Junjou Romantica was probably one of the classics that got young adults interested in the Boys Love genre in the first place, if you ask them. Honey’s Anime had previously published an article with suggestions for other anime that are like Junjou Romantica, and there were some really interesting ones in there. Is it something you’ve taken a look at?
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If you’ve already seen them all and are feeling depleted, fear not! There are plenty more on the way! We’ve compiled a list of more shows like Junjou Romantica that can quench your BL anime cravings until the next big wave comes along. Put your seat belts on and see how many you’ve seen so far. If you haven’t, buckle up because you’re in for a treat!
1. Super Lovers
There are ten episodes in this season.
Broadcast from April to June of this year.
Super Lovers, an anime based on Abe Miyuki’s manga of the same name, is one of the more recent black-and-white series that has been heavily promoted in Japan. On a visit to his mother five years prior, Kaidou Haru met his adopted brother Ren, who was impulsive and anti-social. The two became close as a result of their meeting in Canada that summer. Haru, on the other hand, had lost all recollection of that summer as a result of the accident that killed his father and stepmother. If Haru’s ‘brother,’ Ren, shows up in Japan to look for him, Haru learns to adjust his life and become closer with Ren, as well as finding love.
To a similar degree as Junjou Romantica, Super Lovers has an old-school feel to it in that the main couple lives together, making it an excellent choice for fans of romantic comedies that have a slice of domesticity to them. Haru and Ren have a significant age difference, much like Misaki and Usagi. In addition to dealing with themes of coming-of-age, Super Lovers shows us how Ren makes new friends as he grows up. Featuring cute pastel colors reminiscent of Junjou Romantica, Studio Deen creates Super Lovers, which features a seiyuu cast that does not disappoint, ranging from Maeno Tomaaki to Minagawa Junko to Matsuoka Yoshitsugu to Terashima Takuma.
There have been thirteen episodes.
shown between October 2000 and January 2001 (approximately)
When we talk about classic black-and-white anime, we can’t help but think of Murakami Maki’s Gravitation series. Gravitation follows the story of Shindou Shuichi, an aspiring singer in a band called Bad Luck, who falls in love with Yuki Eiri, a popular romance novelist, despite almost getting off on the wrong foot with him. Gravitation was adapted into a 13-episode anime and aired in 2000 after receiving a previous 2-episode OVA. With Yuki as his partner, Shuichi embarks on many hilarious antics, heartfelt introspections, and also discovers Yuki’s dark past while striving to become a big star singer in Japan.
Gravitation is a must-see if you enjoy shows about how famous couples deal with society’s perceptions of their relationship. Both main couples share a residence, have a significant age difference, and include a sour, cold novelist in their casts. As in Junjou Romantica, where Misaki is frustrated and sometimes baffled by the many problems in Usagi’s family, Gravitation exposes Shuichi to similar frustrations and befuddlement by the many problems in Yuki’s family (plus in-laws).
Because Gravitation is a Studio Deen classic released prior to Junjou Romantica, the animation looks dated, but that doesn’t diminish its appeal! The music and seiyuu in Gravitation are excellent; in addition to singing most of Bad Luck’s songs and the ending song, Kotani Kinya also played the roles of Inoue Kazuhiko, Seki Tomokazu, Orikasa Ai, and even Yamaguchi. Gravitation is a great place to start if you’ve never read anything from the older BL series before Junjou Romantica.
3. Gakuen Heaven
There have been thirteen episodes.
shown between April and June of 2006
Bell Liberty Academy, also known as BL Academy (cue snorts) is a prestigious school for boys only that accepts only the most exceptional and gifted students. Thus, Itou Keita is taken aback by the invitation to attend such a prestigious academy, given his inexperience and lack of potential. Yet as time passes and he forms bonds with the bright students of BL Academy—from the student council’s “King,” Niwa Tetsuya, to the school’s “Queen,” Kaoru Saionji—and the flamboyant captain of its Tennis Club, Naruse Yukihiko—Keita adjusts and learns about life at BL Academy. But he’s also smitten by his first school friend, the sweet but enigmatic Endou Kazuki, who seems to know a lot more than he lets on about Keita.
An adaptation of the 2004 PC game Gakuen Heaven, this romantic comedy centers on a male-dominated harem. As with Junjou Romantica, the best part of Gakuen Heaven is the combination of school and dorm shenanigans. The plot twist reveals that Kazuki and Keita, like Usagi and Misaki, have an enormous age difference between them. They appear to be a typical high school couple. A more serious theme emerges towards the end of Gakuen Heaven’s lighthearted and fun nature. Séiju from Junjou Romantica appeared in this series as well, including Misaki’s seiju Sakurai Takahiro and several others like Toshiyuki Morikawa, Ryutarou Oki and others.
4. Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (Betrayal Knows My Name)
There are 24 episodes total.
From April to September 2010, the show was on the air.
