fighting an organization called Nanatsu no Tsuki.
Together, they become Fighter and Sacrifice, and begin investigating the death of Ritsuka’s brother, Seimei.
A BL anime that stays true to its source material, Loveless is a series that has a lot of interesting characters, unexpected twists, and pleasant combat scenes.
Despite its controversial and heavily criticized history, Super Lovers has successfully spawned two seasons and an OVA since its release in 2016.
Although 2016 was an emerging and uprising year for the LGBTQIA+ community, many anime fans did not like Super Lovers.
Super Lovers follows the story of high school boy Haru and his adoptive younger brother Ren. They grew closer together after Haru’s mother started living overseas.
With the responsibility of looking over the wild and aloof Ren, Haru needs to go beyond Ren’s personal walls.
Despite the anime’s fast pace, it has good character and plot development.
So, if you're looking for a feel-good anime to watch for a while, Super Lovers will do it right for you.
One of the most popular BL animes ever, Junjo Romantica has spawned three seasons and an OVA.
Based on the manga by Nakamura Shungiku, the anime follows the story of Misaki and Usami, who are student and tutor, respectively.
Misaki starts having confusing feelings and odd problems after reading Usami’s shocking book about him licking every inch of Usami’s hot body.
Although the anime has a lot of smut and explicit content, Junjo Romantica deserves a spot on our list because of its popularity and well-received comedy and romance aspects.
This is a definite must-watch for any fangirls out there!
Heaven's Official Blessing
Heaven’s Official Blessing is an action-adventure supernatural Chinese anime that focuses on the Crown Prince of Xian Le, Xie Lian, as he returns to the mortal realm to exorcise ghosts after ascending to heaven for the third time.
Xie Lian is a deity that was previously beloved by his followers for 800 years.
However, he becomes the laughing stock of the citizens after he gets kicked out of heaven three times.
In order to make up for the crimes committed by his followers, including violence, plague, multiple demotions, and even poverty, Xie Lian needs to exorcise ghosts to ascend to heaven again.
Not long after, he meets Hua Cheng, the richest and most dangerous of the Three Devastation Demons and one of the Four Great Calamities. He had been keeping an eye on Xie Lian for quite a long time.
They embark on an action-packed adventure to uncover the dark secrets of the heavenly realm.
It is one of the most highly anticipated Chinese anime, with smooth animation, a dynamic duo, and an enjoyable narrative that even non-BL fans can enjoy.
Yuri on Ice
One of the most popular, feel-good, and heartwarming BL animes is Yuri on Ice. In a nutshell, Yuri on Ice features beautiful bishounen boys skating on ice with one-of-a-kind animation.
It follows the story of Katsuki Yuri, a Japanese professional ice skater who’s on the verge of retiring until he meets the five-time consecutive Grand Prix Champion, Viktor Nikiforov, as well as his Russian protege, Yuri Plisetsky.
With Viktor's coaching and guidance, Katsuki Yuri continues to skate in the beautiful, yet harsh reality of ice skating.
The anime shows a lot of BL scenes but doesn’t go beyond its limitations. It also hints at a blooming romance between Viktor and Yuri but doesn’t confirm nor deny the obvious romantic tension.
It is an anime about friendship and features gorgeous ice-skating scenes and beautiful animation.
One of the most popular BL anime thus far, Banana Fish is a solid watch from start to finish.
From the best action-packed scenes to the most touching moments, Banana Fish is a rewarding watch for all BL fans.
Putting aside the BL elements, the anime still appeals to non-BL fans because of its dark and hyper-violent narrative, terrific characters, and catchy music.
Set in New York, Banana Fish follows the story of 17-year-old Ash Lynx and the kind Japanese cameraman assistant, Eiji Okumura.
In one fateful encounter, Ash was entrusted by a murdered man with a mysterious thing while uttering the phrase "Banana Fish".
Just like Banana Fish, Given is well-received and recognized by a lot of anime fans.
From its interesting concept and fresh take on BL anime, Given’s music radiates and resonates among viewers, especially its feature song that will drive you to tears.
Given follows the story of Ritsuka Uenoyama and his losing passion for music.
One day, he accidentally overhears the singing voice of Satou Mafuyu, which changed his perspective on music.
With its very fluid character development, well-animated sequences, touching moments, and beautiful music, Given is a recommended watch among all anime fans.
Dakaichi: I’m being harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year
Despite its lengthy name, the premise of Dakaichi is fairly straightforward. It centers on the former most lovable idol, Takato Saijo, and the newcomer, Junta Azumaya.
When Junta takes Takato's title, he becomes depressed and drowns himself in alcohol. Junta messes up Takato's depressing act, much to Takato's chagrin.
