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!