Ah, boy love – so dramatic, so emotional, and so on occasion very rape-y. While many people enjoy yaoi, its fan base is widely heterosexual females who enjoy it for a variety of reasons. There are quite a few theories out there on why women are so enticed by man-on-man relationships, but the fact that a good yaoi anime can open up the flood gates and create a thirst that will never be quelled. So if you are in the market for yaoi anime just to see what it is about or to feed an obsession that has been years in the making, here are a few choices to try.



Junjou Romantica

junjo romantica romance

Like with the yuri list, it is best to start with the most popular, right? Just so you can get to watching it right away if you haven’t seen it already. Junjo Romantica is the most popular pure yaoi series. Throughout its multiple different seasons, Junjou Romantica tells the stories of multiple different couples. You get a lot of that steamy sexual tension as well as the dominant-submissive relationships that are typical of yaoi stories. What’s best is that it has quite a few couples to keep you occupied so that no singular story becomes stale.

World’s First Great Love

World’s First Great Love anime

This series title gives it some pretty big expectations to fulfill, but it lives up to them. The story follows a young editor named Ritsu who works for his father’s publishing company. However, after some co-worker jealousy, he switches to a new company in order to prove himself on his own merits. There he ends up placed in the manga division where he meets his editor in chief, Takano, who strives hard for results. However, Takano is actually Ritsu’s high school love who broke his heart. Yet, in the workplace, the two end up rekindling their relationship, with Takano out to make Ritsu fall in love with him again. As you’d expect, it follows the same typical yaoi tropes, but it is all those tender moments within that make it so beloved.

Love Stage

love stage anime

Love Stage is a yaoi show, but it is also a genderbender, which makes it for a very curious and exciting affair. It follows the story of Sena who, despite having famous family, doesn’t want to be. Yet, he is pulled in, and worse yet, forced to dress as a girl. His co-star in a commercial, young actor Ryouma, falls in love with “her” at first sight. Now with a besotted young boy pursuing him and wooing him, will Sena tell him that he is really a boy? Understandably there is a lot of drama here, but there is also a lot of passionate kisses.

Loveless

loveless anime

For long-time yaoi fans, Loveless is famous and infamous. It has all those somewhat creepy things those unfamiliar with the genre think all yaoi is – the young characters, the coercion, the creepy forced nature of it all, the catboys… Along with that, it also has a slightly supernatural and dark story about fighting pairs where one attacks and the other receives damage. It’s a dark show with a lot of mind games and predatory men, but that just makes it so intriguing.

Hybrid Child

Hybrid Child anime

Seeing as Hybrid Child is about androids that are created to be conscious, feel emotions, and raised like regular children by their masters, the whole idea of it is a little uncomfortable. Since they start young and grow up, this can create all sorts of uncomfortable plotlines, but this yaoi series is more of a tearjerker than anything else. It tells three separate tragic tales about these androids and their bonds with their masters.

The Tyrant Falls in Love

The Tyrant Falls in Love anime

Yaoi has often been criticizing for glossing over the rampant homophobia in Japan and many places in the world with unrealistic tales. Unfortunately, while the plot of The Tyrant Falls in Love tackles the classic story of falling in love with someone who isn’t gay and does touch on homophobia, unfortunately it still goes the same “love conquers all” route of other shows.

The Romantic Tale of a Foreign Love Affair

The Romantic Tale of a Foreign Love Affair anime

Now this story is one of the most wonderful dalliances in the yaoi genre. A young yakuza heir gets married on a cruise ship, but it is a guise. He spends the night, not with his bride, but with the handsome ship captain, and thus a wild love story begins. As you would expect, this is one of the steamier yaoi series, which is why it is a shame that it is a short OVA. However, it also has the benefit of not being the typical sub-dom relationship either as the men treat each other more as equals.

Embracing Love

Embracing Love anime

The main characters in Embracing Love are both adult video actors that want to someday become real actors. They meet on the audition set for one of those real parts and while one falls in love, the other denies he is in love. While you would think much of the drama comes from their adult video porno jobs, it actually stems from friends and rivals that show up around them and get in the way of them realizing their true feelings.

Super Lovers

super lover romance

Although one of the newer yaoi series, Super Lovers still sticks true to the old tropes. It follows the eldest son of the family taking care of the youngest adoptive son that was abuse and prefers dogs to people. While this young boy is distrusting, they grow close over the course of one summer. Years later, the younger brother tries to move in with him, but after an accident, his older brother has lost all memories of that summer.

Super Lovers is kind of uncomfortable at times due to the predatory nature of the older brother and the age of the young adopted brother. However, there are some sweet moments hidden in there, and of course there is plenty of painful past to explore.