UraBoku follows the story of Sakurai Yuki, a teenage orphan raised in an orphanage after being abandoned as a newborn. The series is based on Hotaru Odagiri’s popular manga of the same name. Yuki is endowed with an enigmatic ability that allows him to see into the past and emotions of those around him. Yuki’s life becomes complicated when he meets Zess, who claims he’ll protect him, and Yuki’s adventure in the centuries-old, never-ending war between Zweilts and Duras. Yuki aspires to become an independent man like his childhood friend Wakamiya Kanata, whom he admires.
Junjou Romantica’s gorgeous bishounen cast will make you enjoy UraBoku no problem. The main character, Yuki, has a personality similar to Misaki despite the supernatural and fantasy themes. While they may not appear strong, both are hard workers who care about others and make friends easily. They also aren’t easily discouraged and are stubborn when it comes to the things they value. Zess, on the other hand, resembles Usagi in that they both keep a distance from others and have a cold exterior that softens when they see their loved ones. Hoshi Souichirou, Akira Ishida, Takahiro Sakura, Miyano Mamoru, and Jun Fukuyama all appear in the voice cast, as well as Kamiya Hirose and Ono Daisuke. For those who enjoy shounen-ai series that have an overt shoujo-fantasy flavor, UraBoku should be a good fit!
5. Princess Princess
There are a total of 12 episodes.
shown between April and June of 2006
The same folks who brought you Junjou Romantica are back with another title: In the anime version of Princess Princess, Tsuda Mikiyo—another pen name of Zaou Taishi, one of the most widely known BL mangaka, also illustrated the widely popular BL series Love Stage!!—created the manga. When Kouno Tooru, a beautiful transfer student, is suddenly scouted by the cruel student council president to be one of the school’s Princesses, Princess Princess takes place in a boys-only environment. It was decided to use the Princess System to help raise the spirits of the students at a boys-only school, in which the school’s Princess is chosen from among the students and dressed in various lolita dresses to help and encourage the students in their daily lives. Tooru’s glittering life as a Princess admired by all the male students begins along with his fellow Princesses Shihoudani Yuujirou and Yutaka Mikoto.
You might have gotten the impression from the synopsis that this is a shoujo comedy series rather than a love story. Princess Princess, like Junjou Romantica, is full of bishounen characters, fascinating side characters, and hilarious shenanigans—from crossdressing issues to manipulative student council members, from the discomfort of wearing high heels to learning how to use their power as School Princesses—every episode would make you laugh.
Tooru and Yuujirou have some of the most heartfelt episodes in the entire series, and even though the show is not categorized as being from the Shounen Ai subgenre, it doesn’t hold back when it comes to providing plenty of shounen-ai innuendos and fanservice to its audience. Fukuyama Jun, Kakihara Tetsuya, and Paku Romi play the three Princesses, but the seiyuu of supporting characters, such as Hoshi Souichirou, Kamiya Hiroshi, Toriumi Kousuke, Nojima Kenji and Takeuchi Junko, are also top-notch!
6. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Movie: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai (The World’s Best First Love: The Case of Yokozawa Takafumi)
There are several episodes in the movie
Originally broadcast in March of this year.
You can’t talk about similar anime to Junjou Romantica without mentioning another series by Nakamura Shungiku. Are you aware that the Sekaiichi Hatsukoi television series has been adapted into a film? originally published as a novel with illustrations by Naka Muraku, focusing on Yokozawa Takumi and his romantic relationship with a single father Kirishima Zen. Hiyori, Kirishima Zen’s daughter, is infatuated by Takumi, and the two begin to date. Following on from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi’s Junjou Romantica, this film features a newfound family of three: Yokozawa, Kirishima, and Hiyori. They are an adorable bunch.
Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai is based on a light novel that has yet to be translated into English, so this movie is a godsend for those of us who are fans of Nakamura Shungiku but do not speak Japanese. Rewatching the film brings back memories, not only because we get to see characters from the manga created by Keiji Inafune, but because Kirishima Zen himself previously appeared in the film Junjou Romantica.
I was reminded of Junjou Romantica because the movie has a good mix of romance and humor, as well as character internal conflicts and relationship insecurities. Studio Deen once again provided us with this film, and the series’ production team didn’t hold back when it came to bringing in big name seiyuu to round out the experience: Horiuchi Kenyuu is returning as Yokozawa, this time paired with Furuya Tohru as Kirishima, and the film also reunited the Sekaiichi Hatsukoi cast, including Konishi Katsuyuki, Maeno Tomoaki
a vintage love story with a comedy plot BL series are always enjoyable to watch, and if you enjoy Junjou Romantica, there are plenty more to choose from. For now, fans of Nakamura Shungiku should keep an eye out for future installments of the Sekaichi Hatsukoi manga series. Who knows, perhaps Nakamura-sensei will return to Junjou Romantica in the new series!
Any more suggestions you’d like to make? Let us know in the comments, and if you haven’t already, be sure to read our previous article on 6 Anime That Are Just Like Junjou Romantica!