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"What is BL???"

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

I suddenly realized that whenever I used this term, I had the same response : "What is BL?"

There was not a single person among my friends or whithin my family members that was aware of these initials at least in Greece.I believe that in an international base it is a more popular category.

So BL = Boys' Love

These movies or shows do not belong to a general Gay category. They depict boy to boy or man to man love dramas where at least one of the two is straight. Whithin this genre we certainly come across great romantic comedies, dramas which touch many social issues, mystery, thriller and even epic dramas with distinguishing actors.

In my opinion the country that excels in this category is Japan. The majority of the movies I have watched, is exceptional. Great mature content with no exaggeration, wonderful atmosphere, realistic scenes and excellent casting. The same applies in japanese series many of which are adaptations of well known mangas (here belongs one of my top 5 series).

Probably, now is the time to provide my best to worst list with countries providing BL productions:

  1. Japan

  2. Taiwan and Korea

  3. Thailand

  4. China

  5. Philippines

At this point I should make clear that I have made this list based solelely on my personal judgement and on what I consider "good quality" material (it has nothing to do with the film or show popularity). I am certain that many readers would expect Thailand if not first, at least higher in this ranking. It is true that Thailand is among the leading countries in BL industry. My very first genuine BL series was Thai and since then I have watched almost most of them. There are too many Thai BL productions of which some are very popular internationally. Nevertheless, it depends on what each viewer expects from a show. There are at least five Thai series I have watched more than three times each. This is the reason I couldn't put Thailand in a lower position. Certainly, they could have provided much better works if they hadn't turned towards massive production of similar plots. Lately, they seem to realize this and they have introduced a couple of very promising works for 2021.

I could keep talking about this topic forever! So let me close it here for now, with the hope that I managed to give you an idea of this special category and maybe some of the readers decide to explore it further.

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