Lazy mornings on Sundays should be coupled with a morning cup of coffee and some interesting feature to munch on.
As such, we are introducing our new delight “The Sunday Bite”. Start your Sunday’s with an extra dash of spice or sweetness, flavored by the intriguing snippets shared by our team members. We are kick-starting this fiesta with the first part of “My All-Time Favorite BL Dramas”, where our popular authors share their best choices.
I Told Sunset About You (Part 1) & I Promised You the Moon (Part 2)
I Told Sunset About You and I Promised You the Moon is a beautifully told two part coming-of-age Thai drama that conveys the reality of discovering one’s sexuality and falling in love while juggling familial and academic expectations and personal dreams. The music, acting, cinematography, and production quality are superb. This series does not hold back and is an emotional roller coaster ride with a bittersweet but honest ending that should not be missed.
Although this is considered a bromance due to censorship, The Untamed is a Chinese drama that tells a powerful story of love. Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s journey is an epic adventure that highlights what it means to exist in a world where everything isn’t always black and white and where loyalty, trust, and idealism are tested. Even without intimate kiss scenes between the two leads, I never questioned the love and faith they had in each other. This drama proves that some happy endings live inside a gray area.
Fujoshi Ukkari gay ni Kokuru
Fujoshi Ukkari gay ni Kokuru is an intense Japanese drama that took me by surprise. It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Ando Jun, a gay young man hiding the fact he is gay from his mother and those around him. He meets a female classmate who loves reading BL books, and they become close despite a tense first meeting. The way this was written by using Queen songs to help unfold the drama spoke to me. I wasn’t expecting to relate to this drama as much as I did, but it took me back to the confusion and fears I had in my high school days. My heart and soul understood Jun, and I found myself crying over his struggle. It is raw and real.
HIS: I Didn’t Think I Would Fall in Love mini series and HIS the Movie
HIS is a Japanese mini-series and drama that follows Nagisa and Shun, two boys who first come together in high school and then meet again in adulthood. While the mini-series (which takes place in high school) and the movie can be viewed separately, I always suggest viewers watch them both. The mini-series tells a heartwarming coming out story while the film focuses on two grown men who come back together after heartbreak. The movie also focuses on the obstacles a gay couple faces when trying to gain custody of a child.
Life Love on the Line (Life Senjou no Bokura)
Life Love on the Line is a short but powerful Japanese BL manga adaptation about two very different men—a dreamer and a logical realist—that proves love can overcome anything, even stepping away from the line that first brought them together.
We Best Love: No 1 for You (SS1) and Fighting Mr. 2nd (SS2)
The We Best Love series is a two-season Taiwanese series following Zhou Shu Yi and Gao Shi De as well as side couple Yu Zhen Xuan and Pei Shou Yi. This series feels like a typical love/hate drama about two men who can’t get along with each other. However, as the story unfolds, the viewers discover a complicated unrequited love story full of raw emotion. It is a fun yet heartwarming tale of coming out and learning to communicate in order to overcome misunderstandings. It also touches on mental health. The side couple is two men with psychological diagnoses, and I found myself immersed in their story and their battle to be together despite their complex mental health issues.
Finally, a Japanese BL series that did not make me want to throw my laptop away. In fact, it was the best adapted one in a long time, and I’m glad to have watched it. The mind-reading bits made me roll on the floor with laughter. Kurosawa (Machida Keita) and Adachi (Akaso Eiji) make a great couple, and I really can’t get over how cute Gotou Yuutarou is as Minato. The spinoffs were just as entertaining. Also, as a big fan of Omoinotake, I will always be obsessed with the opening song.
A Man Who Defies the World of BL
I have always loved the manga, but I was very skeptical about a live-action adaptation. The art of the manga in general as well as the context seemed too difficult to be translated into a drama. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise at how it turned out to be infinitely better than I had expected. The opening is hilarious, and Inukai Atsuhiro’s ‘Mobu’ sure did a wonderful job of making me laugh for hours on end.
My foray into Chinese BL drama has been limited, even though Addicted was my first ever live-action BL series. However, my love for MXTX’s Mo Dao Zu Shi won me over, and I have never looked back. It helped me move on to other C-dramas (mostly BL-adjacent ones). My WangXian agenda intensified, and I have now fallen into the rabbit-hole of shipping YiZhan as well. The longing gazes, the hilarious drunk scenes, and the overall chemistry among all the characters were enough to make me want to keep all of them in my pocket.
HIStory 3 (Trapped)
I have always had a love-hate relationship with the HIStory series (and it looks like that hasn’t changed, thanks to HIStory 4). My first impressions of HIStory 1 & 2 were not great. I ended up watching Trapped because of all the reviews and recommendations I found online. Boy, am I glad I did.
