Mob is the main character in A Man Who Defies the World of BL, who has a distaste for the BL genre.

As soon as you start watching A Man Who Defies the World of BL, you’ll know this Japanese BL drama was adapted from a manga. Its influence is very obvious in the feel and flow of the series. This drama takes place in a fictional universe where everyone is happily gay, except for the main character who tries to resist the BL tropes around him.

A Man Who Defies the World of BL is a very peculiar drama with an unusual sense of humour, heavily catering to hardcore fans of the Boys Love genre. Told in an anthology format, each mini episode has a self-contained story that gently makes fun of the BL phenomenon.

A Man Who Defies the World of BL Summary

What is the show called?

絶対BLになる世界vs絶対BLになりたくない男

When was the show released?

2021

Where was the show made?

Japanese

What language is used in the show?

Japanese

What is the show’s genre?

Comedy

How would you describe the show?

Happy and upbeat

How long is the show?

Around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

How many episodes are there?

4 episodes, but it’s 8 separate stories

Plot

Mob constantly fantasizes about BL, even though he claims to hate it.

Mob is a university student with an overactive imagination. He believes that all the men around him are somehow becoming romantic couples, and he’s the only one immune to the BL syndrome. Whether he meets with friends or strangers, every guy wants to hook up with either him or each other. Even Mob’s little brother Ayato has a special male suitor of his own at school.

Although Mob claims to have an aversion to the Boys Love genre, he is also seemingly obsessed with it. He even reads tons of BL manga as part of his “research”. Each day, Mob devises outlandish strategies that will minimize his chances of encountering BL tropes in life. However, BL has a way of sneaking up on him no matter where he goes or how he tries to avoid it.

A Man Who Defies the World of BL Cast

Characters

Mob Inukai Atsuhiro (犬飼貴丈) Inukai Atsuhiro Instagram

Mob is played by the actor Inukai Atsuhiro (犬飼貴丈).

Mob is an ordinary university student who has noticed all the guys around him are hooking up with each other. Although he claims to have a distaste for BL, Mob almost has a fanatic obsession with it. With a wild and overactive imagination, he frequently thinks about outlandish scenarios of how BL tropes can happen to him.

Supporting Cast

Ayato is played by the actor Goto Yutaro (後藤優太朗).

Ayato

Goto Yutaro (後藤優太朗)

Tojo is played by Shiono Akihisa (塩野瑛久).

Tojo

Shiono Akihisa (塩野瑛久)

Kikuchi is played by the actor Ito Asahi (伊藤あさひ).

Kikuchi

Ito Asahi (伊藤あさひ)

A Man Who Defies the World of BL Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 7

C+
Story

★★☆☆

Romance

★★☆☆

Acting

★★★☆

Ending

★★☆☆

Mob is constantly defying the world of BL, albeit unsuccessfully.

For me, it took a while to get used to the quirky tone and tempo in A Man Who Defies the World of BL. Initially, I was put off by the main character’s whole schtick. His resistance towards BL was like the gay version of I’m Not Like Other Girls, and it had a whiff of homophobia every time he said it. I know it wasn’t meant to be taken ~seriously~, but he just repeated it one too many times and I didn’t like the malicious tone to his pointedness. DON’T INFECT ME WITH TEH GAE!!!🤪

As the show went on, I stopped clutching my pearls and just enjoyed this BL drama for what it was. A Man Who Defies the World is a satircal take at the Boys Love genre, both celebrating and subverting the most common BL tropes. It’s actually quite a clever series with moments of brilliance, but I wished some parts were executed better. Not all the jokes landed, and a few episodes were definitely weaker than others.

The most successful part of A Man Who Defies the World of BL is the lead actor, who’s cute, charismatic, and carries the show with gusto. With his exaggerated reactions, he maximizes the comedic value out of each outrageous scenario. This actor does an excellent job at maintaining his high, nearly frantic energy from start to finish.

However, the few supporting cast and the many guest actors were a lot more forgettable. All of them are vaguely similar and their only defining trait is that they fall in love with each other. It’s hard to care about these random couples with no backstory and no personality, who serve no purpose other than as a punchline. There’s a missed opportunity to make these nondescript characters more memorable, defining their personalities in a humorous way.

I wanted to burst a gut laughing my ass off at A Man Who Defies the World of BL, but that never really happened. The series could have pushed itself more as a comedy. It evokes an occasional chuckle out of me, even if I’m usually cringing as much as I’m chuckling. I can’t help but get the feeling that the adaptation might be more successful as a BL anime. An animated format could’ve enhanced the comedy more smoothly, without the limitations of human actors.

How is the story?

OK story

Ayato and Tojo confess their love for each other.

Watching A Man Who Defies the World of BL feels like a manga translated into live action. Its influence is evident in the style of comedy and the way that the scenes are sequenced. The stories are moderately funny at times, but rely too much on “I DON’T WANNA BE GAY LOL!!!” or “LOOK, THEY’RE GAY 4 EACH OTHER LOL!!!” Maybe I cracked a smile the first time, but not like after the tenth time this same joke was played out.

How is the romance?

OK romance

Ayato and Tojo share an intimate kiss.

