Title Author, Artist Length Genre Reason
Ouchou Haru no Yoi no Romance
秋月こお、 唯月一
Akazuki Koo, Yuzuki Ichi
Series BL Gorgeous Heian costumes and the most tender seme ever. What's not to like? I particularly appreciate the way the two main characters are COMPLETELY honest with each other about their feelings. They're both new at this romance thing and have to feel their way along one step at a time, helping each other out as much as they can. There is a plot revolving around the political ramifications of the uke Senjumaru's parentage, which can be kind of hard to follow if you're not accustomed to Heian titles, and the archaic vocabulary plus Senjumaru's ultra-keigo can be hard to read. However, I think the sweetness of the romance is definitely worth the effort.
Asagiri Yuu
One-shot BL The way the seme Hiroki treats the uke Kaoru is more forceful (and kinky) than I tend to prefer. However, I have to include this one because I just love Hiroki's son Kouhei so much.
CardCaptor Sakura
CLAMP Series Shoujo Sakura is an awesome heroine--cute, yes, but also brave, clever, and strong. The art is awesome. The supporting characters are fun and very individual. My favorite part is the sweet relationship between Sakura's brother Touya and his best friend Yukito, although it is maddeningly smoochie-free. <sigh>
Gouhou Drug
CLAMP Series BL'ppoi Shoujo I have no idea where this story is going, but the art is beautifully sensuous. The characters' interaction with each other is fun to watch develop. It teases more than it delivers, but in this case the teasing itself is so delectable that I don't mind.
Boku wa ne.
Fujiwara Kiyo
Series Shoujo This series is pure sweetness. There's no other way to describe it. It's all about the love for family...with a bit of cross-dressing thrown in, but hey, no objections here. The very ending of the series made me a little dissatisfied due to its basis on Japanese values, yet overall it is very uplifting.
Wild Fish 緋色れーいち
Hiiro Reiichi
One-shot BL The seme is a merman prince. That's pretty original. Not only that, the mermen's reaction to human sex is hysterical...they're totally unfamiliar with the practice of inserting anything. <snicker> The ending leaves a bit to be desired--it seems unfinished--but the amusement level of the story overall makes up for it.
Kanata kara
Hikawa Kyouko
Series Shoujo Although this is a typical "girl falls into another dimension and is the object of a prophecy" series, it has a number of unique aspects that I enjoy. For one thing, the girl, Noriko, doesn't automatically understand the language and must work to learn it. For another, she's not destined to save the world, as per usual, she's supposed to be the key to destroying the world. Thus she must fight to show that the prophecy isn't all it's cracked up to be. The art style is not what I would call pretty, but once you get used to it, it's attractive enough. The best part about the series is getting to watch the development of the relationship between Noriko and her reluctant guardian Izaak as they grow to depend on and love each other. They're excellent partners. The very ending is a tad anticlimactic after all the emotional buildup, but I really enjoyed the journey.
Corseltel no Ryuujutsushi
Isurugi Ayuma
Series Shoujo Two words: BABY DRAGONS. If that doesn't get you, I don't know what will. This series is chock-full of sweetness on par with Boku wa ne, and you get dragons as an added bonus.
Kyou & Ippei
Kamiya Yuu
Series BL'ppoi Shoujo I don't know why this isn't called the Meikyuu series, since every volume has that in the title. Technically this is a mystery series, but there's no point in reading it for the mysteries. The relationships are what it's all about. Unfortunately, the main pair of characters don't get together (though they're unbearably slashy), but the secondary pair do (finally!). The art isn't the greatest, but I love the characters so much, I don't care.
Sono Yubi-dake ga Shitte Iru
Kannagi Satoru, Odagiri Hotaru
One-shot BL First of all, the art is beautiful. That's enough to consider buying it right there (and goodness knows I've fallen into that trap more than once). The main characters are also really cute together, and the plot gimmick about the school fad for wearing rings gives the story an edge over most generic high school romances.
