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 aimed at...well, gay men. 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/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).
But even outside of actual BL series, hints of male-male romances are often thrown in to help the series appeal to other demographic groups
, though its main target audience is still overwhelmingly female.
Depending on the series in question, this can be limited to some Homoerotic Subtext
... or not
. However (more often) regardless of character interaction many BL pairings are forced (especially in non-canon series) even without homosexual subtext simply due to the trope Guy on Guy is Hot
that is meant to feed the sexual/perverse desires of its majority straight female fanbase (akin to straight men and Seinin Yuri
). This usually resulting in crack pairing
shippings, something Yaoi
, and Shounen-ai are notorious for.
Granted a Yaoi male doesn't need to be a Bishōnen
, but there is a massive amount of overlap between the two character types. If there is a Yaoi Fangirl
among the cast, she will
try and invoke
this trope. With Yaoi Fangirls in real life having a bad reputation for Canon Defilement
, especially in non-yaoi series, with some even aggressively forcing BL on male characters (e.g. a good example of this being Axel and Roxas from Kingdom Hearts
2, or the anime
Free!). This showing an occurance of Yaoi
stereotypes being placed onto Non-Yaoi series for the sake of Fanon
When it comes to appearance however, a Yaoi Boy
will come in the form of several anime/manga gay stereotypes like seme
, or just your standard "one is weak, the other is strong " trope. Yaoi Boys are usually portrayed by themes like Tall, Dark and Handsome, Cast Full of Pretty Boys
, Dude Looks Like a Lady
, and other highly appearance-based tropes. The main appeal of Yaoi Boys usually focuses on physical attractiveness, with the plot unfortunately taking the backseat (shounen-ai has much more plot, but still uses many of the Yaoi Boy tropes).
Secondary to these themes, Yaoi Boys are many times subjected to the Female Gaze
which is parallel to the Male Gaze
. 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 a stark contrast to actual LGBTA men that come in all shapes, ages, and ethnicities, this being caused by Yaoi Boys being written by women, for women, showing a European, Eastern, and Anime-styled view on what is deemed "physically attractive" (e.g. fair skin, small/tall noses, big eyes, Caucasian, or Asian-like features). So one may come to notice that overweight, dark-skinned, and elderly gay men do not exist in Yaoi Boy media.
Overall, Yaoi Boys are meant to satiate the desires of the female imagination, despite many of its themes being divergent to actual LGBTA culture/people.
See also: Yaoi
(as the main link related to this page), Hentai
, and Bara Genre
to see related tropes.
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.
- 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. Syaoran, for his part, has a huge crush on Yukito in the first half of the manga.
- 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. RosemarinÚ 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.
- The Mad Scientist Wars has it's 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 Genre Savvy 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.
- Though nearly every combination of the main five pilots of the Mobile Suit Gundam spin-off 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 The 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.
- 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 Nineties 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 Sensei No Ojikan, 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 No6. 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 Tenshi Ni Narumon. 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 Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru.
- 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.
- 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 Fant÷m 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.