10 Best Yaoi Anime Series Of All Time, According To MyAnimeList


Yaoi is among the most popular genres in anime. Created by and targeted specifically for a female audience, Yaoi features homoerotic relationships between male characters. Its artworks are delicate and highly stylized, featuring androgynous or effeminate men in highly dramatic and often exaggerated romances.


Numerous yaoi works exist in the world of anime, but not all are as popular or acclaimed as others. Still, a select few have some of the largest fanbases in the anime world and attract considerable critical praise, as evidenced by their ratings in the famous database MyAnimeList.

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10/10 Junjou Romantica (2008) – 7.52

Subtitled “Pure Romance” in its English translation, Junjou Romantica focuses on the romance between eighteen-year-old Misaki Takahashi and twenty-eight-year-old Akihiko Usami. Although it features three other romances, the relationship between Misaki and Akihiko is the series’ main concern.

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Junjou Romantica received praise from fans ever since it debuted in manga form, and its good reception carried on to the anime. The plot attracted some controversy, mainly because of the power dynamics between the two characters, the excessive amount of sex, and the lack of story, but its loyal fanbase has kept it alive, inspiring several sequels and spin-offs.

9/10 Hybrid Child (2014) – 7.55

Hybrid Child features one of the most original sci-fi concepts for an anime series, let alone a yaoi one. It features three stand-alone short stories between a character and his Hybrid Child, an android who needs love and nurturing from his owner to grow.

The three stories are rather tragic, considering the Hybrid Child’s unique nature. Still, this singular setup allows for a series that centers more on the emotional bond between the couples than the physical expressions of their love. Like its titular creation, Hybrid Child is truly one of a king in the world of anime.

8/10 Junjou Romantica 3 (2015) – 7.65

The third season of the popular Junjou Romantica anime continues exploring the relationship between Misaki and Usagi. The plot takes place three years after the couple moved in together and features the arrival of a potential rival for Misaki’s affections. Love triangles can be great when done right, and Junjou Romantica makes the best out of its detour into the trope.

Junjou Romantica 3 also features other fan-favorite couples, including Ryuuichirou Isaka and Kaoru Asahina and Nowaki Kusama, and Hiroki Kamijou. Additionally, the series introduces a fourth couple, although their seventeen-year age difference might make some people uncomfortable.

7/10 Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (2011) – 7.67

Workplace romances are one of television’s most enduring tropes. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi showcases the relationship between the prideful Ritsu Onodera and his editor-in-chief, the infamous Masamune Takano. The two have a past, being each other’s high school loves, which left them with emotional scars, making their dynamic all the more nuanced.

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi employs all the best tropes of the rom-com genre to deliver a genuinely compelling story. It might not break any new ground, but its central romance is layered, with fans praising its emotional depth and enthralling quality.

6/10 Junjou Romantica OVA (2012) – 7.72

The Junjou Romantica empire returned in 2012 with the two-episode OVA of the same name. Released four years after season 2, the OVA offers three stories centered around the show’s central couples, featuring slice-of-life episodes of their ongoing relationships.

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Fans praised the OVA as a pleasant return to the world of Junjou Romantica, especially after a long period of absence. The OVA was a considerable departure from the series’ prior formula, focusing on more “cute” moments than the intense drama that made it famous.

5/10 Junjou Romantica 2 (2008) – 7.73

Season 2 of Junjou Romantica aired only three months after season 1 and continues the central romance between Misaki and Usagi while expanding to cover other couples. Season 2 features more drama, comedy, and the passionate romance that fans have come to expect from this property.

Some fans criticized the overly melodramatic tone of the season — indeed, series 2 ups the ante in every department, including the already over-the-top drama. The introduction of Usagi’s father, one of the worst parents in a romantic comedy and a romantic rival to his son’s relationship, summarizes Junjou Romantica‘s commitment to exaggeration. However, fans of the story surely won’t mind; that’s what they liked about it in the first place!

4/10 Sekaiichi Hatsukoi 2 (2011) – 7.86

The complicated romance between Ritsu and his editor, Masamune, continues in season 2 of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. The show adds to the drama by introducing two other couples also working at Masamune’s department, each with their dilemmas and struggles.

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Most fans agree that season 2 is an improvement over the already above-average first entry. Praise goes to the twists in the couples’ storylines, with fans appreciating the series’ efforts to avoid familiar territory despite the by-the-book premise. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi has its fair share of toxic relationships, but it’s up to each fan to decide if it glorifies them.

3/10 Sekaiichi Hatsukoi OVA (2011) – 7.88

Premiering the same year as season 2, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi‘s OVA is a two-episode continuation of the show’s main storylines. Episode 1 shows Ritsu and Masamune’s high school romance, adding more context to their relationship, while episode 2 centers on Chiaki taking Hatori to meet his family; it doesn’t go well.

Fans of the series praised the show for revisiting Ritsu and Masamune’s early relationship; in fact, some even think the OVA would’ve been better had it just focused on their high school romance. Episode 2 received a slightly worse reception, with many considering it boring.

2/10 Sasaki To Miyano (2022) – 8.25

Coming-of-age stories are common in the romantic genre, and Sasaki to Miyano is the perfect example. It centers on the blossoming romance between Miyano, a shy student, and Sasaki, an upperclassman who begins questioning his feelings for Sasaki.

Sasaki to Miyano focuses on a less problematic story than other yaoi series. Fans also praised its wholesome quality and reliability. Most agree that the story is generic but praise its depiction of young love, especially when the characters are unsure of their identities and sexual preferences.

1/10 Given (2019) – 8.34

The 2019 anime Given centers on the blossoming relationship between Ritsuka Uenoyama and Mafuyu Sato after the former fixes the latter’s guitar. Mafuyu then convinces Ritsuka to give him guitar lessons, bonding through their love of music and thus kickstarting their romance.

Given is the highest-rated yaoi anime on MyAnimeList. Fans praised the seamless transition from page to screen while also appreciating the animation and voice acting. However, there are some criticisms about the slow burn, especially in the early episodes.

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