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  • Tennessee, USA
  • Joined Jan 10, 2018
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Less explicit BL manga featuring adults

Less explicit BL manga that aren't just about high school students holding hands. Titles may contain mature themes, including violence and sex, and may not be appropriate for all ages, but sexual depictions are generally limited and often largely offscreen or obscured.
1 10 Dance

10 Dance

While the rating seems poised to change after events at the end of vol 5, the first part of this series is an intensely charged slow burn romance between two professional dancers.

2 After the Storm

After the Storm

A bit of a slow burn romance between a gay businessman and a straight client. Sexual content is present but brief and largely kept offscreen.

3 Age Called Blue

Age Called Blue

The tumultuous relationship between a guitarist and his bandmate (plus a handful of other stories), this has some nudity, minor violence, and related mature themes but is not explicit.

4 A Miniature-Garden Romance

A Miniature-Garden Romance

A collection of quiet stories with a hint of the supernatural and mostly only a touch of romance.

5 Breathless Momentum

Breathless Momentum

Two guys in a woodwind ensemble start out as friends with benefits after an physically exhilarating performance only to realize, four years on, that actually feelings might be involved. A surprisingly chaste story (as of volume 1) considering the premise, with essentially no sex scenes on the page, but a lot of discussions about emotions going on.

6 Canis


The first volume of the series, Dear Mr Rain, is a freestanding story about a hatter finding a battered young man during a rainstorm and convincing him to come work at his shop for just one day. Mature themes are present, with violence particularly prominent, but sex is almost entirely absent.

7 Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt

Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt

A collection of interconnected supernatural period stories with a mix of character ages. Mature themes are present with particularly heavy violence. Several sex scenes are present but largely nonexplicit and not in every story.

8 Dining Bar Akira

Dining Bar Akira

A lot of discussion about sexual identities and age going on in this story about a man in his thirties being confessed to by his younger coworker. Sex is present in the story but is largely fade to black.

9 Even so, I Will Love You Tenderly

Even so, I Will Love You Tenderly

A slow burn of a relationship between a gay man and the straight friend he's fallen for. Sex scenes are present but limited in number, length, and explicitness.

10 Ginza Neon Paradise

Ginza Neon Paradise

A historical drama between a translator and his childhood friend after WWII, this title contains some mature themes and sex scenes that are limited and nonexplicit.

11 God is Probably Left-Handed

God is Probably Left-Handed

This title about money counterfeiters has a fair amount of violence and related themes but not so much sex.

12 If I Could Touch Your Heart

If I Could Touch Your Heart

A soft romance between a restaurant owner and the freelance writer who comes to interview him for an article. Minor references to cruising and one night stands but completely appropriate otherwise.

13 I Hear the Sunspot

I Hear the Sunspot

An ongoing series with a slow burn relationship between two college students, the mangaka may or may not have forgotten that they were supposed to be writing a bl during the first volume.

14 Illumination


A collection of short stories centered on adults. Sex and minor violence are present in 'God's Name is Night', but only briefly.

15 It's Fine Even If It's Just a Dream

It's Fine Even If It's Just a Dream

A slow burn about a disgraced salaryman sent out to a country branch and the quiet cook at the one restaurant in town.

16 I Want a Love Story

I Want a Love Story

A collection of stories primarily (but not entirely) centered on adults trying to figure out relationships, this title does have some mature themes including depictions of sex but keeps everything above the waist.

17 Je t'aime, café noir

Je t'aime, café noir

A collection of often bittersweet love stories. Homophobia is present in some stories, sex not so much.

18 JOY


A sweet and gently funny story about a mangaka who accidentally learns that his assistant is gay and finds himself growing intrigued after his editor suggests he try writing a bl next. The plot itself is pretty basic but the execution is surprisingly self-aware. Hook-ups, polyamory, and sex are clearly discussed in the story but the depictions are brief and not explicit.

19 La Danse des Amants: The Dance of Lovers

La Danse des Amants: The Dance of Lovers

A collection of interconnected stories about professional dancers, this title contains mature themes and sex but keeps it limited and largely obscured or offscreen.

20 Life in Our Hometown with Me & You

Life in Our Hometown with Me & You

A warm set of snapshots of a couple's life in their small hometown.

21 Link and Ring

Link and Ring

A soft and sweet romance between two college students bonding over cute things.

22 Moja & I

Moja & I

A gentle oneshot about a pair of childhood friends, their relationship is mostly implied.

23 My Little Doggy

My Little Doggy

Dog groomer who sees dogs' souls as people and the shape-shifting dog/man he falls for, fun (and cute) times abound

24 Necktie and Praying Mantis

Necktie and Praying Mantis

A collection of stories featuring adult characters that focuses heavily on social commentary.

25 One Room Angel

One Room Angel

A sweet (but not too sweet) story about a guy who finds himself with an amnesiac angel for a roommate after he gets stabbed in an alley. Some violence + organized crime themes, but no sex and essentially no romance.

26 Our Dining Table

Our Dining Table

A sweet story about yet another man meeting a kid in the park and gradually falling for the kid's older brother over food. Appropriate for younger audiences.

