Choosing the “Top Ten BL Couples” from the veritable number of Boys’ Love dramas that premiered in 2022 was indeed difficult. Our authors had to surf through numerous favorites to narrow their list of these choices. In today’s feature, we will be talking about popular BL couples based on their acting talents and compatibility with each other. Join us as our team members talk about their dearest couples!
It’s always challenging ranking dramas/films. It’s even harder ranking actors. As a viewer, I’m drawn to complex characters. Not only does playing complicated, intense parts require dedication, it requires a certain amount of emotional commitment. So, for the list I’ve put together below, I’ve focused mainly on these types of dramas. While I am a fan of all genres and hope that the actors involved in those dramas get the recognition they deserve, I want to give a special shout-out to those who deeply touched my heart.
180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us – Thailand
Starring Nike Nitidon/Pond Ponlawit
Nothing says intense dedication like pages and pages of monologue-length dialogue, which is precisely what actors Nike Nitidion and Pond Ponlawit faced with the Thai BL 180 Degree Longitude Passes through Us. A narrative-driven series is carried on the shoulders of its characters, the depth of emotion each character feels and expresses pertinent to how well the script resonates with the viewers. No matter how pretty the words sound on paper, it’s the actors who bring those words to life. And 180 Degree the series chose the right cast to portray the roles. The series focuses on only three prominent cast members, making it a three-person show with as much political and philosophical weight as bittersweet romance. Each actor shed many tears and expressed much anger and frustration. Nike Nitidon and Pond Ponlawit truly delivered as a couple left divided by time and trauma.
Kang Seo Joon/Han Ji Woo
To My Star/To My Star 2 – South Korea
Starring Son Woo Hyun/Kim Kang Min
While there are plenty of light moments inside the Korean BL To My Star and its sequel, most of the series is deeply nuanced and emotionally captivating. It offers viewers a story about two polar opposite men dealing with separate generational traumas who must learn to make peace with themselves to make a relationship work. Actors Son Woo Hyun and Kim Kang Min pulled out all the stops, particularly in the second season. From heartfelt tears to heartbreaking misunderstandings, characters Kang Seo Joon and Han Ji Woo prove that love takes work. But when the love is worth the effort, it’s much more rewarding.
Old Fashion Cupcake – Japan
Starring Takeda Kouhei/Kimura Tatsunari
In a world that operates on certain gender norms and prejudices about age, characters Nozue and Togawa find themselves throwing all of that away in the Japanese BL Old Fashion Cupcake. Rather than be defined by the box society has placed them in, Nozue and Togawa step outside of it and fall in love. Actors Takeda Kouhei and Kimura Tatsunari understood the assignment, delivering a heartfelt romance that tackled ageism and gender norms in a breathtaking, chemistry-filled way.
KinnPorsche – Thailand
Starring Bible Wichipas/Build Jakapan
Pain is difficult to portray on screen, and it’s even more difficult when the characters you are playing are not only in pain but get off on delivering/feeling pain. In the Thai BL KinnPorsche, characters Vegas and Pete face abuse, violence, and anger inside a world that encourages all of these emotions. Actors Bible Wichipas and Build Jakapan deliver memorable performances as two characters steeped in trauma who find peace in the pain they give to each other. Stepping into these roles requires letting yourself feel pain, and I have nothing but respect for the dedication it took to do that.
Starring Off Jumpol/Gun Atthaphan
A politically relevant drama about a group of rebels who rise against an unjust businessman, Not Me said, “Let’s make change happen,” and it did. Leads Off Jumpol and Gun Atthaphan stepped into nuanced roles, especially Gun. Portraying twins requires pulling off two different characters with different personalities who still maintain a deeper relationship with each other. As a twin, I am more critical of single actors stepping into a dual role. Gun delivered, offering two polar opposite multiples whose connection with each other changes the courses of their lives. Off, too, had the difficult job of playing off of these characters, making his interactions with a single actor feel like interacting with two. Between the politics, highly charged feels, and dual parts, Off and Gun gifted us with highlight performances of their careers.
