23 Highly Rated BLs Of 2023: Which Did You Watch Last Year?

From sweet romance in the countryside to messy high school love, the BL fandom was blessed with boatloads of new BLs in 2023. We got storylines with traveling back in time, NSFW office flirting (HR? Who is she?), contract living arrangements, and stealing the groom from the bride (IYKYK). The BLs of 2023 were a wild — but super fun — ride.

To narrow it down (which was incredibly hard), here are 23 of some of the most loved BLs that came out in 2023. See if your favorite made the list!

Warning: light spoilers ahead.

1. “A Breeze of Love”

When chronic insomniac Ban Dong Wook (Shin Jeong You) and his basketball-loving classmate Lee Do Hyun (Woo Ji Han) meet in high school, Dong Wook discovers he can only fall asleep when beside Do Hyun. The two start to form a relationship, but Dong Wook hurts Do Hyun by suddenly moving away. The two reunite in college when Do Hyun reluctantly lets Dong Wook join his basketball team.

Why it’s worth watching:
Beyond the undeniable chemistry between Dong Wook and Do Hyun (yes, even when they’re bickering, which is a lot of the time), Dong Wook’s odd case of insomnia means plenty of cute moments dozing off next to Do Hyun. Being able to fall asleep next to only one person really sounds like a perfect love story in the making, doesn’t it?

2. “Our Dating Sim

Lee Wan (Lee Jong Hyuk) confesses to his best friend Shin Ki Tae (Lee Seung Gyu) that he likes him as more than a friend on their high school graduation day. Before Ki Tae can respond, Lee Wan runs away out of fear of rejection. Years later, when Lee Wan is recruited by a start-up gaming company to illustrate their next dating-themed game, he’s taken aback when he sees that their ace programmer is Ki Tae.

Why it’s worth watching:
Running into your past crush and ex-best friend, let alone at a job interview — that’s just awkward! You can’t help but root for timid Lee Wan as he tries to wrap his head around the unexpected situation that comes his way. Ki Tae’s cool coding skills and cheeky personality are also highlights!

Start watching “Our Dating Sim” now:

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3. “La Pluie”

When it rains, Saengtai (Title Tanatorn Saenangkanikorn) suffers from sensorineural hearing loss, but he can still hear one thing: the voice of his soulmate. However, Saengtai doesn’t believe in the idea of soulmates because his parents were soulmates but eventually separated. Like his parents, he’s able to communicate with his soulmate telepathically. In fact, his soulmate, Phat Wetchutianan (Pee Peerawich Ploynumpol), has tried speaking with him, but Saengtai hasn’t responded. Things change when Saengtai meets Phat in real life.

Why it’s worth watching:
Do you believe in soulmates? Whether you do, don’t, or are on the fence, it’s a really cool topic to think about. Along with Saengtai’s unique hearing condition, this show has an unusual premise that’s perfect if you’re on the hunt for a BL with a fresh storyline.

Start watching “La Pluie” now:

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4. “The Eighth Sense

College freshman Ji Hyun (Oh Jun Taek) has moved to Seoul from the countryside. While working his shift at a restaurant, he meets an intriguing college senior named Jae Won (Lim Ji Sub). After learning they go to the same school, Jae Won suggests that they be friends. At school, Ji Hyun spots Jae Won on a poster for the surfing club and considers joining. Later, Jae Won returns to the restaurant to find Ji Hyun.

Why it’s worth watching:
This is a K-drama, but it doesn’t feel or look mainstream. From the indie filming style to gripping depictions of mental health, “The Eighth Sense” does different so well. Unrealistic romance tropes and grand gestures of love take the back seat in this drama – in their place, a realistic, beautiful love story unfolds.

Start watching “The Eighth Sense” now:

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5. “Jun & Jun

Lee Jun (Yang Jun Mo), a cute and optimistic ex-idol, gets his first 9-to-5 job and just wants to have a normal office life. On his first day of work, he’s running late and has trouble hailing a cab. After seeing his cab competition get picked up by a suited man, he stops the driver and asks if he can get a ride too. Later, he realizes that the driver is actually his boss, Choi Jun (Ki Hyun Woo).

Why it’s worth watching:
At first glance, Choi Jun is a well-dressed, serious boss man, but he’s also unintentionally the funniest character in the show. His iconic facial expressions, total disregard for HR, and his inability to have a filter or be subtle when flirting will take you by surprise every time.

Start watching “Jun & Jun” now:

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6. “If It’s With You”

Kaido Amane (Okura Takato) is a high schooler who has a hard time falling in love. When Amane moves to an island town, he runs into Yamasuge Ryuji (Hyuga Wataru), a guy who fits Amane’s ideal type. Ryuji invites Amane for a meal at his family’s restaurant. Afterward, they part ways, but Amane wishes that they’ll meet again. On Amane’s first day at school, he’s surprised to see that his sleepy deskmate is actually Ryuji.