Ryuu no Yuigon
Kitasato Senju
Series BL This series rocks my dragon-centric world. It is SERIOUSLY one of the most adorably romantic series in my collection. The art is below average, but the characters are awesome, with one of the most aggressive and powerful (not to mention horny) uke characters ever. ...And did I mention the dragons...?
Yami no Matsuei
Matsushita Youko
Series BL'ppoi Shoujo It's extremely maddening that this series isn't finished...and may never be. ;_; Regardless of that, the breathtaking art and the emotional impact of the part of the story that has been published definitely makes it worth reading. It's fascinating to watch the characters struggle with the pain from their pasts while learning to make their partnership work.
G・Defend 森本秀
Morimoto Shuu
Series BL This series is LOVE. That's all there is to it. Oh, sure, technically there's a plot about saving Japan from terrorism, but don't let that fool you. It's straight-up full-speed-ahead romance among the hugest cast of (gay) characters in pretty much any series I've ever seen. You just have to wait for the Great Art Shift between volumes 9 and 10 for the art to get pretty.
Jinjuu Houretsuden
Morimoto Shuu
Series BL I have a weakness for Chinese-style clothing, and this series plays right into it. The characters wear stunningly gorgeous outfits. It's less a romance than a buddy series, but the devoted partnership aspect of it is quite appealing.
Hanazakari no Kimi-tachi
Nakajou Hisaya
Series Shoujo The premise of this, a girl who cross-dresses to enroll in a boys' high school, is unique. (Most cross-dressing series are about boys being forced to dress in drag.) The characters are a lot of fun, particularly the openly gay school doctor, and the development of the romance between the main couple is given an added layer by the "secret" of the heroine's sex. The only problem is that the ending is abrupt and disappointing compared with the cuteness and humor of the rest of the series.
Skip Beat!
Nakamura Yoshiki
Series Shoujo I love strong, clever heroines, and this doesn't let me down. The main character, Kyouko, can be hyper and ditzy at times, but she's persistent and talented and can think quickly in a pinch. I adore the creativity that she shows in getting herself out of tight spots.
Kimi ni Sasayaku Mirai
Naono Boura
One-shot BL The premise of this one--that the seme is killed in a plane crash as a teenager and then promptly reincarnates and searches out his uke so they can be together again--just gets me. I love it that the little reincarnated seme wants to pick up the relationship right where they left off. <g> Talk about devotion...
Three Wolves Mountain 直野儚羅
Naono Boura
One-shot BL The ears! That tail! It's somewhat gory, but I can forgive that for cute werewolf humor. ...And the love scenes are really HOT.
Ono Fuyumi, Inada Shiho
Series Shoujo This series could practically be considered a study in comparative religions--it has a Catholic priest, a Buddhist monk, a Shinto miko, a spiritual medium, an onmyouji, and a paranormal psychologist as the cast of characters. That alone, I think, makes it worth recommending. Then there's the heroine, a high school girl who is unusual in that she tests ZERO for psychic ability, and yet has dreams that solve the supernatural mysteries that make up the plot. (This is explained somewhat in the two-part novel, though it still hasn't been explored completely.) If you're still not convinced...it's written by the author of Juuni Kokki.
My Sweet Dragon 榊ゆうか
Sakaki Yuuka
Series Shoujo The title says it all.
Koi-cha no O-sahou
Sakuragi Yaya
Series BL Basing the main characters' relationship around the tea ceremony has got to be one of the most original gimmicks EVER in a high school romance story. The characters' personalities are great, and I particularly like that they're open with each other about their feelings, especially the uke. The supporting cast members are also fun and add a lot of humor. The art style takes a bit of getting used to, but it really fits the characters perfectly.
Ai ga Nakucha ne
Shimada Hisami
One-shot BL The best thing about this story is that the uke, although relatively young, is quite practical and can take care of himself. I always like it when the uke recognizes his feelings and acts upon them, rather than being forced into a relationship.