Jang Jae Young/Chu Sang Woo
Semantic Error – South Korea
Starring Park Seo Ham/Park Jae Chan
Showcasing a love/hate relationship between a neurodivergent lead with OCD tendencies and a flippant, popular designer set the stage for a remarkable enemies-to-lovers story. Actors Park Seo Ham and Park Jae Chan embodied their roles, embracing each character’s complicated feelings as they realize the annoyance they first felt when meeting has turned into a love neither wants to live without. Watching the organized Sang Woo bend his rigid need for structure for Jae Young and seeing the carefree Jae Young become more aware of his surroundings for Sang Woo was powerful. Allowing someone into our lives also means allowing the unique habits and traits that make someone who they are. Semantic Error gave us that with two actors who didn’t hold back.
UWMA/Between Us – Thailand
Starring Boun Noppanut/Prem Warut
This couple makes my list because I fell in love with the story the book gave me. Based on the book HempRope, Win and Team fall in love while facing trauma and personal pitfalls. Team has post-traumatic stress syndrome, a condition made worse whenever he’s under pressure to perform as a swimmer. He has nightmares that keep him from sleeping. After stumbling into the bed of the swim team’s vice president, he discovers that being near Win allows him to sleep peacefully through the night. On the other hand, Win struggles to belong and be needed. Win gives Team security while Team gives Win a place to belong. This dynamic is beautiful, and while I loved the glimpses Until We Meet Again gave us of these two characters, I’m excited to see them step into the spotlight in their own series Between Us. Actors Boun Noppanut and Prem Warut have had years preparing for these nuanced roles, and I have high expectations based on what they gave us in Until We Meet Again.
My Only 12% – Thailand
Starring Earth Katsamonnat/Santa Pongsapak
In a 2022 drama that surprised me, Thai actors Earth and Santa stepped into powerful coming-of-age roles about two best friends on a lifelong journey together. Exploring the pitfalls of becoming overly dependent on someone, coming out, and death, My Only 12% opens with a lighthearted feel but transforms into a story full of heart and truth. From the heart-rending realizations to separation anxiety to dealing with the potential death of a family member, Earth and Santa took on characters who face as many uncertainties as they do joy. I cried. I laughed. I loved.
Kang Ji Hoon/Shin Jae Woo
Once Again – South Korea
Starring Lee Hyun Jun/Moon Ji Yong
For anyone who has faced the devastation of survivor’s guilt and the post-traumatic stress that comes with it, the South Korean drama Once Again hits particularly hard. Trapped inside a time loop that leaves them destined to relive the same story, characters Kang Ji Hoon and Shin Jae Woo are stuck remembering a past in which Ji Hoon dies while attempting to save a young Jae Woo. Wracked with guilt as an adult, Jae Woo is determined to keep the man who rescued him as a child alive, but in the process, he falls in love with him. Actors Lee Hyun Joo and Moon Ji Yong deliver outstanding performances as two men so connected by fate they cannot let go of each other, both determined to keep the other alive.
The Eclipse – Thailand
Starring First Kanaphan/Khaotung Thanawat
There is nothing more potent than the fight against injustice, especially when it takes place inside a traditional institution between young men burdened with meeting expectations while also feeling the need to break free of them. Thai actors First and Khaotung step into complex roles, delivering emotional and riveting performances about two men who face off and then fall in love while dealing with pride, responsibility, and humility. From the tears shed to the lives lost, Akk and Ayan are faced with the consequences of the decisions made under society’s pressure on sexuality and choice
This is one of the toughest things to follow, out of all the articles I’ve posted here. Not because it’s a long feature story, but rather because of what’s in it. Join me on this trip as I rank my top 10 favorite BL couples for 2022.
I’ll start with my tenth position and work my way up to my top BL pair of 2022, just like I did with “My Top 10 BL Series of 2022.”
