Yaoi Guys

Yuki & Toya from Cardcaptor Sakura, fanservice characters that cater to some of the female readership.

You see one guy, you think it's cute.
But if you see two guys, all over each other,
with wind blowing through their hair,
now that's sexy.

In the West, gay men rarely appear outside of works being aimed for gay men (though this is changing with many series beginning to represent regular lgbtqa characters). However, one of the cultural quirks of Japan (though it is slowly bleeding over to the rest of the world) is the use of young homosexual men as Fanservice for girls or young women.

Works that focus on these relationships form a genre currently known by the English term as Homoerotic Boys' Love, also called Yaoi (with the non-explicit version being Shounen-ai, also spelled Shonen-ai). Yaoi is a genre closely related to hentai, yuri, and slash (all of which have their own target audience).

But even outside of actual BL series, hints of male-male romances are often thrown in to help the series fanonappeal to other demographic groups, though its main target audience is still overwhemogly female. If there is a Yaoi Fangirl among the cast, it is not unlikely for her to try and invoke this trope.

Depending on the series in question, this can be limited to some Homoerotic Subtext... or not. However, many BL pairings in certain Fanon circles are forced regardless of character interaction, even without homosexual subtext in the original work, due to the trope Guy-on-Guy Is Hot, which serves to feed the sexual/perverse desires of its majority straight female fanbase (akin to straight men and Seinin Yuri). This usually results in crack pairing shippings. Something Yaoi, Slash, and Shounen-ai are notorious for— many of which may consider Canon Defilement. Some popular targets of Yaoi stereotypes being placed onto Non-Yaoi series are Axel and Roxas from Kingdom Hearts II, Zoro and Sanji from One Piece, or the entire cast of Free!.

Granted a Yaoi male doesn't need to be a Bishōnen, but there is a massive amount of overlap between the two character types. As such when it comes to appearances, a Yaoi Boy will come in the form of several anime/manga gay stereotypes like seme, uke, or just your standard "one is weak, the other is strong" trope. Yaoi Boys are also regularly portrayed by themes like Tall, Dark and Handsome, Cast Full of Pretty Boys, Dude Looks Like a Lady, and other highly appearance-based tropes.

Secondary to these themes, Yaoi Boys are always heavily subjected to the Female Gaze which is parallel to the Male Gaze (a kind of sexual objectification/fetishizing by a majority straight audience). And on the physical side, Yaoi Boys usually have little to no facial or body hair, skinny to muscularly lean bodies (though not too buff unlike in Bara Genre), a bishie sparkle, light-skin, and youth. This is heavily divergent from actual LGBTQA men that have much more diversity in appearance than the standard gay stereotyped character that Yaoi Guys come in.

When it comes to relationships, Yaoi Boys follow only a few set scenarios such as teacher with student, incest pairings, friendships gone "gay" (much of which is fanon), and pedophilia pairings (Yaoi Shotacon). As such, Yaoi Guy relationships are incredibly heteronomative with partners always having unequal power balances between them (one of the Yaoi Guys is almost always the lesser character in some way such as personality, physical prowess, reputation, and so on). Is is rare to see (if ever) a relationship were both partners are treated and seen as equal (since Yaoi Boy characters are so heavily dependent on older heteronomative themes).

As for occupation, Yaoi Guys have a very narrow range of occupation fields. They come in either schoolboys, teachers, entertainers, artists, or business men/owners. There are few Yaoi Guys that stray outside of this occupation formula where occupation fields overlap with shoujo themes. You will pretty much never see an occupation like soldier, chemical engineer, or politician for example, since jobs like singer would be more common to likely see in Yaoi Guys (as it caters to the majority straight female audience's perspectives).

One should note that Yaoi Guys should not be viewed as representative of LGBTQA men that come in all shapes, ages, weight ranges, ethnicities, and whom often do not conform to the gendered stereotypes typically portrayed in Yaoi works. Yaoi's main target audience is catered to a heterosexual female demographic and their perspectives of the ideal male figure, which follow the above Yaoi stereotypes. Thus, Yaoi Guy stereotypes stray from actual LGBTQA culture, and are more closely related to a form of hentai (if not already explicit).

See also: Yaoi (as the main link related to this page), Hentai, Yuri, Slash, and Bara Genre to see related tropes.

Spear Counterpart to Token Yuri Girls.

