While browsing through some blogs the other day, I accidentally stumbled upon a blog that translates Chinese Boys Love (BL) novels. Out of curiosity, I gave one of the novels I found a try and woah, I was hooked immediately. This is one of those times where I curse the fact that I’m a banana (a Chinese who can’t speak Chinese) as I’d have to rely on translators despite the fact that the novel is already completed. On the contrary, I really appreciate the effort and hard work of the translators even though they’re not earning any profit (thank you x100000!!)
Throughout my reading spree, I’ve noticed that Chinese BL novels really like tropes such as reincarnation, transmigration, and also stories about cultivation. While most of them have similar premises, they all stand out in their own way, and here are 6 Chinese BL novels that are worth checking out – in no particular order!
1. The Founder of Diabolism (魔道祖师)
Author: Mò Xiāng Tóngchòu ( 墨香铜臭)
‘As the grandmaster who founded demonic cultivation, Wei WuXian roamed the world in his wanton ways, hated by millions for the chaos he created. In the end, he was backstabbed by his dearest shidi and killed by powerful clans that combined to overpower him. He incarnates into the body of a lunatic who was abandoned by his clan and is later, unwillingly, taken away by a famous cultivator among the sects—Lan WangJi, his archenemy.’
The Founder of Diabolism, otherwise known as Grandmaster of Demon Cultivation has got to be on most Chinese BL novel readers’ favourite list, and the same applies to me! With an anime adaptation coming up and a manhua in the process, it is evident that this novel has managed to capture fans’ hearts with its humor and interesting plot. Despite having the usual reincarnation trope, this novel really stands out above the rest especially in terms of its characters. Definitely one that you should put on your to-read list!
2. The Legendary Master’s Wife (傳說之主的夫人)
Author: Yin Ya (尹琊)
‘After an explosion, You XiaoMo finds that he is now a probationary disciple of the TianXin sect. However, he is one with dubious potential, so just when he starts to adapt to his new circumstances, he receives a piece of bad news. If he is unable to produce the required result after half a year to become an official disciple of the TianXin sect, he would be driven out of the sect.
While You XiaoMo is going all out to make medicines and earn money, he runs into Ling Xiao. To his horror, he later discovers that Ling Xiao is really someone cloaked in human skin.’
With a total of 713 chapters (excluding extras), I’m really amazed at how the translation team manages to churn out a chapter almost everyday. While the pace of the story might feel slow at the beginning (also in the romance department) due to its heavy focus on the cultivation aspect, it does pick up its pace once the first arc is over. What I enjoy about this novel is the character development and how the romance between the two characters is far smoother than most I’ve read and natural too! If you’ve a lot of time to spare, why not sit down and read this novel?
3. Quickly Wear The Face of A Devil (快穿之打脸狂魔)
Author: Fengliu Shudai (風流書呆)
‘The top hacker was chosen by the Lord God to be reborn as hundreds of thousands of villains. Every world ended in a dead end, and every end is tragic. Finally, he escaped the control of the Villain System, and decided to enact revenge, change his fate as an abused slag. Even if his very bones are rotten, he’ll occupy the heights of morality, even if it’s just the surface.’
When I first read Quickly Wear the Face of the Devil, I was in awe of the author’s creativity especially when it comes to world building. In this novel, our protagonist hops around from one world to another, striving to break free of his never-ending cycle of tragic deaths as well as from the Lord God’s control. Even though we’re following the same protagonist, as we move from one world to another, it kinda felt like I was reading a compilation of different stories, but that was only because of the existence of different worlds. Although the translation initially confused me in the beginning (I was still not used to the Chinese terms), this story really stood out to me, and has already made its way into my favourite list. Check it out!
4. Waiting For You Online (就等你上线了)
Author: Xi And Qing (羲和清零)
‘At the age of 15, He Jin found himself a “husband” in an online game, their love was filled with loving affection and sweetness. However, because his study was being interfere with, his parent cut off the internet, he didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye and have to disappear from the game.
8 years later, the online game in the past was about to come out with a revised edition and turned into a virtual reality game. He Jin decided to login again and unexpectedly discovered that his “husband” had become a powerful player and ranked number one in the whole server, moreover, he had not divorced him!’
Only two words needed to describe this: CUTE and FLUFFY. This novel really reminded me of the times where Maple Story was the in-thing, and you’ll always see players constantly searching for in-game girlfriends/boyfriends. But can you imagine waiting 8 years for your in-game significant other to come back online? If you’re looking for a novel focusing more on the romance and emotional relationship between the two main characters alongside the MMORPG setting, then Waiting For You Online is the right choice!
5. Rebirth of A Supermodel (重生超模)
Author: Mo Chen Huan (莫晨欢)
‘In his past life, Ming Yu struggled in the European and United States fashion circles, eventually becoming the well deserved king of the catwalk. After dying from a serious illness and being reborn, Ming Yu was surprised to find: Huaxia (China) stars shone brightly, there were successful names everywhere! In this better world, on a more vigorous and brilliant stage, the first supermodel tries to reproduce the glory of another world!’
Another common premise that I’ve noticed would be a former A-list celebrity (no matter a model, actor or singer) passing away, only to be reincarnated into the body of someone struggling to make it in the industry. When it comes to Chinese novels or maybe comics/novels in general, it is actually really common to see protagonists acting in ways they shouldn’t be such as being strangely immature, etc. The protagonist in Rebirth of a Model is really mature and he always think things through before acting. This is really different from the usual childish protagonists, and I also really enjoy the occasional humor this novel brings us. If you’re a sucker for celebrity stories like this, read this novel now!!!
6. Thrive in Catastrophe (绝处逢生)
Author: Jiao Tang Dong Gua (焦糖冬瓜)
‘This story is about a rookie researcher who was forcefully dragged away from his restful life, compelled into facing various killers and zombies, always having to risk his life to the brink of death, and finally becoming an advanced researcher that is acclaimed by all.’
One of the few stories set in an apocalyptic universe, Thrive in Catastrophe was a really refreshing read after my cultivation novel reading spree. The apocalypse trope is also pretty common, but most authors, including Jiao Tang Dong Gua manages to put in an interesting twist in their story, which made things really interesting! Having only read 30 chapters at time of writing, this novel has somehow hooked me in, probably because I really want to know more about our main characters. This novel is looking good so far and I’m excited to see how the characters and story will develop further.
And there you have it! While I have stated that they’re ongoing, it only applies for the translation progress. If you’re able to read Chinese, please support the authors by purchasing the raws and you’d be able to read all of them as they’re all completed! So what did you think about the recommendations? If we’ve missed out on any of your favourites, let us know in the comments below so that we can check it out too!
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