At some point, you get tired of reading manga about 16 year old kids. You crave something different. The further you get away from age 16, the more prominent this feeling can become. Thankfully, there’s a trend within BL that gives us some grown, adult men and it’s been growing in popularity: the oyaji!
“Oyaji” literally means father, but is also casually used to refer to middle-aged men. The lower age limit to qualify as an oyaji is typically early 30’s. Common oyaji “cues” include visible signs of age like wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, an established family, and, of course, crotchety old man behavior (my favorite). Within manga, there’s certain character types associated with this term. The majority of oyaji seem to fall within the 30-45 year old range, particularly for BL.
First, if you’re completely new to this subgenre, here are some of the most highly regarded mangaka that reliably produce fantastic older men. Their works are a great place to start and are relatively well-known, so I’ll only briefly mention a few of their relevant works.
- Ono Natsume (basso)- noticeably older, professional men
- est em – all types, very versatile
- Yamashita Tomoko - natural characters
- Suzuki Tsuta - one of the best at the gentle, sweet type
- Nishida Higashi – mostly salarymen (this is a good thing). Kudos for having real oyaji, including some in their 50s (and still hot!)
- Naono Bohra – her oyaji feel more fetishy, but there’s many and a wide range of them
This would be best titled “shin’s Oyaji BL Primer” because it isn’t all inclusive (too much!) and I’m blatantly playing favorites. Hey, what can I say–it’s my blog and I think I have decent taste in oyaji. ♥ I’m not including everything, as I’d actually like to finish this list at some point (yet I know I’ll add to it later). So this will be an overly large manga snippets post describing my favorite oyaji within those works. And boy do I love my oyaji.
So here’s some hand-picked BL works that I’ve enjoyed which feature an older man, whether top, bottom, in the middle, on the side… I don’t discriminate!
Works are sorted into loose themes to make this entry remotely easier to read!
The Damaged Oyaji
Mo’some Sting by Yamashita Tomoko
If I had to crown someone “favorite oyaji,” the title would go to Asagi. Asagi breaks my little heart. He’s in love with an emotionally and mentally disturbed masochist. Asagi is willing to hurt the other guy, just like he asks, yet Asagi would rather be gentle, because… well, he likes him. Asagi also has a violent yakuza with psychotic tendencies obsessed with him, making his life a little too exciting. Asagi is blunt and a bit of a dirty old man (yes!), yet he’s also kind to a fault, risking much to help his troubled niece. He’s a damaged older man surrounded by even more broken men.
The End of the World by Shingyouji Tsumiko
The oyaji here is a genius math professor who sees a world different from us. Since he was a kid, Anekawa could escape into this other fantasy world, but he views all people as if they were a part of that fantasy (think bad renaissance fair costumes and animal ears). A student, who looks normal in Anekawa’s eyes, tries to coax him into no longer running away from people. Anekawa is one of the more timid characters I’ve read in a while. However, in the real world, he’d surely be diagnosed with some mental disorder and drugged into oblivion, so it’s nice seeing him overcome his fear to find some loving human interaction. Sweet story with some nice imagery.
Sangatsu Boujitsu, Kuma wo Hitotta by Takao Hiroi and Kamuro Akira
This features a man haunted by the death of his old friend who he loved. When confessed to, he ran and didn’t realize he loved him until the friend was already dead. Heartbroken and still running 15 years later, he drinks himself into oblivion on his friend’s death anniversary, waiting for a random person to pick him up and fill the void, even if for a short time. He’s a broken man that needs comfort.
This is the one artist I want more, more, MORE oyaji from–these are most delicious, beautiful, yet grizzled, masculine men out there. Please, please make my BL dreams come true and draw more scruffy, bearish characters~
Zion no Koeda by Inariya Fusanosuke
These stories are rather well known and feature what I’ll call “oyaji abuse.” Inariya likes torturing her poor old guys… and her young guys for that matter. So you get older men in her characteristic war-torn settings and there’s an emphasis on military and captivity themes.
