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CODE 801: UNLOCKED!

I spent the last six months exploring the “yaoi” genre and was at the height of productivity. My interest in the genre was piqued when I saw just how much of an appeal it had on the masses, and having had little exposure to it before, I decided to dive in!

I went through everything I could find – a lot of manga, manhwa and doujin (fanfic manga which I wasn’t too keen on exploring) and I was exposed to a lot of different themes and tropes. By the end of it, I felt my vocabulary on anime terminology expand and I was able to get a better sense of what my own preferences are – storywise and otherwise. 

However, in my quest to find good yaoi series, naturally, I came across a ton of titles I just could not get into. Lots of them had weird concepts – some incestuous in nature, some extremely dark but the main problem was that most of them didn’t have a coherent plot and were simply explicit in nature, which didn’t add much to the experience. However, having seen my fair share of plotless series from other genres as well, it wasn’t too deterring. I knew there had to be a few gems somewhere there. And honestly? It didn’t take me too long to find them. 

Please keep in mind that ALL of the series I’ll be talking about here are NOT PG13. They’re definitely for 18+ audiences as the art might get too graphic and also because the story might get a little dark. Issuing necessary trigger warnings as well. Proceed with caution! No spoilers here though. 

Kuchizuke wa Uso no Aji (Ongoing Manga) 

Kuchizuke wa Uso no Aji

I love the title for this series! It literally translates to “Kiss That Taste of Lies”. While the translation may be tacky, it’s still an appropriate title and here’s why. The stars of this story are the uptight and apathetic advertising company CEO Satoru Daisuke who falls in love with sleek and suave ex-conman and bar owner Makio Hijiri. The story starts off with Satoru getting conned (and seduced) by Makio and we’re taken through the emotional rollercoaster that is their love life and the development of a very interesting dynamic. You might be wondering how someone like Satoru who has a lot at stake might even be able to trust a liar and a cheater like Makio, much less develop a relationship with him. However, as the story progresses, it starts to seem like the one who has a lot at stake, might actually be Makio. 

Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai (Ongoing Manga) 

Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai

“Twittering Birds Never Fly” or the alternate title “The Clouds Gather,” tells the story of Yashiro, an executive of the yakuza with an insatiable sex drive and Doumeki Chikara, Yashiro’s underling, a stoic, impotent man. Having gone through traumatic experiences in the past, both Yashiro and Doumeki’s relationship develops subtly, yet it is glaringly obvious the entire time. Yashiro’s inability to accept Doumeki’s love and Doumeki’s desperation to stay by Yashiro’s side along with the drama from being part of the mafia make up for an interesting story which has also been released in the form of a movie. Although this story is quite dark, I found myself empathising with Yashiro quite a bit, and I can’t wait to see where this story is going to go. 

Oh! My Assistant (Completed Webcomic)

Oh! My Assistant

Oh! My Assistant is a really cute webcomic featuring Seonho, an adult comics artist, the cinnamon roll of this story and Muyoung, Seonho’s uptight but talented (and extremely cute) assistant. Working with each other seems to be difficult initially but they both seem to enjoy each other’s company a lot more than they realized. This is the story of how the two of them tackle their own denial and realise how they feel and express themselves to each other. Of course, there’s a lot more – the art is very refreshing and the colours feel very down to earth and there are other characters who add more to this tale as well. This was one of the first yaoi series that I read and enjoyed so much that I binge-read it! 

On or Off (Ongoing Webcomic) 

On or Off

“On or Off” is an office-based romance which is a concept I’m a total sucker for. This series tells us the story of Ahn Yiyoung a small company’s CEO and Daehyung Kang a big conglomerate’s CEO. These two get off to a terrible start but later on, their attraction towards each other helps clear up the path towards what might seem like an inevitable relationship. The art was warm, crystal clear but also gets really intense when it needs to. The colour palette is noticeably different from what I’m used to and the well-defined yet ‘always-room-for-progress’ personalities of the characters are features of the comic that I really love! 

Some honourable mentions!

  • Eunsuk & Junggu (Completed Webtoon)
  • Sensei, Mou Dame Desu (Completed Manga)
  • BooKeeper (Ongoing Webcomic)

So far, reading yaoi has been pretty swell – some have amazing art, and some have really interesting stories and finding a new series is always something I look forward to. This is definitely a genre I can’t get enough of and I frankly don’t think I’ve explored it enough. My favourite themes are office romances and any story centred around yakuza! So drop any suggestions you have below. ^_^ I’d love to read more. 

-Brainscratch. 

3 Comments

  1. ishra1411 ishra1411

    When was in the mood for reading this genre, I suddenly remembered kuchizuke wa uso no aji ( I wanted to check out all the ones mentioned but this title especially stuck in my head!) And had a lot of fun with it! It was nice to see the leads relationship a lot,I especially had a lot of fun due to the waiter’s personality!

    • Yes they’re a very interesting duo! I’m itching for the next update myself! xD

  2. […] know in the comments if you enjoyed any of these series and what you thought of them! I also have another list from when I just got into yaoi, which has a few Boy’s Love Manhwa as well! So don’t forget to […]

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