In the past few years alone we’ve seen series such as Pornographer/The Novelist, ever-loved Given, popular manga adaptation Kieta Hatsukoi/My Love Mix-Up!, Utsukushii Kare/My Beautiful Man, and “hit of the year” Cherry Maho/Cherry Magic, grab the attention of BL and non-BL fans all around. The “genre” isn’t anything new, however, come end 2021 and 2022, there’s been a lot of announcements of new adaptations joining the ranks. Maybe a small list of upcoming releases will keep you at last a little up-to-date with what’s coming!
Old Fashion Cupcake – June 13th (drama)
Old Fashion Cupcake joined the list of anticipated BL adaptations after it was announced on May 23rd. Starring theater guys (and ex-Tenimyu, for the fans) Kimura Tatsunari and Takeda Kouhei, Old Fashion Cupcake is an adaptation of a manga by Sagan Sagan.
“Sleep, wake, and work — sums up the day-to-day life of 39-year old, Nozue. A routine that eases him, and conversely weighs heavily on him — which worries the hard-eyed but reliable Togawa, a 29-year old subordinate of his. In an unexpected turn of events, the two of them end up visiting a pancake shop bustling with girls.” (Source)
Mizuishi Atomu, Saito Sarara, Ayukawa Momoka, and Yoshii Rei, have already been revealed to be part of the supporting cast.
Senpai, Danjite Koi dewa! – June 16th (drama)
Kamen Rider alumni Naito Shuichiro and Seto Toshiki lead the upcoming Senpai, Danjite Koi dewa! BL drama adaptation. It is based on a manga of the same name by Harekawa Shinta.
“Yanase has worked as a 3D CG designer all across the world. Now back in Japan, Yanase is training a newbie by the name of Kaneda Yuki. There’s only one issue: Kaneda is super unfriendly towards Yanase, leaving Yanase frustrated and disappointed. With a new project where they will have to work side by side, how can these two overcome their different personalities?” (Source)
Senpai, Danjite Koi dewa! will start airing June 16th. It is the second series in Kadokawa’s new Tunku series, Fukou-kun wa Kiss Suru Shikanai! being the first. Matsuda Satoshi, Watanabe Shu, Niihara Taisuke, Sakata Rikako, Asada Junya, Uneda Hitomi, and Ota Shunsei, are also part of the cast.
Minato Shouji Coin Laundry – July 6th (drama)
Nishigaki Sho and CTQ‘s Kusakawa Takuya were recently revealed as the leads of Minato Shouji Coin Laundry‘s LA drama adaptation. The drama will start airing on July 6th.
Minato Shouji Coin Laundry is based on a manga of the same name by Tsubaki Yuzu, and revolves around Minato Akira, who has taken over the coin laundry from his grandfather. One day at the shop, Minato meets Katsuki Shintaro, a high school student. Regardless of their age difference, they end up becoming friends, but when Katsuki realizes Minato is gay, their world changes.
Fukushi Seiji, Inaba Yu, Oku Tomoya, and Toyoshima Hana, have joined the supporting cast.
Kimi no Koto dake Mite Itai – June 17th (drama)
Kimi no Koto dake Mite Itai is a special one, and perhaps also pretty unique. The story is originally part of the BL Metamorphosis lore, a manga which will be getting its own LA movie this June 2022. It’ll star Ashida Mana and Miyamoto Nobuko.
But back to Kimi no Koto dake Mite Itai, a story about two childhood friends who’ve been close all the way from elementary through high school. While one of them always had a thing for the other, it never felt right to admit the feelings. Only when they are in their last summer of high school does he find the courage to confess, and kiss him.
The short 4-episode drama cast Kura Yuki and Mizusawa Rintaro as its leads. Other cast was already revealed as Ishikawa Ruka, Katayama Yuki, Sakurai Kento, and others, will be joining the two.
For Kura Yuki it isn’t his first venture into BL/LGBTQ media, as he was also cast for the His (GagaOOLala/Dekkoo/Amazon) prequel series His – Koisuru Tsumori Nante Nakatta back in 2019. He was part of the lead duo alongside ONE N’ ONLY’s Kusakawa Naoya (younger brother of the earlier mentioned Kusakawa Takuya). The prequel series can be viewed on Viki and Dekkoo.