What will happen now that Junta is blackmailing Takato for physical affection?
Dakaichi is a 13-episode TV anime that debuted in the fall of 2018.
Sasaki and Miyano
This list of BL anime would be incomplete without Sasaki and Miyano.
Sasaki and Miyano is a 12-episode TV anime produced by Studio DEEN that premiered during the winter 2022 anime season. It has been so successful that an OVA is currently in the works.
Sasaki and Miyano follows Miyano, a BL manga reader who becomes involved in a scuffle with the delinquent Sasaki.
What happens when two diametrically opposed individuals collide?
As Sasaki becomes more intrigued by Miyano's fiery personality, it will only be a matter of time before the two of them become closer together.
The Titan’s Bride
The Titan’s Bride, also known as Kyojin-zoku no Hanayome, is a BL and isekai anime.
It is produced by Studio Hokiboshi, the same studio that has produced Reincarnated Into Demon King Evelogia’s World, Mori no Kuma-san, Toumin-chuu, and Fire in His Fingertips.
The Titan's Bride, which was released in 2020, follows high school graduate Kouichi Mizuki, who is summoned to another world by Prince Caius of Eustil.
It turns out that Kouichi got transported to a world of titans, where he must marry Prince Caius!
What will happen to Kouichi in the land of the giants? Will he be able to coexist with his colossal groom?
Taishou Mebiusline: Chicchai-san
Despite its short run time, Taishou Mebiusline: Chicchai-san is a very interesting BL anime with a huge potential to develop into something amazing.
Taishou Mebiusline: Chicchai-san is based on a visual novel and is produced by Studio A-Cat, the same studio that animated Frame Arms Girl, LBX Girls, and Amazing Stranger.
It centers on Hiiragi Kyoichiro, who has a special ability to see the spirits of the dead. This led the Japanese army to hunt him down.
Set in the Taishou era, Kyoichiro only wants to finish school and return to his village as a great man.
Sukisho is a BL anime based on a visual novel that combines comedy, drama, romance, and school life. It was produced by Zexcs and released in the winter of 2005.
Its story follows Hashiba Sora, an amnesiac, as he attempts to reshape his life after a mysterious accident.
Sora gets to meet his childhood friend and now roommate, Fujimori Sunao.
Things take an unexpected turn when Sora discovers that Sunao has a secret identity as Ran.
Can Sora regain his memories amidst all of the distractions coming his way?
Hikari: Be My Light
Hikari: Be My Light is the only BL anime on this list that lacks voice actors due to the lack of dialogue!
Despite this, Hikari: Be My Light is the ideal BL anime that demonstrates that dialogue is not necessary to tell a compelling story.
This BL anime will also take you on an emotional rollercoaster, as it will make you feel upset and satisfied at the same time.
Hikari: Be My Light follows a depressed office worker and a university student.
Despite being polar opposites, the anime will demonstrate how two opposite beings can come together.
Drowning Sorrows Raging in Fire
If you enjoy fast-paced and exciting BL anime, Drowning Sorrows Raging in Fire could be your next show.
It also has an intricate storyline and interesting characters, which will make watching the show more exciting than ever.
Drowning Sorrows Raging in Fire is about Xuan Ji and Qi Zheng Emperor Sheng Lingyuan's relationship in an era when people are either normal or had special abilities.
It also has an intricate storyline and interesting characters, which will make watching the show more exciting than ever.
While these two characters are polar opposites, it appears that they have a shared history.
This BL anime follows the adventures of the world's greatest genius, Luo Xiao, and the affluent prince, Yan An Cheng, as they travel from one location to another in search of clues about the legendary Heavenly Stairway.
However, along the way, they come across strange cases and discover a hidden conspiracy.
Caramel Honey is more of a motion comic than an anime, which may turn off viewers and potentially trigger them to abandon the series
However, giving Caramel Honey a chance is still worthwhile due to its cute moments and the characters' unique art style.
This BL anime/motion comic follows Ayato, a transfer student hoping for a fresh start at a new school.
Unfortunately, Ayato's new school is teeming with delinquents, and one in particular, Yuusei, has his sights set on him!
My Handsome Fairy Manager
My Handsome Fairy Manager, another Chinese animation on the list, follows an industrial management graduate named Li Gang who finds himself working a too-good-to-be-true job as a night shift patrol at Shizhou Homeland.
On his first day at work, he meets the handsome night shift manager Zhu Jiu, and Li Gang's life has never been the same since!
He not only encounters ghosts but also creatures of all kinds who live in Shizhou Homeland!
Bonus: You can also watch 07-Ghost, Black Butler, Spirit Pact, and Cardcaptor Sakura (if you ship Touya and Yukito).
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