Beginner bl manga

Im in Japan now for some time and was thinking about getting myself some BL manga but I am still a beginner. Are there any recommendations?

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check those N4 manga

I recommend to go to book-off, they are really cheap, once I saw hokuto no ken entire collection for 500yen.

If you buy at least 2 or 3 volume sof some of those collection in the link I think would be a great start.

I only saw a handful of BL in there, and they’re not very famous…

I wished I could give good recs, but most BL manga I’ve read has still been translated and the non-translated ones, weren’t beginner level, i.e. like 囀る鳥は羽ばたかない. That one is great and I suggest buying it, but don’t expect to be able to read it right now. Save if for future enjoyment. :slight_smile:


Have you read some of the classics by Yugi Yamada? Like 最後のドアを閉めろ! (Close the Last Door) among many others? She’s a pretty good mangaka, but what of the difficulty in Japanese? :thinking: It’s casual Japanese, and often comedic. Would it be alright for a beginner? :thinking:

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Nah, I’ve mostly read recent stuff.

The first thing that comes to mind is ガンバレ!中村くん!!, as it’s just school conversations.

I don’t read much, but I do know most of them.

@Emoll Depends what you mean by beginner.

What have you read, general level, etc.

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Oh, you did mention you’ve read translated manga, why not suggest those that were slice of life or about simple themes? They can always check in ebook websites for the level in the sample, or by asking here.

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Good thinking! It’s a good easy genre. I’ll type up a list later. :+1:

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I would love to see recommendations of other genres as well, slice of life sounds great! Thank you very much🙏

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I think I’m at N4 level currently​:kissing::v:

How good are you with kanji? A lot of bl isn’t going to have furigana since the target audience is likely more mature. It might be easier to find a shojo series with heavy bl themes if kanji is a problem.

Otherwise, I recommend buying a magazine or two and sampling from those to see which ones interest you and are on your level. I found Cheri+ pretty good when I was around n4. I also used to buy Hertz, but I recall it being harder.

edited to say what I meant

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How difficult these are, is harder to say, as most of them I’ve only read in English. Take it for what it is. :wink: I’ve also been out of touch with the genre for quite a while, so lots of newer stuff have been published I’m sure. But, these are good

Beginner level?


by 中村 春菊 Nakamura Shungiku
純情ロマンチカ (Junjou Romantica) typical BL love stories, but with multiple couples.

by Suzuki Tanaka
アイツの大本命 (His Favorite) High school romantic comedy.

by 山田ユギ Yugi Yamada (I’ve read loads by her and all of it is great manga. Most have a comedic side to them)
最後のドアを閉めろ! (Close the Last Door) salary-man manga, love comedy
ピクニック (Picnic)
俺は悪くない (Don’t Blame Me) High school romantic comedy about a film club

by Kaori Monchi
生徒会長に忠告 (Hey, Class President) High school romantic comedy. Plot what plot?

by こだか和麻 Kodaka Kazuma
絆 KIZUNA~恋のから騒ぎ~ high school romance drama, but with the teachers doing the romancing? I forget. XD Multiple couples. Also some yakuza schenenigans going on in the background here.

by Hinako Takanaga
不器用なサイレント (Awkward Silence) High school romance drama, with some fluffy moments
恋する暴君 (The Tyrant Falls in Love) University setting, where homophogic guy ends up in a relationship, romantic comedy.

by Akira Honma
(Rabbit Man, Tiger Man) Yakuza needs medical attention by scaredy doctor, and falls in love.

Intermediate difficulty?


by よしなが ふみ
ジェラールとジャック (Gerard et Jacques) historical, pre-French revolution
西洋 骨董 洋菓子店 (Antique Bakery) bakery theme
きのう何食べた? ( What Did You Eat Yesterday?) slice-of-life, salary-man manga

by 真東 砂波 Matō Sanami
フェイク (Fake) - 80s/90s police-drama set in the US

by Nichoume Yamada
だってまおうさまは彼が嫌! (our time with fantastical elements)

by 山根 綾乃 やまね あやの Yamane Ayano
異国色恋浪漫譚 (A Foreign Love Affair) Yakuza-boss’ marriage gone wrong on boat in the Mediterranean.
クリムゾン・スぺル (Crimson Spell) Fantasy manga, with magic and curses.
ファインダーの標的 (ファインダーシリーズ Finder-series) Photographer tries to get the wrong scoop on a yakuza boss with consequences.

