I’ve been kicking around the idea of a list covering favorite BL fantasy and/or shoujo/BL fantasy manga ever since I started my blog. But I always dismissed it as not very useful. What changed was that I actually felt like reading some new fantasy BL manga. So I peeked at those genre searches on MU/MAL and was met with a cesspool of horrific manga (most of which I already knew about). That’s no good. So installing a filter should prove somewhat useful to fish out any gems you might have missed hidden in that sludge.
Just like my previous lists, this is stuff that I like, so it’s not all inclusive (thank god). It’s a mixed bag: there’s old and new titles, popular and obscure, translated and untranslated. Some are new, possibly passing fancies while others are definitely tinted by rose-colored glasses. But even those titles are part of the experience, so if you skipped one, think about going back to see what it was about. I had to poke my fuzzy memory and ran out of patience while creating this baseline list, so it’s somewhat incomplete. I’ll add to it as I read, discover, and revisit more relevant manga. Particularly that last one–sometimes I just don’t remember titles or if I actually liked them. I’ve also been wanting to renew my hunt for good fantasy BL manga and this will let me record the stuff worth the paper it’s printed on.
So here’s some recommended fantasy/supernatural BL manga in no particular order. Unless I’m modding on MAL, I don’t bother differentiating between the two: if it’s weird shit that can’t happen in real life, it’s fantasy to me. There’s so little high fantasy stuff that it’s a moot point. So you’ll find angels, demons, dragons, magicians, spirits, and supernatural phenomena all listed below. Titles, artists, and a tidbit of information are given for each manga. If one catches your attention, begin your hunt for more information or feel free to ask questions here that Google can’t answer.
Konoyo Ibun by Suzuki Tsuta
Gorgeous fox spirits drawn by Suzuki Tsuta await you. There’s multiple couples. The first is a guardian spirit who heals a cursed man using some.. non-traditional methods. He’s the pushy, handsome type who contrasts with the beautiful, elegant, and kinda oblivious spirit introduced later. The second fox spirit accepts a high school boy as a bride, not quite understanding what that means for humans. So there’s some misunderstandings and frustrations. This work is a must read for the art alone.
Kabe no Naka no Tenshi by Bikke
A story where paintings come to life at night. There’s two angels: the golden-haired, pure-hearted, and trusting Julius and the dark-haired, more reserved, and a bit tsundere Marion. They both meet a fated person and experience a bit of life and love. It’s a beautiful and imaginative story. I really enjoyed Marion’s tale.
Nemureru Tsuki by Miyamoto Kano
A young man researches a fatal curse that causes all the men in his family to die young. With little time left himself, he inadvertently slips back in time to the Meiji era and gets some help from a distant relative in the past and a teasing younger cousin in the present. Expect mystery, drama, gorgeous backgrounds, ghosts, and hot guys in period clothing.
Tennen + Gokuraku Mahoutsukai by Yukimura
A carefree sorcerer saves a businessman and forges a magical pact which eventually involves some man sex (read the fine print). The sorcerer initially has a hard time sealing the deal because the businessman seemingly doesn’t want anything in return.. until they get all attached to each other. I enjoy Yukimura guys and there’s a cute, sassy mascot too.
Mister Mermaid by Mizushiro Setona
A BL remix on The Little Mermaid. A merman trades his tail for legs and sacrifices his voice all to see a man he once saved from drowning in the ocean. However, that was no drowning accident–expect lots of Mizushiro Setona drama. This is one if not my favorite of her early works.
Tsumasaki ni Kourozu by Aoi Aki
There’s two supernatural stories in this manga. A boy can see fish emerge from people whenever they sleep, each unique and reflective of that person’s personality. Of course, his friend’s fish is the most beautiful he’s ever seen. The story’s strength is in its imagery. The other story has a fox spirit who is too scared to reveal his true self to humans, lest they become frightened. Yet there’s a young man who keeps visiting that he wants to befriend. They’re short, but beautiful stories. I hope she does more fantasy in the future.