The Working Man
Kuma to Interi by basso
What’s not to love about a handsome, well-dressed, intellectual, and powerful older man? The former Prime Minister of Italy has a secret hobby of playing around with younger men. At least Faust treats it like recreation until he encounters a man who is his least favorite type: an older, bearish man. Who turns out to be a paparazzi nonetheless. Faust is the runner-up for my favorite oyaji. Check out Amato Amaro and Al to Neri to Sono Shuuhen for more delicious older men, including some of the side characters here.
Polaris Bell by Terashima
Shuugo is a bisexual, flippant high school student who is loose with “love” and his *ahem* lower half. He finds girls and boys equally attractive, equally disposable. That is until he meets a composed older man who is a local train conductor. Shuugo falls hard and I can’t blame him. This 2 volume slice of life story dances inbetween Shuugo and the people around him. However, we also get to see this earnest, uniformed oyaji warm up to Shuugo as well!
Harem Days by Naono Bohra
This book is a tasty oyaji feast, with no less than three older men. There’s Suzunari, a manager who knows what he wants and knows what he likes, which happens to be the new office worker who is a former punk. Suzunari is the calm, yet cunning type. The company president is protective of Suzunari and doesn’t approve of this office fling at first. Another story has an older, blind man and a young man who hides his love for 10 years. You can’t go wrong with Naono Bohra when it comes to finding lots of different older men.
Doushiyoumo Nai Keredo by Natsume Isaku
Shimano has it all–he’s young, handsome, rich, and has a bright future career. Everyone admires him, except his older boss Kurokawa who enjoys ordering him around like he’s the new guy. Shimano learns that while Kurokawa is a friendly, successful salesman, he’s very messy, divorced, and often drinks alone at home. Kurokawa is rather bold and has a bit of a leecherous, teasing attitude towards Shimano. Dirty old men are the best. This work is a good example where the divorced ex-wife isn’t demonized as a plot device to bring the guys together and she is even a good character. Yay!
Zantei, Koibito by Akiba Touko
Sakamoto is 34 years old, divorced, and a successful business manager. He works hard and he plays hard–he’s also crude and loud, likes his beer, and likes… a younger guy. He gets wasted at a work party and pounces on his younger subordinate. However, the next awkward morning, he turns the tables and claims the other guy pounced on him since he was drunk! Haha, he’s a feisty, straightforward old man. He’s a workaholic, to the detriment of his love and sex life. This has lively characters and “clean” artwork.
Bamford Koushakuke no Shitsuji by Ike Reibun
The steward from No.99: Ningen Omocha gets his own (very porny) love story. While Graham appears cold and stern on the outside, he has quite a salacious affair with one of the butlers, Alex. Is Alex just a toy or will the unflappable countenance crack when someone else threatens to claim Alex? Either way, it’s Ike Reibun, so expect dirty sex and lovely period costumes. The best part of the manga is Graham’s character: he’s a shrewd guy with a monocle and princess curls ponytail.
Mada Ai ga Tarinai by Nishida Higashi
Inoue Masayuki is a middle-aged, divorced HR manager with a surprising problem–there’s an anonymous complaint accusing the talented, younger manager Kitahara Akihiko of sexual harassment. Inoue approaches Kitahara to investigate and just when his suspicions start to clear, a nude photo of Kitahara is sent to his cell phone. A cat-and-mouse game evolves between the two–Inoue can’t dismiss, yet won’t be easily fooled or manipulated by Kitahara. And Kitahara sent the nude pic himself–to lure Inoue into bed.
It’s fun watching Inoue’s conflicting attraction grow into determination to show Kitahara that he has more appeal than just money and good sex. Even the scheming Kitahara can be oblivious and caught off-guard.
The (Ex) Family Man
Papa★I Love You by Mishima Kazuhiko
There’s a father-figure borderline oyaji character in the main story. Mayama Karou’s life changes drastically when he takes in his two abandoned nephews, aged 5 and 16. They start to lead a warm, happy family life together until one day, the older boy suddenly kisses him. This is good for a sweet story about romance overcoming pseudo-family ties.
The second story has an older man attending prep school who catches the eye of a younger teacher. The older man is quiet and self-deprecating, but we watch him grow a much-needed spine as he chooses his own path in life.
