In the world of manga, the Boys’ Love (BL) genre has been steadily gaining popularity over the years. With its focus on romantic relationships between male characters, BL manga offers a unique reading experience that has captivated fans across the globe.
Whether you’re a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the genre, there are countless stories to explore that will tug at your heartstrings and keep you hooked.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the top 20 BL manga of all time, which have left an indelible mark on the genre with their storytelling, art, and impact. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be swept away by these extraordinary tales of love and passion.
Junjou Romantica by Shungiku Nakamura
Junjou Romantica is a beloved classic in the BL genre, known for its captivating storylines and engaging characters. This series revolves around three different couples, each with their own unique dynamic and love story.
The main couple, Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko Usami, navigate the complexities of their relationship as they deal with personal insecurities and societal expectations. Junjou Romantica boasts a perfect blend of romance, comedy, and drama, making it a must-read for any BL fan.
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi by Shungiku Nakamura
From the same creator as Junjou Romantica, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is another fan-favorite BL manga series that has captured the hearts of readers. Set in the world of manga publishing, the story follows Ritsu Onodera, a young editor who finds himself working under the supervision of his high school crush, Masamune Takano.
As the two rekindle their romance amidst workplace drama and the pressures of the publishing industry, readers are treated to a compelling story filled with humor, heartache, and the undeniable power of love.
Love Stage!! by Eiki Eiki and Taishi Zaou
Love Stage!! is a charming BL manga that follows the life of Izumi Sena, the only member of his showbiz family who dreams of becoming a manga artist instead of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
When Izumi is forced to participate in a commercial alongside famous actor Ryoma Ichijo, their encounter leads to unexpected feelings and a whirlwind romance. Love Stage!! offers a delightful blend of humor, romance, and the challenges of self-discovery, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a lighthearted and heartwarming BL story.
Ten Count by Rihito Takarai
Ten Count is a captivating BL manga that explores the intricacies of love and the challenges of mental health. The story follows Shirotani Tadaomi, a man with severe mysophobia, and Kurose Riku, a therapist who offers to help Shirotani overcome his condition.
As their relationship evolves from a professional one to something deeper, readers are taken on an emotional journey filled with personal growth and the transformative power of love. With its engaging storyline and beautiful artwork, Ten Count is a memorable addition to the BL genre that will leave you eagerly anticipating each new development.
Yarichin Bitch Club by Ogeretsu Tanaka
Yarichin Bitch Club is a provocative and hilarious BL manga that has quickly gained a dedicated fanbase. The story follows Takashi Touno, a young man who transfers to an all-boys school and finds himself unexpectedly joining the notorious “Yarichin Bitch Club.”
As Touno navigates his new environment, he becomes entangled in a web of lust, love, and friendship. With its bold storytelling, captivating characters, and steamy scenes, Yarichin Bitch Club is a thrilling read that pushes the boundaries of the BL genre.
Given by Natsuki Kizu
Given is a heartwarming and emotionally resonant BL manga that revolves around the world of music. The story follows Ritsuka Uenoyama, a talented guitarist who loses interest in music until he meets Mafuyu Sato, a boy with a beautiful singing voice and a tragic past.
As the two join forces to form a band, their love story unfolds alongside the captivating world of music they create together. With its stunning art, well-developed characters, and deeply emotional storylines, Given is a must-read for fans of both BL and music-themed manga.
Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida
While not a traditional BL manga, Banana Fish has earned a spot on this list due to its intense and emotionally charged story, as well as the deep bond between its two main characters, Ash Lynx and Eiji Okumura.
Set in New York City, this action-packed series follows Ash, a skilled gang leader, and Eiji, a Japanese journalist, as they unravel the dark secrets behind a mysterious drug called “Banana Fish.”
With its gripping narrative, complex characters, and the undeniable connection between Ash and Eiji, Banana Fish is a must-read for fans of crime dramas and intense emotional storytelling.
Honto Yajuu by Yamamoto Kotetsuko
Honto Yajuu is a delightful and action-packed BL manga that tells the story of a rather unconventional romance. Aki Gotouda, a police officer with a strong sense of justice, crosses paths with Tomoharu Ueda, a member of the yakuza.
Despite their vastly different lifestyles, the two find themselves drawn to one another and embark on a whirlwind romance. Honto Yajuu offers a perfect blend of humor, action, and heartfelt moments, making it a standout entry in the BL genre.
Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu by Hashigo Sakurabi
Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu, also known as “Dakaichi,” is a popular BL manga that follows the competitive relationship between two successful actors, Takato Saijyo and Junta Azumaya. After Junta takes the title of “Most Huggable Man” from Takato, the two become rivals in both their professional and personal lives.
As they navigate the entertainment industry and their growing attraction to one another, Dakaichi offers a captivating and steamy romance filled with twists, turns, and plenty of drama. With its engaging plot and well-developed characters, this series is a must-read for fans of romance and showbiz-focused stories.
Finder Series by Ayano Yamane
The Finder Series is a thrilling and sensual BL manga that has captivated readers with its intense storylines and alluring art. The series follows Akihito Takaba, a freelance photographer who becomes entangled in the dangerous world of crime lord Asami Ryuichi.
