top 10 yaoi manga: the best gentle schoolboy stories

gentle?

Elektel Delusion

Elektel Delusion by Nekota Yonezou

What is a gentle schoolboy yaoi mood?

It’s when you want to read BL where highschoolers fall for their classmates, in stories that are emotionally easy to digest. In other words, you’re craving stories of sweet love and romance, without the darkness or angst of noncon, physical/emotional abuse, or taboo relationships.

That’s right, these stories are so mild that they don’t even include falling for teachers, siblings, cousins, tutors, older men, or young boys. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the mood to read shounen-ai or give up on seeing those boys, um, enjoying each other.

Granted, many yaoi ratchet up their drama and sexual intensity with noncon, abuse, and breaking taboos, so being in a gentle schoolboy mood drastically narrows your yaoi choices.

And yet, some genuine diamonds remain. These are ten of my favorites.

criteria

Rutta to Kodama

Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko

When I put my list together for this mood, these are the criteria the stories had to meet:

  1. high school boys in love with classmates
  2. a good chunk of the story takes place at school
  3. stories that are free of noncon and abuse (there may be near misses, but noncon ends up being headed off)
  4. as long as it’s consensual, any level of sexual activity and graphic depiction is acceptable (from zero sex to extremely graphic, abundant sex)
  5. full volumes, not oneshots

the list

Despite the numbers, these stories aren’t in any particular order…

The first two titles here are already in my Top 25 Yaoi list:

Seven Days

Seven Days by Tachibana & Takarai

1. Seven Days by Tachibana Venio and Takarai Rihito

This two-volume work is one of the few pure shounen-ai titles I’ve ever fallen for. The boys’ characters, well-plotted and paced story, and beautiful art completely won me over. You can read the rest of my comments on this title here.

2. Koi Cha no Osahou (Tea for Two) by Sakuragi Yaya

Tea for Two

Tea for Two by Sakuragi Yaya

These four volumes spin a well-developed story about an unlikely pairing of the heir to a tea ceremony family and an overly energetic (and breakage-prone) athlete. You can read the rest of my comments on this title here.

The other eight recommendations are new ones:

3. Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko

Rutta to Kodama

Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko

When innocent, straightforward Kodama transfers to the school dorms mid-year, he ends up rooming with the school’s most notorious delinquent… who falls for him, of course.

This three-volume story is beautifully drawn and probably the sweetest schoolboy yaoi of all time. It’s also blessed with lots of delicious sex scenes.

This unlicensed manga is only available in scanlation. Chapters 1-6 were scanlated by Attractive Fascinate (inactive), and 7-21 were completed by September Scanlations.

4. Elektel Delusion by Nekota Yonezou

Elektel Delusion

Elektel Delusion by Nekota Yonezou

While it’s the classic setup of “I’m in love with my straight childhood friend and neighbor”, this story feels anything but cliche.

The dialogue is natural, the humor works, and the multi-volume plot allows for a slow, gradually developing relationship, with quite a few realistic bumps along the way. Nekota-sensei even includes the occasional nod and wink to the fujoshi.

Nekota Yonezou’s art is stunningly beautiful, and (when they finally get there) her sex scenes are explicit and highly, um, stimulating.

This four-volumes-and-still-ongoing story is only available in scanlation. It has been scanlated both by Dangerous Pleasure and Yaoi is Life.

It also has multiple drama CD’s. The marvelously deep, resonant voice they found for Fumi will send pleasure-filled tingles down your spine.

5. Sono Koi ni wa Wake ga Aru by Akiba Touko

Sono Koi ni wa Wake ga Aru

Sono Koi ni wa Wake ga Aru by Akiba Touko

Aoi has always had a pretty face and gone to an all-boys school. He’s constantly being confessed to, hit on, and sexually harassed, and he’s got quite a chip on his shoulder about it. And a violent knee-jerk reaction to come ons. As he says, he hates gays. Then he meets an unusual student in the biology club who doesn’t seem interested in him at all…

This single volume story has only the tiniest bit of sex, focusing almost entire on a lighthearted, well-developed story and characters. The art is beautiful.

Bonus: the mangaka has a great sense of humor, and the biology club has cats.

This story is still unlicensed and only available in scanlation (I don’t have a link for their scanlator – pr_scans).

6. Star-like Words by Junko

Star-like Words

Star-like Words by Junko

Oddly naive Subaru loves casual sex — lots of (graphically portrayed) casual sex — yet he dreams of finding a pure true love.

When he falls for Nagayama, a painter who doesn’t get along well with others, it seems that turning love-at-first-sight into a relationship will be impossible. Fortunately, Subaru is both stubborn and refreshingly optimistic.

