These BL mangas will surely make you believe in happy endings

Jun 16, 2021 0 comments



LGBTQ+ representation in films and other media saw its height over the past few years. The boom and success of queer and trans representation is already a win for everyone. However, every story somehow shares a common thread:  The presence of tragedy. 


The "Bury Your Gays Trope," as some eventually called it, is something that continues to permeate modern media— with the world of manga and anime not being exempted from the same treatment. 


Well, with that in mind, let's take a break from the unfortunate and uncalled for trope and focus on the brighter side. In celebration of this year's Pride Month, here are some feel-good BL mangas that will surely make you believe in happy endings. 



Doukyuusei (Classmates) Series by Asumiko Nakamura 

The Doukyuusei series has six volumes: Doukyuusei, Sotsugyousei - Winter, Sotsugyousei - Spring, Sora to Hara, Operation/Occupation to Beloved, and Blanc. A seventh volume, entitled Futarigurashi, is currently ongoing. 


This series is a personal favorite of mine. Although the story itself is nothing new, the author handles famous tropes and what could be labeled as "cliche" scenes really well. 


Having two main leads with polar opposite personalities is already common among popular fictional couples. Still, the way Asumiko Nakamura wrote Hikaru and Rihito's characters gives it justice. The traits that make them unique are not used to spark conflict— which is often the case— but instead, it helps understand the motivation and perspective these characters have.  


Hikaru and Rihito's relationship is as genuine as it can get, which is a refreshing change from the often fetishized way yaoi and sometimes B.L. authors tend to present their main couples. Their progress feels natural and unhurried, sprinkled with lots of first times, uncertainty, and miscommunication―everything you'd find in a real relationship. tbh. 


I highly recommend this manga for anyone who's looking for a wholesome story about two high school boys slowly falling in love. The movie adaptation of the first volume produced by animation studio A-1 Pictures last 2016 is also a must-see. 


Until I Meet my Husband by Tsukizuki Yoshi

This is the first manga I've read that is based on real-life, and what a treat it was. 


Until I Meet My Husband is an in-depth look at Japanese gay activist Nanasaki Ryosuke's life from childhood up to his marriage. Sometimes funny and heartwarming, but more often wrought with pain and bouts of self-doubt, this manga shows the reality that members of the LGBTQ+ community in Japan face. 


Nanasaki Ryosuke does not shy away from the more private details of his life, sharing everything from his first love, one-night stands, up to his more serious relationships. It's very honest and straightforward in its delivery, which personally makes it more appealing. Tsuzuki Yoshi's art style is clean and pretty to look at, but most importantly it was able to portray Nanasaki's story in a way that readers can easily follow (I also love the inclusion of the author's real photos and short notes!) 


Until I Meet My Husband only has twelve chapters in total, so it's a quick and easy read. If you want something authentic and personal with a side of commentary on society and identity, this is perfect for you. 


L' Etranger Series by Kanna Kii 


The series is composed of two mangas, the first one being L’etranger de la Plage, then its sequel, L'étranger du Zephyr. A film based on the first manga was released by Studio Hibari last 2020 and garnered attention on social media for quite some time. 


This series is similar to Doukyuusei with its storytelling format, with both mangas showing the main couple going through the different stages of their relationship slowly and steadily. What makes the L'etranger Series special, though, is its characterization of one of its protagonists, Shun. 


We follow the story mostly through his eyes, and there we see the many facets of his character; although he's certain with his sexuality, Shun is also afraid of exploring the more intimate parts of his relationship with Mio. This fear stems from the feeling of shame and loneliness that's enveloped him ever since his school days, after not-so-kind rumors about him started circulating around his peers. 


This is a sweet and careful portrayal of repressed trauma and first love, even with the more explicit scenes later on in the series, that will surely leave you smiling and wanting for more. 


Make your coffees, pull out your phones, and wrap yourselves in your favorite blankets as you dive into these wonderful works. Happy Pride!



━━ Written By Mads F.R. 



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