September 9th is BL Day.
One of its origins comes from Yin and Yang, as men are classified as Yang and 9 is an odd Yang number. September 9th is the day when two odd 9s overlap. There is also a theory that it is related to the Chrysanthemum Festival.
BL (Boys' Love) is a genre with many fans that depicts love between two men.
Even in anime, BL series are very popular. For that reason, Anime!Anime! held a poll for its readers entitled "What is your favorite BL anime?"
The poll only included anime that are officially recognized as BL series and 132 readers participated in it from August 26th to September 2nd. Male participants made up 8% and female participants were the majority, taking up 92%. In terms of age, readers who were 19 years old or younger made up 40%, while 20-30-year-old readers were 30%, showing that most of the participants were young.
■DAKAICHI features a battle for the top and soothing voice actors!
Dakaretai Otoko No.1 ni Odosareteimasu took the #1 spot with 25% of the poll results.
The series features a veteran actor, Saijou Takato, who has been "Most Huggable Bachelor No. 1" for the past five years. However, his reign is overthrown by up-and-coming actor Junta Azumaya. The story takes place in the world of celebrities and the anime was broadcast from October-December 2018.
One reader said, "This was the first BL anime I ever watched. It has a great tempo and is super interesting, so I was hooked. My world changed after watching this series." Another said, "My heart raced watching the way the super tsundere bottom and mellow top fought it out for the Most Huggable Bachelor position." Also, "The romance between cutie Takato and the bullying angel Junta is the best!" The relationship between the two main characters was very popular.
Junjou Romantica came in at 2nd place with 20% of the poll results.
It is a love story told between the main character, Misaki Takahashi, and his older brother's best friend-slash-novelist, Akihiko Usami. The 1st and 2nd season aired in 2008, followed by an OVA in 2012 and a 3rd season in 2015.
"I never would have gotten hooked on BL if I hadn't watched this series. I like other couples, but I can watch the scene where Usagi-san (Usami) and Misaki-kun fall in love over and over, and it's still as great each time." Another reader commented, "Even though Usagi-san is a rich man who pretends to be good, it doesn't come off as disagreeable. The way he acts with Misaki and others is interesting."
The Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi series came in 3rd place with only one vote keeping it from tying with 2nd place. Like Junjou Romantica, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi was written by Shungiku Nakamura. It was made into an anime in 2011 and had a movie entitled Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Movie: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai released in 2014.
It is a love story that takes place in the world of publishing and follows Ritsu Onodera, an editor who recently joined the shoujo department, and editor-in-chief Masamune Takano. Readers commented, "This was the first BL anime I ever saw. I remember thinking, 'I can't believe they're showing this on TV!'" and "I like how Takano-san's thoughts are painfully deep and Ricchan is so embarrassingly unable to be honest with himself."
The series sparkled at the top of the poll and has just had a new anime adaptation announced for Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Propose-hen.
■Take a look at other comments!
For Given, readers wrote, "I was attracted to the delicate depictions and stories of the characters. The emotional expressions and the OP/ED are wonderful, as well." and "It's a deep but tragic story about youth and each character is drawn differently. They also face their music in their own ways."
For Hitorijime My Hero, readers wrote, "The story is so real!" and "It's obvious how much thought and care the staff put into this series. My impression was that they put a lot of work into making it."
For Doukyuusei, a reader wrote, "It is a heartwarming series that conveyed how much they loved each other even without directly expressing it. I loved the sweet and sour atmosphere surrounding the high schoolers."
There were even votes for Korea's first-ever BL anime, Hyperventilation. A reader wrote, "The animation is beautiful and the spacing is perfect. The silent atmosphere allows you to watch calmly without feeling too much."
The poll's ranking includes a variety of titles, from serious series to comical ones.
This winter, Fuji TV is coming out with a special anime label called "BLUE LYNX" just for BL anime. The first series released by it will be Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai by Kou Yoneda. The label is expected to come out with many new BL anime from a variety of genres.
■Poll Ranking Top 10
"What is your favorite BL anime?"
#1 – Dakaretai Otoko No.1 ni Odosareteimasu
#2 – Junjou Romantica
#3 – Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi
#4 – Given
#5 – Hitorijime My Hero
#6 – Super Lovers
#7 – Yarichin☆Bitch-bu
#8 – Gakuen Handsome
#8 – Doukyuusei