Junko’s art is as sweet and pretty as always, the plot is well-developed for a single volume, and the interactions between very-social Subaru and reticent Nagayama are absolutely charming.

Star-like Words is unlicensed and only available in scanlation (both by Dangerous Pleasure and Girls’ Generation Scans).

7. Count 0 by Yuma Satoru

Count 0 by Yuma Satoru

Count 0 by Yuma Satoru

That’s 0 as in “zero”, by the way.

This one-volume story is built on the unusual premise of a boy who can see numbers above every person’s head — a running count of the number of lies they’ve told in their lifetimes. Knowing how untrustworthy humans are is painful for Agatsuma, so when he meets a boy whose count is zero, he’s immediately captivated.

Yuma-sensei’s art is straightforward, with clean, bold, attractive lines. The storyline is so unique that it’s worth reading just for how refreshed you’ll feel when it’s over. Sex scenes are moderately graphic.

Count 0 is stronger than its one-volume sequel, Count H. Both are unlicensed and only available in scanlation. Count 0 was mostly scanlated by Moon in a Box (inactive); its extra and Count H were scanlated by Girls’ Generation Scans.

8. Kono Ore ga Omae Nanka Suki na Wakenai by Ogawa Chise

Kono Ore ga Omae Nanka Suki na Wakenai

Kono Ore ga Omae Nanka Suki na Wakenai by Ogawa Chise

Fujima is beautiful, knows it, and isn’t at all troubled by taking advantage of it left and right. He has rarely experienced rejection and is still upset about Okachi Machi, the boy who rejected his friendship in middle school. When Okachi Machi turns up as a transfer student at his high school, Fujima decides this is the perfect opportunity for revenge.

Frankly, I don’t usually like these kinds of artificial setups. However, there’s something so irresistible about this volume’s characters and bursts of sweet humor that I completely fell for these boys, especially Fujima and his clumsiness, and their story.

Ogawa-sensei’s art is a bit angular yet absolutely lovely, and there’s even a little graphic sex thrown in as a bonus.

This volume is unlicensed, only available in scanlation (Girls’ Generation Scans).

9. La Satanica by Tenzen Momoko

La Satanica by Tenzen Momoko

La Satanica by Tenzen Momoko

Mashida is a tsundere, and he’s secretly discovered that his best friend, handsome Matsushima (who sleeps with any girl who asks), is in love with him. Mashida is unsure about his feelings for his playboy friend or how to handle Matsushima’s crush, so he ends up teasing Matsushima at every opportunity (a classic tsundere response to embarrassment, ne?).

While tsunderes usually get on my nerves, Mashida is one of the few who is truly endearing, and his counterpart — pheromone-producing yet puppy-dog-like Matsushima — somehow manages to combine both being experienced and utterly naive. He’s irresistable.

Tenzen-sensei’s art isn’t exactly elegant, but it’s pretty enough to give the characters life and genuine appeal. While there isn’t much sex, what there is is sweet and moderately graphic.

La Satanica was published by DMP but is out of print (it was scanlated by Attractive Fascinate, inactive). It also has a terrific drama CD.

10. Konna Otoko wa Aisareru by Honjou Rie

Konna Otoko wa Aisareru

Konna Otoko wa Aisareru by Honjou Rie

Here we have the classic setup of the student body president seducing another student council member. However, the pair are the less common combo of an assertive uke and his puppy dog seme, a pairing I almost always enjoy. The whole volume focuses on their gradual steps to becoming a full fledged couple, a sweet, charming progression with little unnecessary drama or distractions.

Honjou-sensei’s art is very pretty, and the student body president is particularly tasty. The sex scenes are explicit and enticing. In fact, the short extra-chapter is so spicy that it almost got the book cut from this list.

Konna Otoko actually has a prequel with a different couple who have a few cameos here, although that story involves some mild noncon, so it doesn’t belong on this list. It’s not necessary to read that story, Ai no Kotoba mo Shiraniade, first, but it’s a good read, too.

Both stories are only available in scanlation (Fantasy Shrine, inactive), and both have great drama CD’s.

34 thoughts on “top 10 yaoi manga: the best gentle schoolboy stories

  1. Woo, I love your “Top …” lists and I’m a total sucker for this genre. One of my favorite reads recently (though it wouldn’t count on this list since it involves a teacher..?) is “Devil’s Honey” by Isaku Natsume. Thanks for the list!

    Like

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying these lists. I have a good time putting them together. 🙂

      I’ve always liked Natsume Isaku! I haven’t read Devil’s Honey yet. Do you recommend it?

