Popular Boys' Love Manhwa That Truly Live Up to the Hype

1 Jun 2022

Boys' love is all the craze right now - but these manhwa feature stories that truly live up to their extreme popularity.

boys love manhwa

The boys' love (BL) genre has exploded into popularity in recent years, with many new shows and series being adapted from various written and drawn mediums. Arguably triggered by the extremely popular Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation franchise, boys' love has definitely found a place in not just the anime community, but the mainstream media as well. There is no better indicator of this than the adaptation of Heartstopper on Netflix, which has only recently begun to expand its shows to represent a wider dynamic of people.

Plenty of boys' love manhwas have peaked in popularity throughout recent years, so it makes sense that some may be overhyped or fall short of what their attention suggests. The following manhwa series feature stories that truly do live up to the hype.

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Cherry Blossoms After Winter: The Epitome of School Romance
Ever since his parents passed away in an accident when he was seven, Haebom has been living under the same roof as his childhood best friend Taesung. However, they have gradually drifted apart. Feeling guilty that he possibly took things away from Taesung by freeloading in his house, Haebom has been trying to keep his head down as much as possible. That is, until they're put in the same class in 12th grade. Forced to finally face each other, will their relationship finally heal and perhaps develop into something more?

The dynamic between Haebom and Taesung is extremely wholesome, and the way their relationship progresses is likewise very natural. Nothing feels overdramatized and the troubles they come across are realistic to their situation. A large part of why Cherry Blossoms After Winter has gained so much traction is precisely because of the way it's grounded in reality. It recently got adapted into a Korean drama of the same name that has also received critical acclaim. Fans of more relaxed reads without too much drama will definitely enjoy Cherry Blossoms After Winter.

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Semantic Error: The Battle Between The Brain And Heart
Computer science major Chu Sangwoo is probably the most logical and inflexible person around. When he decides to remove the names of the freeloading members from a group project, he never could’ve imagined that it would bring him face to face with Department of Design’s Jae Chaewoo. Jae Chaewoo, who's friendly, charismatic and skilled, cannot be more different from Sangwoo. What happens when these two opposing personalities are forced to work together?

Semantic Error has long been a household name in the world of boys' love manhwas, and a recent drama adaptation has only further cemented its popularity. Much of the story is centered around Chu Sangwoo trying to come to terms with his feelings and often overanalyzing them. It is certainly a divergence from the usual trope of the couple getting together immediately after realizing their feelings for each other, and it showcases their polarizing personalities very well.

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Love Shuttle: An Awkward Situation Leads To Love?
Despite being muscular and stocky, Love Shuttle protagonist Doyun is still a half-Omega well into his adulthood who has yet to go into heat. He is truly the epitome of a late bloomer. In any case, it causes no trouble in his daily life as everyone just assumes he’s an Alpha due to his physique. Doyun almost manages to forget about it -- until his body decides it's finally time at the most inopportune moment. Whether by luck or not, he only has his work rival, Taehan, to turn to for help.

Set in an ABO setting where everyone has a secondary gender aside from their assigned sex at birth, relationships can be a lot more diverse and complicated. The dynamic between Doyun and Taehan starts off somewhat unconventional and awkward but gradually blossoms into something incredibly respectful and healthy -- which is always a welcome thing to see in a setting that can often be abused for its inherently divisive nature.

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Sign: Communication Is Important
When Soohwa joins Café Goyo as a part-timer, he finds out that contrary to popular belief, the coffee here is terrible and he is not required to make a good product. Instead, he is asked to expand his sign language vocabulary because the cafe's manager, Yohan, is hard of hearing. When Yohan offers to help Soohwa with his sign language, Soohwa realizes it might be harder than he thought.

It's not often that manhwas depict romantic relationships with a disabled person. Sign has not only done that, but pulled it off extremely well. As the winner of the 3rd Lezhin Comics World Comic Contest, officials certainly thought so too. The relationship development between Soohwa and Yohan is so wholesome but also very realistic around issues that arise with communicating with someone who's hearing-impaired.

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The King’s Maker: Politics Meets Romance
The Fourth Prince of the kingdom, Wolfgang Goldenleonard, has been living in hiding from the royal family ever since an incident killed his mother. With her last words -- "do not ever covet the king’s possessions" -- echoing in his mind, he spent much of his days on the streets with a gang of other orphans.

This continues until one day, when he is forced to give himself up to protect the lives of others. Despite rejecting everything about royal life and customs, Wolfgang becomes intrigued with the mysterious Shin Soohyuk, a catamite of the King and someone he shouldn’t covet. They form a strange alliance and eventually something more.

Fans of manhwas heavy with political mystery and tension definitely can’t miss out on The King’s Maker. The themes of hope, rebellion and sacrifice are showcased beautifully through the small acts of defiance Wolfgang and Shin exhibit throughout, gradually growing into their own strength. The development of their relationship is slow and hindered by circumstances, but their attraction to each other is undeniable

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