Top 10 BL/Shōnen-ai manhwa YOU SHOULD READ.

Hello little engendros! (・Д・)ノ
How did you start the year? I started the year as I always end it: reading gay porn manga.ヽ( ´_`)丿…
This time I gave one more chance to Korean manga! I must say it was the best decision I ever made.∠( ^ o ^ ┐)┐
korean BL comics

I knew about Korean comics but I never gave so much attention to them and I always focused on Japanese comics.
Let me tell you something, I firmly believe that the Koreans are exceeding the expectations in terms of comic, even surpassing the Japanese themselves.

Korean comics began as Japanese comics: in black and white. But then they develop a drawing style that categorized them (or most of them), like if the drawings were some kind of Ball Jointed Dolls. A clear example is the Seyoung Kim´s works (e.g.: Boy Princess), or LEE Young Hee´s works (e.g. The Summit) and of course the YOO Ha jin´s works (and her most recognized work ´Totally Captivated´.)
As time passed people who studied (or is currently studying) graphic design began to revolutionize the Korean comics´s style.
Now when we talk about Korean comics it is very popular to mention the so called webcomics or webtoons.
Currently Korean comics are mostly in colour, which makes the reader feel differently than just read them in black and white.
Of course, each artist has their own style that determines it as a such and you will notice the differences in drawing style in the list that I will show later in this post.

A very popular page for Korean artists who want to show and sell their works is the lezhin page: http://www.lezhin.com/ko/

To end this brief introduction, I will leave you an article if you want to know more about Korean webcomics: Korean-Style Webtoons and Webcomics Are The Future of Comic Books

Now let's move on to the most important part, my recommendation of the ten Korean manhwa (of the BL genre) that you should definitely read.
I must clarify that this list is made to my own personal taste, therefore it will be from my most preferred at the beginning and the least preferred at the end of the ranking.

1. Killing Stalking (킬링 스토킹) by Koogi (쿠기)

"Yoon Bum, a scrawny quiet boy, has a crush on one of the most popular and handsome guy in school, Sangwoo. One day, with Yoonbum's obsession towards Sangwoo reaching its peak, Yoon Bum decides to enter Sangwoo's home. But what he saw inside was not the Sangwoo he had dreamed of."

This comic is quite recent, published in 2016, it gave a lot to talk about and also it began to become quite popular.
At first I knew about this comic when It had only 2 chapters published, so I eventually forget about it but I resumed reading it again a few weeks ago!

The story generated a lot of controversy, and as I always say, what generates controversy is because the story is well done.

Why the controversy?. Well... Killing Stalking is basically about a stalker who invades the house of the person he stalks and finds out that person is a criminal. until there It's all good, but the protagonists present clear mental illnesses.
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Yoon Bum has the ´Bordeline Personality Disorder´, because of it, he seems himself unworthy, empty, he feels isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.
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These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when he is physically absent, leaving a feeling of lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments. But that's not all. Yoon Bum was bullied by a sergeant while in military service (attempting to a rape) and he was also sexually abused by his uncle. Of course all this aggravating his mental illness.
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In the other hand, we have the popular, handsome and cheerful boy, Sangwoo.
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Not everything is what it seems on the outside, and this young man is completely different from others to what he really thinks and believes. This is because he too is mentally ill.
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I relate him to Freud's psychoanalysis, and the so-called Oedipus complex. So far we know a little of the family history of Sangwoo unlike Yoon Bum that we known very little. I personally believe that Sangwoo developed a pathology of personality because there is no a father figure to guide him, therefore knowing that his father abused his mother, it makes a very clear that he then takes that example of abuser, manipulator and calculator to others, resulting in him after leaving that oedipal triangle bad ´formed´ with a pathology.
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Of course all this is my assumption, I may be wrong, but I immediately relates it to the psychoanalysis. Oops.

Maybe you´re little confused by reading it right now but you'll understand better when you read the manhwa.
As I mention before, the controversies come because supposedly there are people started to romanticize the relationship between these two characters, implying that mental illnesses are also romanticized.
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Personally I focus more on the plot, but it would be very hypocritical of me to say that I don´t look for anything more (I mean physical/sexual contact lol)
First we must clarify something: the author herself categorized her work as BL (Boy's love.) I also think it is wrong to romanticize mental illness but I will be very honest and I will say that this time I let it happen because I really liked the comic. If you want to judge me, it´s ok because I don´t really care.
I think you should give it a try. Instead of focusing on the BL genre, you should also know that it has drama, horror, mature content, psychological terror, mystery, focused on reality instead on science fiction.


