PaladinAlchemist's avatar


  • Florida
  • Joined Apr 24, 2015
  • 28 / F

What Do You Mean It's Not BL?

So you've already watched everything you wanted in the shonen-ai and yaoi tags. Are you still looking for more? This is a list of anime with everything from cannon gay couples to moderate BL undertones.
1 ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

BL Level: Low (except for post-credits scene)

ACCA's a low-key anime, so if you're looking for angsty, dramatic relationships, you won't find it here. What you will find is two guys who spend a LOT of time just hanging out. The further the show goes on, the shipper it gets. Bonus points because the manga this anime is based on was written by a woman who also writes BL.

This is a first season and tells a complete story. No other watching/reading necessary.  

2 Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura

BL Level: Cannon

Poor Sakura might be the only shoujo lead to ever lose her love interest to . . . her older brother. Much of this 70 episode anime doesn't feature Touya and Yukito, our all but cannon pairing, but for those patient enough to sit through it (and it's a fun show on it's own), you will be greatly rewarded in the final episodes.

This is the first season of the Sakura franchise. 

3 D.Gray-man Hallow

D.Gray-man Hallow

BL Level: High

While the entire D. Gray Man franchise is full of bishonens with lots of shipping potential, this anime installment takes things to a new level. The season revolves a lot around Allen and Kanda's growing relationship. Then there's Kanda and Alma . . . I wish I could put more here about that, but I don't want to spoil anything.

But before you get to this, I HIGHLY suggest you read the manga first (or watch the first season of the anime) or you'll find yourself a bit lost.  

4 Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

BL Level: High 

The Evangelion franchise is home to one of the most famous technically not cannon but totally are BL couples: Shinji and Kaworu. This is the third movie in the re-build series and it focuses heavily on Shinji and Kaworu's not so straight relationship.

I HIGHLY suggest you watch either the original anime (also on this list), read the manga adaptation, or watch the first two movies before getting to this. Evangelion is confusing when you KNOW what's going on. 

5 Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

BL Level: Moderate

In the spirit of cute girls doing cute things and almost kissing comes Free, cute boys doing cute things and sort of almost kissing. Far less daring when it comes to pushing boundaries than other shows on this list, Free is a mandatory addition to any list like this since the entire show revolves around relationships that could be romantic or just friendship. They'll never tell. 

This if the first installment. Everything in the franchise is pretty shippy. 

6 From the New World

From the New World

BL Level: Moderate 

Shinsekai yori features a cannon gay relationship. However, it's not a huge focus in the story and both boys are involved in a three-way love triangle with a female character. Still, their kissing scene is HOT, and the anime is so good, it's worth watching BL aside. 

Shinsekai yori is a stand-alone anime, based on a decent light novel (which someone kindly fan-translated and you can read online). Ignore the manga though. It's awful. 

7 Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

BL Level: Moderate & Cannon

I wonder what Alexandre Dumas would do if he knew someone made Albert and the Count a quasi-gay couple? Because that's exactly what this anime does. The Japanese VAs were even told to act like they were doing a love scene. However, both males having female love interests lowers the cannon level. BUT Albert's male best friend is cannonly in love with him.

You don't have to read the novel to get the anime. But you should. Dumas is a master storyteller. 

8 Haikyuu!!


BL Level: Low

Unlike the majority of anime on this list, these guys act like friends without too much 'more than friends' thrown in. Haikyuu knows it's good enough on its own, not feeling the need to throw in extra fanservice that never amounts to anything to keep people around. What it does have is an almost all-male cast that's easily paired off and only too easy to 'yaoi it up' in your head.

Start with the first season (or manga) and go from there. 

9 House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

BL Level: Low (until that last episode, geeze)

Normally, I wouldn't have included House of Five Leaves on this list. Sure the two male leads act like an uke and a seme most of the time, but they don't interact much initially. What makes this one special? This anime is an adaptation of a manga, written by a woman who writes yaoi frequently. So they really ARE acting like a seme and uke. Also, neither man gets a female love interest. The last episode is especially golden. 

This is a stand-alone anime. It's worth watching even without the BL. 

10 K


BL Level: Moderate

K is a little like Free in how it treats its BL fanservice. There's a bunch of pretty guys easily shipped together (and nicely paired off too). While nothing is anywhere close to 'cannon,' most of the development for the main male cast revolves around their interactions with another male cast member, often shown in very teasing ways. 

K has tons of manga and lightnovels. You don't need them to get the story. Though, Fushimi and Yata's backstory novel has STRONG BL undertones. 

