YEAR IN REVIEW: Top BL Manga of 2021

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Top BL Manga of 2021

Manga has reached new heights in 2021 with many titles back-ordered for months on end. And while top manga often focuses on Shonen series or the widely circulated titles from VIZ Media, BL has also had a stellar year with emotional, steamy, angsty, or even wholesome romances highlighting queer love. So, we’ve round up our top BL manga of 2021.

A few ground rules, while there is no restrictions on publisher, there is a restriction on publish date. Every manga on this top BL manga of 2021 had to have had at least one volume published in English officially in the 2021 calendar year. This top BL manga of 2021 list also includes both one-shots and on-going series. Additionally, content that is made for adults (18+ as listed by the publisher) have been marked as “mature content.”

15. Therapy Game Restart

Publisher: SuBLime
Mangaka: Meguru Hinohara
Volumes: 1 (on-going)

“From a forgotten one-night stand to a plan for revenge, Shizuma and Minato have been through it all. But now that they’re officially a couple, new challenges await, and their fledgling relationship must learn to soar!

Shizuma and Minato are officially a couple. But Shizuma, now a resident veterinarian, is so busy he barely has time to catch his breath, let alone go on a date. When he finally manages to find time for Minato, the universe intervenes once again, and he learns quickly that his feisty new beau is not to be ignored!”

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14. Boy Meets Maria

Publisher: Seven Seas
Mangaka: Peyo
Volumes: One-shot

“Taiga dreams of becoming an actor, so the first thing he does upon entering high school is join the drama club. There, he meets the beautiful, enigmatic Maria and immediately falls in love with her. Not long after, Taiga is told that she is actually a boy–but is that all there is to Maria’s story? The late PEYO debuted with this beautifully illustrated, single-volume tale exploring the nature of personal expression and the fluidity of the power of love.”

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13. Like Two Peas in a Pod

Like Two Peas in a Pod

Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Mangaka: Gorou Kanbe
Volumes: One-shot

“It began with a mistake. When Tanaka and Nakata are given each other’s papers back, they come to a horrible realization…

They have almost identical names. And test results. And body types. And taste in fashion. And sports scores. And hobbies. The list goes on, and as annoying as it is, at least they know they always have each other.

And maybe, just maybe, their similarities run even deeper.”

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12. My Summer of You

My Summer of You

Publisher: Kodansha Manga
Mangaka: Nagisa Furuya
Volumes: 1 (ongoing)

“Chiharu Saeki and Wataru Toda are two high school students who share a common hobby: They love to watch movies. After they meet, they become fast friends, until one day, when Chiharu confesses his love for Wataru. Wataru says that Chiharu’s confession doesn’t bother him, and the boys continue throughout their summer, going to pilgrimages to see film spots from their favorite movies. But the more time he spends with Chiharu, Wataru realizes that he may not only be as unaffected by Chiharu’s confession as he claimed to be, but those feelings may also be mutual…”

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11. The Two Lions1Top bl manga 2021 (5)

Publisher: Seven Seas
Mangaka: NagisaFuruya
Volumes: One-shot

“Not long after he starts university, friendly, big-hearted Junpei runs into the very unfriendly Leo. As they speak, Junpei learns that they went to the same high school and that Leo was the “Demon Lion” feared back then as a secret gang leader. After those days spent as a lonely, misunderstood high schooler, Leo escaped to a faraway college to make new friends. Junpei becomes his first and vows to help Leo make more, but are his feelings for Leo stronger than friendship?”

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10. Dick Fight Island

Top bl manga 2021 (4)

Publisher: SuBLime
Mangaka: Reibun Ike
Volumes: 1 (ongoing)

The tournament to choose the next king of the islands is about to begin. The rules are simple—whoever comes first loses! Participating warriors protect their mighty swords with armor that grows larger and more elaborate with each tournament. But one warrior has returned from studying abroad with a technique certain to force a pleasurable eruption! Is there a competitor alive able to withstand it? Or is this deft warrior destined to become king?!” (Mature Content)

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9. I Cannot Reach You

I cannot reach you volume 2 - But Why Tho (1)

Publisher: Yen Press
Mangaka: Mika
Volumes: 2 (ongoing)

“No matter how much time we spend together, I’ll never become special to you.
Childhood best friends. Two halves of a whole. The cool, smart one who’s good at almost everything, and his average, dorky friend who struggles to do anything right­—Yamato and Kakeru. Always by the other’s side, but not together in the way they truly want to be. No matter how hard they try, their hearts cannot reach each other…”

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8. My Love Mix-Up

My Love Mix-Up Volume 1

Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Mangaka: Wataru Hinekure
Volumes: 1 (ongoing)

“Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But he despairs when he borrows her eraser and sees she’s written the name of another boy—Ida—on it. To make matters more confusing, Ida sees Aoki holding that very eraser and thinks Aoki has a crush on him!”