2. Totally Captivated (완전무결하게 사로잡히다) by Yoo Hajin (유하진)

"Ewon Jung cheated on his boyfriend simply because of his curiosity and got dumped. After a couple of months, his ex-boyfriend happened to see Ewon again and started his revenge by asking Mookyul, his current boyfriend (and also a mafia boss), to force Ewon be a servant in his office. This initiated Ewon troubles such that he earned his life philosophy: ´I’m pretty sure that the downfall of humans can be completely attributed to their curiosity´. ”

Oh, I know most of you know about this manhwa. It´s a classic one! As you will notice, it has an ´old-school´ style, when korean webcomics were not yet plentiful.
I will not say much about this manhwa because it´s really really popular and I don´t see the need to develop much about this story.
It´s in the second place because it brings me many memories~ it was one of the first comics that I have read about mafia-theme when I was young.
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Fox Jung reminds a little of me, because he is afraid of falling in love and forming special ties with others. Although our personalities are very different, he has a character somewhat similar to me when I get angry lol.
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Then we have the sensual gangster Mookyul~ What I like about him is his rude personality that at the same time it´s fragile because it can be easily broken when dealing with a beloved one. He´s also childish because he always insists on what he wants! His personality reminds me of Akihiko Usami :0
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I have nothing more to say. Being a classic of korean manga for seven years now, you should read it!

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Action, Comedy, Drama, Mature, Romance, Yaoi

3. 1001 nights (천일야화) by Jeon JinSeok and SeungHee Han
One Thousand and One Nights

"Everyone knows about the story of Shahrazad and her wonderful tales of the Arabian nights. For one thousand and one nights, she entertained the mad Sultan with the adventures of Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad, genies, and many other mystical creatures. But what if Shahrazad was actually a boy desperate to save his sister's life? What kind of strange things would he do to make sure that he survives to tell the tale? This new twist on one of the greatest classical folk tales just might keep you awake for another One Thousand and One Nights."

Have you read ´One Thousand and One Nights´? If you have not, you should! It´s a classic when it comes to stories and folktales of the Middle Eastern and South Asian!
It was really interesting to see those ´Scheherazade's stories´ through a manhwa. The art in this comic was very well made, too beautiful.

So... If you have read the One Thousand and One Nights you will know what the story is about. In the manhwa some things are changed but the original story is actually the same.
It is a different take on the events of the original One Thousand and One Nights story, where the main character Sehara dresses up like a woman to take his sister's place, Dunya, in the sultan's harem.
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Each night the sultan beheads a woman in his harem whom he beds, due to his past wife's, Fatima's, infidelity. When the sultan discovers Sehara is in fact a man, Sehara agrees to tell him a story. If he does not enjoy it, he will be free to kill him by daybreak. Over the course of the story the reader discovers what caused the sultan to go mad and kill the girls in his harem.

Our protagonists are mainly two:
Sehara, a young scholar. With a singular androgynous beauty, a beauty that can appeal to both men and women but his beauty is not the only thing there is to emphasize about him since he possesses a great intelligence.
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He likes to read, and thanks to that he learned several languages that serve him to translate documents, stories and more. His work is as a translator, but then his job is as a poet/storyteller of the sultan.
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Most of the time he has a calm personality, he´s wise in making decisions and also he's a good counselor.Because of that, the sultan begins to trust him completely to control his madness, almost as a psychologist and a friend at the same time, but then those feelings change to love and romance.
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Although Sehara has a calm personality even in moments where his life is at risk, he is uncontrollable in tears when he knows that the Sultan has died, demonstrating again his deep love for the Sultan.

The other one is the Sultan Shahryar.
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He appears as a completely cold person, without mercy towards the lives of others but his personality was not always like that. The history surrounds us in the mystery of finding what has happened to him that the sweet and attentive Sultan becomes a man without feelings or pity. I will not tell you much about him because there would be no grace giving you important information spoilers. The Sultan changes as the stories told by Sehara change too.
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Speaking of Sehara's stories, for some it was somewhat distracting from the central plot but I really enjoyed those stories. Stories that contain mythology (e.g.Socrates in love) , biography of important people in world history (e.g. Cleopatra), war events (e.gRomance of Three Kingdoms), love and lovelessness, and of course, moral in each story.
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This manhwa deserves the third place because it is undoubtedly very well done.
Besides, making a Shounen-ai version of a classic makes it even better.
I warn you, there is nothing sexual in this manhwa and that's why it's Shonen-ai.

