Shounen AI, which means for “boys’ love,” is a genre that embraces male-male relationships. Both yaoi and shounen-ai portray BL, but to varying degrees of closeness. Rather of emphasising on the physical aspect of the relationship, like yaoi does, shounen-ai concentrates on the emotional component.
So, in this post, I’ve compiled a list of 10 Best Shounen AI Manga with the best kind of character.
I Cannot Reach You
I Cannot Reach You follows the adventures of two childhood friends, Yamato and Kakeru. In a delightful yet bittersweet story, we get to see them grow up together. The differences between Yamato and Kakeru are obvious; whereas one may be academically minded as well as attractive (Yamato), the other may barely pass his examinations with mediocre grades and has an average physical appearance (Kakeru). On the surface, they appear to have an unbreakable friendship.
The manga delves into shounen-ai aspects, pulling at our heartstrings as we see Kakeru’s desperate fight against all odds for attention from his dear friend. Will he eventually win Yamato’s heart, or will their connection be solely platonic? I Cannot Reach You keeps you guessing till the very end!
Hirano and Kagiura
Hirano and Kagiura is a shounen-ai manga that defies classic BL romance tropes. Hirano and Kagiura, two freshmen basketball players who share a room, are the focus of the series. Both characters were first thought to be rough-around-the-edges bad boys, but after living together, we learn that they have kinder sides when it comes to each other.
We explore expectations around senpai/kouhai (senior/junior) romances via loveable misunderstandings, scorned rivals, and light-hearted funny situations as these two awkwardly try to communicate their emotions for each other in this romantic comedy packed of entertaining Shounen-Ai elements!
Path to You
When almost college dropout Jensen attempts to drink away his problems, unemployed Nathaniel suddenly pukes on him and ruins his night. As an apology, Nathaniel offers to help Jensen with his studies. Despite Jensen’s difficulties in getting along with people, the two become friends, and something deeper begins to grow between them…
Rihito Sajou is an honour student who aced his high school entrance test with flawless grades in all subjects. Hikaru Kusakabe is a prominent guitarist who plays in a band that performs at live events.
These two boys might never have met if they hadn’t happened to be in the same place at the same Hikaru, on the other hand, offers to assist Rihito in preparing for their forthcoming music festival, and the two begin to interact. When the two meet after school, they bond over music and begin to harmonise while their hearts beat in sync.
It begins slowly, but their feelings for one another quickly build, and they both realise they are in love. Rihito hesitates at first because Hikaru’s feelings are carefree, innocent, and straightforward, but he eventually opens his heart. As they assist one another at this terrible period in their lives, the boys learn about each other and themselves. What do these young guys discover as they try to move on as the time to start thinking about their futures approaches…
Izumi Sena was born into one of Japan’s most well-known entertainment families—but as the rest of the world waits for his big break as a new star, all Izumi wants to do is become a renowned manga artist and live out his otaku dreams! Despite having spent his whole life surrounded by fame, a traumatic encounter on set of a commercial ten years ago drove him into emotional isolation and finally into the arms of his favourite fictional character, Magical Girl LalaLulu.
But it turns out that Izumi isn’t out of the woods yet. Despite the fact that he has no intention of becoming a manga artist of any kind, he participates in the filming of the sequel to that dreadful commercial from his past.
Furthermore, his previous co-star, who has also been requested to play his part, is none other than the well-known actor Ryouma Ichijou. Izumi does not want to put on a dress again, but Ryouma is excited to see the lovely “girl” who has caught his heart for the last ten years. What will the outcome of this tragic reunion be?
Mafuyu Satou has a song stuck in his brain. This music swirls around and around in his hands as he holds the guitar, shouting cries of sorrow, desire, and loss. No one understands his genuine sentiments because of his casual expression, which is always up in the clouds. A accidental encounter with classmate Ritsuka Uenoyama, on the other hand, may provide Mafuyu with the push he needs to make his voice known.
