Shipping is a serious business in the Asian BL industry, with legions of fandoms invested in the offscreen camaraderie between their beloved idol’s.
And although logistically, the probability of their favorite pairing turning “Real” is pretty slim, many persist to dream. Shipping is pretty enjoyable as long as the fans don’t overstep their boundaries. In today’s feature, our authors will be talking about their treasured BL couples.
Of course, what would I do without Special Mentions?’Cause there are quite a few of them.
With so many onscreen BL couples now, choosing a favourite one is pretty hard. Most of them have such incredible chemistry; some provide comfort, while others make us laugh. And then some do both.
Earth Pirapat Watthanasetsiri and Mix Sahaphap Wongratch
These two have been a fan favourite ever since they began promoting Aof’s 1000 Stars. Their chemistry, both onscreen and off, definitely makes us believe that they’re married (in our heads). The number of children (ahem, cats) that they have keeps increasing, so most fans wish for more between them. Their couple-y interactions have provided a lot of comfort, and religiously keeping track of EarthMix Space (which is much harder now ’cause life) as well as their newer projects (watching Cupid’s Last Wish only for them and Janhae) has pretty much become a part of my everyday life.
Jimmy Karn Kritsanaphan and Tommy Sittichok Pueakpoolpol
They had me at ‘height differences’. That’s it. That’s the article-
In all seriousness, even though I’ll always have a few problems with WhyRU for ZeeSaint’s plot, even though SaifahZon began from the ‘accidental kiss’ trope, these two will always be pretty special. Their ship is probably the first one I’ve followed since I got even more invested in Thai BL back in 2020 (pretty late, I know, and I still beat myself up for it every day). They’re adorkable together, and their Close Friends episode will always be my favourite. Also, I just can’t wait for Middleman’s Love!
Ohm Pawat Chittsawangdee, Nanon Korapat Kirdpan, and Chimon Wachirawit Ruangwiwat (aka OhmNaMon)
OhmNaMon is everything.
Although I haven’t had as much time to be invested in them as I did before, I’m very grateful for the friendship between these three. Whether it’s The Blacklist, The Gifted, or Bad Buddy, the chemistry among OhmNaMon (or NaMon and OhmNon, respectively) knows no bounds. These three have shown us what great acting looks like, and I honestly don’t remember an era in which I was more obsessed as much as I was with them—I’m sure the 10000 screenshots on my phone will stand testimony to this.
Mile Phakphum Romsaithong and Apo Nattawin Wattnagitiphat
As I mentioned in the KinnPorsche review, I wasn’t sure whether the series was for me. However, it was MileApo that put my doubts to rest. Their interactions, especially the extra content on BeOnCloud’s YouTube channel, drew me to them. Plus, the series made me love them even more because I’ve never seen a couple so comfortable with each other as they are, even after the million NC scenes they’ve filmed. This duo is commendable, and I hope to see them in more projects because they deserve it.
Bible Wichapas Sumettikul and Build Jakapan Puttha
MileApo may have been one of the main reasons I decided to watch KP every week instead of binging it after it ends, but I still remember that one VegasPete picture that first convinced me to get invested in it. There’s also the fact that I tend to gravitate towards the side couples in most shows (although Mile and Apo have succeeded in keeping me in check). I’ve been slightly worried about how I’ll receive VegasPete because of all the random information floating around on the internet, but seeing Bible and Build together puts me at ease. I think they strike a good balance between their onscreen characters and themselves offscreen, and now I can’t wait for more of them on the show.
Park Seoham and Jae Chan
A.C.E.’s Jun may be one of my favourite idols to have played the main lead in a KBL, but these two have been living rent-free in my head ever since the release of Semantic Error in 2022. A very successful idol romance, the series has been a part of my life even before the live-action adaptation. Their chemistry is off the charts, and their resemblance to the characters in the manhwa all make and their brilliant acting make me want to rewatch the series pretty often. I really do hope Seoham comes back soon from the army, and I’d like to see them together in future projects as well.
Akaso Eiji and Machida Keita (Cherry Maho was honestly one of the best Japanese BLs I’d seen in a while); ChrisJake from HIStory3: Trapped (they’re just so cute!); Son Woohyun and Kim Kangmin from To My Star (so excited for the second season that’s going to be released in a few days!); Shin Hakyun and Yeo Jingoo from Beyond Evil (fight me); TutorYim from Cutie Pie (I have been invested from Mandee’s Pride Month 2021 campaign and shall continue to do so till the end of time); OffGun and GawinFirst (I will always be grateful to these two BL couples for getting my friend invested in Thai BL, albeit bit by bit).
What I love the most in ships, other than their onscreen chemistry of course, is their friendship beyond the screen. In my opinion, hardly any onscreen couple seems to be as close in real life as Max and Tul. They have acted in two seasons of Together With Me, Manner of Death, and now have cameo appearances in the ongoing series Triage as well. Through the years, their bond has only seemed to strengthened. Not only are they extremely comfortable with each other in their series, but continue to support each other in their offscreen endeavours as well, such as promoting each other’s brands, and Max recently sending off Tul at the airport in an emotional goodbye. Not to mention the fact that they have both been very open about their support towards the LGBTQ+ community, which makes me love them even more.
They are not known as BL royalty for nothing. From the early years of BL, to its explosion in popularity, to its current inroads into mainstream media, OffGun have been a part of it all. Their latest release, Not Me, was not only one of the best series of the year in terms of its plot, acting, and direction, but their chemistry together shined like nothing they had ever done before. OffGun are also well-known for their offscreen bond, through countless appearances together, support for each other’s works, and a friendship that goes beyond their characters.
Earth and Mix were an anticipated couple much before their first series, A Tale of Thousand Stars, came out. I loved their heartfelt portrayals of Tian and Phupha, and since then, I’ve been loving the crumbs of their daily adventures (along with their cats!!) that they share with us. Their absolute comfort with each other in any space they are in together adds to their acting as well; they don’t need dialogues to convey even the deepest emotions, just a single glance is enough.
Seoham and Jaechan are one of the most talked-about couples this year, and with good cause. Not only was Semantic Error a highly engaging and entertaining show, but we also got to see how much fun they had behind the scenes. Their trailblazing chemistry on and off screen will go down in the BL hall of fame. While the show itself brought out the enemies-to-lovers dynamic to the fullest, we got to see how different (read: even cuter) their interactions were with each other without a script.
I can’t have a list of favourite ships that excludes Bilkin and PP. I Told Sunset About You and its sequel I Promised You The Moon were revelations, masterpieces, and any fancy word synonymous with “amazing” I can think of to describe them. While the direction, storyline, and cinematography were brilliant in their own right, it was Bilkin and PP’s portrayals of Teh and Oh-aew that shined throughout. They are dedicated actors who bring their all to their characters and leave us with memorable moments of their performances.
Despite the premise of their series that blurred the lines between their friendship and romantic feelings for one another, Ohm and Nanon are truly the buddiest of buddies. Before they were co-stars in a BL series, they were already friends, and their chemistry which stemmed from that lent to their performances a natural ease that I don’t think could be replaced by most other actors. I hope to see them in many other projects together, given that they are credible actors in their own right, and bring out the best in each other’s roles.
Joe and Kit had the responsibility of bringing to life Charlie and Nick, who were already beloved characters much before the casting was announced. Their performances ended up as the highlight of an already tremendously done show. Their advocacy for queer rights and understanding and empathy towards not only the characters they played, but towards the young queer people who watched and took inspiration to them to come to terms with their own sexualities made me appreciate them all the more.
We will be back next week with the third edition of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more updates from the Asian BL World!