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4. At the end of the road or What Lies at the End (그 끝에 있는 것) by Haribo ( 하리보)
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"After a car accident, Taemin finds himself in the body of Siwon, who was a victim of bullying at school. No longer a pushover, he starts standing up for himself but then meets Woojin, an old friend from the past. Somehow, Woojin immediately picks up Tamin's 'scent' from Siwon. What happened between these two in the past and how will it affect their future?"

Yep, another Lezhin comic.
This comic is not finished yet but I must mention it anyway because it attracted me a lot.
The first impression was due to the similarity of the characters with Viktor and Yuuri from Yuri On Ice lol
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The plot is really interesting. I know there are many stories of body change but this one is without doubt very peculiar.
The story involves mystery, a little of fantasy, and especially real life issues like dark past, child abuse, bullying, rape and so on.

It catches you from the beginning, presenting our first miserable protagonist in a sad and awful situation. I felt a little bitterness while reading the first pages because that was something that happens a lot in real life! you know bullying and rape is a serious problem in our society, especially among young students and that makes me so so sad.
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I will not tell you how the story advances, you will have to discover for yourself :P
I will only describe a little of our three main protagonists:

Siwon, a delicate, lonely and smart student model. Loved by his parents, but hated by all for no apparent reason (?) He suffers from bullying, and is even detested by his own brother (we don´t known why until the story progresses)
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Siwon suffered from rape by a group of classmate resulting in attempting to commit suicide.
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At the moment no further information is known about him.

Taemin, A young man who could never finish school even when he wanted to and that´s because he lives by himself, working as a slave every day.
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His father was an alcoholic and because he has always a strong attitude he never let anyone harass him, even his father.
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In his childhood he meets another child in the poor neighborhood where he used to live, a light-haired weak boy named Woojin. Taemin becomes his first friend and teaches him the ideal of never letting anyone harass him. An event with Woojin´s mother made them separated and they never saw each other again.

And finally, Woojin.
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As a child he was weak and shy and he let everyone beat him. He grew up in the slums with his mother, a crazy woman who beat him all the time. Not much is known about her mother more than that.
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As a teenager, he is the typical popular, handsome and wealthy guy in the class.

At the moment we have to wait as the story advance, but it´s really a good comic!

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5. Blood Bank (블러드 뱅크) by Silb (실브)
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"A world where vampire govern humans!
Welcome to Blood Bank, it's filled with fresh blood. One is a hard-working banker and isn't affected by vampire pheromones. One day, Shell, the son of an overlord comes to visit for inspection. During One's report, Shell keeps staring at One. And later... follows him to the toilet!"

I don´t really like fantasy but I cannot resist when it comes to vampires.
The story of this comic seems very typical but believe me that as it advances, it becomes more complex and a more interesting.
I will warn you that it has explicit content for adults... a lot of content referring to sadomasochism
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In this comic, the society is divided into two:
First of all, the humans. They have no rights or laws that protect them, they´re seen only as food or slaves for sexual pleasure.
On the other side we have the vampires. Powerful beings who feed on blood and run the world through business.
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I don´t want to detail much about it because I would ruin you the story! so you should read it if you like fantasy, vampires, master-servant relationship and forbidden loves lol

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6. Royal Servant (로열 서번트) by MasterGin and Chungnyun (청년)
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"´I love you master.´ Born a servant, falls in love with a master who loathes servants. Exquisite BL romance fantasy between master and servant."

Aaah well, I´m weak when it comes to the master-servant relationship ...
This comic, compared to the previous ones, contains a lot of adult content. (you know +18 lol)
The comic is not finished yet, but It convinced me enough to put it in this post.
In this story there is much fantasy with a little of mystery, but especially fantasy and a lot of sex! Haha
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I told you lol

Kyon is the character who will play the role of the servant.
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Servants are basically ´normal´ people but once they work for a powerful family, they are marked on the neck and also they are allowed to use a little of the royal blood´s powers.
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Kyon is a very pale boy, with white hair and with a submissive attitude. The role of uke servant suits him pretty well lol but I must say that I don't like that submissive and weak attitude.
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As is written in the plot, he falls in love with his master who ironically hates servants.