Ai no DNA
Shimada Hisami
One-shot BL I really like the gimmick that the seme can feel the uke's pain and the uke can feel the seme's pleasure. It makes for truly unique love scenes--an extremely careful seme and an extraordinarily chipper uke. The drawback...incest.
Bijo to Chinjuu
Shimada Hisami
One-shot BL The main attraction of this story is how natural the two main characters are together. They were friends first, who understood each other perfectly, and it just progressed to deeper feelings from there. It's so comforting to see that kind of balance of power and trusting partnership, with the sense that the physical aspect of their relationship is a source of joy rather than angst (the way it is for too many couples in this genre).
Futeki ni Romance
Shimada Hisami
One-shot BL Strong uke characters appeal to me. This one takes a while to figure out what he wants, but when he does, he goes after it with all he's got. He's still young, so he's at a bit of a disadvantage with respect to his older boyfriend, but he quickly picks up on how to use his skills to greatest effect.
D・N・Angel 杉崎ゆきる
Sugisaki Yukiru
Series Shoujo Cute, cute, and more cute. Our reluctant hero is a bundle of adorableness. And--for those to whom this is an issue--wings! I also found the twist that the hero and his alter ego fall in love with different girls--twin sisters, no less--to be quite clever. (Of course we all know that he really ought to get together with his obsessed nemesis...I'm not usually one for rival slash, but this is a clear case of the rivalry NOT being due to antagonism.)
Koori no Mamono no Monogatari
Sugiura Shiho
Series BL Demon LOVE. This is a practically perfect series. The art is spectacular, especially later in the series. It has every element necessary in a romance--sweetness, drama, angsty past, vows of eternal companionship, humor...the only thing it's lacking, to be honest, is sex. You'll just have to use your imagination for that part.
Fruits Basket
Takaya Natsuki
Series Shoujo The heroine is a bit ditzy for my taste, but she's unquestionably sweet. The animals are what make this series, though. The cuteness is beyond words.
Basara 田村由美
Tamura Yumi
Series Shoujo The greatness of this series lies in the sheer SCOPE of its drama. It's amazingly complex, with a fascinating cast of characters. For once, I can honestly say that the plot may be more of a draw than the relationship...though the relationship itself is gripping. It's not all fun and happiness, but it is definitely powerful.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
Tanemura Arina
Series Shoujo This is one of my early favorites. The part I like most about it is the hero. He's the ideal boyfriend.
Hunter × Hunter 富樫義博
Togashi Yoshihiro
Series BL'ppoi Shounen To be honest, the art in this series isn't the greatest, and like most shounen series, it centers around fighting (tournaments and otherwise). However, the main characters are downright precious. They're great friends, and they're simply TOO CUTE together. The fighting can also be very clever in places, if you're into that kind of thing.
Oniichan to Issho
Tokeino Hari
Series Shoujo This is the story of an orphaned girl who suddenly finds out that she has four older step-brothers. The characters' personalities are great, the story is as sweet as sugar, and there's plenty of comedy and romance to keep the reader involved.
Hiou Shirabyoushi
Toujou Meguru
Series Shoujo What sold me on this series was when the main couple got married...and the series kept going. Life and love after marriage! How refreshing! The art is fantastic, too, and the main characters are totally devoted to each other. I also appreciate that it's the wife who is the strongest fighter of the two.
Rurouni Kenshin
Watsuki Nobuhiro
Series Shounen I'll let you in on a little secret: I never actually read this series. I bought the whole thing before I could read Japanese. I followed along thanks to anime fansubs and online translations. Based on that, though, I was thoroughly impressed...enough to buy a 28-volume series I couldn't read, in fact.
Koucha Ouji
Yamada Nanpei
Series Shoujo The premise of this series, that every flavor of tea has its own fairy prince (or princess) who will grant three small wishes to the person who does the ceremony to summon him, is extremely creative. The twists and turns the series takes from there make it unpredictable and enchanting. The ending is not exactly what I would have wanted, and in fact seemed a bit contrived to me, but it isn't by any means bad.