Trapped turned out to be the best of the lot. Not only was the acting and direction good, but the pacing was also perfect. I really loved the way it ended as well. The last few episodes had no unnecessary conflict. Both the lead and side couples (played by Jake Hsu and Chris Wu, and Kenny Chen and Andy Bian respectively) had really good chemistry, and they maintained it very well from start to finish.
Long Time No See
I am very grateful to this series for not being the tragedy that it looked like it was going to be in the first few scenes. In fact, I was even more grateful that it had a happy ending, considering that I was going to quit watching KBL altogether after both White Night and Night Flight had made sure that they’d scarred me for life. What’s more, the awkwardness between the two men, along with the random fumbling and falling off the sofa while making out, made it seem very realistic. Tak Woo-Suk and Yeon Seung-Ho made a great pair, and I really wish the series was longer to accommodate the plot and its characters a little bit better.
To My Star
Son Woo-Hyun and Kim Kang-Min’s To My Star was a also short one. Nevertheless, it managed to sneak into my heart and stay there. The stark difference in the personalities of the two characters was more than enough to make me invested in the series. The way their relationship progressed was so smooth. Also, after the longest time, I’d finally found a side cishet couple I could get behind (I’m referring to the ship between the reporter and the CEO of the entertainment company).
I was already a huge JeffGame fan before this series because of He She It (and I’m now eagerly waiting for KinnPorsche). Ingredients is a chill quarantine BL with two of my most favourite things taking the spotlight—music and food. Both Jeff and Game are so good at what they do, and their soft interactions honestly made my days as I watched them together. I’m sure a lot of us wished that it wasn’t a mini-series so that we’d get to see more of this adorable couple. And yet, it was the perfect length.
A Tale of Thousand Stars
I’m assuming this was one of the most awaited Thai BLs of 2021 (considering that most of us were waiting for over a year for it). Let me tell you that it was definitely worth the wait. It was truly a breath of fresh air, so different from the university settings one usually sees in Thai BLs. Aof’s 1000 Stars certainly exceeded expectations, with most of the audience falling in love with the characters, no holds barred. I can’t get over how precious EarthMix is, and PhuTian can live in my head rent-free. Forever, no doubt.
Gaya Sa Pelikula (Like in the Movies)
As this was my first Pinoy BL series, it has a very special place in my heart (probably why I have been even more upset about recent events regarding this drama). I don’t think I have been more impressed with anything than I was with Vlad’s use of the word ‘microaggressions’ in this series. I love how it even questioned the idea of allyship—something that, as a cishet person, you earn, and not what you claim to be through words alone. Karl’s journey to understanding his sexuality, and his struggles with employment are relatable, and makes us think of moments in our lives in which we’ve struggled in the same way, albeit under different circumstances.
This was the series that made me fall in love with quarantine BLs in the first place. It must’ve been quite difficult to navigate around the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, but the team managed to produce an amazing BL series despite all these issues. Elijah and Kokoy were absolutely adorkable as Cairo and Gavreel respectively, and I have so much to say about Pearl (but let’s not go there because there’s going to be no end to that—she’s so beautiful). I’m sure that the viewers were anticipating the meeting between Cairo and Gavreel as much as the characters themselves by the end of this show, and I know that all of us are waiting for the movie with bated breath.
As I said earlier, I struggled to name only 10 series in this list and I’d like to mention a few I’m really grateful for:
SOTUS (for introducing me to the world of Thai BL), Grey Rainbow (although I’d like to pretend that the ending does not exist), You Make Me Dance (for having one of the best plots for a KBL), Call It What You Want and Lovely Writer (for letting us have a peek at what goes on behind-the-scenes in the BL media industry), I Told Sunset About You and I Promised You the Moon (for the gift of Oh-Aew and his ways of questioning gender and sexuality—he was stunning in that red bra), and Close Friends (Episode 5 only, because I have a thing for Mii2 and height differences).
We will be back next week with the second part of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more exclusives from the Asian BL World!
2 thoughts on “My All-Time Favorite BL Dramas (Part I)”
I appreciate that you don’t just list the blockbusters- I also feel His is delightful and just got a release in US on Viki. The adult movie explores them later in life with more complex issues and is well worth watching as well.
I haven’t heard of two- Long Time and Fujoshi and will try and find them!
LikeLiked by 1 person
In “I told sunset about you” – both are so unbelievably good actors, how they can be so good at 21 years old? Those are very difficult roles to play. It was so impressive. And in “We best love” the chemistry between Sam Lin and Yu was amazing.