10. Li Zhen Hao (Ye Guang) x Shen Jyun (Xu Qi Zhang) = About Youth
I have to admit that these actors caught my eye among all the Taiwanese BL that have been released this year. Ye Guang’s (Zhen Hao) personality matches him well, and the plot line that was presented works well with it. The same is true for Qi Zhang (Shen Jyun), whose shy and upbeat demeanor wonderfully complements Ye Guang’s. There is no denying the great chemistry between these two primary stars. They are able to let you see the complete story, and I must state that it is worthwhile to do so. What I also admire about them is that given the conditions in the series, the two main leads can effectively withstand and convey the proper emotions. Their characters act as though fate foretells that they would be together. Their professional acting talents had me so entranced that I found that even their little eye contact and brief pauses were just flawless. To be completely honest, I never intended to watch this series because the moment I saw the trailer, I thought, “Oh, okay, another plot where the setting happens to be in school again” but after my friend suggested it, I will retract what I said because the series has a uniqueness due to its meticulously planned plot! I give Qi Zhang an extra point because he can sing with his band! (I enjoy watching BL Series especially if it has music in it.)
9. Force Jiratchapong Srisang (Akk) x Book Kasidet Plookphol (Theo) = Enchante
I was definitely looking forward to watching this unique love journey between Akk and Theo at the start of this year. First off, I really enjoy the notion of country collaborations, much like the Baker Boys! This time, GMMTV released this distinctive series with a Thailand-France collaborative theme. I can’t deny that Akk (Force) and Theo (Book) have a strong chemistry, but to be completely honest, when I first saw them, I was a little perplexed. I occasionally confused Force for Book and vice versa because it appears that they have similar facial features.
The story of Akk and Theo is quite intriguing. Theo, a person who is looking for true love, is involved in a mysterious event where he must determine which of the five individuals who claimed to be an Enchante is the genuine deal. As Theo’s former friend, Akk is deeply concerned for him. I had already surmised early that Akk harbors affections for Theo. Their romance makes me think of a standard romantic drama, where one of the leads has a crush on the other but decides not to admit it because he is frightened of rejection and the risk that the other may leave him. The chemistry between these two key characters sets them apart from the others! It’s true to state that even when the two are silent, you can tell there is a strong bond between them. As a result, throughout every tragic scene, I can actually feel their anguish. (Even though I am merely a viewer, I make a serious effort to empathize with the characters in order to fully comprehend why their roles are evolving in the ways that they are). Since they genuinely care for one another and are two of the newest faces in the entertainment industry, debuting Force and Theo together generated a lot of positive press. How I wish Enchante would have a second season! I’m interested in learning what transpired after that endearing proposal!
8. Yoo Young Jae (Jin Geum Song) x Kim Song (Choi Hye Seong) = Love in Spring
As a passionate KPOP fan, Yoo Young Jae is a member of the well-known KPOP group B.A.P., and I am genuinely impressed by his sincere performance in this series.
This historical BL drama opens up new avenues for Boys Love. As we are all aware, the BL genre is only capable of such setups and repeating narratives that only differ in the people playing them. What I appreciate most about Korean BL is that they consistently provide us with original storylines and incredibly capable leads who skillfully craft a masterpiece. As a loyal son, Jin Geum Song (Young Jae) falls in love with Hye Seong (Kim Song). Geum Song has no idea that Hye Seong is merely pretending to be a girl. (YES! It has a theme similar to Sungkyunkwan Scandal and To The Beautiful You, except that this time the pretender is a boy rather than a girl.) This situation alone generates a lot of thoughts and, unsurprisingly, stimulates everyone’s imaginations as they consider what might occur. There are difficulties occasionally because Hye Seong is aware that he is lying to Geum Song. Geum Song and Hye Seong have the chemistry of two people who are in a “mutual understanding phase.” Their acting abilities are excellent, and they are particularly good at conveying emotions in dramatic and sweet scenarios. But as you continue watching the story, you’ll finally realize that they stand for a strong relationship that has been strengthened by hardships and faith in love. The historical narrative contributes to its originality and defies the perception that the BL genre has many restrictions.