Why it’s worth watching:
The beautiful Japanese seaside town setting and youthful vibes of the show are so refreshing, but Ryuji’s character is the ultimate breath of fresh air! When he finds out Amane is gay, he doesn’t mind at all. Actually, what bothers him is that Amane makes a joke out of it, a habit he’s developed as a way to protect himself. Ryuji might be young, but his maturity, wisdom, and open-mindedness are so admirable. As Amane says, Ryuji makes your heart feel warm!

7. “Sing My Crush”

Just when high school singer and guitarist Han Ba Ram (Jang Do Yoon) is down on his luck after missing an audition opportunity and getting rejected by his crush, he meets carefree guitarist In Han Tae (Son Hyun Woo), whom he has actually run into twice before (have you heard third times a charm?). After starting off on the wrong foot, Han Tae vows to dedicate his life to helping Ba Ram succeed in music as his manager.

Why it’s worth watching:
This is a love story and an adorable one at that, but the friendship shines just as bright as the romance. Han Tae is truly a constant ray of sunshine who works tirelessly to help Ba Ram’s dreams come true.

8. “Unintentional Love Story”

Ji Won Young (Gongchan) is unfairly let go at his office, but he finds an opportunity to get his job back when he visits a small town and sees Yoon Tae Joon (Cha Seo Won), the elusive pottery artist whom his company has been trying to locate. He decides to extend his stay and try to get on good terms with Tae Joon in order to convince him to work with the company again.

Why it’s worth watching:
It’s no secret that Tae Joon is more experienced and confident in relationships than Won Young. Watching Won Young go through the typical romance symptoms, from confusion to jealousy, as he tries to figure out his feelings is way too relatable for anyone who has had a crush.

9. “A Shoulder to Cry On

Lee Da Yeol (Jae Han) is a serious archery student who usually keeps to himself, while Jo Tae Hyun (Ye Chan) is carefree with lots of friends. One day, Da Yeol goes to the nurse’s office, trips, and accidentally falls on top of Tae Hyun, who is in the bed beside him. No thanks to Tae Hyun, Da Yeol gets falsely accused of trying to take advantage of Tae Hyun. From then on, Da Yeol becomes Tae Hyun’s new favorite person to mess with.

Why it’s worth watching:
Besides the enemies-to-lovers storyline (I love to see it!), there’s a lot more going on with the various characters that gives this story depth you might not expect with a shorter drama about high school romance. You can expect topics like family, loss, following your dreams, and guilt in between the fluffy moments.

Start watching “A Shoulder To Cry On” Now:

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10. “Kiseki: Dear to Me”

Bai Zong Yi (Taro Lin) is a successful student and aspiring doctor, but his life takes an unexpected turn when he’s forced to take in an injured gangster named Fan Ze Rui (Hsu Kai). Ze Rui blackmails Zong Yi so that he can hide out at Zon Yi’s apartment until it’s safe for him to leave. Zong Yi unwillingly becomes Ze Rui’s in-home caretaker and roommate.

Why it’s worth watching:
This show is the full package. There’s action, crime, humor, family, discussions on trauma and belonging, and a wide spectrum of romance and relationships. From Zong Yi’s iconically funny sister to Ai Di, the loose-cannon cutie who isn’t afraid of a fight, the side characters also make the show all the more fun.

Start watching “Kiseki: Dear to Me” now:

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11. “Moonlight Chicken”


Jim (Earth Pirapat Watthanasetsiri) runs a chicken shop. An ordinary day at the restaurant becomes something more when he hooks up with his drunk customer Wen (Mix Sahaphap Wongratch). It was meant to be a one-night stand and nothing more, but Wen shows up to see Jim again. Meanwhile, Jim’s nephew Li Ming (Fourth Nattawat Jirochtikul) meets Heart (Gemini Norawit Titicharoenrak), a teen who has lost his hearing.

Why it’s worth watching:
The tension-filled romance between the main couple is definitely at the center of this show, but the budding relationship between Li Ming and Heart is the real hidden gem of this story. Watching the two come to understand each other and find common ground is somewhere perfectly between tear-jerking and heart-fluttering.

Watch Fourth and Gemini in “My School President” too:

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12. “I Feel You Linger in the Air”

In the midst of taking on a renovation project for an old house and getting left by his longtime boyfriend, Jom (Chanon Santinatornkul) gets in an accident and wakes up to find himself transported back to 1920s Chiang Mai. Catapulted into an unfamiliar time, Jom meets an affluent and compassionate young man named Yai (Bright Rapheephong Thapsuwan). Yai gives Jom a job and a place to stay despite others being wary about Jom’s origins.