Technically, this drama has a lot of romances since the characters are just attracted to each other with no rhyme or reason. However, all these couples are played for laughs and there’s nothing substantial about any of the relationships. Yes, we see plenty of “BL moments”, but they are mostly random scenes from characters who come and go.

The only real relationship we see is the one between Ayato and Tojo, which was okay for the five minutes they were on screen, but it was hardly enough. The romance between Mob and Kikuchi went nowhere and it didn’t even culminate in a kiss in the end. Kiss now, instead of teasing us about continuing this romance in a second season!

How is the acting?

Good acting

Mob's actor gives a charismatic performance without being annoying.

Mob’s actor (Inukai Atsuhiro) did a great job with the comedy and he succeeded in making me laugh. This role called for a very over-the-top performance without being too annoying, and I think the actor had enough charisma to pull it off.

Is there any nudity?

A glimpse of butt

There's a quick sauna scene in A Man Who Defies the World of BL.

Surprisingly, there’s nudity in A Man Who Defies the World of BL, which I was not expecting at all. We saw a glimpse of someone’s butt, from one of the minor characters that featured in a story. Mob and his brother Ayato also had shirtless scenes throughout the drama.

Are there any triggers?

Gay panic

Mob fantasizes about BL a lot during the series.

I know Mob’s distaste for BL is part of his characterization and basically the whole premise of the series, but I don’t like the way it was conveyed in the show. At times, his snarky commentary felt like taking cheap shots at the gay community, in the veins of “ew, gay people!” or “ugh, gay people!”

I remember there was one joke about “meryba” (merry bad ending), which made Mob panic because he thought his brother was going to get killed over a BL romance. Okay, a guy confessed to another guy, and the joke is that it will result in a death somehow… 🙄 It was just one of the few insensitive jokes that dehumanized gay men in relationships. This wasn’t an isolated incident, and such comments happened enough times that they got under my skin.

My request is simple. I want less homophobic jokes made at the expense of gay people. A clever show like this shouldn’t have to rely on stupid insensitive comments to be funny.

What’s the best part?

The BL jokes

Mob gets the wrong idea about his brother in the shower.

While some of the jokes feel insensitive, I do understand that they’re mostly tongue-in-cheek humour about BL tropes. And when played right, these jokes can be pretty funny, resonating especially with those who are well-seasoned connoisseurs of the BL genre. If you’re a BL fan, the parody scenarios in this drama will feel reassuringly familiar. These scenes will warm your heart in the way that only an inside joke can.

What would you change?

Mob and Kikuchi

Kikuchi didn't really do much as a love interest.

In my opinion, Mob’s relationship with Kikuchi was a big missed opportunity. All along, we knew this series was building up to the moment when Mob would finally experience his own ~BL romance~. And I was excited for that moment to come! Ooh la la, who would be the gentleman to melt Mob’s heart and change his stance on BL? It must be someone pretty amazing, right?

Unfortunately, the romance was kind of a dud. Kikuchi’s character was pretty unremarkable for a love interest. Kikuchi didn’t have to be funny, but I thought he would have more spunk and personality. Instead, he’s just like all the other supporting characters on the show, an one-dimensional BL caricature as generic as they come. I don’t understand what’s so special about him that made Mob change his mind about BL.

Their nonstarter romance was also a pretty boring way to end off the show. They dedicated an entire lengthy episode to developing this relationship and almost nothing noteworthy happened, not even a kiss in the end. They didn’t give us humour, they didn’t give us romance, and they didn’t give us anything with Kikuchi. What’s even the point of introducing his character?

A Man Who Defies the World of BL Episodes

A Man Who Defies the World of BL is told in an anthology format with 8 separate stories combined into 4 episodes. Each story is around 10 to 15 minutes long. This is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 2 hours. The last story is around 20 minutes long. For the sake of clarity, I’ll be referring to each story as an episode.

Episode Guide

⭐ Best episode

Episode 2

Episode 2 was the first episode that got the tone and tempo of the show just right. It was also early on, so the BL jokes still felt fresh and exciting at the time.

💕 Most romantic episode

Episode 6

Episode 6 was easily the most romantic episode, resulting in a love confession between Ayato and Tojo. The confession itself was nonsensical, but I think that was the point.

🤣 Funniest episode

Episode

💋 First kiss episode

Episode 6

👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Episodes with intimacy

Episode

💪🏻 Episodes with skin

Episode

👨🏻‍🤝‍👨🏻 Episodes as a couple

Episode

Episode Reviews
Episode 1

★★☆☆

Episode 2

★★★☆

Episode 3

★★★☆

Episode 4

★★★☆

Episode 5

★☆☆☆

Episode 6

★★★☆

Episode 7

★☆☆☆

Episode 8

★★☆☆

A Man Who Defies the World of BL Online

Links

  1. I agree with almost everything you said. This was definitely a drama made to cater to an audience of bl readers (mostly straight girls). But i found some of the jokes really funny. Especially Mobu’s scream at episode 2. Made me laugh for a good 30 minutes 😂😂Thought the show was more heteronormative than homophobic while watching. But thinking about it now Yeah there were one or two jokes that were a little too much. Also think that Kikuchi and Mobu’s relationship was left that way to let Mobu get a different boyfriend next season (it was kind of hinted at the last episode by Kikuchi not knowing who left the chocolate). Overall i’d give this a B- or B since i enjoyed it haha

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