best bl anime to watch in 2023

Looking for some good Boys Love animes? Well, your search ends here. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the 24 best BL Animes of All-time.

There are dozens of anime genres, some are very popular like ecchi, sports, and mecha and some have less audience but a very dedicated one. Boys Love anime comes in that category. These animes are not for everybody but the quality is top-notch. 

As for me, what I look for in an anime is a good story and I don’t care much about the character’s sexuality. I hope you find some good suggestions from here to watch.

1. Hitorijime My Hero

  • Logline: Two students and a maths teacher are linked together with an uncanny love affair. 
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre: Drama, School
  • Studio: Encourage Films
Hitorijime My Hero

Honestly, the story here isn’t anything different from the Bl anime cliche. However, Hitorijime My Hero has a “sensual love story” element that makes it hard for me to ignore this. 

It is a perfect anime for the time when you want to watch a light-hearted and healthy relationship between boys. 

The plot puts in center three boys who find themself caught up in a love triangle. 

Masahiro Setagawa sees his maths teacher Kensuke Ooshiba as a hero. Since Masahiro is an absolute loser, Kensuke has come to his rescue numerous times. 

These repeated encounters create a strong urge in Kensuke’s heart to get closer to Masahiro. 

Everything runs well until one day, Masahiro’s childhood friend, Asaya Hasekura, joins the same school. Kensuke is disheartened to learn that Asaya sees Mashiro as more than just a friend. 

2. Dakaichi

  • Logline: Two successful actors find themself in a jealous rivalry for fame and publicity.
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Drama, Comedy
  • Studio: Cloverworks
Dakaretai Otoko 1 i ni Odosarete Imasu

Romance comes in all shapes, forms, and genders. This boy love anime is a perfect example to support this statement. If you have just started exploring gay animes, then this will be the perfect toast of heartwarming romance for you. 

Although the manga is far better than the adaptation, it still makes a good time killer.

Takato Saijou is a prominent face of the drama industry and is the lead role of the most popular TV Drama in the country. He has 20 years of experience and multiple international awards under his belt. 

Takato’s self-esteem is hit by jealousy when he learns that a new debut, Junta Azumaya, is gaining massive popularity among the masses. 

Junta possesses an equivalent personality but is a new face to the audience. Hence he surpasses Takato in no time. 

Out of jealousy, Takato Saijou faces Junta in a drunken state. Junta sees this as an opportunity and records a video of Takato cussing and abusing. Junta blackmails Takato with this video and asks him to sleep with him as extortion. 

3. Sasaki and Miyano

  • Logline: Discover the heartwarming and complex relationship between a shy fudanshi and his eccentric upperclassman in the must-watch anime series, Sasaki and Miyano.
  • Year: 2022
  • Genre: Romance, School
  • Studio: Studio Deen
Sasaki and Miyano

“Sasaki and Miyano” is a delightful anime series that will capture your heart from the very first episode. The story follows the relationship between Yoshikazu Miyano and Shuumei Sasaki, two high school students who couldn’t be more different.

Miyano is shy and reserved, while Sasaki is eccentric and outgoing. However, when Sasaki discovers that Miyano is a fudanshi, a boy who loves BL manga, their relationship takes an unexpected turn.

What makes this series so special is the way it portrays the delicate emotions of its characters. Miyano’s struggles with his secret passion and Sasaki’s complicated feelings towards him are portrayed with sensitivity and care. The result is a heartwarming and uplifting story that will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful.

The animation is beautiful, and the voice acting is top-notch. The characters are well-developed and endearing, and the plot is both engaging and thought-provoking.

Whether you’re a fan of BL anime or not, “Sasaki and Miyano” is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good coming-of-age story.

4. Banana Fish

  • Logline: Banana Fish follows Ash Lynx’s investigation into the mysterious “Banana Fish” while facing obstacles from the mafia and rescuing his allies.
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
  • Studio: MAPPA
Banana Fish

Banana Fish is a thrilling anime series that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The show follows the journey of Ash Lynx, a former runaway who was raised by the mafia godfather.
As a boss of his own gang, Ash becomes entangled in a dangerous investigation into the mysterious “Banana Fish,” which his older brother has been muttering about since his return from Iraq.

