Created By: lebrel on September 23, 2011 Last Edited By: ChaoticDreams on April 5, 2016

Totally Not Boys Love (split/clean YaoiGuys)

Series that exist to provide a solid wall of Boys Love Ship Tease but arent officially BL

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The Yaoi Guys trope is getting out of hand, so it has been proposed to divide it into more clearly defined tropes that will hopefully be less subject to misuse. TRS thread.

The new YKTT Ws:

Opinions solicited on title

Draft trope description:

This series stars two guys who seem waaaay more than Heterosexual Life-Partners; they are very close and devoted, can't live without each other, and spend a lot of time gazing dewily at each other and blushing. The promotional art will have them falling over each other, and perhaps tied together with Chains of Love. There will be Subtext so blatant you could cut it with a knife. Any naive observer would take 30 seconds or less to declare it Boys Love Gene, but... Surprise! Officially, it's Totally Not BL.

Generally, works that are Totally Not BL are published in girl's or women's magazines that want the Yaoi Fangirl audience but don't want to scare off their male Periphery Demographic or, alternately, have companion BL magazines and want to maintain separation in content. [[hottip:Some of the biggest offenders: Asuka (Kadokawa Shoten), Wings (Shinshokan), and Monthly Comic Zero Sum (Ichijinsha).]] A few cases run in boy's or men's magazines, and are even less likely to let the characters become an Official Couple. Typically, the relationship either stays entirely subtextual, or is strictly one-sided (frequently through of Incompatible Orientation or Oblivious to Love).

Also see Boys Love Genre, for works that are out of the closet; BL Side Couple, for cannon relationships between secondary characters; and Ho Yay for series with more subtle tease. For the individual components of a BL-style relationship, see Seme and Uke. For series that have Yuri Genre tease but don't admit it, see Romantic Two-Girl Friendship.


