If I could change the must-reads to must-watch, trust me I would. But all things considered, any shonen-ai, and much less any yaoi that is not adapted from a Shungiku Nakamura manga (Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hatsukoi and Romantica) are somewhat lacking in the quality department, wheter it´s the unfinished story, senseless smut or no smut at all, I think we can all agree that to get your boy on boy fix, then manga is where it´s at.
I present to you my top five must-reads, please take this list with a grain of salt, I haven´t read a huuuge variety of yaois, but I have enough confidence in my taste to suggest to you, the reader, a manga that you will enjoy, and sometimes even be moved by. Let´s get this started.
5. Love Stage!
Coming from a showbiz family, Sena Izumi gets all the wrong attention what with his otaku self and his girlish looks. One day, he is forced to appear on a commercial as a girl just to be reunited with a boy he remembers from 10 years ago and… who also has a undying crush for the female Izumi!
There are only two manga that I know of that, when I see an update or new volume, I just know that I´m going to be smiling for the next 20 minutes and feel giddy for the next 2 hours. These series are Yotsuba&; and Love Stage!
The latter has gained so much popularity what with the anime adaptation announcement, I felt a little skeptical when I looked at the summary, I was surprised, because Love Stage! doesn´t take itself too seriously, It´s cute and the appeal is clearly there. The art is nice, the characters are fun, the smut is yummy, the comedy is funny. Love Stage! can´t go wrong, it seems. But it´s lack of conflict and action has put it lower than the other titles in this list.
Knows all but master of none. Or something like that.
4.The Warui Series.
Kirai Ja Nai Kedo tells the story of Yukimura, an ex-thug who is currently the vice president of the student body, everything is going dandy… if it weren´t for his childhood friend, neighbour, and number one trouble maker Shinonome!
The Mujihi part of the series, (and my personal fave) tells the story of Shirahane, a boy that attracts rumors, the latest being that he is a troublemaker that can make even the straight boys fall in love with him! Aikawa has got nothing good to say about him, and Yukimura´s spontaneous kiss in his brothers house doesn´t change this at all!
The Warui Series puts the “sex” in the “sexy.”
Cliché? Yeah. Seen eighty six times before? I don´t think so.
I like to reffer to this as the “Warui” magic. Why do I like this as much as I do? First of all, art is essential to me when it comes to yaoi, and call me close minded, but suggest me anything with “meh” art and I will probably ignore it. Warui laughs at me and on top of that it teases me. The characters are likeable, the drama gives me “the feels” and it is without a doubt one of the fandom favourites, for a damn good reason, too.
3.Recipe no Oujisama (And anything by Junko to be honest)
Sakai has always dreamed of opening his own restaurant after his deceased grandfather, but living far away from his culinary school is taking the toll on him… until his classmates tell him about a almost too good to be true roomshare closeby. And thus begins the story of the 4 misfits living there.
Junko is no newcomer to the buisness, and as is expected, she knows how to push all of the right buttons. I could have putten any other series here, but I feel as if Recipe no Oujisama gave me a little more feels than the rest, even as a oneshot, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-read this.
2. Seven Days
Shino Yuzuru is a boy with a beautiful face and an undesireable personality; Laid back, impolite and blunt. It’s no surprise he is dumped after his true personality surfaces.
His junior, Seryou Touji is a ladies man, and is known for going out with anyone who asks him out on a Monday, just to dump them on a Sunday. Hearing this, Shino gets interested, and on one Monday morning, jokingly asks Seryou out, but Seryou takes him seriously, and thus begins their seven days together.
Captivating and beautiful, Seven Days slowly crawls around you and before you know it, it’s over. Read it. That is all.
1. Saezuru Tori Wa Habakatanai.
Saezuru Tori Wa Habakatanai tells the melancholic tale of Yashiro, a molestested and twisted boy that doesn’t love men or women, just pain. In his highschool year, he met Kageyama, a boy obsessed with burnmarks, burnmarks that tainted Yashiro’s skin, their odd non-sexual relationship seems to have come to an end after graduation. Enter present day, where Yashiro is a yakuza, Kageyama is an underground doctor, and bodyguard Doumeki is impotent.
Rarely do I use the word “perfect”, but I believe that Saezuru deserves that and every synonym of it in the dictionary. Yashiro is a pathetic character, and even with some of the comedy, Saezuru Tori Wa Habakatanai never ceases to be downright melancholic, a little depressing and beautiful. It’s still on-going, I suggest you keep a box of tissues close to you.
And that concludes my list of 5 BL must reads that you probably knew about anyway. But there are two titles that I think deserve a mention,even if they didn’t make it on the list. “CUT” Is one of them, which despite having an interesting story about self-harm and depression, the art and it’s conclusion was a little to meh for me. The other is Hana No Miyako De, by the mangaka of Seven Days, although I loved it’s conclusion, some things were just to confusing for me to follow.
Thank you for reading and have a fabtastic dayevening!
Honorable mention; Hana No Miyako De, Cut.