Note: couples from acknowledged/canon BL series go on the Boys Love Genre page, please.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Kagetora and Naoe of Mirage of Blaze.
  • Adekan: Anri had a close intimate relationship with Shiro when they were younger. Also, Shiro and Kojiro toe the line between subtext and text often.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has Germany proposing to Italy during the Buon San Valentino 2009 strip, red roses and tomato ring included. What comes of it is still unclear, but it's not really subtext at this point.
    • While Germany and Italy are "the" example of this trope, just about every male character gets this at some point.
  • Mei and Gabu in the Arashi No Yoru Ni anime film, although Mei's gender is ambiguous in the original storybooks and Mei's a girl in the recent CG series.
  • Rolo in Code Geass has more than a little of this going on towards Lelouch. It may be slightly more than coincidental that the character design was done by...
  • CLAMP. Pick a CLAMP series. Any series. More specifically:
    • Touya and Yukito in Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Syaoran has a huge crush on Yukito in the first half of the manga, though this is later explained to just be an attraction to his Moon-based powers.
    • Gingetsu and Ran in Clover.
    • Subaru and Seishirou in Tokyo Babylon, X1999, and Tsubasa, one of CLAMP's most iconic (and tragic) couples.
    • Fuuma and Kamui, also in X and Tsubasa. (Prone to touching each other suggestively during battle, and confirmed by Word of God to have been more than friends, although it should also be remembered that Kamui was initially in love with Fuuma's sister Kotori before she was murdered.)
    • Rikuou and Kazahaya, and Kakei and Saiga, in Legal Drug
    • Doumeki and Watanuki in XXX Holic - heavily implied, certainly at least on Doumeki's part considering his remarkable displays of devotion.
    • Kurogane and Fai in Tsubasa.
    • Takeshi and Kentarou from Duklyon: CLAMP School Defenders. Kentarou often declares that his life's goal is to be a beautiful bride and he insists that he and Takeshi should go out on dates, get married, etc. Takeshi attempts to protest but never succeeds in getting Kentarou to desist.
  • In one episode of Excel Saga, the messenger sent by the heads of ACROSS is a handsome and somewhat androgynous rock star named Key. Excel becomes infatuated with him, and we are shown a fantasy sequence in which she imagines Key and Il Palazzo as Yaoi Guys.
  • Genshiken has Yaoi Fangirl Chika Ogiue, who in both manga and anime fantasizes about her love interest as a yaoi guy with another member of the club. In fact, the anime episode expands this out into a series of fantasies involving all the male members of the Genshiken as very bishonen yaoi guys, with a tragic romantic plot surrounding Sasahara and Madarame. Don't forget the Soba Incident, either.
  • Kazuki and Juubei from the Get Backers anime. (In the manga, any ambiguity in terms of romantic vs. platonic feelings is solely on Juubei's part.)
  • Serge and Gilbert from Kaze to Ki no Uta, the main and least squicky couple. Rosemariné and Jules also have some implications that they're into each other, or at least were at some point.
  • Shibuya Yuuri and Wolfram von Bielfeld from Kyo Kara Maoh! 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.
  • Though nearly every combination of the main five pilots of the Mobile Suit Gundam spin-off Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has been shipped as standard fan procedure, a case for Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner can actually be argued from canon. Given the director's mentioned that Gundam Wing's "pretty boys" pilots were designed specifically to try to tap into the female fan demographic, this may be less surprising than it seems.
  • Kaworu Nagisa and Shinji Ikari's brief but powerful friendship at the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion is rife with common overtones of this sort. While not being specifically elaborated on, it has been milked in non-canonical (and humorous) material. Kaworu's (failed) attempts to get some attention from Shinji are actually canon in the spin-off series Shinji Ikari Raising Project.
    • Actually, the creators have made it pretty clear that Kaworu was written to be Shinji's main love interest, even if their relationship was not given much screentime: earlier drafts for episode 24 had Shinji -almost- confessing his feelings for Kaworu (while skinny dipping), and a second draft even had a kiss scene between the two of them.
      • And in the Shinji Ikari Raising Project game (which has dating-sim elements), Kaworu's route is the main one, while the girls' routes are actually bonus.
  • Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin offer twincest-y BL fanservice to the customers of the Ouran High School Host Club. Honey and Mori's more downplayed guardian/master relationship has shades of this too. This is inadvertently pulled when Kasanoda finds out Haruhi's secret and leads the host club customers into believing he's trying to confess his love to the beautiful male Haruhi. After realizing she does not reciprocate he swears to be her friend forever—and suddenly becomes very popular with the ladies, who find his tragic spurned yaoi love to be cute.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: After being raped in the manga, Suzu becomes gay, crazy, and obsesses over Tetsunosuke in this manner. And then there's this manga cover. Suzu's relationship with Tetsunosuke was always rather Homoerotic Subtext-ridden in the first place, although before it tended to be the more innocent sublimated kind... before it went into full on Stalker with a Crush. Bets are up in the air as to whether if Tetsunosuke had actually slept with Suzu after he was raped they would have been able to save a lot of pain.
    • Hijikata and Okita too.
  • Please Save My Earth includes a (heterosexual) couple who were both reincarnated as boys and who have to redefine their relationship once they find each other again.
  • Princess Princess is a series set in an all boys school where the most feminine boys are forced to dress up as girls and accept the adoration of the rest of the school. Some don't mind, most adjust. Shihoudani's mother, at one point, assumes that Shihoudani and Tohru are an item.
  • Akio Ohtori and Touga Kiryuu from Revolutionary Girl Utena represent this aspect in their series, especially in certain questionable situations. Interestingly, Touga himself seems to view it largely as a power game, while Saionji's role as his Patient Childhood Love Interest is less clear.
  • Saber Marionette J makes a running gag of the attraction the flamingly gay rich boy Hanigata has for the poor, industrious (and fundamentally straight) Otaru. Then again, they are on a planet whose human inhabitants are all men, clones in fact, while the women are, well, marionettes.
  • The uncensored first season of The '90s Sailor Moon shows a romantic relationship between two members of the Dark Kingdom, Kunzite and Zoisite. This is largely censored in DiC North American release, mainly by turning Zoisite into a woman. In the Cloverway-dubbed fourth season Fisheye is also turned into a woman, despite having "her" take "her" shirt off in one scene. It doesn't help that in the original Fisheye's voice sounds like a girl's. There are a lot of other slashy subtexts in the later volumes of the Sailor Moon manga as well (although considering this is a well-rounded Shoujo manga, they're probably just covering their bases).
  • In Doki Doki School Hours, High School junior Kudou Yuuichi has had a crush on classmate Suetake Kenta since at least elementary school. He's an interesting example inasmuch as being a completely standard looking male student, unlike the show's (straight) part-time Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Simoun even manages a pair of them, who were originally Schoolgirl Lesbians.
    • To elaborate, in the world of Simoun, everyone is born female. The people of Simoun choose their gender when they reach adulthood. The men above were orginally together when they were female and remained together after they both decided to become male.
  • Vassalord: Charley and Rayflo. Barry is a Yaoi Guy, and he probably thinks he's this with Rayflo, although it's not reciprocated.
  • Karasu and Itsuki in YuYu Hakusho. (Not dating; if they were it'd be a massive Trainwreck.) Sensui is a Straight Gay with feelings for Itsuki by Word of God.
  • Shirogane and Akira in the Monochrome Factor anime.
  • Outlaw Star has Fred Luo and his crush on Gene.
  • Vampire Doll: Dante and Hugo. Also, Aihara and Matsuzawa, two side characters who attend Tonae's high school.
  • Sion and Nezumi of No. 6. They've kissed on the lips (twice), they love to protect each other, they've held hands and intertwined fingers, they've cuddled, they've shared meaningful conversations, they've danced together, and they've slept together (not in the physical sense though). Also, Sion is quite willing to go into Yandere mode whenever Nezumi gets threatened or mocked and Nezumi has essentially claimed ownership of Sion in that one scene with the prostitute.
  • Raphael and Mikael from I'm Gonna Be an Angel!. They're an Official Couple and sleep together naked in the same bed while holding hands.
  • Cain and Shido of Nightwalker.
  • Full Metal Panic!: In the novels Yu Fan and Yu Lan, twins who take very intimate showers together and kiss each other on the lips are actually male instead of female.
  • Luka and Yuki and the Zweilt guardians and their partners in Betrayal Knows My Name.
  • Ritsuka and Soubi of Loveless.
  • Mikogami Hayato and his Dragon, Mutsu in Sekirei. Also, Homura after being winged by Minato, with a side of Tsundere and Gender Bender confusion.
  • Head and Shingo from Star Driver are all but stated to have been dating in the past (before Shingo fell into a fifteen year long coma). Head's a Depraved Bisexual who uses his ability to easily score with everyone to manipulate everyone into doing what he wants them to and thus probably not really romantically interested in him, but Shingo's crush seems very obvious and sincere. Aditionally, the latter has the typical look of an uke character.
  • Yuu and Mika of Seraph of the End have a relationship that toes the line between subtext and text. There are tons of examples where Mika asks Yuu to run away with him and live alone together, their obsession with rescuing and staying with one another, their No Sense of Personal Space, and Mika's tendency to carry Yuu in a Bridal Carry.

