You see one guy, you think it's cute.
In the West, gay men rarely appear outside of works aimed at... well, gay men. One of the odder cultural quirks of Japan (though it is slowly bleeding over to the rest of the world) is the use of young, homosexual male relationships as Fan Service for the girls. Works that focus on these relationships form a genre currently known by the English term Boys' Love, also called Yaoi.
But even outside of actual BL series, hints of male-male romance are often thrown in to help the series appeal to other demographic groups. Depending on the series in question, this can be limited to Homoerotic Subtext... or not.
Note: couples from acknowledged BL series go on the Boys Love Genre page, please.
Anime and Manga
- Kagetora and Naoe of Mirage of Blaze.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has Germany proposing to Italy during the Buon San Valentino 2009 strip, red roses and tomato ring included. What comes of it is still unclear, but it's not really subtext at this point.
- Mei and Gabu in Arashi no Yoru ni.
- Rolo in Code Geass has more than a little of this going on towards Lelouch. It may be slightly more than coincidental that the character design was done by...
- CLAMP. Pick a CLAMP series. Any series. More specifically:
- Touya and Yukito in Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa. (Official Couple in both continuities)
- Gingetsu and Lan in Clover. (Another Official Couple)
- Subaru and Seishirou in Tokyo Babylon, X 1999, and Tsubasa.
- Fuuma and Kamui, also in X and Tsubasa.
- Rikuou and Kazahaya, and Kakei and Saiga, in Legal Drug.
- Doumeki and Watanuki in xxxHolic.
- Kokyou and Hisui in Wish as well as Shuichirou and Kohaku. Arguably not BL as the angels and demons are depicted as genderless but the general consensus is that they are males.
- Kurogane and Fai in Tsubasa.
- Ashura and Yasha in RG Veda and Tsubasa. Again, in RG Veda, Ashura is depicted as having no gender but in Tsubasa Ashura is a he.
- Takeshi and Kentarou from Dukylon Clamp School Defenders are a great example as Kentarou often declares that his life's goal is to be a beautiful bride and he insists that he and Takeshi should go out on dates, get married, etc. Takeshi attempts to protest but never succeeds in getting Kentarou to desist.
- In one episode of Excel Saga, the messenger sent by the heads of ACROSS is a handsome and somewhat androgynous rock star named Key. Excel becomes infatuated with him, and we are shown a fantasy sequence in which she imagines Key and Il Palazzo as Yaoi Guys.
- Genshiken has Yaoi Fangirl Chika Ogiue, who in both manga and anime fantasizes about her love interest as a yaoi guy with another member of the club. In fact, the anime episode expands this out into a series of fantasies involving all the male members of the Genshiken as very Bishonen yaoi guys, with a tragic romantic plot surrounding Sasahara and Madarame. Don't forget the Soba Incident, either.
- Kazuki and Juubei from the GetBackers anime. (In the manga, any ambiguity in terms of romantic vs. platonic feelings is solely on Juubei's part)
- Shibuya Yuuri and Wolfram von Bielfeld from Kyou Kara Maou are engaged, sleep in the same bed, and are raising a daughter together. Second two resulting from Wolfram's fixation on the first. Played up for laughs, but taken very seriously by Wolfram, who has made passionate declarations of love to Yuuri.
- The Mad Scientist Wars has it's fair share of pairings, but so far the most involved (read: Cannot Spit It Out) relationship is between Andrew Tinker and David Toboz. As of this example, they're official, but Andrew still is Genre Savvy enough to worry about It's Not You, It's My Enemies. Interestingly, Andrew's son may be heading towards such a relationship. Commander Xerox and Jess may or may not count. Jess is a shapeshifter who was born female, but when they first met she was shifted as a boy. Xerox, being Bi, donsen't seem to care much either way.
- Though nearly every combination of the main five pilots of the Mobile Suit Gundam spin-off Gundam Wing has been shipped as standard fan procedure, a case for Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner can actually be argued from canon. Given the director's mentioned that Gundam Wing's "pretty boys" pilots were designed specifically to try to tap into the female fan demographic, this may be less surprising than it seems.
- Kaworu Nagisa and Shinji Ikari's brief but powerful friendship at the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion is rife with common overtones of this sort. While not being specifically elaborated on, it has been milked in non-canonical (and humorous) material. Kaworu's (failed) attempts to get some attention from Shinji are actually canon in the spin-off series The Shinji Ikari Raising Project.
- Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin offer Twincest-y BL Fan Service to the customers of the Ouran High School Host Club. Honey and Mori's more downplayed guardian/master relationship has shades of this too. This is inadvertently pulled when Kasanoda finds out Haruhi's secret and leads the host club customers into believing he's trying to confess his love to the beautiful male Haruhi. After realizing she does not reciprocate he swears to be her friend forever—and suddenly becomes very popular with the ladies, who find his tragic spurned yaoi love to be cute.