The master of the house, Lucaon, is a cold person, expressionless, with black hair, with one red eye and a mark on the side of his forehead.
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That mark and his red eye have a meaning but I will not give details so you need to read for it.
Due to a family tragedy, he hates the servants, and also it changes his personality to a cold and unemotional one.
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This is all I can tell you at the moment. I don´t really like fantasy but it has everything I always like: master-servant relationship and sex.
ahahaha sorry, I´m so disgusting.

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7. A Guy like you (너란 남자) by Waje
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"Go Siwon's dreams are constantly visited by the clever, beautiful Kang Jinha. In the dream, Jinha keeps on mentioning this "incident" that happened between them but Siwon can't remember anything! And how can it feel so real? Luckily for Siwon, hints about the "incident" start to appear and Siwon is able to regain his memory bit by bit. How will their relationship change at the end of it all?"

I have to be honest...at first the story didn't call my attention. The story is not a big deal and also it is pure fantasy... as I mentioned before I don't particularly like fantasy.
I gave it a chance just because the drawing style is too cool. Every page should take a lot of work to do! The coloring is amazing.
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In the second or third chapter (more or less) the story started to draw more attention And though the pace of events are slow (It's understandable since with such good quality it should take a long time to make it), this comic deserves well this position.

The protagonists are two students of graphic design, one being an excellent model student with high grades, handsome and of course wealthy, while the other guy is a more or less acceptable(?) lol an average guy.
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They are connected by dreams, and that's when the story becomes interesting.
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It also mentions realistic issues like abusive parents, infidelity, friendship, prejudices on the sexuality of others (in this case being gay)
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I'm anxious to know how the story goes!

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8. Out of control or Never Understand (이해불능) by Bbong (뿡)
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"Yuri, one of the school's most handsome guys, and Jaerim, one of the school's ugliest, collide!...or don't they...Can't understand what's going on between these two! It's Out of Control!!"

Yep, another school life´s story but this one is over!
Like any other love story among students, there are always cute moments! but there are sad moments too :(
In this case the bullying appears and homosexuality as seen as something negative again.
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Yuri is a popular and handsome guy, and somewhat mysterious. Not much is known about him, only we know he has a dark past. Apparently he has a fetish with ugly people lol
Although he seems to a be a self-confident boy, the truth is that he is very insecure and he doubts about his homosexuality to the point of denying that he is gay (coz he´s gay lmao)
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Then we have the ugly boy for me he´s just adorable with a nerdy-look called Jaerim. Although he isn't popular and he doesn't have many friends in school, he has a somewhat strong character and a very clear sense of justice.
In my opinion he's very adorable, I mean he also has freckles! aww
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Other couples and rivals will also appear. It´s a very cute story, you should read it!

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9. Moritat (모리타트) by Lee Seon-ui (이선의) and Seo Gyeong (서경)
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"´I had woken up in the hospital without any memory. There was a man standing by my bed who introduced himself as my lover. I could only remember being left to suffer death in a snowy empty field. The men looks like he knows everything - who the hell is he?´
Shocking truth slowly emerging from scattered memories and Luxury lgith- BL Thriller."

This comic focuses on the psychological genre, thriller and mystery as central themes rather than boyxboy relationship.
That's why I think you should really read it even if you don´t like the BL genre because this comic doesn't really focus on the homosexual relationship.
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The personality of the two characters is very confusing and there is no clue why until you continue reading the story.
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It´s in the last positions because the story moves very slowly and to be honest I got a little bored.
You should give it a try if you like the psychological mystery.

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10. Raising a Bat (박쥐사육) by Jade

"Park Min Gyeom is a human with a disease that causes his blood absorbs too much iron and makes him produce excess blood, so he has to donate it regularly to stay healthy. Kim Chun Sam is a half-vampire who needs blood to live. So begins an unusual symbiotic relationship between ´predator´ and ´prey´."

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The last comic has to do with vampires! again lol
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It´s in the last position and also the least preferred because although I liked the story, I think the other comics were better in terms of art, character development and plot.
If you want to read a story that includes: gays lol,comedy, romance between vampire and human or couple and family problems then this is a comic you should read.

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Well, that´s all!
I hope you give a try to korean comics, you will not regret it!






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