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

      Like

  2. Nice list! 🙂
    Haven’t tried 2 & 7, will put on my to-read list. XD
    Rutta to Kodama didn’t work for me when I tried reading it before. Will try it again sometime!

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    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Yes, I’m a huge fan of Katekyo! Actually, it’s in my top 25 yaoi manga list. And due to its awesomeness, will undoubtedly be on a schoolboy list or two in the future. 🙂

      There’s actually a reason it isn’t here — the rules I set up for deciding what to go on this list included that both of the boys had to be high school students and absolutely nothing hinky or taboo about them, including no older/younger or tutor relationships. Hinky and taboo are some of the wonderful fun of yaoi, but I wanted at least one list that tried to be 100% innocent and sweet. After all, so few of my lists will be like this. XD

      Thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment! I hope you’ll drop by and say hi again in the future! ❤

      Like

    • Yes. It’s a pretty wide variety of art. I like pretty images that looks less like sketches and more like finished work, but I can still fall head over heels for yaoi with rougher art if the stories grab ahold of me hard enough.

      Thank you for taking time to comment, and I’m glad you liked the list! 🐱

      Like

  3. I haven’t read yaoi manga for a couple of years now but your article inspired me to get back into it. I’ve never really enjoyed yaoi that involved abuse so it’s nice to have some that I can read in confidence. I was up until 1am reading Rutta to Kodama (which I LOVE by the way! Such a sweet story…brought a little tear to my eye) and I started reading Elektel Delusion (which I also love… all that smut!) so thank you so much!! You have re-ignited my passion for yaoi ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. That’s fantastic! I’m so glad this list gave you the yaoi-love-spark back. It’s true that it can be hard to find yaoi without noncon and other abuse. It’s so often used to create dramatic tension. But I try to mention what’s “safe” reading in my lists, including my “top 25 yaoi” list, so I hope some of my other lists will be useful, too.

      Rutta to Kodama ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed those boys. They make me so very happy. And Elektel Delusion has a bit more drama but is still adorable. And funny.

      I hope you’ve found even more titles to love this year! Thank you for taking the time to say hello and say such kind things. It feels great to hear that this post is giving you something you value. ^^’

      Like

  4. The list is superb……… 😀
    Rutta to kodama n Katekyo are my fav……
    N mostly School life genre m sucker for it……..though i did miss Love stage not being in your list :-/
    but either way i love them all (though some artwork were lil bit disappointing not my style ) 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your reflections. It’s so much fun hearing other people’s perspectives.
      Yes, Love Stage was one of the hard ones to leave off. I had a whole collection of titles sitting down at the bottom of the page, begging to be moved up to the list. I think I’ll have to eventually add an #11-20 post.
      I was also a bit on the fence about putting Love Stage on the “gentle” list, because my memory is that a couple of the sexual interactions between Ryouma and Izumi border on noncon. I’m going to have to go back and read it again.
      And Katekyo! will definitely be on one of my future schoolboy lists (the one where boys have non-high-school or age-inappropriate partners). Currently it’s on my “top 25 yaoi manga” list, because I love, love, love it, too. Katekyo! is one that I’ve reread so many times I’ve lost count.<3
      And, yes, there's certainly a wide range of artistic styles in yaoi, from gorgeous to hideous (perhaps not as ugly as some shounen, though), and everything in between. Hopefully a bit of something for everyone. 🙂

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    • Golly, that sounds dangerous. But my yaoigasms can be pretty powerful, too, so I know what you mean. 😀
      And, you’re welcome! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to say hello. 🙂

      Like

  5. Omg. Thank you for this List, it’s perfect, but I gotta say, Doukyuusei is one of the best mangas I have ever read~ (and also 19 Days but that might not count on this list?)

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    • Yes, I’ve been reading Ten Count and am really interested to see where it’s going to end up. Her art is so beautiful, and the psychology angle is fascinating.
      Of course, due to the noncon and fact that both main characters are adults, if it ends up on a list (and I hope that once it’s over it ends up being so good that it’ll make it on a list…), it’ll have to be a different one. 🐱
      I’m really happy you liked the list, and thank you for taking the time to say hello! ❤

      Like

  6. Great list! Sweet romances are the best yaoi in my eyes.
    I’ve read and enjoyed most of what’s on your list but the new ones look like good reads.
    Thanks for this ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cool. Have to look in on that one. I tend to wait til they’re complete, I admit. Does it look like it’s going to be a single volume or a longer ongoing one?

      Glad you enjoyed the list! 🙂

      Like

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