Ayashi no Kimi no Koi Wazurai by Kuku Hayate
Fox spirit guardians fall in love with each other. So you get hot guys with fox ears/tails wearing old Japanese clothing in Kuku Hayate’s style.. nice. Don’t miss the follow-up manga, Ayashi no Kimi no Koi Moyou, which also has a dark-skinned, gorgeous, and buff genie-type spirit.
Three Wolves Mountain by Naono Bohra
A werewolf falls in love with a gruff cemetery caretaker. Lots of family tags along for the ride: there’s the protective werewolf brother (my favorite), their parents, and the caretaker’s brother who died years ago and haunts him. Old but good manga from the queen of fantasy BL.
Kamikakushi Ryou Kitan by Tojitsuki Hajime
Modern day monks deal with supernatural events. Stylishly. Previously covered in detail.
equus by est em
Sexy est em men. And centaurs. Sometimes together. Do you really need me to justify this one?
Lovers Doll by Mishima Kazuhiko
Shin buys a cursed “Bloody Doll” and finds the rumors are partially true. When adored enough by the owner, the doll (Shimeji) can move and speak like a person. Used to being treated like a monster once he comes to life, Shimeji finds a welcoming home with Shin. While they share some similarities, I prefer this manga over Love Neco.
Tenkousei Jinno Murasaki by Tanaka Suzuki
With a single punch of his left hand, Jinnai Midori can purify all evil and malciousness from people. Even the nastiest delinquent becomes a honest person after one hit. However, it doesn’t seem to work on the new transfer student, Jinno Murasaki. There’s something really off about the guy: he’s kinda creepy, really strong, seems dangerous, and is oddly obsessed with Midori.
The manga is all about the two and the supernatural trouble that finds them. Jinno follows Midori around like a protective puppy, including the part where he tears up anyone who threatens Midori into bloody shreds. Jinno is the vaguely threatening, strong, self-appointed boyfriend Midori never asked for but gets stalked by anyway. The manga has a horror feel to it, with dark, violent encounters with supernatural beings that possess people. Shit really hits the fan in the surreal last volume of the manga: everything goes batshit insane, many characters die (slowly and while being tormented), Jinno goes full yandere.. so yeah, typical Tanaka Suzuki fun. I really liked the end. I would have never guessed the last volume would have gone in that direction based on the beginning.
Saka no Ue no Mahoutsukai by Meiji Kanako
Lee is an old magician who lives atop a hill, separated from the townspeople he watches over. He’s a quiet, severe man, but his young apprentice and many supernatural events and unworldly visitors keep things interesting. This manga focuses more on the fantasy aspect versus BL. However, keep in mind that it’s Meiji Kanako, so things can get weird/polarizing. I like it and think her drawing style is well paired with the story’s atmosphere.
Kimi ni Sasayaku Mirai by Naono Bohra
A young man who should have died in a plane crash appears in front of his distraught boyfriend. Although it stops the boyfriend from killing himself, it becomes apparent that the young man is on borrowed time. It’s a story about love that overcomes death. Come on, a touching BL manga with dead people sex isn’t something you find every day… unless you’re reading a bunch of Naono Bohra manga. The spin-off story also has an older, grizzled spirit.
Rebadan Kibou no Hana by Togawa Mitomo
A young engineering professor is transported back to the 16th century where he’s revered as a holy person. The young king (not used to being told anything remotely resembling “no”) claims him and doesn’t give him a choice or chance to escape. It takes a while, but they build some trust and better understanding between each other. It’s kinda like Fushigi Yuugi, but with a dude (who’s thankfully smarter) and less yelling of peoples’ names. Published in Racish when Tousuisha was still dealing in light BL, there’s not really much romance like you find in Togawa Mitomo’s historical manga since they’re both guys. Still, it’s an interesting read.
Fushigi wa Nande Dekiteiru ka by Takaguchi Satosumi
An editor was sent by his writer to deliver a letter to an acquaintance. The editor doesn’t realize that he himself recently died and his spirit is still lingering in this world. The man he’s sent to is supposed to help him pass on while his soul is still his own and hasn’t changed into something else. So you get some ghost sex and the medium guy’s appearance changes, his age ranges from a small child up to an old man.