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7.  This Wonderful Season With You

This Wonderful Season With You

Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Mangaka: Atsuko Yusen
Volumes: One-shot

“Enoki is practically the poster-boy for what a typical nerd looks like: short and slight, complete with big round glasses and social awkwardness. His main hobby is making video games, and he’s used to not having many friends at school. Then, he meets Shirataki, a former member of the baseball club and his exact opposite; tall, muscular and sporty. Despite their many differences, the spark of friendship between the two boys begins to grow into something more…”

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6. Restart After Coming Back Home

Top bl manga 2021 (3)

Publisher: Seven Seas
Mangaka: Cocomi
Volumes: One-shot

“Hotheaded Kozuka Mitsuomi left his home in the country for a sophisticated life in Tokyo. Unfortunately, at age 25, he’s fired from his job and returns home in disgrace. As he tries to rediscover himself, he meets Kumai Yamato, a man about his age who was adopted into his community while Mitsuomi was away. The sweet and even-tempered Yamato is hiding his own pain, and as the two men connect, they start a journey together.”

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5. Seaside Stranger

Top bl manga 2021

Publisher: Seven Seas
Mangaka: Kii Kanna
Volumes: 1 (ongoing)

“Ever since his parents disowned him for being gay, Shun has been living with his aunt on a small island near Okinawa. One day, he meets Mio, a high school student who recently lost his own parents and now spends his days sitting by the sea. The two young men begin to open up to each other…until Mio reveals that he’s leaving. Three years later, an adult Mio returns to the island to confess his true feelings, but is Shun ready for a relationship?”

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4. MADK

Top bl manga 2021 (2)

Publisher: Seven Seas
Mangaka: Ryo Suzuri
Volumes: 2 (ongoing)

Makoto has long been ostracized because of his odd hobbies and a sexual kink others see as disgusting. One day, on a whim, he tries a demon-summoning ritual and succeeds in summoning an archduke from hell named J. Makoto sells the archduke his soul and begins a new life in hell as a monster. Living among so many unique demons helps Makoto to grow into his new role. But he finds he can’t ignore the feelings he’s harboring for the demon who brought him to hell, the beautiful but very twisted Archduke J!” (Mature Content)

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3. Bad Boys Happy Home

Bad Boys Happy Home

Publisher: SuBLime Manga
Mangaka:
Volumes: 2 (ongoing)

“Akamatsu has problems at home, while Seven doesn’t even have a home. When these two strangers meet, fighting soothes their troubled souls, opening up room for something more.

Life sucks, and high school bad boy Akamatsu needs an outlet for his pent-up frustrations. Seven, a homeless guy living in a nearby park, is just the outlet Akamatsu needs. Soon, he finds himself heading to the park every day just to pick a fight, even though he never wins. So when Seven ends up kicked out of his favorite sleeping spot, Akamatsu decides there’s only one possible solution to retain his fighting partner…invite Seven home to live with him!” (Mature Content)

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2. Sayonara Game

Top bl manga 2021 (1)

Publisher: SuBLime Manga
Mangaka: Yuu Minaduki
Volumes: One-Shot

“A high school crush gets a second chance when fate brings two former teammates together again. Arimura enlists the help of Yosuke—a younger baseball club teammate from his high school days—to tutor his little sister. Yosuke has always been rather brusque around Arimura, but to the older man’s surprise, he discovers Yosuke actually looks up to him. But could Yosuke’s admiration be masking something more?” (Mature Content)

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1. FANGS

Fangs - But Why Tho

Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Mangaka: Billy Balibally
Volumes: 1 (ongoing)

“As the sole survivor of a vampire attack, En wakes up to find that his hair has gone white as snow… and, worse, that he’s developed a craving of his own for blood.

Fortunately, the vampire health and welfare organization FANGS is there to help with the transition, and the handsome Ichii steps up as his guardian and mentor. Swept up into a confusing and lonely new world where everyone seems to be hankering for a taste of his “virgin” blood, En must navigate the FANGS pairing system, an arrangement that sets up compatible vampires as mutual feeding partners… and partners in all other ways as well.  But what happens when En panics and declares that he’ll be paired with Ichii?  And what does brooding, rough-around-the-edges Ichii make of his spunky, outgoing new charge?” (Mature Content)

Buy here. 


Now these aren’t all the BL titles that deserve love, Sasaki and Miyano, The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions, and of course Black or White just barely missed the cut.

Synopses for the Top BL of 2021 list are taken directly from product pages for the manga.