by 日高ショーコ Shooko Hidoka
(Blue Morning) historical romantic drama

by Hyouta Fujiyama
下弦の月の物語 (Tale of the Waning Moon) RPG and yaoi-parody manga. Action, romance comedy

Advanced difficulty?


by よしなが ふみ
大奥 Award-winning manga-series, with an alternative history for Japan, where most men die in a plague. Not BL per se, but does have some themes, but since I mentioned some of her other manga already…

by Kou Yoneda
囀る鳥は羽ばたかない (Twittering Birds Never Fly) Yakuza, action drama.
どうしても触れたくない (No Touching at All) Salary-man romance drama

by こだか和麻 Kodaka Kazuma
BORDER suspense action manga, think charlies angels but male characters and one openly gay

by 黒乃 奈々絵 Kurono Nanae
ヴァッサロード (Vassalord) Is this BL? Who knows? it’s entertaining vampire, action comedy!

by 峰倉かずや Minekura Kazuya
ワイルドアダプター(Wild Adapter) Action drama with supernatural elements and yakuza and drug themes. Is this BL? Who knows?

Of all these mentioned, I’d say the easiest target here would be to try アイツの大本命 (His Favorite) by Suzuki Tanaka. While I haven’t read it in Japanese, it’s a simple comedic story, that shouldn’t be hard to get a hang of. I would not be surprised if it has furigana as it’s not an explicit series.

Next I’d go for manga by 山田ユギ Yugi Yamada. Either starting with one of her single volume mangas or going for either 最後のドアを閉めろ! (Close the Last Door) or 俺は悪くない (Don’t Blame Me) which are both great fun.

There are tons of single volume BL out there, where the plot only lasts 1 chapter or maybe 2. You could also just pick up literally anything off the shelf and give it a try. Some suits your tastes, others not so much.

What I mentioned above, are all basically series of some note in comparison. Something to return to, which is also helpful I find as it lets you get into the writing style of the mangaka.


Whoa, I’m gonna have to jot down some of these recs myself, ekg. Thank you for the list!

It’s been a long while since I last read this one, but I seem to recall it being pretty unambiguously gay. And more drama than comedy? There may or may not be explicit sex scenes in this one (there definitely are in クリムゾン・スぺル (Crimson Spell) which I need to catch up on).

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yeah, several of my recs have explicit scenes. Tbh, for BL I assume that will be the case, rather than not. ^^; But, it’s a good point to make to the OP.

You’re right about Vassalord. There’s defo drama, but it also has a lot of comedy. That becomes very clear if you’ve listened to the Drama CDs! :grin: Keiji Fujiwara is brilliant as Rayflo, he’s perfect in the role. <3 He clearly has a ton of fun with it.

the core is serious, but with a lot of very lightheartedness, so at least I don’t, take it all that seriously- kind of feeling? XD


I can always give you more recs if you wanna hear 'em! XD I have a literal mountain of BL manga in my home. I’m sad it’s not in Japanese now that I can read all of these. :joy:


Although I have yet to finish this one, I highly recommend Monotone Blue by Nagabe, well known for his manga The Girl From The Other Side. It’s very sweet, personally I find it quite a simple read, and it has furigana.

Few others I'd recommend, though I have not read them in Japanese so can't vouch for their difficulty or furigana availability but I just assume they're not as difficult as others:

僕らの食卓 || lvl 21
佐々木と宮野 || lvl 23
リスタートはただいまのあとで || lvl 23??
海辺のエトランゼ || lvl 24
ふたりのライオン || lvl 24 – Good mangaka to check out in general
セブンデイズ―MONDAY→THURSDAY || lvl 24??
ひだまりが聴こえる || lvl 25
夜空のすみっこで、 – Also good mangaka to check out, they are not on natively though.

Hope you find any of these useful and to your liking!


I don’t know how spicy you would like it, but some cute ones with furigana are

消えた初恋 (the drama is also super cute and funny)

besides those most I’ve read translated or the didn’t have furigana.


Oh, seconding 消えた初恋, although I have yet to read it the drama was really fun!!