Takara-kun to Amagi-kun – August 18th (drama)
J&A continues to spread their boys into many different projects these days, and BL drama can’t be ignored. This time around it’s Johnny’s Jrs group members IMPACTors‘ Sato Arata and Shounen Ninja‘s Oriyama Nao, leading the adaptation of a manga by Hanage no Mai. The manga itself took second place in the “Next BL Category” of the 2022 BL Awards.
“Takara Shun, a popular kid belonging to his class’ top group, and Amagi Taichi, a pure boy who doesn’t stand out but is well-liked, realize their love for each other and start dating in secret, though have a hard time being honest to each other.”
It’ll start airing August 18th. More cast hasn’t been revealed yet.
More than Words – September 16th (drama)
Etsuko’s manga More than Words and its sequel series In the Apartment, will be getting its own LA drama adaptation starring Fujino Ryoko, Aoki Yuzu, Nakagawa Daisuke, and EXIT’s Kanechika Daiki.
The story revolves around two best friends, Mieko (Fujino) and Makio (Aoki), who end up working a part-time job at the same place. At their new job, they meet a university student, Eiji (Nakagawa), who ends up falling for Makio. Despite everyone around them being against the relationship, Mieko decides to watch over them as they grow, and their bonds and relationships gradually change.
It seems the drama will be released on Amazon Prime, though no word yet on whether it’ll be available worldwide.
Kabesaa Doujin Sakka no Neko Yashiki-kun wa Shounin Yokkyuu wo Kojirasete iru (Kabe Koji) – October 2022 (drama)
Most recently, there was the addition of Kabesaa Doujin Sakka no Neko Yashiki-kun wa Shounin Yokkyuu wo Kojirasete iru, or Kabe Koji for short.
The LA drama adaptation of a manga of the same name by Minamoto Kazuki has theater stars Matsuoka Koudai and Nakao Masaki as the leading duo. While usually active on stage, both of them occasionally find their way back to the small and big screen after falling into the void that is 2.5D theater years ago.
“The manga centers on the relationship between manga creator Kōniku-sensei (real name Mamoru Nekoyashiki), and popular male idol Issay (real name Issei Kazama). Nekoyashiki is popular in indie dōjin manga events, and he uses his popularity to satisfy his need for public approval. He reunites with his childhood friend Issei at one such indie manga convention, after being apart from each other for five years. The “kabe sa” term in the title is short for “kabe circle” (wall circle) — a slang term for indie manga groups or “circles” that are popular enough for their booths to be placed beside the wall of the convention, for ease of line management.” (Source)
Additional cast was recently revealed, as Tateishi Toshiki, Kihara Rui, and Konishi Eito, join in as members of Nakao Masaki’s character’s idol group SHINY SMILE. Yahagi Honoka, Kaji Masaki, Miyashita Kanako, Takahashi Rion, and Saito Yoichiro, are also part of the cast.
The drama will start airing in October.
Egoist – February 2023 (Movie)
Suzuki Ryohei and Miyazawa Hio star in the adaptation of Takayama Makoto’s autobiographical novel of the same name.
On one side we have a young guy who’s currently working as an editor in Tokyo, but used to live in a countryside town where he had to hide his gay self. On the other side there’s a personal trainer who takes care of his single mother. Only when the former meets the latter does he realize and feel what true love is.
It’ll be out February 2023. More cast hasn’t been revealed yet.
For fans of the more “serious” work, shows like Fujoshi, Ukkari Gei ni Kokuru starring Kaneko Daichi and Fujino Ryoko, as well as its movie version, Kanojo ga Sukina Mono wa/What She Likes, starring Kamio Fuju and Yamada Anna, or movie His (GagaOOLala/Dekkoo/Amazon) starring Fujiwara Kisetsu and Miyazawa Hio – and the earlier mentioned prequel series – might be more of a recommendation.
Movie The World for Two of Us/Futari no Sekai (Bando Ryota and Katayama Yuki), takes a look at the life of a couple struggling with one being transgender, while festival movie Let Me Hear It Barefoot/Hadashi de Narashite Misero (Suwa Shuri and Sasaki Shion) shows love and affection in a strict society, and Gyakko/Backlight (Sudo Ren) goes back into the past for a bittersweet summer love story. Koisenu Futari (Kishii Yukino and Takahashi Issei), on the other hand, deals with asexuality.
Short story Surrogacy (Hotta Mayu) takes a different angle, showing a sister carrying a child for her gay brother and his boyfriend.