What follows is an action-packed adventure that takes Ash and his allies on a thrilling ride through the dangerous streets of New York City. With dynamic characters, an engaging storyline, and stunning visuals, Banana Fish is a must-watch for any fan of the crime genre.

The show’s diverse cast of characters adds depth and complexity to the story, making it a truly captivating watch. From Ash’s troubled past to the obstacles he faces in the present, Banana Fish will keep you invested in its characters and their fates until the very end.

5. Kiss him, Not me

  • Logline: Kae Serinuma is a very big otaku and she is obsessed with BL or Boy’s Love.
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Harem, Comedy, Romance
  • Studios: Brain’s Base
Kiss Him Not Me gay anime

This is an anime made for every fangirl who likes Boys Love anime. It is created with a perspective of a girl who likes BL so much that she is always fantasizing about it. It’s a fun anime that’ll make you laugh and cringe at the same time 

Kae Serinuma is a High school otaku girl who is obsessed with BL or Boy’s Love. She spends most of her class time shipping male classmates with each other and fantasizing about their relationship.

But when 4 boys from her class try to woo her, she finds it bothersome and hopes that they rather spend time falling in love with one another.

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6. Gravitation

  • Logline: A love story between a boy from a music band and a novelist.
  • Year: 2000
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance, Music
  • Studios: Studio Deen
Gravitation bl anime

Gravitation is the OG anime that brought popularity to the Boys Love genre. It is a simple story but so beautifully presented that is worth appreciating. If you haven’t watched it yet, you must watch it for the culture.

Shuichi is a part of a music band and he is finding it difficult to write songs. One night while working in a park, Shuichi’s lyrics for a song is read by Eiri Yuki who is a famous novelist. Yuki crushes Shuchi by saying that he has no talent. This sparks the rivalry between the two which leads to changing of hearts later.

7. Love Stage!!

  • Logline: Ryouma Ichijou meets his childhood love in an unexpected state but his feelings remain intact. 
  • Year: 2014
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Studio: J.C. Staff
Love Sage

It breaks my heart to see that most gay anime emphasize much upon the fanservice and forced sex. If you don’t belong to the group that feeds on radical fanservice but rather, look for deep-meaning gay love stories, Love Stage!! is the show for you. It is one of the finest gay romance comedies that came out as an anime. 

Izumi Sena belongs to a prosperous family. His parents and siblings are big names in the Japanese cinema industry. In these situations, everyone expects Izumi to be an actor but he chooses to be a manga artist. 

Ten years after he shot for a magazine, he recalled as the producers wanted original child actors for the new magazine. This situation reunites him with Ryouma Ichijou, who was one of the co-stars in the magazine. Ryoumo is now a popular actor. 

This meeting reignites past feelings between the protagonists. What follows is a series of adventures that tangles them together.  

8. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

  • Logline: Three interconnected couples from the manga industry are in a race to make their love story.
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Studio: Studio Deen
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

As a straight male, I am very selective about the show I decide to watch. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi came as a suggestion from a friend. Like always, I was skeptical about watching a BL anime. 

Although, it’s always hard to enjoy romance scenes. But due to beautiful storytelling, I kept going, and before I knew I binged both seasons at once. 

It is a story of three male couples struggling to balance love and work life. 

Ritsu Onodera is the main protagonist of the story. He leaves his job at his father’s publishing company and settles for a job as a low-grade manga editor. 

The Editor in chief of the company turns out to be Ritsu’s high school crush, Masamune Takano. Ritshu recalls his heartbroken memories from the past and vows to make Masamune love him back now.

9. Super Lovers

  • Logline: Haru is surprised to find out he has a new brother waiting for him at the airport. 
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Slice of life, Drama
  • Studio: Studio Deen
Super Lovers

There are times when I take 1-2 hours to find a perfect anime to watch. This search often ends when I see a particular anime is receiving positive reviews for its comedy.  

Super Lover is one such anime that I found during the same process. It is one of the best gay anime that beautifully incorporates comedy into it. If you are like me who loves comical shows, I highly recommend you to watch Super Lovers. 

The plot centers around Haru Kaidou. Haru is deceived by his mother to come to Canada. When he reaches Canada, he is surprised to see his new adopted young brother. Adding to the confusion, his mother asks Haru to look after his young brother. 