  • The Mad Scientist Wars has its fair share of pairings, but so far the most involved (read: Cannot Spit It Out) relationship is between Andrew Tinker and David Toboz. As of this example, they're official, but Andrew still is smart enough to worry about It's Not You, It's My Enemies. Interestingly, Andrew's son may be heading towards such a relationship. Commander Xerox and Jess may or may not count. Jess is a shapeshifter who was born female, but when they first met she was shifted as a boy. Xerox, being Bi, donsen't seem to care much either way.

    Video Games 

    Western Media 
  • Not as much fan service as Adaptation Expansion, but Game of Thrones had Renly and Loras, then Loras and whatever one-night stand he gets after Renly's death.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar world, quite a few groups and cultures are quite open about homosexuality. Two of Vanyel's lovers (the first and the last) are widely remembered along with him and The Last Herald-Mage has him as its main character. The series main time frame also has Firesong, who seems unable to stay celibate very long.
  • The Noob webseries and comic treat the viewer/reader to what goes though Gaea's mind when she goes into Shipping Goggles mode about Fantöm and Omega Zell. Her imaginary versions of the two fit perfectly.
  • Dillon and Jerzy end up playing the role in Sticky Dilly Buns, if only for latent-Yaoi Fangirl-in-denial Ruby.

Alternative Title(s): Yaoi Guy, Yaoi Boys, Yaoi Boy, Yaoi Men, Yaoi Man, Yaoi Mans, Loving Boys