Why it’s worth watching:
The time and setting of this series really make the story special. Thanks to Jom’s time travel to the 1920s, watchers not only get a glimpse into what this time was like in Chiang Mai, but it also brings up social issues of the past that are interesting to compare to modern life. You also get to put your brain to the test as you try and figure out the why and how of Jom’s time travel.

13. “Tokyo in April is…”

Takizawa Kazuma (Sakurai Yuki) and Ishihara Ren (Takamatsu Aloha) became quick friends in school, but a series of events forces them to part ways. The two unexpectedly meet again a decade later when Kazuma lands a job at Ren’s workplace, where Ren has already reached a successful place at the company. Kazuma is glad to be able to rekindle their friendship, but for some reason, Ren seems to be trying to keep a distance.

Why it’s worth watching:
This drama is full of surprises, and you might not expect what’s underneath this love story’s surface. A tangled web of past events unwinds with each episode, proving this isn’t just a simple story of two friends turning into lovers.

Start watching “Tokyo in April is…” now:

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14. “My Beautiful Man 2”

Kazunari Hira (Hagiwara Riku) and Sou Kiyoi (Yagi Yusei) have settled into their life together. Since graduating high school and finally becoming a couple, the two face a new challenge: the ups and downs of adulthood. Kiyoi continues garnering success in his acting career, but Hira struggles with his self-esteem as he prepares for his entry into the working world.

Why it’s worth watching:
If you loved watching the atypical and intriguing relationship between Hira and Kiyoi in season 1, season 2 won’t disappoint! Despite finally becoming an official couple, Hira is still a love-struck goofball when it comes to Kiyoi, his so-called “king.”

Start watching “My Beautiful Man 2” now:

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15. “My Personal Weatherman”

Tanada Yoh (Mashiko Atsuki), a struggling erotic manga artist without a feasible income, watches popular weather forecaster Segasaki Mizuki (Higuchi Kouhei) on TV all day, only to see Mizuki in real life when he comes home from work. After deciding to move in together, the two agree on a mutual compromise: Mizuki would provide a home and food for Yoh while, in exchange, Yoh must cook, clean, and, most importantly, obey anything Mizuki asks.

Why it’s worth watching:
Despite appearing friendly and polite on screen, Mizuki is actually blunt and controlling at home, and his relationship with Yoh certainly inches toward a master-servant dynamic. This drama showcases an unconventional and compelling relationship that’s best enjoyed with an open mind!

Start watching “My Personal Weatherman” now:

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16. “Wedding Plan”

Hardworking wedding planner and part-time foodie Namnuea (Pak Naphat Leelahatorn) spots his ideal type sitting behind him during lunch, but he later realizes the handsome stranger, Lom (Sunny Wannarat Wattadalimma), is actually his next client. While Lom acts like a husband-zilla and is always playing with Namnuea’s heartstrings, his bride seems completely carefree about the details of the wedding.

Why it’s worth watching:
If you miss the perfectly cheesy rom-coms of the 2000s, this series gives a Thai BL twist to a story you may be familiar with (ahem, “The Wedding Planner”). Like the 2001 movie, this drama is ultimately a story about following your heart, a mantra that can never be said too many times.

Make sure to add Thai BL “Step By Step” to your list too:

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17. “Love Tractor”

Seon Yul (Do Won) is unhappy living the life his father wants, so he runs away to the countryside and hides out at his grandparents’ house while they are away. Here he meets Ye Chan (Yoon Do Jin), an enthusiastic farmer who loves his rural life. Though they are literally day and night, Ye Chan’s optimism and youthful spirit start to warm Seon Yul’s cold city heart.

Why it’s worth watching:
In the countryside, Seon Yul gets a break from the stress of everyday life, and it’s like that for watchers too. Ye Chan helps Seon Yul realize the beauty of rural life, from the sprawling green fields to the art of strawberry picking. It sort of feels like a mini healing vacation through the screen – the romance is icing on the cake.

18. “Jack o’ Frost”

Okusawa Ritsu (Honda Kyoya) and Ikegami Fumiya (Suzuki Kosuke) have fallen in love after catching each other’s eye at a coffee shop, but a fight on Ritsu’s birthday leads Fumiya to say he can’t live with Ritsu anymore, so Ritsu runs away. The next morning, Fumiya learns Ritsu has been in an accident and rushes to the hospital. To Fumiya’s surprise, Ritsu has lost his memory of their relationship.