At first, Haru hesitant around his antisocial brother Ren but eventually they get together. Haru promises Ren to stay together in japan once he is done with high school. 

Things get upside down when Haru meets an accident and loses his memory. Ren reaches Tokyo only to find that his brother can no more recognize him and have no memories of the summer they spend together. 

10. Junjo Romantica

  • Logline: Three interconnected stories of three young male couples.
  • Year: 2008
  • Genre: Romance
  • Studio: Studio Deen
Junjo Romantica

This show was one of the first bl anime I watched(forced to each by my partner). After watching Junjo Romantica, I realized what if the bl theme of this anime is interchanged with a girl-boy romantic story. I am sure doing so will make this show popular among the otakus. That is one sad reality gay anime fandom have to acknowledge. 

Junjo Romantica is another bl anime that revolves around more than one couple. All involve a student and a professor. 

Firstly it highlights the kinky story of Misaki Takashi and his newfound teacher Akihiko Usami who is the author of naughty books. 

Secondly, it shows an egoistic relationship between a professor and a pediatrician that starts with fierce hate but ends with love.

And at last, is the story of a rich Shinobu Takatsuki who is obsessed with his literature professor- You Miyagi.

11. Given

  • Logline: Satou’s desire to become a musician is fueled when he meets Ritsuka.
  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: Music, Drama
  • Studio: Lerche
Given

Next up we have an anime that bought a revolution to the bl genre. People who are into bl must have already watched it. If you still haven’t, I urge you to close this tab and stream this anime somewhere online. Given works on a fairly simple plot yet manages to portray a heartwarming love story. 

Mafuyu Satou is a rookie guitar player. One day while he was dozing off on a staircase, he is scolded by a fellow classmate Ritsuka Uenoyama for recklessly using his guitar. 

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Satou is amazed to see Ritsuka’s knowledge of the instrument. He pleads to him to tune his guitar and make him his disciple. Uenoyama doesn’t want his band to waste time on a rookie but after emotional pleads by Satou he finally agrees. 

12. Spiritpact

  • Logline: A story of the relationship between an exorcist and his spirit.
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic
  • Studios: Haoliners Animation League
Spiripact male couple

Spiritpact is a BL anime based on Chinese Manga. It is a story of a master and servant doing challenging stuff together and along the way, they do some intimate stuff to get more strength. The anime is good and entertaining, so you can watch it if you find the premise to your taste.

You Keika dies of an accident and becomes a spirit. He is confronted by Tanmoku Ki, a high-ranking exorcist who offers You to form a pact with him. You agree and from then on, the two face countless challenges in the spiritual world.

13. The Betrayal Knows My Name

  • Logline:
  • Year: 2010    
  • Genre: Music, Drama
  • Studio: Lerche
The Betrayal Knows My Name

Quite late on this list, I have an impressive title, “The Betrayal Knows My Name. To all the fangirls out there, I haven’t forgotten about your preference. This anime is a perfect choice if you are a fetish for seeing hot anime boys making love on screen. It a plain story of two males find themselves in a sensual relationship of lovemaking. 

Yuki Sakurai grew up with a strange ability. He can experience a person’s painful memories just by getting in physical touch. However, Yuki isn’t very proud of his abilities and rather considers it as a curse. 

He suffers an existential crisis and has given up on all hopes to survive. Until one day, when he was rescued by a beautiful man named Luka Crosszeria. 

14. Look, I Can See Your Ears!

  • Logline: Experience the heartwarming and comical tale of a struggling manga creator and his mischievous friend with cat ears
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Romance, Comedy
  • Studio: monofilmo
Look I Can See Your Ears

“Look, I Can See Your Ears!” is an enchanting anime series that will warm your heart and leave you smiling. The story revolves around Daisuu, a struggling manga creator who leads a mundane and lonely life until he meets Myou, a young man with cat ears. Myou’s mischievous nature and daily troubles add a new dimension to Daisuu’s life, and he finally experiences the warmth of human connection.

The story is filled with heartwarming moments and comical situations that will keep you entertained throughout. The beautiful animation and lively characters add to the charm of the show, making it a delightful watch for all ages.

The slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding Myou keeps the audience engaged, and the bond between the two protagonists will make you root for their friendship.

“Look, I Can See Your Ears!” is a refreshing and uplifting anime that celebrates the importance of companionship and finding joy in the simple things in life. If you’re looking for a heartwarming and charming anime to watch, this one should definitely be on your list.

15. No.6

  • Logline: A riveting adventure story of two young boys.
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre:  Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery
  • Studios: Bones
No. 6 cover image

Unlike most BL animes on this list where one guy aggressively pursues the other and practically harasses him, No.6 is a sweet story of a growing relationship between two boys. Even if you remove the main relationship, the story is so good that you’ll enjoy watching it.

Shion and his family were stripped from their elite status because Shion helped a boy named Nezumi who was a fugitive. When fate brings them together years later, they both team up to embark on an adventure.

16. Gakuen Heaven

  • Logline: Life of Itou Keita in a prestigious academy.
  • Year: 2006
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem
  • Studios: Tokyo Kids
Gakuen Heaven gay kiss

There’s nothing really special about this Boy’s Love anime aside from the fact that it tries to present a story that would be consistent and okay to watch. All in all, it is an anime that you can watch if you have too much free time left.

Itou Keita is an ordinary boy who is allowed to be a part of an elite institution called Bell Liberty Academy. Surrounded by handsome boys who are very talented, Itou is confused as to why he is invited to join this academy.

In search of answers, he makes some good relationships with boys around him and he is also very fascinated by a guy called Kazuki Endou.

17. Antique Bakery

  • Logline: A story of two guys, one is straight and the other is gay.
  • Year: 2008
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Studios: Nippon Animation, SynergySP, Shirogumi
Antique Bakery main characters

 If you are looking for a Boys Love anime that keeps it casual and does not force it too much to the audience then Antique Bakery might suit you well. It is a unique story with an element of comedy that makes this anime a good one-time watch.

Ono confessed to Tachibana when in high school but got rejected. 14 years later, Ono is a successful chef and a gay playboy. But this time too Tachibana seems to not fall for Ono’s charms.

18. Gakuen Handsome

  • Logline: School adventures of Yoshiki Mada.
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Comedy, Parody
  • Studios: Team YokkyuFuman
Gakuen Handsome cover img

Gakuen Handsome is the kind of anime that either you love or hate, there is no in-between. This anime does not take itself seriously and that’s the beauty of it.

The animation is bad, the story is bad, characters are bad too. It is so bad that it is actually good, you’ll probably have to watch it to find it out.

Yoshiki Mada joins an all-boys high school and there he encounters many guys who are handsome but also very nonsensical and into Boys love. On top of that, Yoshiki’s sister Yuu seems to take pleasure in teasing her big brother about them.

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19. Monochrome Factor

  • Logline: When a slacker high school student becomes a ‘shin’ and enters the shadow world to restore balance, he discovers a destiny he never imagined.
  • Year: 2008
  • Genre: Action, Supernatural
  • Studio: A.C.G.T.
Monochrome Factor 1

“Monochrome Factor” is a captivating anime series that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story follows high school student Akira Nikaido, who leads a mundane life until he meets the enigmatic Shirogane, who claims they have a destiny together. Initially skeptical, Akira’s world is turned upside down when he’s attacked by a shadow monster and learns about the distorted balance between the human and shadow world. Shirogane convinces Akira to become a “shin” to help restore balance, leading him on a thrilling adventure that will keep you hooked.

The anime features stunning animation and a gripping storyline that’s sure to keep you engaged. The shonen-ai themes add a layer of depth to the characters’ relationships, making them all the more intriguing. The dynamic between Akira and Shirogane is especially captivating, and you’ll find yourself rooting for their bond to deepen.

Overall, “Monochrome Factor” is a must-watch anime that combines action, adventure, and romance in a unique and compelling way. If you’re a fan of shonen-ai or just looking for an exciting anime to watch, this one won’t disappoint.

20. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window

  • Logline: A timid man with the ability to see spirits joins forces with an eccentric medium to unravel the mystery behind a string of curses.
  • Year: 2021
  • Genre: Horror, Supernatural
  • Studio: Zero-G
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window

If you’re a fan of the supernatural and the mysterious, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is a must-watch anime series that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Follow the story of Kousuke Mikado, a bookstore worker who has been seeing spirits all his life, and Rihito Hiyakawa, a confident medium who is determined to help him overcome his fears.

Together, they uncover a series of dark curses that all lead back to the enigmatic Erika Hiura, raising questions about her connection to the duo. With its intriguing plot, well-crafted characters, and stunning visuals, this anime is sure to keep you captivated from start to finish.

21. Sukisho

  • Logline: A group of young girls form a band and embark on a journey to stardom, facing challenges and growing both as musicians and friends along the way.
  • Year: 2005
  • Genre: Horror, Supernatural
  • Studio:  Zexcs
Sukisho 1

Sukisho is a heartwarming story about Hashiba Sora and Fujimori Sunao, two high school roommates who struggle with their split personalities, Yoru and Ran, who are deeply in love with each other.

Despite their initial discomfort, the two develop feelings for each other and uncover shocking truths about their past. With beautiful animation and an engaging storyline, Sukisho explores themes of love and identity in a way that will leave you rooting for these two characters to overcome their obstacles and find happiness.

Follow Hashiba and Fujimori as they navigate their unique situation and discover the true depth of their feelings for each other.

22. Loveless

  • Logline: In a world where virginity is symbolized by cat ears and tails, Ritsuka and Soubi seek truth and love amidst the fighting pairs.
  • Year: 2005
  • Genre: Action, Supernatural
  • Studio: J.C. Staff
Loveless

Loveless is a unique and captivating BL anime that will leave you wanting more. 

Set in a world where cat ears and tails are a symbol of virginity, innocence, and power, the show follows Ritsuka Aoyagi, a 12-year-old boy who has recently lost his brother and suffers from amnesia.

When he meets Agatsuma Soubi, a stranger who claims to have known his late brother and inherited Ritsuka as his new fighting pair, their search for the truth behind his brother’s death and the organization known as the “Seven Moons” begins. 

As their bond grows stronger, Ritsuka and Agatsuma must face their inner demons and the dark forces that threaten their world. Loveless is a visually stunning and emotionally compelling anime that explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

23. DRAMAtical Murder

  • Logline: A captivating sci-fi anime set in a dystopian world with dangerous games.
  • Year: 2014
  • Genre: Action, Sci Fi
  • Studio: NAZ
DRAMAtical Murder

DRAMAtical Murder is a must-watch anime that will take you on a thrilling ride full of suspense and mystery. The story is set on the island of Midorijima, which is controlled by Toue Inc. The residents of the island are forced to play games like Rib and Rhyme to survive. 

Rhyme is a high-tech game, and to participate, you need an AI pet known as an “All-Mate” and a mediator known as an “Usui.” The protagonist, Aoba Seragaki, isn’t interested in either game and wants a peaceful life. 

However, his life changes when he is dragged into a dangerous Rhyme match and discovers the rumors of disappearing Rib players. This show is an excellent mix of action, suspense, and drama that will keep you hooked till the end.

24. Mirage of Blaze

  • Logline: A high school student discovers his past life as a powerful Lord while battling evil spirits.
  • Year: 2002
  • Genre: Historical, Action
  • Studio: NAZ
Mirage of Blaze

Looking for an intriguing BL anime that combines historical fantasy with romance? Look no further than Mirage of Blaze! Follow the story of Takaya Ougi, a high school student who discovers he is the reincarnation of Lord Kagetora, and is entrusted to fight evil spirits by Nobutsuna Naoe, another possessor. 

Along the way, Takaya uncovers the dark past between Naoe and Kagetora, and must confront the Hojo and Fuma clans as they threaten to bring chaos to both the Fuedal Underworld and the living world.

With its blend of action, romance, and drama, Mirage of Blaze is a must-watch for any BL anime fan looking for a unique and captivating storyline.

Written by

Naveen Mehta

Naveen is a book enthusiast by day and an anime junkie by night. With a knack for getting lost in stories that rattle his brain, he's often found immersed in a plot twist or debating book vs. movie adaptations. Dive into his world, but be prepared for some spirited blogs! 📚🍜🌌