Momoiro Tengu by Yukimura
More Yukimura guys! An orphaned high school boy isn’t as alone as he thought–a tengu attaches himself to the boy because of an old debt. Funny, fluffy, and a bit hot.. good ‘ol Yukimura.
Mauri to Ryuu by Moto Haruhira
This collection of short stories features wandering gods who enrich the land. During their travels, they observe humans and sometimes fall in love. If that affection is returned, the gods take the human form of the one who loves them. The tone is simple and warm. At least until mpreg is clumsily shoe-horned into the last 2-3 panels or at most few pages of several stories. Or that the act of sex is there solely for baby-making purposes since the gods have more animalistic instincts or something. That was chilling. Ignoring that, overall, I enjoyed the work. My favorite story was about a small bird whose song calls forth the spring season. He meets a taciturn hunter who saves him from his captors. The hunter continues to protect him while he sings and leaves a trail of flowers and spring in their wake.
Almost Paradise by Matsuo Marta
A few chapters of this book are dedicated to an unexpected fantasy story from Matsuo Marta’s early days. A young man gravely injured from a hunter’s trap is dropped at the doorstep of the village’s doctor and rumored magician. He heals the boy who tries to befriend the magician, but his magic comes at a cost.. the question is who is going to pay up. Nice character designs, including the boy who isn’t really a boy but a wolf in human form. I hope she writes more fantasy sometime in the future.
Maou no Amai Keiyaku by Kuku Hayate
Kuku Hayate is a pretty reliable source for BL fantasy. This story is about a demon who loves sweets and makes a contract with a young man who can bake tasty desserts. Whether he wants to share the desserts (and his other goodies) or not with the powerful demon is the problem.
Zense to Gense to Kimi to Ore by Mizukami Shin
This story focuses on the reincarnations of two people who can never seem to properly connect within those lives. It’s not a great manga, but there’s lots of fun period costumes from Egypt, Europe, and Japan. The last story is about some kitsune spirits who take in an abandoned boy and raise him. As he matures into an adult, things get strained emotionally and physically.. There’s nice character designs in this oneshot. You’ll have to ignore the stupid sex talk at the end though.
Konya mo Nemurenai by Yamamoto Kotetsuko
In a desperate moment, college student Rikiya calls for help and accidentally summons a demon. Since Rikiya has no immediate wish for the demon to grant, Endo decides to stick around in the human world and many comical shenanigans follow. Endo is an impish, arrogant short guy, yet he can be supportive and insightful at times. The romantic aspect is not abrupt and allowed time to develop. This work is a good example of Yamamoto Kotetsuko’s ability to make cute and charismatic characters.
Private Prince by Asato Eiri
A mannequin comes to life with the goal of boning the cute male sales associate. Funny and light. This is all about enjoying Asato Eiri’s beautiful, delicate artwork: a rare treat in full manga form.
Cutlass by Higuri Yuu
Tsubasa is a cool, detached boy who is drawn into another world while searching for his lost mother. His brother follows and tries to protect Tsubasa from those who want to draw some secret out of him–including a very hot pirate guy. There’s a remake/sequel that were cancelled, so be aware that it’s technically unfinished. Still worth a look–it’s classic Higuri Yuu.
Muchuu no Hito by Tanaka Suzuki
A gruff, loner office worker has dreams where he’s part of a team that takes orders from an eccentric leader. They’re given odd tasks such as dirtying the laundry or stealing pudding from the opposing team. There’s plenty of weird, random situations you’d only come up with in your dreams. Initially annoyed, the older guy begins to enjoy the dreams after an adorable high school boy on the other team worms his way into his heart. Turns out, the others are people who exist in real life and share these dreams–so does he have the guts to meet the cute boy in person? And doesn’t that technically make him a dirty old man? Very random, but I like this title.. typical Tanaka Suzuki fun.
