Also known as the news feature that’s got me really excited for 2022.
A few years ago, when I first got into BL, there were very few Korean BL’s being released. I’d seen more clips for Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Taiwanese BLs in the year after I’d begun watching Boys’ Love series in comparison to KBLs (probably owing to how difficult it was to produce queer-adjacent media in South Korea). Most of us sustained our interest in Korean media via the various bromances, shippy content in K-pop, and queer media produced by STRONGBERRY.
However, 2020 changed the Korean media landscape. Quite thoroughly, if I may say so. Rakuten VIKI and MATCHBOX x STRONGBERRY gave us some amazing BLs over the last two years, with more series released for free on YouTube as well. 2022 looks even more promising, especially with more idol romances slated for production and release.
Tinted with You
This is my topmost anticipated BL series of the year, partly because it’s an idol romance (pun intended). Produced by Moving pictures Company (the same company that produced Wish You: Melody From My Heart, Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding, and The Tasty Florida), and directed by Ra Ha Na, Tinted With You (Muldeuryeo in Korean) is a Korean BL under the genre of historical time-slip fantasy romance. It stars K-pop boy group A.C.E. member Jun (Park Jun Hee), Yoo Hyun Woo (who’s debuting as an actor through this series), and Kim Tae Jung (who was in the popular Netflix series Extraordinary You). The show is set to premiere on December 23, 2021, on the Idol Romance app as well as VIKI. The series is comprised of 8 episodes, 12 minutes each, and will air on Thursdays and Fridays.
The story revolves around Eunho, a high-school student (Jun) who is transported back in time, where he meets Lee Heon (Yoo Hyun Woo), the dethroned crown prince who is forced into exile by his older brother who wants the throne for himself, and Geum (Kim Tae Jung), Lee Heon’s bodyguard who silently protects him in order to save him from multiple assassination attempts. The only way to save the prince is for Eunho, who’s interested in art, to finish a painting (most likely the one that helps in the time-travel).
Sources: BL Update 2022 on Twitter, BoysLoveTV and Idol Romance official on Instagram
This is a series that pretty much sneaked up on me; I’m actually surprised that it’s airing pretty early. Another BL with former and current K-pop members is set to premiere at the end of this year. Emotion Studio’s Behind Cut (the same company which had given us Where Your Eyes Linger and Mr Heart, and is planning to produce Boarding House No: 5 later on in 2022). Kblsubteam on Twitter mentions that it is a “heart-aching love triangle” with two men who work towards their dreams in related fields and another one who does not seem to have any. The series will be aired on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from December 28, 2021, onwards, and is to have 15-minute long episodes (8 of them) on Bilibili, Heavenly, and VIKI. Although this is Bum Jun’s first acting venture, Eom Se Ung and Choo Seok Young have already had quite a few acting projects.
This series follows Gi Jin (Park Bum Jun, who’s a member of K-pop group 2Z), a student of design who wishes to become a famous designer and is currently preparing himself for a contest. Here he meets Young Woo (Eom Se Ung, a former member of The ManBLK, the multi-entertainment K-pop group which Choi Chani and Go Woo Jin from Light On Me are a part of), a part-time delivery man with a bright personality. He also meets top-model Lee Bin (Choo Seok Young, who played Grand Prince Wol San in the 2017 movie titled Behead the King), which leads to a complicated relationship among the three men.
Sources: Kblsubteam and Rina Susilowati on Twitter, BoysLove TV on Instagram
I think most Korean manhwa readers out there would’ve heard of this series owing to its popularity not only in its webnovel format (published by Ridibooks and Beyond) but also as an audio drama and a short animated miniseries with 6 episodes, each 3 minutes long (released by Laftel). Written by Jeosuri and illustrated by Angy, the manhwa is all set to have its live-action adaptation to be released in 2022, with the cast giving us sneak peeks of script-reading for about a month or so. Park Seo Han, a former member of K-pop group KNK, joins DONGKIZ member Jae Chan (Park Jae Chan) as the lead of this series. So here we have another idol romance slated for release with eight 25-minute long episodes. A love story between a campus ‘outsider’ and a popular university student, this may probably be one of the most anticipated series of 2022 (other than Cherry Blossoms After Winter, of course).
When computer science major Chu Sang Woo (Jae Chan) works on a liberal arts project with freeloaders who don’t give a hand, he decides to remove their names from the final presentation. This irks campus star Jang Jae Young (Park Seo Ham), who now has to closely work with him in order to get his study-abroad plans back on track. With their immiscible personality, the story follows how they work together and the beginnings of a romantic relationship between them.
Source: Novelupdates, Carinne on Kpopmap
Cherry Blossoms in Winter
Another BL live-action adaptation of an extremely popular webtoon (of the same name), Cherry Blossoms After Winter is set to release in February 2022. The manhwa is not completed yet, with 4 seasons and an epilogue that is still ongoing. Ok Jin Wook, who’s a part of the five-member Trot group Super Five (along with ASTRO’s MJ, PENTAGON’s Hui, former A. Cian member Hyeok Jin, and solo artist Park Hyung Seok), and Kang Hui, a model and actor under YG Kplus, are currently preparing themselves to be the main leads of the series. As of now, there have been no updates about the number of episodes. However, it has been mentioned that each episode will be 20-30 minutes long and is under W-Story (one which gave us Where Your eyes Linger, Mr Heart, and You Make Me Dance) and Vanilla production.
Haebom and Taesung, who were once very close friends as children, have grown apart over the years. Haebom attributes it to the tragedy of losing his family, which led to him being brought up as a part of Taesung’s household. They become classmates in high school, all while keeping the fact that they’re living under the same roof a secret from everyone in their class (something that they haven’t disclosed to even the closest of their friends). What follows is a complicated relationship both at school and at home, with a fiery attraction between the two of them trying to tp the balance that they’d achieved over the past ten years.
Source: Tappytoon, BL Update 2022 on Twitter
I’m sure people are wondering what this section is doing outside of a Sunday feature.
I’d like to mention that news concerning Color Rush 2 and To My Star 2 will be added only in the next Korean BL-related news feature, along with other KBL slated for release in 2022, as there is very little revealed about these two series and I’m still waiting for more concrete updates (other than the production pictures which have been posted on various social media sites). There will also be a separate feature just for STRONGBERRY releases.
☆ Krishna’s Sidenote- We got some exclusive stills of the main leads from both shows.
1) To My Star
2) Color Rush Season 2
I’d also like to mention that the feature was supposed to have an entire section dedicated to Bungee Jumping of Their Own, a BL-adjacent Korean series with K-pop group NCT’s Jaehyun and Lee Hyun Wook who is popular for his roles in Strangers from Hell and Mine. This series was unfortunately cancelled days before I completed this news feature, and I would like to rant about this issue later on in another article, so I hope everyone looks forward to that.
Keep watching this space as we bring you further updates about Boys’ Love dramas from all over the Asian Subcontinent!
(Picture Credit- Original Sources
Synopsis Credit- MyDramaList)