Some famous Japanese BL dramas include Ossan's Love, Cherry Magic, and My Beautiful Man.

Japan is well-known for popularizing Boys Love anime and manga, but many Japanese BL dramas are also worthy of recognition. While this country is certainly no stranger to the genre, it is only in recent years Japanese BL series gained mainstream attention. This is all thanks to the breakout success of Ossan's Love, a wacky comedy that captured the world by storm. Since then, Japan has continued producing innovative works with international acclaim, such as Cherry Magic.

Japanese BL dramas are quite unique. They often feature hilarious humour with exaggerated reactions and outlandish scenarios. Yet, these Japanese BL series balance their boisterous comedy perfectly with meaningful plots and sentimental plots. A popular trend in this country is that famous BL mangas have been converted into live-action dramas. These adaptations are always an exciting experience, like watching your favourite fiction come to life.

Occasionally, Japanese BL dramas feature mature characters and deal with more serious themes. This is a refreshing change if you're looking for a different type of BL series other than the typical school romances. Of course, Japan also produces a fair number of BL series in high schools and university campuses, just in case you're a fan of that trope. The variety is a trademark strength of Japanese BL dramas.

You'll enjoy the many BL dramas in Japan if you like:

  • Inventive storylines that think outside the box
  • Varied and diverse romances
  • Sophisticated comedy balanced with serious drama

BL Watcher has prepared a list of Japanese BL dramas and series from Japan made over the years! Read the reviews of each drama for information about the plot, the cast, and the episodes.

List of BL Dramas in Japan

2022 BL

2021 BL

2020 BL

2019 BL

2018 BL

Japanese BL Dramas in 2022

2022
2021

A Man Who Defies the World of BL 2 (2022)

A Man Who Defies the World of BL 2 is a Japanese BL drama released in 2022.

A Man Who Defies the World of BL 2 is the second season of the Japanese BL comedy. This sequel continues the story of the reluctant protagonist in a universe dominated by gay couples. Although he becomes more open-minded, a shocking setback makes the main character feel jaded about love.

The second installment of A Man Who Defies the World of BL exudes the same humourous vibe as the original. Maybe the sequel is slightly less funny, but it compensates with more sentimentality and romance. There aren't many dramatic changes from the first season. Expect many similarities in the zany comedy, exaggerated reactions, and over-the-top scenarios.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 3 episodes
  • 2 hours

Double (2022)

Double is a Japanese BL drama released in 2022.

Double is a Japanese drama about two friends with an unusually codependent relationship. They have been aspiring actors and next-door neighbours for many years, bonding over their love for theatre performances. The main character is his friend's mentor and sees tremendous talent in him. Their rapport changes when one of their careers picks up traction, leaving the other with complicated emotions.

No, Double isn't a full-fledged BL drama. There's a shred of intimacy, but it doesn't have enough romantic content to be your main reason for watching. However, the characters share a complex dynamic that will make you speculate and analyze their fascinating relationship. While some parts of the story are slow, the narrative offers many thoughtful and introspective moments, backed by excellent performances.

  • Non-BL drama
  • Deep & mature
  • 10 episodes
  • 4 hours

Eternal Yesterday (2022)

Eternal Yesterday is a Japanese BL drama released in 2022.

Eternal Yesterday is a Japanese BL series about two high school students who experience a heartbreaking tragedy. The protagonist used to be a loner until his cheerful classmate befriends him. Despite their opposite personalities, they form a close bond and cultivate a secret attraction. On an ordinary morning, they are walking to school. A devastating event suddenly occurs, changing their lives forever.

Every aspect of Eternal Yesterday is masterful, from the sensitive romance to the emotive acting. The beautifully poignant story uses a creative way to express profound messages about grief. The haunting tale of love and woe makes me want to cry after each powerful episode. I champion this sentimental and sophisticated series, which has outclassed most of the other dramas in the BL genre.

  • School romance
  • Sad & emotional
  • 8 episodes
  • 3 hours

Fudanshi Bartender (2022)

Fundashi Bartender is a Japanese BL drama released in 2022.

Fudanshi Bartender is a Japanese BL slice-of-life comedy. The main character may look like a suave bartender on the outside, but he hides his secret obsession with BL. The protagonist constantly daydreams about his male coworkers and customers in outlandish scenarios. Cursed with an overactive imagination, he can misconstrue even the most innocuous moment and turn it into a romantic connection.

