Gakuen Heaven is a source of inspiration among BL writers. Since school-based romance and coming-of-age are two of the most common themes in boys’ love series around Asia, there’s just got to be an original source, or perhaps an inspiration, and many points out, it’s probably from Japan.
Where to watch Gakuen Heaven?
You can watch Gakuen Heaven on GagaOOLala. Episode 1 is here.
It’s highly recommended to use a VPN especially when watching BL series. There are streaming sites like NetFlix, Viki, GagaOOLala, iQIYI, Hulu, Viu, and many others that may limit broadcast reach due to copyright and other legal stuff. A VPN is safe, reliable, and legal.
The arrival of a new student at school is one of the scenarios that occur most frequently in BL. The newbie becomes the target of unwanted attention, and maybe even true love. And that’s the goal after all!
In the recent South Korean drama “Light on Me,” the new student became the object of affection for both the student council president and its vice president. The situation brings in rivalry, a few confrontation scenes, and romance in the end.
It’s important to note that Gakuen Heaven, released 17 years ago, appears to be the “inspiration” for such storylines. Old Japanese Yaoi manga is a source of ideas for BL writers today since both Yaoi and BL come from Japan.
Soon to stream South Korean BL shows, Our Dating Sim and A Shoulder to Cry On appear to follow suit. The recently concluded Thai BL My School President from GMMTV has certain shades of Gakuen Heaven vibes as well.
Gakuen Heaven characters like Keita Itō, Kazuki Endō, Tetsuya Niwa, and many others have become model characters that BL writers of today base their characters on.
Keita Itō is a simple guy who is shocked by his admission to the elite college Bell Liberty Academy. Unnerving of this mystery, he becomes a distraction from the school’s social dynamics. Keita must find something special about himself to get a chance to be treated with respect by the BL boys.
Why did it not have a specific talent? During the course, he developed intense relations with practically everyone in the school and was incredibly interested in Kazuki Endou.
Review and Character Comparison
Yaoi is not for everyone. But for those new to BL anime, Gakuen Heaven, can be a great introduction. While the anime is based on a dating simulation, it has the right amount of plots to keep you engaged with the show.
The Simple guy – good-natured and friendly
At the heart of Gakuen Heaven is Keita Itō, a simple guy who is not even assured of himself, yet he is good-natured and friendly – like most of us. In the recent My School President, the plot differs but a character who is good-natured and friendly is Gun (Fourth Nattawat). His counterpart in Light on Me is Woo Tae-kyung (Lee Sae-On).
His interaction with a lot of students in school – who obviously have different characteristics – provides the impetus for Gakuen Heaven’s success.
The King – the student council president – he who directs the show!
Another important character is the school president Tetsuya Niwa. As the president of the student council, he excels in almost everything, from academics to sports and extracurriculars; he is also known as the “King” at the academy.
In Light on Me, Niwa is Shin Da-on (played by Choe Chan-Yi). In My School President, he is Tinn (Gemini Norawit). Yet it was vice president Noh Sinu (Kang Yoo-Seok) who won our hero’s heart in Light on Me. So you will notice the variation.
An event that allows the interaction between the supposedly main characters often sparks the show’s climax as in the case of Gakuen Heaven. The same can be said of Light on Me and My School President.
The difference between a merely good show and a masterpiece now lies in the caliber of its production, performance, and direction.
Sometimes it depends on the audience, and in modern-day BL shipping, it now depends on the popularity of the actors and the shipper’s ability to influence.
The year 2007 marked a significant shift. Back then, people generally looked down on BL/yaoi, thus it wasn’t quite as mainstream as it is now.
AE Sparrow’s review of this anime points out that:
I tend to think of three camps of people when it comes to yaoi: Those who love it, those who shun it, and those who are curious about it. Gakuen Heaven is a great title for that third class of people. It comes at the reader gently, with a good storyline and decent characterization, but it also doesn’t shy away from what it is, so first-time yaoi readers can expect to experience the full range of what the genre has to offer. Still, if you end up liking it, enough to pick up another title or two, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, is it?BL ANIME REVIEW, GAKUEN HEAVEN BY AE SPARROW.
Gakuen Heaven is a trailblazer among Japanese BL anime. It paved the way for more boys’ love materials to come out of Japan which spread around Asia, in particular to Thai and South Korean manga authors.
There were also parallels in other BL locales such as the Philippines, Taiwan, and even Mainland China, and that’s another piece to ponder on and write about.
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An old-timer BL fan way back in 2007. I started out loving BL after watching the Takumi-kun series from Japan, went on collecting BL manga, and watched old BL anime such as Junjou Romantica and the likes. Love of Siam allow me to transition into Thai, while Amphetamine gave me glimpses of Taiwanese BL magic. I love to write reviews and I’m one of the administrators of Psycho Weird.