Work In by Suzuki Tsuta
There’s two couples in this work. The first are salarymen and the boss is a bit older. It’s a sweet office romance story you’d expect from Suzuki Tsuta.
The second couple has the oyaji jackpot. There’s an older dad, usually unkempt and unshaven, who hides a breathtaking face underneath all that scruff. Personally, I like him the other way. <3 Good couple chemistry and a cute daughter too!
Nobara by Kumota Haruko
The oyaji in the main story is Kamita, a caring father trying to move on to the next stage of his life. He has a young, adorable daughter who he works hard to care for alone. Kamita’s kind smile has caught the eye of the younger Take who runs the restaurant he works at. When he learns that Kamita is getting a divorce because he’s gay, Take is overwhelmed by the possibility that he might be available and interested..
…something bothered me about this work though. Divorce is common fodder for these older parent stories and is terribly misused and ill-represented in manga in general, perhaps as a result of age/lack of knowledge and culture gap. I’ll admit it rubbed me the wrong way by demonizing the wife (in BL–no way!), even though Kamita is the one who married her fully knowing that he was gay. Not cool. But he manned up and admitted he did something terrible and won me back (somewhat). This could have been done more gracefully. It was a bitter taste in the otherwise very sweet story.
Konoyo Ibun (Volume 3) by Suzuki Tsuta
Part of Konoyo Ibun focuses on the older boss, Minamiura. He has some of the best smiles. Definitely check this out if you like the gentle, yet a bit mischievous type. Here’s another good use of divorce as a plot device in oyaji BL. It has a tempering effect on his life and personality while not involving any clumsily injected drama that detracts from the overall tone of the work.
Nichijou Sahanbi – Beautiful Life by Moto Haruko
Another oyaji dad, but his character is more unique within this subtype. He’s not the gentle, ideal housewife type. He’s a big guy who takes his infant into a bar and gets drunk. Okay, he’s not as terrible as that sounds. He’s nice to everyone and picks up a lost kitten young man he found on the street.
The Bad Boy
Division by Nishida Higashi
Tanaka is one of Nishida Higashi’s bad boys, as evidenced by his elaborate back tattoo and missing pinkie. Desperate and on the run in a foreign country, an innocent lawyer latches onto Tanaka, for better or worse. Tanaka is cunning, but unstable and unpredictable. On a whim, he might help you out. On a different whim, he might leave you to be gang-raped. One minute he’s smiling and calmly eating dinner, the next he’s stabbing a guy in the hand with a fork while laughing his ass off. Despite that (or because of it?), there’s still something thrilling about Tanaka that attracts the other man (being stranded in hostile territory with no language skills probably helps). Ever had a psycho boyfriend? He’s got nothing on this oyaji.
Aiso Tsukashi by Yamada Yugi
Previously a side character in Takaga Koi Daro, Sawaragi gets his own love story in Aiso Tsukashi. Sawaragi is a former yakuza who was recently released from prison. He decided to leave that part of his life behind until a former inmate, Shuuya, shows up on his doorstop with nowhere else to go. Sawaragi is the strong, silent type, but has a soft spot for lost kittens, both the furry and human kind, and reluctantly takes in Shuuya. Yamada Yugi oyaji are always great. There’s more oyaji scattered throughout her oneshot collections.
Shinjuku Lucky Hole by Kumota Haruko
Hiyama Kumi is a former porn star who manages an adult film company with his partner, Sakuma. They met in a non-traditional manner. In order to repay his father’s debt to the yakuza, Kumi was sent to live and be “trained” by Sakuma so the young Kumi could appear in gay films. Eventually, Kumi starts to develop feelings for Sakuma and schemes to release him from the yakuza world.
Kumi is indebted to Sakuma, who lets others know that Kumi is his. Sakuma is intimidating and possessive in his own way. Kumi may sleep with people for a living, but crossing over that professional line into personal feelings is a good way to bring out his scary, threatening yakuza side. They have an interesting dynamic, both in their past and present. The present storyline features them as two hot oyaji, of course.
Now That is an Old Man!