- Peacemaker Kurogane: After being raped in the manga, Suzu becomes gay, crazy, and obsesses over Tetsunosuke in this manner. And then there's this manga cover. Suzu's relationship with Tetsunosuke was always rather Homoerotic Subtext-ridden in the first place, although before it tended to be the more innocent sublimated kind... before it went into full on Stalker with a Crush. Bets are up in the air as to whether if Tetsunosuke had actually slept with Suzu after he was raped they would have been able to save a lot of pain.
- Hijikata and Okita too.
- Please Save My Earth includes a (heterosexual) couple who were both reincarnated as boys and who have to redefine their relationship once they find each other again.
- Princess Princess is a series set in an all boys school where the most feminine boys are forced to dress up as girls and accept the adoration of the rest of the school. Some don't mind, most adjust. Shihoudani's mother, at one point, assumes that Shihoudani and Tohru are an item.
- Akio Ohtori and Touga Kiryuu from Revolutionary Girl Utena represent this aspect in their series, especially in certain questionable situations. Interestingly, Touga himself seems to view it largely as a powergame, while Saionji's role as his Patient Childhood Love Interest is less clear.
- Saber Marionette J makes a running gag of the attraction the flamingly gay rich boy Hanigata has for the poor, industrious (and fundamentally straight) Otaru. Then again, they are on a planet whose human inhabitants are all men, clones in fact, while the women are, well, marionettes.
- The uncensored first season of Sailor Moon shows a semiromantic relationship between two members of the Dark Kingdom, Kunzite and Zoisite. This is largely censored in the North American release, mainly by turning Zoisite into a woman. In the fourth season Fisheye is also turned into a woman, despite having "her" take "her" shirt off in one scene. It doesn't help that in the original Fisheye's voice sounds like a girl's. There are a lot of other slashy subtexts in the later volumes of Sailor Moon as well (although considering this is a well-rounded Shoujo manga, they're probably just covering their bases).
- In Sensei no Ojikan, High School junior Kudou Yuuichi has had a crush on classmate Suetake Kenta since at least elementary school. He's an interesting example inasmuch as being a completely standard looking male student, unlike the show's (straight) part-time Wholesome Crossdresser.
- Simoun even manages a pair of them, who were originally Schoolgirl Lesbians.
- Tales of the Abyss: Guy and Luke(or even Asch and Luke if you're into that) because of Guy's inability to have physical contact with women and the slashy events such as Guy ditching Jade and the others in favour of going back to the injured Luke after the Azkeriuth incident.
- What exactly WAS Jade doing to Dist in that one scene? You know... That One?
- Vassalord: Charley and Rayflo. Barry is a Yaoi Guy, and he probably thinks he's this with Rayflo, although it's not reciprocated.
- Karasu and Itsuki in Yu Yu Hakusho. (Not dating; if they were it'd be a massive Trainwreck.) Sensui is a Invisible to Gaydar with feelings for Itsuki by Word of God.
- Shirogane and Akira in the Monochrome Factor anime.
- Outlaw Star has Fred Luo and his crush on Gene.
- Vampire Doll: Dante and Hugo. Also, Aihara and Matsuzawa, two side characters who attend Tonae's high school.
- Sion and Nezumi of No. 6. They've kissed on the lips (twice), they love to protect each other, they've held hands and intertwined fingers, they've cuddled, they've shared meaningful conversations, they've danced together, and they've slept together (not in the physical sense though). Also, Sion is quite willing to go into Yandere mode whenever Nezumi gets threatened or mocked and Nezumi has essentially claimed ownership of Sion in that one scene with the prostitute.
- Raphael and Mikael from Tenshi ni Narumon. They're an Official Couple and sleep together naked in the same bed while holding hands.
- Cain and Shido of Nightwalker.
- Full Metal Panic!: In the novels Yu Fan and Yu Lan, twins who take very intimate showers together and kiss each other on the lips are actually male instead of female.
- Luka and Yuki and the Zweilt guardians and their partners in Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru.
- Ritsuka and Soubi of Loveless.
- Subverted with Sagami and Hoki in Black Bird, despite Kyo's jealousy-motivated Malicious Slander. He omitted the fact they were brothers, which neatly explained their lack of honorifics for one another.
- Raven and Lucius from Fire Emblem 7, with Heath and Legault as the second-most popular pairing. And it's not too much of a stretch to assume Matthew's got something for Guy.
- It's more famous for the implied twincest between Ephraim and Eirika, but Innes and Ephraim could practically define UST with their constant bickering. Forde and Kyle are a toned-down version. Gerik and Saleh have a surprising amount of evidence in their favor: Shared history that they haven't really gotten over, the Sensitive Guy and Manly Man dynamic, and Gerik even takes Saleh out despite having two attractive women vying for his attention. In fact, pick any male character from Fire Emblem—odds are that they've got another guy they can support with for extremely subtext-heavy support conversations.
- Soren and Ike from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, although it's less developed than the other examples.
- Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu from the DS game The World Ends With You-he practically embodies the yaoi guy for laughs trope especially in Another Day. His crush on the main character Neku is actually a plot point, and is pretty much the only reason he didn't Destroy Shibuya in the ending. The manga even makes a point of showing him taking pictures of Neku's butt with his cell phone camera.