Those who love silly comedies may respond well to the offbeat humour in Fudanshi Bartender. It parodies BL tropes cheekily with outrageous scenarios, wacky characters, and over-the-top fantasies. This quirky series suffers because it doesn't have an ongoing story, lacks substantial romances, and hammers the same joke repeatedly. Nonetheless, I admire this drama's relentless enthusiasm and commitment to eccentricity.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 2 episodes
  • 45 mins

I Just Want to See You (2022)

I Just Want to See You is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

I Just Want to See You is a Japanese BL series about a calm, gentle high school romance. The main characters are two childhood best friends about to enter their senior year, facing uncertainty over their futures. They have maintained a platonic relationship all these years. However, this dynamic will soon change in their final summer of adolescence together.

If you enjoy laidback love stories, I Just Want to See You will certainly be appealing. This relaxing BL drama portrays the delicate coming-of-age journeys of two teenage boys. I like the first two episodes, where the charming leads convey a sweet, soft, and simple romance. However, the second half starts drifting aimlessly and almost feels too snoozy.

  • School romance
  • Nice & gentle
  • 4 episodes
  • 80 mins

Kabe Koji (2022)

Kabe Koji is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Kabe Koji is a Japanese BL comedy series about a doujinshi artist. The protagonist is famous for drawing an adult manga with steamy characters. Surprisingly, one of his biggest fans is a celebrity idol from an up-and-coming boy band. The two leads used to know each other in high school. An unlikely bond forms as they reconnect, leading to hilarious hijinks, warm camaraderie, and emotional journeys.

I like Kabe Koji more as a story than a romance. This funny BL series showcases cheeky jokes, naughty innuendos, and a perpetually enthusiastic vibe. Beneath the boisterous comedy, the narrative explores thoughtful themes about pursuing your passion and overcoming personal demons. Unfortunately, the couple's relationship lacks persuasion. The romantic attraction doesn't feel fully developed.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 8 episodes
  • 3 hours

Kei x Yaku (2022)

Kei x Yaku is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Kei x Yaku: Dangerous Buddy is a Japanese BL crime drama. The main character is a police detective investigating the mysterious shooting of his senior colleague three years ago. He meets a young yakuza leader, also looking for answers. This unlikely pair teams up and works together, uncovering the truth behind an enormous political conspiracy.

Although the two lead actors are charming, Kei x Yaku suffers from a convoluted plot not written particularly well. The BL content is also disappointingly minimal and resembles more of a bromance. Still, this mystery thriller can be compelling to watch, entertaining the viewers with fun twists and turns.

  • Crime drama
  • Wild & intense
  • 10 episodes
  • 7 hours

Minato's Laundromat (2022)

Minato's Laundromat is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Minato's Laundromat is a Japanese BL series about a high school student's unrequited love. The teen protagonist has a crush on the local laundromat owner, who is in his late twenties. Yet, the older man feels uncomfortable about their age gap and turns down the relationship. Despite the rejection, the characters continue to spend time together as they struggle with their repressed feelings.

This cozy, delicate BL drama has an intimate vibe. It explores the intricacies of attraction with thoughtful writing and gentle humour. However, the age difference in Minato's Laundromat is impossible to overlook. The adult lead is ten years older than his teenage love interest, creating a dubious dynamic in the romance. Although the series navigates their connection compellingly, many interactions seem irritating and inappropriate.

  • Romance
  • Nice & gentle
  • 12 episodes
  • 5 hours

More Than Words (2022)

More Than Words is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

More Than Words is a Japanese drama about three best friends in a love triangle over the years. The aromantic female protagonist befriends a popular classmate, even though she isn't interested in dating him. Later, they welcome a gay coworker to their social circle. The trio gets along splendidly, forming a close bond from high school to adulthood. Yet, their relationship reaches an emotional turning point that threatens to drive them apart.

Supported by subtle writing and brilliant acting, More Than Words unleashes powerful emotions with its sensitive relationship drama. This sophisticated story is masterful at navigating the blurry lines between friendship, romance, and family. Although not a conventional BL series, it features gay characters and highlights their thoughtful experiences. Each protagonist goes through a nuanced journey that explores sentimental themes.