7. Jimmy Jitaraphol Potiwihok (Puen) x Sea Tawinan Anukoolprasert (Talay) = Vice Versa
Jimmy and Sea are two of today’s promising actors. When I initially saw the teaser, I was quite impressed that Jimmy would eventually star in this kind of series. On the other hand, Sea successfully contrasts Jimmy’s acting professionalism. As I see them develop as a couple, especially in Safe House, I can say that they build chemistry effortlessly. I can sense it as a die-hard fan of these young actors whenever Jimmy is with Sea because it has a special aura about it.
In the drama Vice Versa, two people who were involved in an accident went on to live very different lives. Talay (Sea) and Puen’s (Jimmy) cheerful personalities mesh well. I guess after watching Vice Versa, my heart is satisfied. It may be a real fiction story, but the lessons I learned from them are truly worth remembering. These two actors happened to exceed my expectations. I can see great potential, especially in the way they handle heavy drama scenes. Every time they experienced failures and heartbreaks, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Puen and Talay’s character.
6. Kang Hui (Jo Tae Sung) x Ok Jin Uk (Seo Hae Bom) = Cherry Blossoms After Winter
This is, in my opinion, one of the most endearing and captivating South Korean BLs of the year. I find it amazing how these two characters are able to contradict my ideas of cute interactions. To be really honest, I dislike prolonged sweet exchanges—like, conversations that make up nearly the entire episode’s plot. Yet, hey! I was completely fascinated with Tae Sung (Kang Hui) and Hae Bom (Jin Uk) after witnessing their relationship evolve.
When I think back on the series, I can clearly remember how skilled actors they are. Tae Sung won me over with his genuineness toward Hae Bom; he always assured him that he is the only one for him and that he can always be secure. On the other side, Hae Bom’s naivety astounds me. These two primary actors are both excellent fits for their parts, not to mention that they both have exceptional visual skills! I can sense a great connection between them even when they are just staring at each other, and that is what caused me to fall in love with them repeatedly. I’m not complaining, though I do wish there were more love and lovely situations in Cherry Blossoms After Winter. I don’t know why, but I genuinely feel like their love story’s second season will be fascinating.
5. Mile Phakphum Romsaithong (Kinn) x Apo Nattawin Wattanagitiphat (Porsche) = KinnPorsche
The series KinnPorsche has utterly surpassed my expectations and raised the standard high for BL series, so since we’re talking about uniqueness, I suppose these two lead performers deserve a spot in today’s feature. KinnPorsche had a number of sensual sequences in addition to the MAFIA-THEME, where I occasionally attempted to pause and carefully assimilate what was happening because I wasn’t expecting it to be so hot! Anyway, based on the character’s demeanor, Kinn (Mile) is unquestionably suitable for the part. His performance and personality both strongly suggest that he is a versatile actor, and Porsche (Apo) is similarly persuasive in this regard. Their acting prowess and stunt work unquestionably deepen their relationship. I have also seen a lot of “Behind the Scenes”, and each time I do, it makes me genuinely pleased because I can see outstanding artists who have more potential. Everyone may perceive their brilliance by the thousands of individuals who are standing behind them (that includes me).
4. Kim Ji Woong (Kim Jun Ho)) x Yoon Seo Bin (Choi Min Hyun) = Kissable Lips
To be honest, when Roommate of Poongduck 304 was not released, I could not still move on with this series. Because of the chemistry between Ji Woong and Seo Bin, I can think of a variety of series with a range of themes in which they would still excel in their roles. The biggest professional achievement for Ji Woong and Seo Bin is Kissable Lips. Twilight’s concept of portraying Jun Ho (Ji Woong) as a vampire is a classic one!