27 Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide

Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide

Two men embark on a round the world trip with one goal in mind: getting married when they get back to Japan. A fascinating travelogue that also has a lot to say about letting queer people be themselves and accepting love.

28 Red Blinds the Foolish

Red Blinds the Foolish

A matador and a colorblind butcher fall in love with additional stories included. This title has quite a bit of nudity and multiple sex scenes that are not explicit but a bit longer than in other titles by est em. Not suitable for those sensitive to scenes of bullfighting or blood.

29 Sarazanmai: Reo & Mabu

Sarazanmai: Reo & Mabu

Sometimes you and your very special coworker just have to end up unexpectedly taking care of a mysterious baby you found out on the sidewalk as a prequel/sequel/side story to an absolutely bizarre anime, amirite?

30 Seduce Me After the Show

Seduce Me After the Show

A collection of stories primarily centered on adult performers, there is minor nudity and one brief nonexplicit sex scene.

31 See you later, Mermaid

See you later, Mermaid

An interesting and quietly supernatural story about a pair of men meeting by the seashore, there is one brief sex scene at the end.

32 Short Distance Love

Short Distance Love

An excellent collection of stories centered on adult characters. Sweet and grounded, there's only a bit of casual kissing.

33 Sink Into You

Sink Into You

A collection of stories, including a set of interconnected stories about the growing relationship between a cram school teacher and a writer, that leans heavily into mature themes. Violence and sexual content are very present, though actual sex scenes are largely obscured and brief.

34 Sleeping Bug

Sleeping Bug

Trying to understand why you have such strong feelings for your older coworker is really difficult when feelings are confusing in the first place. Some mature themes but limited.

35 Sleeping Moon

Sleeping Moon

An interesting supernatural story about a trio of men trying to break a curse on a family's bloodline in two separate times. Sex scenes are present in the story but are brief and not particularly explicit.

36 Snip, Snail & Puppy Dog Tails

Snip, Snail & Puppy Dog Tails

Snapshots of a friendship slowly turning romantic, there are discussions about sex and moments of casual physical intimacy, but everything else stays off screen.

37 Super Natural

Super Natural

A cosmetology student in his last year of school can't figure out why he's so upset by his classmate and best friend's busy schedule, especially the meetings with one particular female classmate. A sweet friends to lovers story, sex is present but is mostly obscured or fade to black.

38 Tableau Numéro 20

Tableau Numéro 20

A collection of stories centered entirely on adult characters. There is some nudity and a very brief nonexplicit sex scene in the title story.

39 Tales of Strange Coincidences in Kawabata-machi

Tales of Strange Coincidences in Kawabata-machi

A supernatural story about a strangely unmemorable college student stumbling into odd goings-on with his new part-time job, this manga has interesting explorations of relationships but is otherwise lowkey on the physical affection front.

40 The Cat Proposed

The Cat Proposed

A supernatural story about a human finding himself partnered with a bakeneko.

41 The Dragon's Husband: God of a Ruined Kingdom

The Dragon's Husband: God of a Ruined Kingdom

An interestingly strange not-quite romance between a human general and his kingdom's very nonhuman dragon protector who's been fascinated by him since he was a child, this story has no sex at all but some minor gore and violence.

42 The Man on the Other Side

The Man on the Other Side

The relationship between a guy who can only connect to people online and the famous actor he unknowingly befriends.

43 The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window

The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window

An oddball of a bl title, this supernatural series features neither sex nor romance, and the relationship between the male leads is technically platonic, but it sure is some kind of emotionally charged.

44 The Pure☆Knight’s Shining Journey

The Pure☆Knight’s Shining Journey

One knight who's sworn to stay pure for his chosen profession + one elf whose approach to intimacy means magic = a lighthearted story that's more than platonic but not explicit.

45 The Stray

The Stray

Slow burn relationship between a businessman and a part-timer working for his company. It touches on some social commentary but otherwise is very sweet.

46 The Two Lions

The Two Lions

Two college students slowly become friends until one of them realizes that he might want more. This oneshot barely even has a kiss and instead is very centered on the development of the leads' friendship.

47 The Vacation in Love

The Vacation in Love

This title has a slow relationship between a divorced businessman and a bathhouse employee. There is some sexual content, but the scenes are all brief and generally not explicit.

48 The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms

The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms

How much does age matter when everyone's a beast person? A collection of stories with characters who are a variety of ages (and animals).

49 Tsubaki's Diary

Tsubaki's Diary

A sweet story about two childhood friends reuniting after one of them meets the other's kid in a park one afternoon. Their relationship is strictly platonic in this volume, but emotionally intimate.

50 Ultras


Two hardcore fans of crosstown rival football teams have a drunken one night stand (depicted very briefly) and have to work out feelings. Some mature themes but not explicit.


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Akishima Aug 27, 2020

I appreciate this list! I'm always looking for manga with adult characters and it's a bit daunting to wade through the tons of bl out there and try to guess which ones are very explicit. I thoroughly enjoyed Sleeping Moon and just bought Canis. I'm happy to see that several titles I'd been eyeing are more along the lines of what I was hoping for.