Gush ManiaEX R45 anthology
I haven’t given up on doing a full entry at some point on this one, but the whole theme is oyaji. Sweet! The most disappointing part was that I thought ALL characters were going to be 45 or older, but one of them is almost always the standard younger guy. But you get a good mixture of artists, character types, and stories. There’s older salarymen, a professor, a doctor, business owners… something for everyone! It is a great collection that delivers on its oyaji promise.
Negaigoto wa Hidamari de by Katsuragi
Nakakouji Tomohiko and Shiomi Haruhito have been friends all their lives. Now in their 50’s, Tomohiko blurts out that he wants Shiomi to marry him. Thinking his secret crush on Tomohiko is blown, Shiomi panics. However, Tomohiko just needed some help to deflect a marriage proposal. Now that the secret is out, will it ruin or transform their long companionship? It’s a bit comical and very sweet story about “silver love.”
Life, Love by Nishida Higashi
Even though one of the main characters is 36, I wanted to highlight his father, a powerful politician, simply because he’s gorgeous in a suit. Father and son have a complicated relationship to say the least. Nishida Higashi is not afraid to make her characters older and they sure age gracefully. Also check Mitsumete Itai for a much older man.
en el parque (and others) by est em
est em is the queen of introspective, sentimental stories featuring much older men. There’s quite a few stories which explore different themes. You have older men leading normal lives, experiencing failing health, facing life crises like the loss of loved ones, and more. Perhaps my favorite–“en el parque” breaks my heart a little every time I read it. As to not spoil it, just read it–it’s a short story in Tableau Numero 20. However, there are some positive stories as well, such as “lumiere” (in the Orokamono wa Aka wo Kirau tank). An old man dictates a story of a choreographer and dancer. Is it fiction? Or perhaps he’s reminiscing about a long lost love? I hope at that age I can look back at my life and past loves in such a manner.
The Crack-tastic Oyaji
Shachou Momoi-kun by Nishida Higashi
Watanabe is a hard-working, older manager who is targeted by the new company president (who is seemingly there to find a boyfriend more than actually work~). He’s an earnest, kind older man, but also a workaholic demon when necessary. Instantly attracted, Momoi weasels his way into Watanabe’s life. Since Watanabe has lived his life until recently as a straight husband, he isn’t sure how to feel about the situation, despite his growing attachment. Shachou Momoi-kun is a funny gag manga with a few serious moments. It tears down the fourth wall and has a half-naked man dance on top of it (sadly, not the oyaji). There’s also a randomly serious side-story included that has an oyaji vampire. Bonus salarymen oyaji everywhere, as expected from my personal Queen of Oyaji BL.
Liechtenstein Hakase no Karei Naru Nichijou by Shingyouji Tsumiko
This is the crack cocaine of weird oyaji BL manga. Liechtenstein is a brilliant biotech company owner, but he’s also naive and sheltered to the point he doesn’t know how to use public transportation. This little lamb falls right into the sadistic arms of his younger admirer, Shumiia. Liechtenstein is subjected to subway molestations, fake proctology exams, elaborate spy setups, and more.. including a random tentacle plant. This is the only BL manga I own that contains tentacle porn (NSFW, duh), which is more comical than anything, if you believe that. Being a huge masochist, Liechtenstein didn’t seem to mind much at all~
Oyajina! ~Chinatsu to Tomoe no Baai~ by Hiiragi Nozomu
How you can improve upon the already awesome oyaji character type? Stick teenage girls in older male bodies and watch the ensuing hijinks and budding romance. Fluffy teenage love, but now with more old man facial hair! This is what fangirl dreams are made of. Full entry here. A continuation will be released in February.
The Creepy Oyaji
Kaori no Yuuwaku by Nakamura Asumiko
Hide your shota, this sexual predator is coming to town! This older man not only looks smooth, but he seduces young boys like a pro. Great to look at on the outside, a little creepy to think about what’s on the inside. So let’s drool at the eyepatch instead.
Saiyaku no Tebiki by Kusama Sakae
The oyaji here is a novelist who is a bit odd and disliked by his neighbors. He meets a high school boy who is odd as well–he gets erect when he sees fire. Lovely. Their first encounter makes this oyaji seem like a sexual predator, but after that he downgrades to just a regular dirty old man messing around with a perverted high school boy. I’m not a big fan of the work overall, but it does contain an unapologetic dirty oyaji. Nice.