Why it’s worth watching:
The truth is, sometimes, amnesia plots are added to a drama and it feels unnecessary or simply a waste of two or three episodes. But this amnesia storyline is actually quite interesting since Ritsu’s memory loss is almost exclusively of his relationship with Fumiya, and it comes right after they decide to part ways. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of giving the two a second chance at love!

Start watching “Jack o’ Frost” now:

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19. “Ai Long Nhai”

After stirring up trouble at his university in Toronto, rich kid Ai (Meen Nichakoon Khajornborirak) is forced to return to Thailand to attend the university where his father teaches — or else have his car sold and credit cards canceled. Back in Thailand, Ai meets Nhai (Ping Krittanun Aunchananun), a free-spirited and quirky university student, and falls in love at first sight.

Why it’s worth watching:
The opposites-attract storyline never gets old. There’s just something inherently fun and exciting about watching opposites fall in love, and that’s exactly the case with Ai and Nhai. While Ai gives off the air of a spoiled, too-cool-for-school kid, Nhai is just a cute, happy-go-lucky guy who cherishes his rubber ducky keychain.

Start watching “Ai Long Nhai” now:

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20. “Our Dining Table”

Hozumi Yutaka (Inukai Atsuhiro) is a salaryman living a monotonous life. He prefers to keep to himself and eats alone every day. Yutaka is eating alone at a park when he meets Ueda Minoru (Iijima Hiroki) and his curious younger brother, Tane (Maeyama Kuuga), whom he shares his rice ball with. The two brothers return to the park the next day to invite Yutaka over to teach them how to make the rice ball.

Why it’s worth watching:
Comfort shows are becoming their own genre at this point, and “Our Dining Table” definitely makes the cut! If you need a break from complex plots and love squares, this drama offers a wholesome, slow-burn love story that’s pretty much equivalent to a hot bowl of soup on a cloudy day.

Don’t miss Inukai Atsuhiro’s other BL series, “A Man Who Defies the World of BL”:

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21. “Love Class 2

Lee Hyun (J-min) developed feelings for his high school tutor, Kim An (Kim Yong Seok), but Kim An mysteriously disappeared. When Lee Hyun finally finds Kim An at his university, he tries to get Kim An to admit there is still something between them. Oh Min Woo (Woo Hyo Won) is secretly in love with his best friend, Shin Ma Ru (Lee Kwang Hee), but Ma Ru is clueless. Meanwhile, hardworking teaching assistant Kim Sung Min (Jung Woo Jae) is mistaken as a model for an art class. Just as he’s rushed into a changing room and gets undressed in the confusion, the real model, Yoo Joo Hyuk (An Jeong Gyun), walks in.

Why it’s worth watching:
Three BL love stories in one drama is a blessing, let alone the fact that they all have their own equally absorbing storylines, from a longtime secret crush to a dark mystery of the past. In the first episode or two, it might be a bit confusing as to who likes who, but figuring out the soon-to-be pairings is all part of the fun.

Start watching “Love Class 2” now:

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22. “Stay With Me”

Su Yu (Zhang Jiong Min) and Wu Bi (Xu Bin) become stepbrothers when Su Yu’s estranged mom and Wu Bi’s dad marry, but the two want nothing to do with each other’s completely different lives. Fed up with his father, Wu Bi secretly changes schools, and it so happens that his new school is where Su Yu goes. At first, they are unaware of their connection.

Why it’s worth watching:
Along with the friendship-to-love that blooms between Su Yu and Wu Bi, the concept of found family is a big part of what makes this story so memorable. Despite being from different backgrounds and having a complicated family connection, Su Yu and Wu Bi are able to form their own family and find happiness in the way they are different.

Start watching “Stay With Me” now:

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23. “Bed Friend”

Uea Anol (James Supamongkon Wongwisut) has a great office life and gets along with pretty much all of his coworkers, excluding one: King Kunakor (Net Siraphop Manithikhun). King comes off as a Casanova, and he’s pretty much the complete opposite of Uea’s ideal type. However, after an unplanned one-night stand, the two agree to be friends with benefits.

Why it’s worth watching:
If a steamy romance sounds like your jam, you’ll love watching the cold-to-hot relationship develop between work enemies Uea and King. Another reason to watch is Jade (Yim Pharinyakorn Khansawa), a funny side character and good friend to Uea and King.

Start watching “Bed Friends” now:

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What were your favorite BLs of 2023? Did any of them make this list? Let us know!
Asya’s a BL-biased Soompi writer with a love of K-pop and all types of Asian dramas. Some of her favorite shows are “Psychopath Diary,” “Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss!,” “Light On Me,” “The Untamed,” “Go Go Squid!,” and “Cherry Magic!”

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