Except for Mr. Kim Ji Woong, I am unable to think of another Korean BL actor who would be a perfect fit for the character that Jun Ho plays. Being the mortal to whom Jun Ho gave his lone key to eternal life, Min Hyun (Seo Bin) wonderfully embodies the situations in the series. I cried during the final scene since I didn’t anticipate it to be so heartbreaking! (Like the preceding KBL were joyful endings, but this one is different.) I admire these two actors because you can see their acting skills as the series continues; this alone demonstrates that they are sincerely dedicated to their craft. The fact that they can both sing is a bonus in this scenario (Oh, I truly love a person who can sing!). These two complement each other’s personalities, building a solid foundation for their professional connection. I can’t suppress my happiness every time they have sweet encounters.
3. Yin Anan Wong (Vee) x War Wanarat Ratsameerat (Mark) = Love Mechanics
If you were to ask me which actors have made the most progress in terms of acting, I would have to pick Yin and War! Since I first met them in EN OF LOVE: Love Mechanics, I have noticed a significant growth in their character, as well as a stronger chemistry between them. My third-place occupant is YINWAR. I was thrilled to learn when Love Mechanics was released this year because I am a huge fan of YINWAR. My favorite character, Vee (Yin), has improved since the first season. I got to see more of Vee’s perspective and how he sees the world, but one thing I detest about him as a person is that he frequently lacks a solid position and is susceptible to outside influences. Being the love servant, Mark (War) frequently suffered harm as a result of loving someone. However, this kind of idea highlights the series’ inventiveness.
2. Joe Locke (Charlie Spring) x Kit Connor (Nick Nelson) = Heartstopper
Okay, so I’ll admit that I rarely watch Western BL series because I find Asian BL Series to be more compelling, but Heartstopper is probably one of the exceptions.
My curiosity was piqued when I see this great work of art on Netflix because it has been widely publicized on social media sites and people had been complimenting the characters and even the plot for their inclusivity and originality. I wasn’t immediately captivated by Kit and Joe’s visuals when I initially saw them, but as soon as I started watching the episodes; MAN! You know, they both unexpectedly became my favorites. Since they are LGBTQIA+ allies in addition to being actors, I initially appreciate these characters because of the way they portray them. I believe this is one of the reasons why they are able to capture Charlie and Nick’s personalities so well. There are many of our fellow citizens that are going through what Nick’s character (Kit) is, and you can see that it is difficult to be yourself, especially when the norm has placed expectations on you. Nick’s character is a fantastic reflection of society. The same is true for Charlie (Joe), whose main desire was to find someone who would accept him for who he is and be with him. I can see how professional the two of them are. Because their story is not being rushed, I can plainly see how their characters change over time. I can’t wait to learn more about Nick and Charlie’s lives in Season 2 which will air the following year!
1. Job Thuchapon Koowongbundit (Nut) x In Sarin Ronnakiat (Tofu) = The Miracle of Teddy Bear
This could be one of the Thai BL Series’ biggest breakthroughs this year. I can witness works of art and actors who are unquestionably top-notch. Job and In are brand-new characters in the BL Industry, and what I appreciate about them is that they excel in their respective positions and are outstanding at accurately expressing the feelings. Their ability to manage intense drama moments and maintain that feeling even when the scene lasts more than a minute sets them apart from the other actors I have mentioned. I shed many tears while watching this series, and I really appreciate Nut (Job) for his ability to capture the feelings. I frequently had the opportunity to think to myself, “Is Nut okay with these scenes? I mean, he frequently appeared in scenes crying and furious.” But then I understood that the evolution of the series is an exciting process because of the consistency in acting. Tofu (In), a teddy bear that was transformed into a human, is a wonderful addition to Nut’s outstanding performance. When I first saw Tofu turn into a human, I already had a theory that he would soon revert to his previous form as a teddy bear. Tofu was only there to help Nut find relief from his suffering and to allow him to accept the true love that he had been unable to experience for so many traumatic years of his life. They are currently my most favorite couple for 2022. Allow their acting prowess to carry you through unspeakable suffering while teaching you many valuable life lessons.
Yes, you have it now! Since I began writing these pieces, I’ve been thinking back on a lot of memories. How about you? Please share your list of the top 10 BL actors of 2022!
Keep watching this space for the next update!