  • Drama
  • Deep & mature
  • 10 episodes
  • 6 hours

Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss (2022)

Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss is a quirky Japanese BL drama. The main character believes he has been jinxed throughout his life. Everywhere the protagonist goes, he encounters accidents, disruptions, and a persistent streak of bad luck. However, his situation improves after meeting a popular university student with inherently good fortune. As they start a romantic relationship, their destinies become intertwined.

I adore the two lead actors in Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss. They have a natural likability, a delightful rapport, and charming good looks. Unfortunately, I'm not fond of everything else about this BL drama, from the ludicrous story to the juvenile romance. I'm also annoyed by the neurotic main character, whose inner thoughts are constantly imposed on us.

  • School romance
  • Happy & funny
  • 8 episodes
  • 3 hours

Old Fashion Cupcake (2022)

Old Fashion Cupcake is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Old Fashion Cupcake is a Japanese BL series about a delightful office romance. The main character is a single business employee in his late thirties, who lacks ambition and fails to enjoy life beyond his job. A young colleague befriends the protagonist and encourages him to try new experiences outside his comfort zone. They start by visiting various dessert parlours, constantly standing out as the only male customers in shops packed with women.

An instant classic, Old Fashion Cupcake is a charming BL drama with a sweet yet sexy romance. This sophisticated story examines many mature themes, particularly aging, gender, and societal norms. The brisk narrative is propelled by sharp writing, handsome leads, and charismatic performances.

  • Office romance
  • Cute & sweet
  • 5 episodes
  • 2 hours

Senpai, This Can't Be Love! (2022)

Senpai, This Can't Be Love is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Senpai, This Can't Be Love! is a Japanese BL series about a cute and quirky workplace romance. The protagonist is a shy new employee at a 3D design agency. He has a secret crush on an older colleague, who mentors him in the office. As the two leads flirt coyly, they must navigate their unspoken feelings for each other.

I adore Senpai, This Can't Be Love! The bubbly romantic comedy conveys a playful office flirtation with a lighthearted vibe. Also, the entertaining story and funny characters make me laugh enthusiastically. This silly BL drama endears me with its charming interactions, cheeky humour, and cheerful tone.

  • Office romance
  • Cute & sweet
  • 8 episodes
  • 3 hours

Takara-kun & Amagi-kun (2022)

Takara-kun and Amagi-kun is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

Takara-kun and Amagi-kun is a Japanese BL series about two high school students who recently started dating. The main characters belong to different social circles. One is a part of the popular kids, while the other just hangs out with his ordinary friends. They must hide this unlikely relationship from classmates while navigating their feelings for one another.

It took me a while to warm up to Takara-kun & Amagi-kun. The eccentric plots, moody characters, and aimless slice-of-life drama put me off initially. After some time, I looked past the issues and got used to the quirky high school love story. This cute BL series explores delicate relationship drama with sweet moments and sensitive messages.

  • School romance
  • Nice & gentle
  • 8 episodes
  • 3 hours

The 8.2 Second Rule (2022)

The 8.2 Second Rule is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

The 8.2 Second Rule is a Japanese BL series about a high school student and his ongoing pursuit of love. The teenage protagonist is a hopeless romantic who wants to find a boyfriend. He believes in the superstition that two people can fall in love if they maintain eye contact for 8.2 seconds. In each episode, the main character meets with various classmates to test if the theory comes true.

Light and insubstantial, The 8.2 Second Rule doesn't make a big splash in this genre. Every episode follows a rigid storytelling formula that offers little surprises or BL content. The handsome young cast is a selling point, but a few pretty faces can't compensate for a superficial plot. It's hard to get excited about this mild-mannered and saccharine series.

  • School romance
  • Nice & gentle
  • 5 episodes
  • 50 mins

We're Both Grooms (2022)

We're Both Grooms is a Japanese BL series released in 2022.

We're Both Grooms is a Japanese BL drama about a gay couple on their wedding day. Moments before the ceremony, the main character suddenly admits he hasn't come out to his parents, family, or coworkers. His fiancé is shocked by the revelation, but the couple tries to tie the knot anyway. Their nuptials descend into arguments, tears, and chaos as various guests disrupt the festivities.

