The idea for the list came while I was browsing the yaoi subreddit group, a small but active yaoi community. A newcomer to the genre listed some of the yaoi and boys love anime they had already watched and asked for some recommendations on essential watching for the genre. I answered the question there myself of course but then I got thinking. Why have I not made a list for this already on my blog? After all, I am Mistress of Yaoi and this is Yaoi Playground! So I present my top 10 Essential Boys Love and Yaoi Anime for any newcomer!
1. Junjou Romantica and Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi
I put these two together because well, if you watch one you will most likely also sit down and watch the other, plus they do share the same universe so when watching one you will occasionally see cameos in the background of characters from the other. Both of these series and the one that will be reviewed this Sunday I consider the modern gateway into the genre that is boys love and yaoi. Sweet and melodramatic both series will get you hooked right away and with each having three separate couples with their own relationship issues you are sure to find a couple you will want to root for while watching.
Next we have my gateway anime into the world of boys love and yaoi, Gravitation. Telling the story of the up and coming pop star Shindou Shuichi and his band Bad Luck he finds himself accidently falling in love with the popular author Eiri Yuki. What follows is a series containing moments that will make you laugh, make you cry and at times really make you hate certain characters!
An adorable anime movie about the clumsiness of first love and growing up and an anime I really, really need to get around to reviewing. Sajou and Kusakabe could not be more different, one being an honor student trying to please everyone else and the other not really sure what he wants in his future. A chance meeting alone in a classroom turns into a friendship and then buds into something more that neither boy seems to completely understand or comprehend. This is an adorable movie and a must watch for any yaoi fan new or old.
Also unfortunately released under the English title…. Hot Space Cowboys…. (I really hate that title) Legend of Blue Wolves is a classic that was cut short due to well, the company behind the anime going belly up. All that was released was a one episode OVA so there is sadly no complete story here. What is here, however, is a story of two soldiers falling in love, an abuse of power and a powerful conclusion to their love story at least that will almost bring you to the point of tears.
5. Fuyu no Semi
Bring the tissues and be prepared to cry you yaoi loving heart out by the end of this one. A spin-off of the yaoi series Haru wo Daiteita, this anime literally is a movie starring the ‘actors’ from the previous series. Set during the Bakumatsu and early Meiji era of Japan it tells the story of two samurais who are on opposite sides of the political turmoil going on in Japan. It is a story that focuses on heavy themes of friendship, love, separation, and longing.
6. Kono Danshi Series
Beginning with the OVAs This Boy Fights Aliens, This Boy Caught a Merman, This Boy Suffers from Crystallization and then finally the short series This boy is a Professional Wizard this series of sweet boys love stories focus on themes of loneliness in love. In fact, it is a common theme amongst all four stories. This does not make all the stories the same and the different fantasy element to each on makes each one an interesting watch. Also if you watch them in the order they were released you get to watch the series become more polished both visually and in the storytelling, as each one feels like an improvement of the one released before is I could be a bit bias on this one because Soubi Yamamoto is my current favorite anime director.
The original boys love anime that started it all, yes this is the first one ever officially released and for that fact alone any yaoi fan should sit down and watch this OVA at least once. It is at times a heartbreaking story of growing up in a world that will not always treat you right and learning how to cope in such an unjust and at times cruel world.
8. Ai no Kusabi
Set in the futuristic world of planet Amoi, in a society where one’s hair color determines where in society you will stand, Ai no Kusabi tells the story of a complicated love story between an Elite of society in Iason Mink and his mongrel pet Riki. This is a gritty cyberpunk story that you do not see all too often within the yaoi genre but it works surprisingly well within the genre and leaves me wishing for more yaoi anime like it.
9. Sensitive Pornograph
Yaoi in it’s purest form, which of course means it is far from innocent. When you think of yaoi this is what will come to mind to. Beautiful boys sucking and fucking each others brains out with a side of those fluffy yaoi feels.
10. Hitorijime My Hero
This anime that has just ended has done so many things right for the genre and it a must watch! But to know my fall thoughts on this one, well…. You are going to have to read my review of it, of course!
I do hope all you new and old yaoi lovers found this list useful! Till next time, I am Mistress of Yaoi and I say be proud to love what you love!