11 Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

BL Level: Moderate

When listing 'fujoshi' anime, I seriously doubt Legend of the Galactic Heroes comes to anyone's mind. But it should. When an anime has over 660 named characters and like, 10, are women, there's bound to be complex and close relationships between two men. You've got Reuental x Mittermeyer, Poplan x Attenborough, even Reinhard's obsession with Yang could work. But the real highlight here is Reinhard x Kircheis. 

This is an anime with a bunch of prequels I didn't watch. I suggest you watch them though (the scope is unreal in this story). I can't express how awesome this anime is, but it does require patience.

12 The Morose Mononokean

The Morose Mononokean

BL Level: Moderate

No, I don't think the boys of the Morose Mononokean about to start dating. However, they totally should. They have a cute uke/seme, teasing relationship and interact often. Their relationship is the central point of the anime and there's no female love interests in sight.

This anime adapts the first 30-ish chapters of the manga, that actually gets even gayer later on. 

13 Nabari no Ou

Nabari no Ou

BL Level: High

The first couple episodes make Nabari no Ou seem like it's going to be a shonen, action anime about clashing ninja clans. Why it still is a little about that, the ninja clan stuff ends up feeling like a backdrop to Yoite and Miharu's very close relationship. They have far more than just friendship going on here. Bonus points for having no female love interests AND Raiko and Gau pairing on the side. 

This is an anime based on the manga. Sadly, the last few episodes give it a a depressing and lackluster ending. The manga ending is far superior. 

14 Natsume's Book of Friends

Natsume's Book of Friends

BL Level: Low (gets higher in later seasons)

I was on the fence about adding Natsume. The early seasons have far less ship-teasing than the later ones. But the longer the show goes on, the more Natsume opens up to other characters (mostly, younger, good looking guys). You even get to pick your ship: Natori (#TeamNatori), Tanuma, or Matoba all work.

This is the first season of one of my favorite anime. There's a total of 6 seasons so far. 

15 Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

BL Level: Moderate

Neon Genesis Evangelion is hard to rate. Shinji and Kaworu are pretty gay. Only the most stubborn person wouldn't admit there's something there, especially on Kaworu's side. However, Kaworu gets little screentime in the anime. 

Evangelion is a great franchise. You should check it out. This is the original anime, so it's best to start here. 

16 No. 6

No. 6

BL Level: Cannon

No. 6's claim to fame is that Shion and Nezumi have an actual gay relationship, not just something that's teased at. While romance takes a backseat to other plot points, their relationship is central to the story. Some people argue this IS actually a shonen-ai anime. 

No. 6 is an anime, manga, and lightnovel series that all re-tell the same story. You can pick any one of them or all three. It doesn't really matter. 

17 Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club

BL Level: Low

None of the men in Ouran are cannonly in love with other men. They're mostly in love with the female lead actually. However, this anime plays around with BL, especially the twins who's 'host' charm is that the females visiting the club squee over the idea of twincest. So it's more fun teasing than actual BL teasing, but still worth noting. 

Ouran is a stand-alone anime and a manga series. 

18 Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena

BL Level: Low

If you're sick of straight, normal relationships, Utena is the perfect anime for you. Standard hetero relationships are few. That said, there's no cannon m x m pairing and any of the possible ones get a lot less attention than the f x f pairings. Still, there's a lot of minor possible m x m relationships here.

Utena is a masterpiece of an anime. You don't need to watch anything else to get it, though there is manga and a movie too. 

19 Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

BL Level: Low

The first season of the 90s adaptation of Sailor Moon gives us Kunzite and Zoisite, two male villains portrayed as being in a romantic relationship (only in this version). While they share limited screentime together, their love for each other is portrayed as their most only redeeming factor. And it works. You're actually bummed when they exit the show.

This is the first season of Sailor Moon, so no other watching required here.  

20 Sailor Moon Super S

Sailor Moon Super S

BL Level: Low

The first season of Sailor Moon isn't the only one that decided to adapt one of the villains as gay. Super S give us Fisheye, who gets a much expanded role in the 90s version of the Sailor Moon franchise. He's openly gay and seduces men by pretending to be a woman. He also gets a lot of development for a mid-tier Sailor Moon villain, and his love for another man ends up forcing him to re-examine his life choices.

Even though Super S is later in the Sailor Moon franchise, it's not that complex of a story. You could just skip to this one if you wanted, but it's more fun if you know the characters already. 

