For the past eleven years, Japan’s BL (boy’s love) fans have been ranking manga, light novels, characters, series, drama CDs, voice actors, and authors across the board on Chill-Chill. Today, their annual BL Awards has become recognized as such a big honor within the industry that publishers go so far as to advertise the fan-voting festivity when their books are nominated, and proudly slap the awards on a manga’s obi belt if they win any particular category.
Several categories include:
- BL of the Year
- Best Series
- Best Debut Author
- Best Drama CD
- Best Book Cover
But possibly the most important categories of all are Best Top Character and Best Bottom Character. Japan has voted across all BL manga readily available, and the results are in. Who won, and what series are these characters from? Check it out below.
Best Top Characters
#5 — Tsuchiya Hazuki — Kiraide Isasete
Taking place in an omegaverse, Tsuchiya is an alpha who works at his parent’s hotel, learning the business. During a matchmaking party at his mother’s hotel, he meets Naoto, an omega who had suffered intense sexual abuse and is now raising his daughter as a single parent. Throughout their relationship, Tsuchiya shows himself to be possessive, but also protective and with astounding self-control when in heat. It is because of this that Naoto falls in love with him.
#4 — Motochika Narasaki — Blue Sky Complex
Someone who just wants a quiet place to relax, read, and study, Narasaki gets sucked into being part of the library committee at his high school. All of this seems perfect until he realizes he has to work with Terashima of all people — a known delinquent of his school. While annoyed at first, Marasaki comes to grow fond of Terashima and learns that they have a bit more in common than originally anticipated.
#3 — Josh Garland — Coyote
After his parents are murdered, Josh is given the responsibility of carrying on the family business. Although he completes his training under his grandfather to be a werewolf slayer, Josh cuts ties with his remaining family and flees to America. Upon returning to his home nation, he begins work in random bars as a pianist.
#2 — Asami Hayama — At 25:00, in Akasaka
A popular TV actor, Hayama is assigned to star in a new gay drama with a Yuki Shirasaki — a theater actor who’s making his debut on screen. When Shirasaki fails to understand and express his character’s emotions thanks to zero dating experience with either sex, he decides to do some method-acting. Feeling bold, he goes to a gay bar with plans to sleep with a stranger for the sake of experience and ends up running into Asami Hayama!
Seeing an opportunity, Hayama offers himself to Shirasaki, and their game of cat-and-mouse on and off camera begins.
#1 — Shinobu Urakawa — Sonna ni Iu Nara Daiteyaru
It’s a one-shot manga, but a fun one to read. Coming out of the blue to take first place for the tops at the BL Awards is Shinobu Urakawa. Shinobu is a clumsy office worker who constantly needs correction on his daily tasks. However, it is primarily a front. Come night, Urakawa slicks his hair back, throws on a pair of shades, and transforms into the smoothest, sexiest bachelor at his favorite gay bar. For years, everything has been going well for him until his supervisor happens to visit the bar one night and makes it his mission to seduce him.
How long can Urakawa keep playing two personalities before his coworker realizes who he is?
Best Bottom Characters
#5 — Mafuyu Sato — Given
A series we’ve covered many times over and requires no introduction at this point. Mafuyu Sato is given his late ex-boyfriend’s guitar as a parting gift. Emotionally stunted, Mafuyu carries his guitar everywhere despite not knowing how to play until he comes across Uenoyama one day at school. Like a puppy, he follows Uenoyama until he ends up joining his band with him as their new singer and second guitarist.
#4 — Yuki Kashima — Simplified Pervert Romance
Another high school delinquent story! Kashima starts his first year of high school with a reputation and rumors that already scare off most of his classmates. A reason behind his misbehaving is that Kashima acts out and gets into fights because he’s a secret masochist that gets off on being hit. When Ryouji Sanada, goes out of his way to talk to Kashima on the first day of school and puts a stop to one of his fights, Kashima realizes that Ryouji might just have a secret perverted side to him as well.
#3 — Nozue — Old-Fashioned Cupcake
It’s wholesome, sweet, and making big splashes this year as the number-one BL manga of the year at the BL Awards, but also taking third place for the bottoms. At thirty-nine years old, Nozue has lost all motivation to go further in life. He’s content with his mid-level office job, happy with his nothing-special apartment, and eating the same few meals every week. He admits that he has grown bored with his life, but can’t find the solution. At work, he upholds the opposite appearance, is seemingly happy, and is popular with all his coworkers, and loved by everyone. When a small business trip with his subordinate, ten years younger than him, derails to a lunch break for pancakes to experience a more youthful lifestyle, Nozue becomes like a schoolgirl, smitten with the young Togawa.
#2 — Takato Saijo — DakaIchi: I’m Being Harassed By the Sexiest Man of the Year
Another series we’ve covered a few times in the past. Takato is a popular actor in Japan, voted the #1 Person I’d Like to be Hugged By for five years in a row. All of that comes crashing down when he comes in second place to rising star, Junta Azumaya. The same day, the two are cast to work together on a new medical drama film. After a night of drunken foul-mouthed confessions all recorded by Junta, Takato makes a few incorrect assumptions of his costar’s intentions and it leads to a fake blackmail scandal. To keep his public reputation clean and the videos from being leaked, Takato enters a sexual relationship with Junta. Given the recent movie’s popularity, it’s no surprise that this character’s climbed the BL Awards rankings.
#1 — Natsuki Terashima — Blue Sky Complex
Snagging the number one spot for bottoms in this year’s BL Awards is none other than the masochist punk from Blue Sky Complex, an infamous delinquent around the school. Though he’d rather spend his days in peace, other people always pick fights with Natsuki and accuse him of being a wise guy. He first realized he was sexually attracted to other men in junior high. Apparently, he knew about Narusaki before they worked together at the school library.