As their paths continue to cross, the two develop a tumultuous and passionate relationship. With its blend of action, suspense, and romance, the Finder Series is an exhilarating read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai by Kou Yoneda
Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai, also known as “Twittering Birds Never Fly,” is a powerful and emotionally charged BL manga that explores the darker side of human nature. The story revolves around Yashiro, a yakuza boss with a penchant for masochism, and Doumeki, his stoic and loyal bodyguard.
As their relationship deepens, the two must navigate the treacherous world of organized crime and confront their own inner demons. With its complex characters, engaging narrative, and thought-provoking themes, Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai is an unforgettable entry in the BL genre.
Super Lovers by Miyuki Abe
Super Lovers is a heartwarming and emotionally engaging BL manga that tells the story of Haru Kaido and his adopted brother, Ren. After a tragic accident leaves Haru as Ren’s sole guardian, the two must navigate their new life together while gradually developing romantic feelings for one another.
With its blend of family drama, tender romance, and compelling character development, Super Lovers offers a touching and relatable story that will leave readers invested in the lives of its protagonists.
Gravitation by Maki Murakami
Gravitation is a classic BL manga that combines music, romance, and comedy to create a truly memorable story. The series follows aspiring musician Shuichi Shindo as he strives to make his band, Bad Luck, a success.
Along the way, Shuichi encounters the enigmatic and aloof romance novelist Eiri Yuki, and their lives become intertwined as they fall in love. With its engaging plot, lovable characters, and humorous moments, Gravitation has become a beloved staple in the world of BL manga.
Koisuru Boukun (The Tyrant Falls in Love) by Hinako Takanaga
Koisuru Boukun, also known as “The Tyrant Falls in Love,” is a fan-favorite BL manga that blends romance, comedy, and drama into a captivating narrative. The story revolves around Tetsuhiro Morinaga, a university student harboring a secret crush on his homophobic and domineering senpai, Souichi Tatsumi.
When circumstances bring them closer together, the two navigate a complicated and sometimes tumultuous relationship. With its well-developed characters and engaging storyline, Koisuru Boukun is a must-read for fans of the BL genre.
Crimson Spell by Ayano Yamane
Crimson Spell is a fantastical and action-packed BL manga that transports readers to a world of magic and adventure. The story follows Prince Vald, who is cursed to transform into a demon each night. To break the curse, he enlists the help of a powerful sorcerer named Halvir Hroptr.
As they embark on their quest, the two develop a deep bond that transcends friendship and blossoms into romance. With its rich world-building, enchanting artwork, and unforgettable characters, Crimson Spell is an enthralling addition to the BL genre.
Fake by Sanami Matoh
Fake is a classic BL manga that combines elements of action, mystery, and romance in a captivating narrative. The story follows NYPD officers Dee Laytner and Randy “Ryo” Maclean as they solve crimes and navigate their growing feelings for one another.
With its engaging plot, endearing characters, and the undeniable chemistry between Dee and Ryo, Fake has become a beloved staple in the world of BL manga.
Seven Days by Venio Tachibana and Rihito Takarai
Seven Days is a poignant and beautifully illustrated BL manga that tells the story of a fleeting high school romance. The narrative follows Yuzuru Shino, a popular but emotionally detached student who agrees to date anyone who asks him out for just one week.
When the quiet and serious Seryou Touji takes him up on his offer, the two find themselves unexpectedly drawn to one another. With its heartfelt exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery, Seven Days is a touching and unforgettable read.
No.6 by Atsuko Asano and Hinoki Kino
No.6 is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant BL manga set in a dystopian future. The story follows Shion, an intelligent and privileged boy living in the utopian city of No.6, and Nezumi, a fugitive who exposes Shion to the dark secrets lurking beneath the city’s perfect façade.
As the two form an unlikely alliance and uncover a sinister conspiracy, their bond deepens and transforms into something more profound. With its engaging plot, complex characters, and evocative themes, No.6 is a must-read for fans of both BL and dystopian fiction.
Doukyuusei (Classmates) by Asumiko Nakamura
Doukyuusei is a tender and heartwarming BL manga that follows the blossoming romance between two high school students, Rihito Sajou and Hikaru Kusakabe.
The story begins when Kusakabe offers to help Sajou prepare for an upcoming choral performance, and their relationship gradually evolves from friendship to love.
With its delicate artwork, relatable characters, and poignant exploration of first love, Doukyuusei is a delightful read that will leave you feeling both nostalgic and refreshed.
Hybrid Child by Shungiku Nakamura
Hybrid Child is a unique and touching BL manga from the creator of Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. The story revolves around “hybrid children,” lifelike androids capable of experiencing human emotions and forming deep connections with their owners.
Through a series of interconnected stories, readers are introduced to various hybrid children and their human companions, exploring themes of love, loss, and what it means to be truly alive. With its heartfelt narratives and beautiful artwork, Hybrid Child is a memorable addition to the BL genre that will leave you contemplating the true nature of love and humanity.
From heartwarming tales of first love to action-packed adventures and thought-provoking narratives, the BL genre offers a rich and diverse array of stories that explore the many facets of love and human connection.
These top 20 BL manga have left an indelible mark on the genre and continue to captivate fans around the world. We hope this list has inspired you to delve into the wonderful world of BL manga and experience these unforgettable love stories for yourself.