Yaoi, boys-love, danmei, gay, or whatever terms we can associate with the delicate relationship between men in anime had been a taboo for some fans but a blessing to others. As a gay guy and as an anime fan who explores Chinese animation, I’d love to share some of the well-known boys-love Chinese anime that yaoi fans or fujoshi can watch at their heart’s content.
This is a sensitive topic for some, even fans of Japanese animation still have that boundary set between yaoi anime and the other genres. So, such is the case too even in Chinese animation where censorship is rampant. To a culture where LGBT issues are still not openly accepted in the public, it is amazing that the boys-love story still thrives.
What’s even more amazing is that I hadn’t seen so many haters of Chinese bl anime or danmei among its local audiences compared to the Japanese animation where yaoi anime are often subject to the scrutiny of the highly masculine shounen-genre fans that is dominating the anime community in terms of numbers. So far, I only see love and support for boys-love donghua on the internet from donghua fans both local and international.
As I have mentioned, I would love to share a list of boys-love Chinese anime for the yaoi fans to add to their plan-to-watch anime list or even to those who are simply fond of it or can tolerate it. However, if you don’t want to watch donghua and prefer to watch anime, then you can check my previous post on LGBT-themed Anime Recommendations where I have listed both yaoi and yuri anime.
Top Chinese BL Anime List
Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Mo Dao Zu Shi or also known as The Founder of Diabolism is the first Chinese anime with a boys-love element that I first watched. The truth is, people might not easily identify that it is a boys-love story because the major element that played in this donghua is the cultivation-theme which is common in Chinese anime.
Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation is a playful and dramatic donghua that thrives in its well-written story, interesting characters that can catch the attention of the viewers, well-choreograph fight scenes, and heartfelt story. I must say, this is one of the best drama donghua I had ever seen so far.
Heaven Official’s Blessing
Tian Guan Ci Fu or Heaven Official’s Blessing is next on our list. In fact, this is a sister of Mo Dao Zu Shi because both series are adapted from a danmei novel by the same author. Furthermore, the next donghua in this list is also based on another work of the same author. You might be wondering who is this author who can work such a great danmei (boys-love) story? The name is Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, we fans simply refer to her as MXTX.
So, what’s with Heaven Official’s Blessing? Romantically speaking, I prefer this one because the chemistry of the main characters – Xie Lian and Hua Cheng are undeniably extraordinary and beyond comprehension, that is what I can feel based on watching the donghua. The story shares similar elements with Mo Dao Zu Shi but tackles it differently. It has cultivation, martial-arts, reincarnation, demon-slaying cliche, exorcism, and many more but Heaven Official’s Blessing has its own unique appeal that I can’t even fully explain but I can feel it.
The third donghua that is based on the work of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu is the Scumbag System and has the element that many of you might be quite familiar with – isekai. Yeah, we have transmigration or isekai element in this Chinese anime. Just like our typical isekai anime, Scumbag System transported its main character from the real world inside a game that he blatantly insulted. So, he possessed the villain in the game, and knowing how that character’s demise will be, he dared to challenge the system and destiny itself to avoid the imminent unfortunate event that will befall him.
Just like the other two that I had mentioned above, Scumbag System also has a cultivation-themed story but it shares a lot of similarities with cultivation donghua such as A Mortal’s Journey to Immortality, A Will Eternal, and Martial Universe. What sets it apart from the average cultivation donghua? It’s a boys-love story in the making. Furthermore, Scumbag System is a 3D Chinese anime while Mo Dao Zu Shi and Heaven Official’s Blessing are 2D donghua.
Jie Yao or Antidote is like our typical boys-love anime but played its card pretty well and delivered a satisfying story from start to end. We have a runaway rich-kid and a gangster winning our hearts over with their great chemistry and heartwarming story. So why is it called Antidote or The Cure? It’s because both main characters are there to help each other with their own personal struggles as they deal with their own demons. Each one of them is there to help one another surpass their trial and dilemma.
If you wish to know more about Antidote, you can check my review but beware of the spoilers: Chinese Anime Review: Antidote (2020)
The Legend of Tang
Tian Bao Fuyao Lu or The Legend of Exorcism is another enticing boys-love Chinese anime with good action and an interesting plot. It has the elements of cultivation, exorcism, and political conspiracy. It is another 3D donghua and animated by Sparkly Key Animation, the studio behind some of the most popular donghua such as Soul Land and Wu Gengji.
There’s also the donghua titled Spiritpact, I have seen it but I never managed to finish it. Probably, it’s not just my cup of tea, but it is not bad, I have seen it was quite popular as it was also dubbed in Japanese later on. Then, there’s The Emperor Strategy, another bl donghua from Seven Stone Entertainment (the studio that made Antidote), I liked it but the cliffhanger finale got me confused quite a bit.
Further Reading: Upcoming BL Donghua
Here I have listed the upcoming Chinese anime with BL elements in their story this 2021 as follows:
- Thousand Autumns
- Dinghai Fusheng Records
- Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire
- Silent Reading
- The Defective
So these are all the top boys-love Chinese anime that I can recommend so far. I shall update this list every time I discovered some more interesting donghua out there. Have you guys watched any of the series I have mentioned above? If yes, please let me know your thoughts about them. If no, you guys have to see them. Are you navigating Chinese animation? Here’s our post about where you can watch them: How to Watch Chinese Anime Online?
Code name: Yu Alexius is an ambiguous entity who loves to talk about anime and Chinese animation in general. An insatiable soul from the Pearl of the Orient, a frustrated writer and a Houtarou Oreki wanna-be. He is a piece of a lunatic and everything crazy.