Top 5 BL: Romance
ok so yesterday on tumblr I mentioned I was thinking of maybe doing a ~top five~ meme when it comes to BL and I got some vaguely positive responses so I figured it was worth a shot. The general idea of the top five meme is to take my top five of any particular BL trope, i.e. smut-centric, character-driven, angst-filled. Today I tckled romance, since I figured that would be easy. If you any any specific type or trope of BL you want me to cover, feel free to ask because I’m pretty unimaginative.
ANYWAY, onto my top five!
(please note that these are not in any specific order—it’s hard enough for me to just pick FIVE books out of a nearly-2000 list, and I’d be battling myself all night if I had to order them as well. So.)
01. Sawatte mo Ii ka na by Matsumoto Miecohouse
MatsuMieco honestly writes some of the best angst-ridden romance I’ve ever read. It started with her debut release, Koi no Mannaka, and just got better with this book. I love her couples that are desperate to be together but feel like there’s no way for their feelings to be connected. Mixed with the sad tinge of homophobia and Shirou constantly running from his feelings and hurting his best friend in the process, it just made it all the more amazingly emotional when the two were finally able to take that big step into openly embracing their romantic feelings for one another.
02. Shiawase ni Naru no sa! by Kumonosuke
the first book I ever read by Kumonosuke, this pretty much encapsulates everything I want from a couple in a BL manga. While they have their problems due to past scars caused by Ayumu’s previous relationships, they are able to get through their issues without maybe-we-should-break-up meltdowns or huge fights or accusations. It’s all about communication and love and being open with those you care about. And that’s what makes this book amazing to me; they have their problems, but they work through them together to find happiness.
03 Ringo ni Hachimitsu by Hideyoshico
well there are two books in this series but I’m sure you get the picture—the romance between Komano and Natsuki. Is it obvious yet that I really like relationships where one person is constantly second-guessing themselves and their significant other is nonetheless always there to help them through their issues and reassure them of their love? Because I really really like those stories. Komano’s silly and laid-back love for Natsuki was what made Natsuki’s contempt for himself and his own sexuality bearable to read about.
04 Hana no Mizo Shiru by Takarai Rihito
yes, again—another story where one character is constantly second-guessing themselves and horrified by their feelings while the other is perhaps vaguely unsure but embraces his feelings wholeheartedly nonetheless. Hana no Mizo Shiru sticks with me particular because when I read it it was exactly the story I’d been craving to read for so long. I loved their subtle fall into love, and how it was something that just gently happened—not something that exploded in a heat of passion and raging hormones. And also near the end, I loved how much Arikawa respected Misaki’s boundaries and it just made it that much more amazing when Misaki was the one to eventually cross the line with their relationship.
05. Boku wa Kimi no Tori ni Naritai. by Homerun Ken
I don’t know if anyone was expecting this one since I don’t talk about it much—I read it forever ago, after all. A bit more angst-driven and taboo, the story of a young and emotionally downtrodden boy who falls deeply in love with his sister’s boyfriend. This one also deals with daddy issues and general feelings of inadequacy on Kei’s part, which is what makes you cheer on his taboo love affair even more since there’s a feeling of him needing Fujii more than his sister Moe does—before Fujii appears on the scene Kei has never known true love or affection, only sex to fill the void of human contact. A slightly more dramatic and cheesy story, but nonetheless very enjoyable.
ANYWAY I’m sure some people are shocked that two particular books are missing: Itoshi no Nekokke and Me wo Tojite 3byou. For ItoNeko, I’m planning on leaving that one for a later installment and also when I was picking through my books for this one idk I was looking for slightly more passionate love stories where you actually get to see the couple get together. ItoNeko is a lot more subdued and home-y to me so I don’t think it fits a list of traditional romance stories. As for Me wo Tojite 3byou, I purposely excluded it kind of like how those ‘top ten’ lists on the radio sometimes graduate certain songs that just refuse to leave the #1 spot. Everyone already knows how much I treasure that particular book, so it’s kind of like beating a dead horse to constantly talk about it.