21 Seraph of the End

Seraph of the End

BL Level: Low

It helps that the driving force behind our two main male characters is to rescue each other. There's a strong relationship between them that's extends beyond friendship. There relationship is, arguably, the most important one in the series. However, the writing is so bad that it feels shallow, just like everything else in this anime. If you don't ship it, then skip it.

This is the first season. Watch it if you've got nothing else to do. 

22 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

BL Level: Moderate

Technically speaking, no one comes out in Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. I see this more like the mature/deeper version of K or Free, where there's some heavily implied stuff going on between two guys, handled in a far more realistic light. It plays a HUGE role in the plot and character narrative too. The stuff going on is so suggestive, some people actually hail this as one of the best examples of healthy LGBT representation in anime. Also, this is based on a manga. Literally everything else the mangaka has written is either yaoi or shonen-ai. 

This is the first season. So you don't need to watch anything before checking this out. 

23 Spiritpact


BL Level: High

Soul Contract is the originally aired, Chinese dub version of this story (it later got dubbed in Japanese, I hear the Chinese dub is funnier). I'm actually a little surprised this isn't labeled shonen-ai. The original Chinese comic it's based off of is (and I think the Japanese dub is too). While no one is out-right gay, the main two guys act like way more than just friends, and the whole anime is built around their relationship. Also, their power-ups involve kissing. 

Yet again, this is the beginning of the story, so you don't need to watch anything else. 

24 The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi

BL Level: High

A word of warning, some people found what they perceived as homophobia from the main character as offensive. I personally think you're not meant to take this anime short about a high school guy (who insists he's straight) that can't get enough of BL manga, seriously. The most humorous part of the anime is seeing his various classmates imagined/portrayed as BL stereotypes.

Not only is this the beginning of the story, but it's also only a short so it won't take up any of your time. 

25 Toward the Terra TV

Toward the Terra TV

BL Level: Moderate

This is a weird middle ground between Haikyuu and Showa in 'how gay is it?' No one's cannonly gay, but every single male in the series is ship-teased with another dude. Bonus points to Keith Anyan, who keeps getting new ukes. Also, the mangaka who wrote the manga this anime is based on was one of the first ladies to write BL. So Keith Anyan really might be one of the first semes ever, they just didn't exist yet. 

This is a complete story, though, if you want more, there's a manga and a movie (though most don't think the movie does the manga justice). 

26 Vatican Miracle Examiner

Vatican Miracle Examiner

BL Level: Moderate

There's nothing cannon going on in Vatican, but the two main characters are really, really close. Their relationship is central to the entire show, and the level of trust they have in each other is unreal and makes the feelings these two have for each other (whatever kind they are) feel far more substantial than the blushing and long eye gazing some of these other anime offer.

This is the first season. The show itself is a little whacked with its mysteries, but just roll with it and have fun. 

27 Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri!!! on Ice

BL Level: Holy Shit

When I watched the first episode of YOI, I thought I was in for a more sexual version of Free (my sister and I called it 'yaoi teasing' vs 'shonen-ai teasing'). By episode 3, it's not even pretending to be subtext anymore. If you're sick of being baited with no pay-off, then this anime is a dream come true. The whole series revolves around Yuri and Victor's not-straight and very romantic relationship. Also, it's a rarely seen mature and healthy relationship too. 

This is an original anime. So you start here. 


You must be logged in to leave comments. Login or sign up today!

jukey9 Sep 28, 2019

May I recommend:

Big windup-- Another sport anime with serious BL vibes. Abe and mihashi for sure have romance vibes but others if you're patient/ship with little material.

Rokuhoudou yotsuiro biyori-- basically 2 gay couples all running a cafe together. It's sutle but still there.

xxxHolic--doumeki and watanuki have the best chemistry and it's only frustrating that it doesn't get more explicit (Come on Clamp!!)

mayfou12 Aug 13, 2018

I love the list, I got a lot of new anime to watch at free times ,,, but I was really hoping you would add Hetalia XD ,, Germany's gayness is endless and also there are tons of bl ships in there plus it's short

2hands Aug 4, 2018

Very nice list, but feel like these should def be on it - so much to ship!

    Hakkendon Eight Dogs of The East                                 Kyo Kara Maoh

Eight Dogs of The East            Kyo Kara Maoh

valikapula Jul 23, 2018

One show is missing and it's called Banana Fish trust me

YoWeebs Jun 12, 2018

Logh prequels are WAY gayer trust me on that one, you should check it out