Rakuten Viki is the premiere US streaming service featuring Asian content. And an emerging popular genre in Asian media is “boy love” or “BL”, which are series that centers around a gay love story. From dramas to romantic comedies, here are seven of Rakuten Viki’s best BL series:
- Where Your Eyes Linger (Korea)- Han Tae Joo (Han Gi Chan) is an 18-year-old high school student and is the sole heir of the TB Group – a family-run business conglomerate. His strict parents keep him under surveillance 24 hours a day, and he feels both bored and oppressed by their reluctance to let him enjoy a little freedom. His closest friend is also his unofficial bodyguard – another 18-year-old male student named Gang Gook (Jang Eui Su). Gang Gook is something of a tough guy, with a powerful physique and a no-nonsense attitude. But as the two young men grow older, they come to wonder if there is perhaps another dimension to their friendship.
- Dark Blue and Moonlight (Taiwan)- Hai Qing (Chen Yan Ming) is a young, single man who dreams of becoming an art student. One day, he goes for a swim at a local pool and sees the most beautiful man he has ever seen, a budding young marketing director named Yan Fei (Wang Ting Yun). Too shy to approach Yan Fei, Hai Qing uses his mobile phone to secretly take photos of the object of his affections. However, soon after, the two men get talking – and form an instant bond.
- Love By Chance (Thai) – This series follows Ae (Tanapon Sukumpantanasan), a freshman in Engineering School who unexpectedly helps Pete (Suppapong Udomkaewkanjana), a handsome freshman from International College, after some trouble with his ex-boyfriend. Drawn to Pete’s kindness and endearing innocence, a friendship begins. Ae knows his heart belongs to his friend, but how can he admit his feelings without jeopardizing their friendship?
- Method (Korea) – Veteran actor Jae Ha (Park Sung Woong, Crash Landing on You) has made a name for himself as a man truly devoted to his craft. Taking keen interest in every aspect of theater production, he actively seeks out ways in which he can help, doing everything he can to ensure each production he’s a part of is of the highest caliber. Polar opposite to Jae Ha is idol star, Young Woo (Oh Seung Hoon). Young and pretentious, Young Woo has little respect for the theater or his colleagues; but all of that changes when Jae Ha takes him under his wing.
- Mr. Heart (Korea) – In this follow-up project to the popular BL drama, Where Your Eyes Linger, (2020) Jin Won (Cheon Seung Ho), a record-breaking marathon runner in high school, is well on his way to becoming a marathon superstar. Determined to live up to the expectations of his coaches and colleagues, Jin Won cares about one thing and one thing only: running his next race. When new runner Sang Ha joins the team, Jin Won is anything but friendly to his new partner but with time and determination, the two runners come to find they share a similar passion, both on the track and off.
- The Novelist (Japan)– Kuzumi Haruhiko (Izuka Kenta) is a struggling university student who gets into a seemingly unresolvable situation after inadvertently causing a cycling accident that results in writer Kijima Rio (Takezai Terunosuke) breaking a bone in his arm. Haruhiko is uninsured, has very little in the way of money – and is at his wits’ end when he is ordered to pay Rio compensation for the injury. Rio says that if Haruhiko is unable to pay him back financially, he must instead help him transcribe a story that Rio cannot type due to his injuries. Could the accident – and the erotic writing task – draw these two men together?
- Because of You 2020 (Taiwan) – Growing up in a large, wealthy family, the three Yuan brothers never wanted for anything. Despite the three of them being only half brothers, the trio was incredibly close, their familial bonds undeniably strong. Whatever the brothers faced, they always faced together. But as they grew older, they began to realize that some things they just couldn’t share, especially when it came to matters of the heart. Now older, Yuan Jun Cheng (Lee Shi Kang), Yuan Jun Dao (Will Chang), and Yuan Jun Ping (Jerom Huang Alouf) have all felt the overwhelming tide of emotions that comes with love. But the journey has been anything but easy. Fighting against the sweeping tide of feelings that have continually beat against them, telling them things like “no”, “impossible”, and “cannot”, the three brothers must find a way to overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges, as they pursue that which the heart wants most of all: to be loved.
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