Yami ni Tooboe, Mune ni Toge by Naono Bohra
Anyone who gets close to high schooler Norito is said to be in danger because he’s cursed. An old tengu appears and wants to protect Norito, but he ends up attracting a lot of danger himself. His pledge of loyalty is the source of misfortune, but the only way to remove it is for the tengu to die.. what can be done? There’s a protective, snarky, and hot older brother of the tengu who invites himself to stay… in their bed. Mmm, oyaji fantasy BL. Gotta love Naono Bohra.
Ryuu no Yuigon by Kitasato Senju
Asagi is a rare and noble dragon promised to serve a great demon king. Except that king is an osoi uke who tries to solicit sex from strangers. Hey, you gotta beat that dry spell somehow! His plan foiled by Asagi, the next step is to turn on the cute dragon attendant himself. A common theme is the cheeky, adorable, and inappropriate king chasing after the serious Asagi. It’s a longer fantasy series, so you get to see some nice development.
Shinseigokumon by Kuku Hayate
This is a collection of short stories with two of them having fantasy/supernatural themes. The title oneshot is about the guardians at the gate which separates the worlds of the living and the dead. There’s a black bull guardian and a white horse guardian who watch over opposite sides of the gate. While they work together, they can never be in contact with each other for long since the worlds must remain separated. It’s a short story with great character designs you’d expect from Kuku Hayate.
There’s more nice character designs in another oneshot, Foehn phenomena. It’s about a mountain spirit and a wind spirit. The wind guy is pretty pissed at the mountain guy for being all big and blocking his winds. Being a mountain, he tends to lay around and not move, after all. Soon enough, they get all friendly. Oh and those hot, dry Foehn winds? It comes from the two having sex up in the mountains, making the people who live below suffer the heat, ha.
Radical Blood Monster by Mishima Kazuhiko
Yuuichi has unusually tasty blood and attracts a strong vampire, Keito. His blood draws a bunch of vampires who all want a piece, so Keito fights them off his claim. However, Yuuichi isn’t convinced he likes or consents to this partnership. It’s an old storyline, but I never pegged Mishima for having incredibly original plots. She’s stronger with characters and energy and this is along those lines.
Koufuku no Ouji by Tanaka Suzuki
It’s hard being a closeted gay high school student, especially when your friend and crush confesses he’s gay… but likes someone else. Life is a little easier if you’re followed around an adorable pompadoured fairy who promises that you’ll find happiness. So what form will it take?
Sex Pistols by Kotobuki Tarako
A popular series which features multiple couples who can transform into animals and retain certain characteristics even in human form. With so many characters, you can avoid the ones you hate (Norio makes me queasy) and focus on those you do like. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is great due to weird stuff like inter-species mating practices and male pregnancy.
Close Your Eyes by Inariya Fusanosuke
World War II, but with dragons! Actually, I like this one–I prefer her oneshots for some reason. It’s a short story with gorgeous characters and costumes.
Yuujin ga Yuusha by Chocodoughnuts
JRPG parody romance between a hero and a NPC shepard. Already covered in detail.
[sen] zyouya no chigiri by Okadaya Tetuzoh
It’s a historical manga blended with a Japanese fairy tale. Sen is a man who takes souls in exchange for granting a person’s wish. He is elegant, well-spoken, sharp, and strong. Stunning art, solid story. This is a good example of what this subgenre should aim for. There’s also a second volume, Sen – Rasen no Zyou.
Onigari no Mori de by Miyamoto Kano
Misono Kazuki wants to write a supernatural novel, but lacks the experience and imagination to make it very compelling. So he visits an old shrine to gather some ideas and ends up getting far more than that! Kazuki discovers a parallel world where a natural disaster poisoned large areas of the world, creating a very different world from our modern Japan. After that incident, their two worlds became connected through certain holes. These gates happen to be guarded by really hot guys. The two sides form a tentative alliance to stabilize the gates and their worlds. As expected from Miyamoto Kano, the art is beautiful and detailed with strong character designs and lots of attention given to the backgrounds to develop the surrounding environments and atmosphere of the manga.
