The Best Yaoi Anime You Should Watch!

Yaoi anime, or manga depicts the relationships of male on male love, a gay relation. Yaoi however isn’t the only terminology used. many fans also call it “Boy’s Love Anime” there’s also different classifications within yaoi, which I’ll explain before I go any further. The genre’s depicting gay relations in regards to men or “boys” are as follows.

Shounen Ai (Or Boys’ Love “BL”) shounen ai is a sub-genre that gained popularity during the ’70s. The difference between shounen ai and typical depictions of yaoi anime and manga is that,Shounen Ai portrays a love or romantic relation with implied sexual themes whilst yaoi anime or manga is a lot more explicit in their content. However within the west they are often refered to as the same genre, despite the differences. Besides shounen ai there’s also bara (Or Men’s Love “ML”) this sub genre of yaoi was created with the intent of actual gay male watching, where as shounen ai and normal yaoi is mostly watched by female audiences. So then, the main difference between Boy’s Love and Men’s Love is that “Men’s Love” is set more realistically and depicts homophobia and the controversies gay men face within Japan. With Men’s Love anime or manga the idealised and romanticised images depicted within normal or “traditional” yaoi are gone. This sub genre isn’t that prevalent within the yaoi community as I mentioned it’s typically occupied by female watchers that enjoy romanticised relationships that young attractive males engage in. Now that you know the sub genre’s, you should probably know that the main characters within yaoi anime or manga typically use archetypes. For instance the seme is the “mans, man” type of character. Typically being more masculine in appearance, dominating the uke into sexual acts or just generally pursuing the other character. The uke in the relation is the submissive character, often having a more androgynous appearance, even at times dressing up as a female.

Anyway now that’s out the way let’s actually get to our listing shall we!

Gravitation is the first yaoi anime on our list and for good reason! It is highly regarded by many a yaoi fan. Gravitation is an anime about Shuichi, and his dream. His dream to follow in the footsteps of a popular pop idol, Ryuichi Sakuma who plays in the band Nittle Grasper. So him and his best friend named Hiro create a band called Bad Luck. With luck they managed to get signed by a huge recording label however, this doesn’t mean everything was going good. Unfortunately for the two the studio deadlines crept faster than Shuichi had imagined, with him still unable to complete his music and lyrics. He needed a muse and he managed to find one in the name of Eiri Yuki a well renowned novelist. This is a classic yaoi with everything you want, hot-headed characters, unknown love, and most importantly attractive characters! If you’ve never watched a yaoi anime this is the perfect gate way anime!

Junjou Romantica another gate-way yaoi anime, depicting the iconic “yaoi” animation that has attractive characters and detailed bodies. Junjou Romantica follows the story of Misaki Takahashi who is, you guessed it, a regular high school student. Someone who is getting ready for his university entrance exams, which is a stressful time. To try and rectify the stress of all the studying he’s undergoing he goes to his brother’s best friend, Akihiko Usami a famous author (Noticing a trend here? Authors get all the fun!) However, unfortunate for Masaki.. or fortunate, all of Usami’s books are in the erotic genre. Which Masaki doesn’t like! Or does he? Junjou Romantica is filled with Masaki and Usami relationship struggles however this series has a total of four seasons with two of the four focused on different couples and their struggles. This anime has become an icon for all
yaoi anime. Thus the reason it is suggested here!

The next on the list is Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, which is funny enough a spin-off from Junjou Romantica. This story follows Ritsu Onodera who was a literary editor at his father’s publishing company. However, due to jealousy toward his shining success by many a coworker, stating that he is simply succeeding due to his father. He applies for a position at a different Publishing agency to prove his worth and to escape his fathers shadow. Things didn’t go according to plan however as he is placed in the infamous shōjo manga department. Considering resigning, thanks to the department change and his current boss (Masamune Takano) being crude and generally intolerable. This however changes once Takano inadvertently convinces Onodera to stay by insulting his ego, making Onodera want to show his worth. Whilst things start of rocking in this anime, things take a more.. romantic turn when Onodera finds out that Takano was actually a high-school crush that he confessed to! Things escalate within this series rather quickly and it is a must if you’re interested in all things yaoi related. Plus if you enjoy Junjou Romantica and its animation you’ll love this!

Love Stage! What I fun name and enjoyable yaoi series! This series is about Izumi Sena who dreams of becoming a manga artist! (See what I mean about yaoi anime and novels / manga? There’s a trend here I tell you!) Izumi however was born into a glamorous household, with his brother and parents being famous celebrities. Unfortunately, for Izumi he gets dragged into the show business life, but not how you’d expect. He’s not only living a life he didn’t want or ask for but he is also forced to pretend and dress as a girl! Thought things do start to look up as he gets paired with a handsome young rising star of the name, Ryouma Ichijou. Ryouma once seeing Izumi is completely enthralled with him and his feminine looks. Ryouma of course being completely unaware of his true gender. Whilst the premise might sound a little dramatic, the anime itself is actually filled with a lot of comedy and enough romance to make even the hardest of hearts melt. Love Stage is in my opinion one of the best yaoi anime out there, it’s colorful, romantic, comical and a joy to watch. Nothing too harsh happens within this anime to put people on edge. Not only that but, like the rest of the series on this list Love Stage is a gate-way anime to the yaoi genre.

Phew, now that’s over I’d like to say that this is a general consensus of what is considered the best yaoi anime to watch, there are plenty of other interesting and fantastic series out there that I’ll list in a separate list! For instance listing shounan-ai series like Black Butler, or Yuri on ice! Either way enjoy the list and happy watching!

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