There is a cute, quirky coming-out story in We're Both Grooms. This one-hour TV special has a sentimental tone with a positive message. However, it suffers from a shaky plot, iffy acting, and a lightweight BL romance. Overall, the drama is fine, but it doesn't rise above average quality.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 1 episode
  • 50 mins

Japanese BL Dramas in 2021

2022
2021
2020

A Man Who Defies the World of BL (2021)

A Man Who Defies the World of BL is a Japanese BL drama released in 2021.

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.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 4 episodes
  • 2 hours

Given (2021)

Given is a Japanese BL drama released in 2021.

Given is a Japanese BL drama adapted from a manga, focusing on a group of musicians in a band. When the main characters meet in school, they form a connection over their shared interest in guitars. However, one of them is harbouring an emotional wound, which can only be healed through music and love.

Although I tried to keep an open mind about the Given series, it seriously underwhelmed me. Maybe I'm too biased due to my attachment to the anime, but this uninspired remake lacks heart and soul. Instead of watching the live action drama, I would strongly recommend the Given anime for a much stronger reiteration of the story.

  • Drama
  • Deep & mature
  • 6 episodes
  • 3 hours

My Beautiful Man (2021)

My Beautiful Man is a Japanese BL drama released in 2021.

My Beautiful Man is a Japanese BL drama about a student who falls in love with his bully. The protagonist is a social outcast in his new high school and becomes a lackey for the popular kids. Despite his awful treatment, he develops a hopeless crush on one of his handsome classmates.

I'm not fond of the unlikeable characters or their abusive relationship in My Beautiful Man. The series features a volatile romance propelled by a twisted dynamic. Nonetheless, I like how the story deviates from the conventional BL drama, intriguing me with its dark and sinister undertones.

  • School romance
  • Dark & toxic
  • 6 episodes
  • 2 hours

My Love Mix-Up (2021)

My Love Mix-Up (also known as Kieta Hatsukoi) is a Japanese BL drama released in 2021.

My Love Mix-Up is a Japanese BL comedy adapted from a manga. In this high school romance, the teenage protagonist is infatuated with a female student, but discovers she likes another guy instead. When her secret becomes exposed, the main character protects her identity by pretending he's the one with the crush. This fake love confession surprises his male classmate, who seriously contemplates whether he can reciprocate the feelings.

Also known as Kieta Hatsukoi or Vanishing My First Love, My Love Mix-Up is an excellent coming-of-age comedy. Many BL fans will enjoy the hilarious story and heartwarming romance, packed with boundless charm, laughter, and delightfulness. Each episode is effortlessly funny, but still conveys a sentimental message about love, friendship, and adolescence.

  • School romance
  • Happy & funny
  • 10 episodes
  • 4 hours

Japanese BL Dramas in 2020

2021
2020
2019

Cherry Magic (2020)

Cherry Magic is a Japanese BL drama released in 2020.

Cherry Magic is a Japanese BL drama about a workplace romance with a quirky twist. The protagonist is an ordinary office worker, who never had any sexual relationships during his twenties. He suddenly develops a magical power on his 30th birthday, allowing him to read other people's minds every time they touch. This newfound ability completely transforms his life and comes with many exciting surprises.

If you are looking for a sweet and lighthearted romantic comedy, Cherry Magic is one of the best series in the genre. Featuring a charismatic couple, you will be smiling from episode to episode as their feel-good romance develops. This fun BL drama is powered by charm, humour, positivity, and lots of wonderful imagination.

  • Office romance
  • Cute & sweet
  • 12 episodes
  • 4 hours

Life~Love on the Line (2020)

Life~Love on the Line is a Japanese BL drama released in 2020.

Life~Love on the Line is a Japanese BL drama adapted from a manga. The two main characters are high school students, who first meet each other under quirky circumstances when walking home from school. This series chronicles the next few decades of their relationship, as they transition to university, the workplace, and the responsibilities of adult life.

Although Life~Love on the Line has an offbeat start, it slowly develops into a sweet and sensitive drama with plenty of poignant moments. The romance is depicted intimately, taking us through the emotional ups and downs of a gay couple.

  • Romance
  • Deep & mature
  • 4 episodes
  • 2 hours

Japanese BL Dramas in 2019

2020
2019
2018

His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love (2019)

His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love is a Japanese BL drama released in 2019.