Uenoyama is a guitarist in a band that also includes Haruki Nakayama, a sweet bassist, and Akihiko Kaji, a rough-looking drummer. Their ragtag band has done well as an instrumental-only band even without a vocalist. When Uenoyama hears Mafuyu’s voice, he is fascinated and invites the hesitant Mafuyu to join them, they may have a chance to reach even greater heights.
Working in a band is challenging; emotions can sometimes threaten to rip it apart, but they can also bring its members closer together. Mafuyu may finally be able to communicate the sentiments that are fighting to burst out from within his heart with the help of Uenoyama.
Hiroshi Endou, 16, has become a NEET after dropping out of middle school due to the spreading of rumours that devastated his reputation and confidence. He spends his days moping around in his room until his mother manages to find him a job at his uncle’s convenience store. Hiroshi gets a part-time work in order to recapture his life, but he quickly discovers that the job is more challenging than he anticipated.
One of his employees, Kouhei Yamai, in particular, is unreasonably harsh and critical of him. Yamai, despite his ruthless appearance, unwittingly shows Hiroshi a sensitive side as he saves a stray kitten from being driven over. Hiroshi can’t help but fall for his coworker, despite his desire to be close to him. Hiroshi’s background resurfaces just as Yamai begins to warm up to him, threatening their fragile relationship.
Recipe no Ouji-sama
Sakai, a second-year culinary student, has always wished to create his own restaurant and, like his grandpa, to be able to touch people’s hearts via his food. Except he’s at his breaking point, passing out in class due to exhaustion from travelling 3 hours every morning just to go to school, and there’s no way he can afford to move closer… Until a classmate informs him of a neighbouring room share that is almost too wonderful to be true. The story of four mismatched housemates begins here.
Harukaze no Étranger
Shun Hashimoto and Mio Chibana go for Tokyo after starting a relationship. The city, in comparison to the peaceful seaside village where they met, is a busy metropolis where people from all walks of life go about their daily lives. Even yet, openly being in a gay relationship in a culture that hates individuals who deviate from the norm is never simple.
Shun’s family home is their destination, a place he escaped years ago after exposing himself. Almost everything about that place is nostalgic, from the same dog to the same roof, but a rowdy younger sibling is an unwelcome surprise. Shun’s mother wants the two to be together, but his father is emotionally distant from his son.
Shun and Mio encounter an overwhelming hurdle as they reestablish themselves with family friends and adjust to their new surroundings: coming to grips with their pasts.
Keisuke Hara, a forthright high schooler with a golden heart, and good-looking Masayuki Shinoda, called “Shinohara” by his peers, are close friends. Keisuke works hard to aid his sister, who is now his only family, while juggling various duties at school and at home.
When his sister reveals that she slept in his jersey one hectic morning, all Keisuke feels is minor annoyance—until PE, when he learns that she has pulled her pantyhose from inside his pants, and he is wearing them! Masayuki rushes his buddy to the hospital before anyone else sees, but once they’re alone, he takes his time having Keisuke take off the pantyhose: with Keisuke’s shapely ankles and flawless form, it would be a shame not to admire his gorgeous legs covered in sensual black nylon. Before Masayuki’s obsession turns into something they are both unprepared for, Keisuke must find a method to cope with it.
Blue Sky Complex
Motochika Narasaki is from a large, noisy family, and his two younger brothers make alone time practically impossible for him. He reluctantly agrees to mind the school library in the evenings when his demand for peace and quiet combines with his teacher’s arm-twisting. What he doesn’t anticipate is to stumble meet Natsuki Terashima, the notorious delinquent who has also been assigned to look after the library.
Initially, Narasaki is adamant that he could never get along with someone like Terashima; but, as he spends evening after evening reading with the other youngster, Narasaki is forced to reconsider his position, and the odd couple becomes closer. However, this arrangement will only endure until the summer break, and Narasaki must quickly choose what this time and the person with whom he spends it mean to him.
Eiji orders one on the heat of the moment, picturing a moe-tastic hadaka-apron-wearing girl arriving at his door. Instead, he receives a scruffy-looking boy who, to make matters worse, is a loud, tough-talking brat.