Is Blue Period a BL? Romance in Anime and Manga Explained

Blue Period bl

The Blue Period storyline features a ton of relatable plots and events, primarily focusing on the everyday life of students. However, the introduction of ambiguous characters has left many fans wondering if Blue Period is classified as a BL – topped with certain romance aspects in the anime and manga series.

Blue Period is not technically considered a “BL” anime or manga series, as there is no focus on romance and love. While there are no developing romances between male characters in the series, this title has still gained notoriety for its unique take on self-discovery, preferences, and identity – including unique, gender-fluid characters that can feel relatable for anyone within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Although the Blue Period saga does not rely heavily on love or romance, there has been a certain spin on gender identity as well as gender fluidity. Stick around to find out everything there is to know about Blue Period being a BL title, as well as why fans are curious to find out about the LGBTQ+ dynamic in Blue Period.

What is a “BL” Anime?

From a broad perspective, the term “BL” in the anime world (meaning “Boy Love” according to many fans) refers to manga or anime titles that depict male romances. The term has been around for quite some time, although it’s not as common in the Western world compared to Japanese culture.

These are closely related to Shonen storylines or Yaoi storylines, which are similar apart from the level of innocence of explicitness. BL storylines tend to blend the best of both worlds with male romance taking center stage, although there aren’t too many great titles that have been officially released or described within the genre.

BL anime titles have been including homosexual relationships between men for many years – even back when it was considered taboo within general society. Now, with LGBTQ+ relationships and identities becoming more widely accepted in manga thanks to Pride and modern world views, many anime lovers are keen on getting into more BL anime series.

Is Blue Period a BL? Romance Explained

Blue Period focuses on a young boy named Yatora, who is seen slacking off in art class until he becomes fascinated by a beautiful painting – an Angel oil painting done by his senior, Maru Mori. It’s revealed that Yatora does actually enjoy painting, and he begins diving into the world of art in an attempt to express himself and earn his way into college.

blue period cover 1

Additional Blue Period characters include Mori, Ryuji, Kuwana, and Hashida, all while exploring each character’s unique art style and personality. There has been a debate about whether Yatora has feelings for Mori, as Mori’s work is what inspires him to continue perfecting his art, but it’s more likely that Yatora admires Mori.

On the other hand, characters like Ryuji involve more complex relationships, as seen due to the various quarrels between Yatora and Ryuji – however, Ryuji still ends up inspiring Yatora to experiment with colors and they develop a balanced relationship over time. Overall, there is more focus on friendships between all of the characters, as well as how different personalities and artistic preferences can clash or build on that of others.

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Romance is not really a focal point in the Blue Period storyline – and, since being classified as a BL anime or manga series involves romantic elements, Blue Period cannot technically be seen as a BL. Although, the saga does play into certain topics and different gender identities, often using ambiguous imagery as seen in the Chapter 19 cover below.

blue period chapter

Many of the elements may be seen in a more artistic light as well, rather than nods to gender and identity, but these aspects definitely place the Blue Period title within a class of its own. Still, many fans hope to see more aspects of love and romance over time, as the Blue Period manga series is still ongoing.

Gender Fluidity in Blue Period

Despite the fact that Blue Period may not be deemed a BL, there are still a couple of inclusions that place this title in a category of its own. The main area of interest here is Ryuji Ayukawa, who goes by Yuka or “Yuka-chan”.

What’s interesting is that the term “chan” is typically reserved for females in Asian cultures. This means that the nickname “Yuka-Chan” could be a way for Ryuji Ayukawa’s closest friends to show support and confirm that he is more comfortable identifying as a female.

yuka 1

Ryuji “Yuka” Ayukawa is Yatora’s fellow classmate and art club member – well-known for expressing himself through art and his unknown gender identity. Yuka Ayukawa chooses to wear a female uniform, although he does not identify as a crossdresser. It’s also unknown if Yuka Ayukawa is gay, straight, or bi, as he did ask a boy out on a date in Episode 3 of the anime series – who ends up pitying Yuka and leaving after discovering that Yuka is a male.

At the same time, Yuka also reveals that he has a crush on a mystery girl while speaking with Yaguchi, in addition to Yuka being seen flirting with a guy in a bar. He later tells Yaguchi that he feels things would be easier if he liked guys since he presents himself as feminine, although there is still speculation as to whether he may actually be straight. Still, most Blue Period fans choose to see Yuka as bisexual for the time being.

Yuka also states that he does not have romantic connections easily, as he has no luck with men or with women. Women see Yuka as the “gay best friend”, or a straight male who “crossdresses” and understands female troubles while never pursuing them romantically. On the other hand, men either pity Yuka or have more negative feelings.

yuka sad

This character does not officially address his sexuality, romantic preferences, or identity within the Blue Period storyline, struggling to find a place where he fits in (including within the LGBTQ+ community). But, when Yatora makes a statement about Yuka’s face being more suited to an attractive male, Yuka states that he would rather die than be what the world tells him to be.

Yuka may be a side character in Blue Period, but he challenges the sexual norms of society both passively and directly throughout the storyline. At the same time, Ryuji Ayukawa does not disagree or take any offense to be identified as a male either.

RELATED: Blue Period Season 2: Release Date, Trailer, Plot, Cast and More

All of the above makes Yuka Ayukawa gender-fluid, which is an extremely rare gender identity even within the LGBTQ+ community – let alone within mainstream media. Gender-fluid individuals tend to have a preference for a certain gender or at least aspects of a specific gender – and, this would extend to gender-fluid characters as well.

However, unlike many other gender identities, gender-fluid individuals may shift between different genders or identities over time. It’s still unknown if this character is genuinely gender-fluid or is still uncertain of his preferences – or, if introducing an all-inclusive, gender-fluid character was a simple way to express how all members of the LGBTQ+ community can feel in the real world at times.

blue period art

Yuka is trying to find his place in a world where most expect either one thing or another, as well as consistency in terms of gender identity and romantic preferences. This hasn’t stopped Yuka from being popular, however, for others within the storyline as well as anime fans worldwide, but fans are still hoping to see more of Yuka’s journey as the Blue Period saga progresses.

That’s everything there is to know about Blue Period being a BL, with images thanks to the Blue Period Wiki. Although Blue Period may not officially fall within the BL category, it’s certainly a unique manga and anime series that plenty of fans find equally interesting, entertaining, and relatable on numerous levels.

  • Jeijei

    Jeijei is a professional Researcher and Writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a National Diploma in Fashion Design from CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), a National Diploma in Early Childhood Development and a Montessori Childhood Development Diploma from...