Betrayal Knows My Name

Betrayal Knows My Name anime

This series is not about just relationship drama. Unlike many series, it is has plenty of action with characters fighting demons. However, you get your dramatic dose in the form of a main character that can see the troubled past of people just by touching them. As an orphan, he is out to discover his purpose in life and the mystery behind his power. However, this series makes its purpose clear – it is about pretty boys being in pain, emotionally and physically connecting with each other. The story is rather generic, but it is chock full of eye candy.

Antique Bakery

Antique Bakery anime

This series, in all honesty, is often less yaoi and more slice of life. However, it follows the owner of a bakery that hates sweets, so he hires a pastry chef. Fortunately, this pastry is as good at making sweets as he is making everyone fall in love with him. There’s lots of teasing, of course, but also very little pay off.

Hey, Class President

Hey Class President anime

If you like your yaoi with a good dose of laughter-inducing comedy, then this is a watch for you. It has a simple school yaoi premise where the student council president unnaturally attracts perverts and it is the vice president’s job to beat them off with a stick. Of course, those two have their own special relationship central to the plot as well. As the premise suggests, there is a lot of great comedy to had and the touching moments aren’t too bad either.

Sukisho

Sukisho anime

This show has one of the more interesting plots of all romance anime. It follows the story of two roommates, both of which have split personalities. When conscious, they are two normal boys, but both of their split personalities are actually in love with each other. It is kind of like the ultimate way to craft a romantic comedy while not needing a whole bunch of extra characters.

Gravitation

Gravitation anime

This series is putting on the years, but it is nothing less than a yaoi epic.  It tells the torrid love story of a young rising pop idol and a bitter older novelist. This is one of those stories where the older dominant man starts off as a dick and then slowly warms up over time. Of course, that is the source of much of the drama in the show – the dickishness and then impending later jealousy. It’s a cute show that also happens to have a pretty decent soundtrack, since as a music show, it kind of has to.

No. 6

no 6 anime

Although very rarely realized, No. 6 is a yaoi anime that managed to sneak its way into the mainstream by not having strong guy-on-guy action, but rather it heavily implies it. It often kind of catches normies off-guard too, which is fun. Not only that, but it has a superbly complex plot that unravels a world where the elite and the poor are separated in city-states after the world effectively ended. Classism and secret yaoi overtones make for a very fun watch.

Fake

Fake anime

Fake is more famous for its manga than its OVA, but it is a fun watch anyway. It takes the whole buddy cop plot to the natural yaoi extreme where two police partners end up in love with each other. They solve crimes, and then you get the mushy stuff.

Descendants of Darkness

Descendants of Darkness anime

Descendants of Darkness is a yaoi classic with a supernatural twist. Like aforementioned Fake, it is also somewhat of a yaoi buddy cop plot, except the cops are shinigami pairs that make sure the dead stay dead. Of course, they work towards solving a supernatural crime, but these two shinigamis also have their own dark pasts that they need to confront with the help of each other.

Love Wedge

Love Wedge anime

Love Wedge takes place in an interesting dystopian world in which a person’s class is decided by their hair color. Of course blondes are at the top and the brunettes work as slaves. Although not a trope-breaking plot, the whirlwind love between a blonde and a brunette in this show is a touching one. Needless to say, the classism provides all the drama, but a forbidden love is often the most enticing.

Hitorijime My Hero

Hitorijime My Hero anime

New to the scene, Hitorijime tells the story of a young thug who is pretty much terrible at the thug life. So much so that other bullies use him to run errands. One day he meets his new teacher that has such a fierce reputation for fighting, he is famous in his neighborhood. This teacher protects him and suddenly, the thug, who insists he isn’t interested in men, gets pulled into his affairs.

This series has the same sub-dom relationship of other yaoi series, but the way it is set up in the plot makes it feel all shiny and new. Unfortunately, as a shounen-ai, you might not get as much pay off in the relationship as you’d like.

Yuri On Ice

yuri on ice anime

You know it, you love it, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should probably get on that. As an anime about figure skaters, you might expect a yaoi love story, but I remember when it first came out and people couldn’t decide if it was going to cross that line or not. It did and the world went crazy. The animation of the figure skating could use some work, but the sexual tension in Yuri on Ice makes it always worth the watch.

Unlike yaoi manga choices, the pickings for yaoi anime are actually relatively slim, which is why there are so many shorter OVAs on this list. However, if we missed a really good yaoi anime to watch, let all the other thirsty fujoshi know in the comments section below.