Akuma no Himitsu by Takanaga Hinako
A chaste priest ends up taking in a horny male incubus and feeds him that much needed sexy energy… yeah, it’s cliche like a number of Takanaga Hinako’s works, but it’s a decent choice for a basic BL fantasy manga because the incubus is a cute, dark-skinned, horned guy which is a rare treat.
Mori no Animal Company by CJ Michalski
Cracky, animal-eared salarymen BL sex. Right, so your standard CJ Michalski manga. Everyone wants a piece of cute part-timer White Rabbit, including department chief Wolf and section chief Snow Leopard. However, he’s already been claimed by president Lion. Which leaves the two rivals to have tsundere sex with each other. There’s also an ostracized black cat paired with a stunning white lion. It’s CJ Michalski–don’t expect anything deep and just enjoy the crack.
Inu mo Arukeba Fallin’ Love by Takashima Kazusa
Takashima Kazusa is a lost treasure, so we must appreciate her classics. A beautiful dog becomes a very hot man (while retaining his fuzzy parts) eager to please his owner. Sweet and a bit smutty. Thin on plot, but fun nonetheless.
Kagen no Tsukiyo no Monogatari by Fujiyama Hyouta
Fujiyama Hyouta does fantasy and does it pretty well. A young guy who was dumped by his girlfriend wishes for someone capable of loving him and is granted a hot bespectacled moon spirit. Nice art and character designs.
Gakkou no Sensei by Matsumoto Kazura
Atsushi finally lands a teaching job at a school deep in the mountains, but it’s a school filled with abandoned animals. The students are a bunch of cute/hot guys with animal ears/tails who are learning to be human. But being animals means there’s special problems.. like mating season. It has cute character designs and a simple story that gets stronger by the second volume.
Full Moon ni Sasayaite by Matoh Sanami
A classic supernatural BL work. Marlo is a half-werewolf, half-vampire who turns into a hot girl during the full moon. His female form attracts a handsome vampire David, who ends up loving Marlo in any form. There’s also a sequel @Full Moon in which the two are already married. Unfortunately, Marlo still protests any funny business while he’s a guy. What a waste.
Na mo Naki Tori no Tobu Yoake by Kisaragi Hirotaka
Another classic BL fantasy read. A high-ranking demon forsakes his powers and becomes a priest so he can be forgiven of his sins and become human someday. He meets an angel whose own faith is damaged. There’s lots of strife and power struggles from other characters enforcing both heaven and hell’s laws. The style is reminiscent of late 90s/early 2000s CLAMP, lavish with angel feathers, demon wings, military uniforms, trench coats, and palpable angst.
The “so bad it’s good” corner:
Flowering by Kamata Miyuki / Makiko
This is an awesomely bad late 90’s BL manga. You have Sirius, a beautiful oracle, often mistaken as woman, sworn to abstinence. So obviously he spends most of the manga getting raped because he’s too tempting to people, demons, spirits.. everything really. He is a victim of almost everyone he meets and smells like flowers when he’s ravished. There’s lots of gratuitous flower/plant euphemisms for sex. The best “deflowering” scene involved a hairy minotaur: bull head, speed lines with lightning strike background, some weird bleating/bellowing, and all. Oh yeah. And then you have the swordsman Nadeen who tries to save him from his nearly constant rapings only to lust for Sirius himself. What is this hot mess?! Approach with caution and preferably a glass of wine.
BL Fairy Tale Anthology – The Princess Collection by various artists
Covered in detail already in my neglected WTF corner, this anthology has a number of stories loosely based off popular fairy tales such as Little Red Hiding Hood and The Little Mermaid. Just with more shota sex thrown into the mix.
Originally, I was going to include a section with my favorite shoujo/BL fantasy manga, but I ran out of steam just putting this together. Also, I was going to wait a day to publish it on this blog’s 2 year anniversary, but I’m afraid I’ll keep editing it. So happy reading!