This is the debut work of Kusama Sakae, who has great oyaji potential. She even drew the pin-up in the Gush ManiaEX R45 anthology–featuring both characters over 40. Quite different from this work which contains shota. I have high hopes for her~
Copernicus no Kokyuu by Nakamura Asumiko
I’m a big fan of Nakamura Asumiko’s creepy characters. And the other ones for that matter. First, we have the circus troupe leader, an old man who runs a harsh, unforgiving business. Did I mention he not only sexually abuses, but also whores out his performers to customers? This leads the main character to yet another creepy oyaji who keeps him like a boytoy pet. And that’s just the beginning.
Random Oyaji Grab Bag!
Baby★I Love You by Mishima Kazuhiko
Baby★I Love You is the sequel to Papa and gives the rejected guy another chance at love. So we get a cranky older guy topped by the impish, yet adorable,15 year old adopted son of his unrequited love. It’s one of my favorite feisty oyaji stories because of the strong personality clashes. I’m also a sucker for little kids declaring that a grown man will become their “bride” and them making good on that promise years later! A rare case when the sequel is better than the original.
Hana wa Saku ka by Hidaka Shoko
Sakurai works long hours at an advertising agency and doesn’t have much time for anything else. Nothing else even seems worthy of his attention or motivation–until he meets a younger artist. Sakurai is an adult–practical and level-headed. He doesn’t blindly fall into love/lust, but can’t deny there’s something there and must work up the courage to pursue it. A beautiful love story for a beautiful man.
Stalemate by Aoyama Toomi
Chiharu has cared for his nephew Shinichi for years. They often play chess together, but Chiharu tries to encourage the high schooler to go out and play with others his own age. Shinichi is quite attached, but still too timid to do anything about it. When the opportunity arises to become closer, Chiharu is a reasonable man. He figures he shouldn’t mess around with an underage, male blood relative. Thankfully, he’s a naughty oyaji at heart and that doesn’t stop him for long. This was Aoyama Toomi’s first tank and features some beautiful art. Looking forward to more, hopefully with more oyaji~
Oyaji Kairou e Youkoso by Misasagi Fuhri
This series is all about the mangaka’s own oyaji kink and is written for all the oyaji lovers out there. Since it’s written by Misasagi Fuhri, who writes many older men, she’s worth listening to! It’s basically a narrative essay of the mangaka fangirling over different types of oyaji and storylines involved, mixed with some short comics and oneshots. Amusing reference material. It’s full of so many different older man character designs who I wished had their own full stories. Check out her other works–they are laden with oyaji goodness!
Saka no Ue no Mahoutsukai by Meiji Kanako
Lee is a magician who is much older than he looks (and he still falls within oyaji range!). Normally serious and somber, Lee seems particularly world-weary due to past circumstances, but there’s a young apprentice to keep his cottage bouncing with curious energy. Lee lives a rather austere, simple life for a powerful wizard and mostly keeps to himself. However, others seek him out, including many magical beings, other wizards (not all friendly), and even royalty. Meiji Kanako has numerous older men in her manga–just make sure you’re familiar with her odd style before plunging in!
The oyaji BL game Love Me Tender by Vivid Color
Often left only one small role in a large cast of young, beautiful guys, oyaji get their own BL game thanks to Vivid Color, the makers of Silver Chaos, Hanamachi Monogatari, and Nessa no Rakuen.
The main character Yukihiko plays the piano at the bar his lover Oumi manages.
Oumi is a kind, affectionate lover and although he sometimes feels lonely, Yukihiko wants to stay with him always. However, one day, Yukihiko’s ex-boyfriend Ryousuke appears, claiming he’s been searching for Yukihiko all this time. Yukihiko begins to remember all those feelings he had tried to forget..
For those keeping score, the main character is 38 and his two suitors are 44 and 47. It’s not as extensive as Vivid Color’s other games, but it’s an oyaji BL game. I seriously need to play this game more~
My god, I made a monster. There’s more out there, but I’ll have to cut it off at this point. Kudos if you made it this far–your love for oyaji is strong!