His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall In Love is a Japanese BL series focusing on adolescent love. This short, leisurely drama features four teenagers in a beachside community, as they navigate their romantic feelings for each other. The two male leads are starting to come to terms with their sexuality, albeit in a clumsy and uncertain manner.

Up until the last episode, the narrative in His: I Didn’t Think I Would Fall in Love doesn't go deep enough to resonate emotionally, playing it too safe with the storylines. Even though it takes too long to reach the climax, there’s still an innocent and wholesome love story depicted in this series.

  • Teen romance
  • Nice & gentle
  • 5 episodes
  • 2 hours

Mood Indigo (2019)

Mood Indigo is a Japanese BL drama released in 2019.

Mood Indigo is a Japanese BL drama about a struggling author, who begins to write pornographic novels at the urging of his friend. Although the main character is initially reluctant to work in this industry, he slowly learns to adapt the eroticism into his writing. As he delves deeper into this salacious genre, the relationship with his editor also becomes increasingly sensual.

As the second instalment in a trilogy, Mood Indigo is the prequel of The Novelist, taking place years before its predecessor. It explores sexual topics in a clever, provocative way, pushing the boundaries more than your average BL series. This atmospheric drama balances its risqué subject matter with some surprisingly poignant moments, delivering a powerful storyline that is rich with emotions.

  • Romance
  • Sexy & steamy
  • 6 episodes
  • 3 hours

Ossan's Love: In the Sky (2019)

Ossan's Love: In the Sky is a Japanese BL drama released in 2019.

Ossan's Love: In the Sky is the second season of the popular Japanese BL series, Ossan's Love. The workplace comedy takes place in an airline setting, focusing on the complicated love triangles between the coworkers. While the drama features the same lead actors as its predecessor, it is not a continuation of the first season. This is a brand new story with completely different characters.

Unlike the charming first season, Ossan’s Love: In the Sky struggles to tell a satisfying love story. Despite the likable characters and strong acting performances, the quality of this BL drama is wildly inconsistent. The lacklustre narrative suffers from too many love triangles that feel exhausting to watch.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 8 episodes
  • 4 hours

What Did You Eat Yesterday? (2019)

What Did You Eat Yesterday? is a Japanese BL drama released in 2019.

What Did You Eat Yesterday is a Japanese BL slice-of-life comedy. The story depicts the sweet and frequently funny day-to-day routine of an ordinary gay couple. Both main characters are in their 40s and live together as boyfriends. They love cooking and always make time to enjoy homemade dinners. However, their relationship is a secret, so only their close acquaintances know they are dating. 

Despite the simple premise, What Did You Eat Yesterday is one of the best slice-of-life BL dramas in the genre. The story has plenty of charm, comedy, and heartwarming messages that will make you appreciate your loved ones. The humour is hilarious, portrayed brilliantly by two veteran actors. Every episode is entertaining, endearing, and emotionally profound.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 12 episodes
  • 6 hours

Japanese BL Dramas in 2018

2019
2018

Ossan's Love (2018)

Ossan's Love is a Japanese BL drama released in 2018.

Ossan's Love is one of the most famous Japanese BL dramas. It gained mainstream recognition in the country, popular even among viewers who don't normally watch the genre. The story focuses on a love triangle between two coworkers and their much older boss, who develops an inexplicable crush on his subordinate.

This workplace comedy is extremely funny, carried by a strong cast of actors who have immersed themselves into their roles. The zany humour, the unusual romance, and the buoyant energy all contribute to the success of Ossan's Love.

  • Comedy
  • Happy & funny
  • 7 episodes
  • 5 hours

The Novelist (2018)

The Novelist is a Japanese BL drama released in 2018.

Also known as Pornographer, The Novelist is a Japanese BL drama adapted from a yaoi manga. The story focuses on a university student who begins to work for an erratic author, transcribing his pornographic novels onto paper. The more they spend time together, the more sensual and passionate their relationship becomes.

The Novelist is the first instalment in a trilogy, taking place years after the events of its prequel Mood Indigo. This bold and cheeky BL drama explores the topic of erotica unapologetically. Some of the scenes are provocative and can even get pretty raunchy.

  • Romance
  • Sexy & steamy
  • 6 episodes
  • 3 hours
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