Anime and Manga
  • 07-Ghost frequently dances right on the edge of this trope without coming right out and saying it. Teito and Mikage's relationship teases at it, and Kuroyuri and Haruse darn near imply it. Not to mention Hakuren's outright statement that he does "not like women", with a couple of exceptions. C'mon, if you don't take it THAT way, you're dense.
  • Arashi no Yoru ni: Is it a sweet Toy Ship between a goat and a wolf, or just a very romantic case of Heterosexual Life-Partners?
  • Axis Powers Hetalia. Despite having two not entirely confirmed canon male-on-male pairings (Germany×Italy and Sweden×Finland if you ask, not to mention the Subtext couples like Spain×Romano, America×England, GreecexJapan, etc.), it's still not considered BL. But it's pretty damn close. (In fact, a Swedish bookstore placed it in the Boys' Love & Yaoi section.
  • Clamp loves Yaoi Guys and Ho Yay (they have their own HoYay page), but so far they have not published any official Boys' Love. CLAMP works that are particularly yaoi-esque include:
    • The currently suspended series Legal Drug which is essentially a very slow-moving Boys' Love story.
    • Subaru and Seishirou of Tokyo Babylon are more or less in a romantic relationship, although it might not be the kind you imagined at first.
    • Unsurprisingly, Clamp has their beginnings in shounen-ai doujinshi, one of the most well-known of which is of Jotaro and Kakyoin from Jojos Bizarre Adventure, of all things.
  • Count Cain and Godchild: Cain and Riff. There's an author's note about the high percentage of homosexual butlers in Victorian England. Riff is the only one allowed to touch Cain's scars. AND THEN KAORI YUKI CLAIMS THEY HAVE A PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP.
    • Although as of volume eight there is conclusive evidence that Cain has never seen Riff without a shirt.
  • D.N.Angel ship teases Satoshi and Daisuke like crazy. It's officially a shoujo manga.
  • Game×Rush: At times it seems to run on Ho Yay, without ever crossing the line to actual Boys' Love.
  • Gankutsuou: Albert's relationships with the Count and Franz are dripping with subtext, though it's more text on Franz's part.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo, while heavily in the Shōnen robot genre, and not to mention being authored by the creators of Shaman King and Spider-Man, is becoming more and more known for its Boys' Love subtext. The main character Yamato's best friend Rune becomes Evil due to his jealousy of Yamato liking somebody else. This... leads to some surprising and horrifying situations. Whether this was intentional or not is unknown; don't think anybody would have the guts to ask Hiroyuki Takei or StanFREAKINGLee about this.
    • The subtext becomes so strong that when Part Three came out, Viz Media pulled Ultimo from Shonen Jump.
  • Kuroshitsuji is officially Shōnen despite the rampant Ship Tease and Does This Remind You of Anything? and the little fact that both times Sebestian had sex, it was with women...
  • Kyou Kara Maou is a series about a boy who becomes king of the demon realm; in the process of doing so, he accidentally proposes marriage to another man. Shibuya Yuuri and Wolfram von Bielfeld are engaged, sleep in the same bed, and are raising a daughter together, second two resulting from Wolfram's fixation on the first. Played up for laughs, but taken very seriously by Wolfram, who has made passionate declarations of love to Yuuri. It's officially shoujo.
  • Loveless was originally published in Monthly Comic Zero Sum, a magazine that was looking for crossover shonen/shoujo readership (although it has since turned into a shoujo mag), so it's not officially considered BL. It has the added bonuses of Nekomimi, Shotacon, and a pair of Schoolgirl Lesbians. Not to mention all the Nightmare Fuel and Mind Screw.
  • Mirai Nikki does this with making the Ho Yay between Yuki and Akise one-sided on Akise's part. Still, it's a shounen manga and Akise actually stole a kiss from Yuki in one scene.
  • Monochrome Factor is ridden with pretty boys and Ho Yay in the anime and is sometimes labelled as a shounen-ai even though it's officially a seinen.
  • Nabari no Ou: Manga sites often mistakenly it tag as BL. You can't really blame them though. Not surprisingly, it's serialized in the same magazine as Kuroshitsuji.
  • Rare shonen example of a male-male romance: No Bra, a manga where a guy falls in love with a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • No6 does this with Nezumi and Shion. Things essentially get more Ho Yay fueled with every episode including a "good-night kiss" and a "good-bye kiss". It has fans that always ask whether it's a shounen-ai or not. It's really a shoujo manga/anime/novel series. The novel was written by Asano Atsuko an infamous writer of BL-ish novels she claims are 'children's books'.
  • Pandora Hearts has multiple instances with Ho Yay and the main character's friend having a huge infatuation with him and often fights with the main love interest for his affection as a result. Regardless, you can interpret it as Ho Yay, overprotectiveness or something else entirely.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane has an incredible amount of Ho Yay subtext/text (?), a Bishōnen main cast and the one female love interest is very boring so it's not surprising some would consider it Boys' Love.
  • Saiyuki is a shounen manga about four pretty guys traveling together on an epic journey, spending most of their time in close proximity. There would be too much Ho Yay to list even if the mangaka wasn't a former yaoi doujinshi artist who deliberately adds to it.
  • Silver Diamond: Chigusa is deeply devoted to Rakan, constantly gazes at him with adoration, and hugs, holds, and cuddles him whenever the opportunity presents itself (despite the fact that it makes Rakan self-conscious). Rakan mostly writes this all off as Chigusa having No Social Skills, but the other guys on the team clearly understand what's going on.
  • Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru mostly have males in the cast, very occupied in confess their mutual admiration for each other and even have a pet dragon called "Sodom". Several sites tag this series as shounen ai but officially is shoujo.
  • Vassalord features hot gay vampires licking each other, and on-screen kinky gay sex. It's officially shoujo.
  • Weiß Kreuz: The four Bishōnen protagonists and their opposite numbers are all canonically heterosexual, but their status as terminal Doom Magnets combined with copious amounts of subtext has gained it a reputation as a Boys Love series.
  • Yami No Matsuei (aka Descendants of Darkness) has a rather complicated Love Dodecahedron involving most (male) main characters, but focuses mainly on the love/hate triangle between the psychopath Doctor Muraki, Tsuzuki Asato, and Kurosaki Hisoka. It's officially shoujo.
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