As one of the classic yaoi series adapted into OVA, Haru wo Daiteita was one of the most popular back in the day. Older fans of BL and yaoi series might have also started watching yaoi OVAs beginning from Haru wo Daiteita, though it is hardly the first yaoi OVA produced. Adapted from a series with the same title drawn by Nitta Youka, Haru wo Daiteita explored the story of two AV actors: Katou Youji and Iwaki Kyousuke, who began as rivals but later fell in love and into a relationship. As their relationship grew, so did their career and challenges as actors as they seized the chance to go out of the AV industry and into actual film industry.
Haru wo Daiteita offered a peek into the lives of two celebrities who are in love and proud of it, who channel their feelings and sentiments of being in love into something that pushes them forward in their career. The fairytale-like saying of “Love prevails over all” is showcased in a setting very close to our own modern society nowadays, which makes it heartwarming and hopeful, but still close to the reality. For fans of Haru wo Daiteita, we have tried to compile six anime that are similar to this series, and though a lot of them are quite old by now, you might just still enjoy them for a light watch, or maybe for the nostalgic feel of it!
Similar Anime to Haru wo Daiteita
1. Fuyu no Semi
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: February 2007 – April 2007
Those who read Haru wo Daiteita in addition to having watched the OVA must have also been familiar with this title. Yep Fuyu no Semi is one of the movies where Katou and Iwaki played together as lovers in one of the later manga arc: Fuyu no Semi was later developed into a spin-off manga by Nitta Youka, and had its own OVA adaptation in 2007. Fuyu no Semi takes place in the last of Bakumatsu period and well into the early Meiji era—a Romeo-and-Juliet kind of romance tragedy between Akizuki Keiichirou and Kusaka Touma, who belonged to different factions in the midst of a revolution in Japan. Separated and reunited at the cost of too many sacrifices, what kind of ending waits for these two men?
Considering this is another one of Nitta Youka’s works (and a spin-off of Haru wo Daiteita at that!), of course the audience would be familiar with the characters’ looks and designs. Fuyu no Semi OVA also delivered the same line-up of seiyuus who worked in Haru wo Daiteita, namely Morikawa Toshiyuki, Miki Shinichirou, and Morikubo Showtarou. The sweet, romantic dynamics between Katou and Iwaki that made the audience feel like these two could probably go through anything was also showcased in Fuyu no Semi, though it ended with a tragic scene that might require you to prepare a box of tissue as you watch it.
2. Koisuru Boukun (The Tyrant Falls in Love)
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: June 2010 – November 2010
Based on a manga drawn by Takanaga Hinako, which was one of the best-sellers in Japan, Koisuru Boukun follows the highly hilarious romance between Morinaga Tetsuhiro and his university senpai, Tatsumi Souichi. Having stewed in a crush on Souichi for about four years and knowing that Souichi is a homophobe, Morinaga is entirely convinced that his feelings would never be answered the way he’d have wanted it. But is that true? As it turns out, the world has a funny way of proving him wrong: Souichi’s reluctance of not having Morinaga in his life might actually mean something after all.
Koisuru Boukun, like Haru wo Daiteita, showcases a hilarious dynamic of a younger, too-handsy and too-affectionate man who tops an older, professional man, though in Koisuru Boukun, Souichi is much more easily flustered and tsundere compared to Iwaki. For those who loved the daily life atmosphere and the hilarious supporting characters in Haru wo Daiteita, Koisuru Boukun would be a really great OVA to pick up. Plus, you’d be treating your ears to the voices of Midorikawa Hikaru and Toriumi Kousuke, with the supporting characters having seiyuu such as Hirakawa Daisuke, Sugita Tomokazu and Miyata Kouki as well!
3. Ikoku Irokoi Romantan (A Foreign Love Affair)
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: December 2007 – October 2008
Exactly as the title suggested, Ikoku Irokoi Romantan is about a love affair that happened overseas. Based on the manga drawn by none other than Yamane Ayano, this series tells the romantic-comedy tale of Ranmaru, the heir of a yakuza who unwillingly had to marry another yakuza’s daughter Kaoru, and Alberto, the captain of the ship where Ranmaru and Kaoru’s wedding was held. On the way to Italy, on his wedding night with Kaoru, Ranmaru found himself finding pleasure in the arms of Alberto instead, which then sparked feelings he’d never considered before.
If you like how much Katou fawns over Iwaki and how protective he gets over Iwaki, you might want to consider picking up Ikoku Irokoi Romantan. Alberto, while his personality is much cooler and level-headed compared to Katou, is pretty much just as affectionate and handsy as Katou is. And just as a fantastical concept as two male celebrities love story was presented in Haru wo Daiteita, the very concept of a heir of a yakuza and a captain of a ship in Ikoku Irokoi Romantan sort of gives you a dreamy, almost fairytale sort of atmosphere where anything could happen. Seiyuu casted included names such as Itou Kentarou, Suwabe Junichi, Okiayu Ryuutarou and Kaida Yuki, so you could look forward to listening to them as well!
Any Anime Like Haru wo Daiteita ?
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: August 1994 – September 1995
Time to check out one of the more older yaoi series! One of Kodaka Kazuma’s most popular works, Kizuna is one of the classic yaoi manga series published in the span of 1992 to 2008. In 1994, it got a two-episode OVA adaptation (and another one in 2001), which mainly focused on the story of Enjouji Kei and his lover, Samejima Ranmaru. As the illegitimate son of a yakuza family, Kei’s life was once targeted, but Ranmaru saved him from the hit-and-run, costing him his kendo career. The two of them, now living together, must now deal with Kei’s half-brother, Sagano Kai, who also claims to have feelings for his adored senior Ranmaru.
Just like Haru wo Daiteita, the two episodes of Kizuna’s OVA merely glossed over the most inadequate summary of the manga series, but it’s enough to pique the curiosity of the audience and make them want to read the manga as well. Haru wo Daiteita and Kizuna both depicted similar main characters: brash, too-affectionate, very loving man with a level-headed, cool, patient but slightly tsundere significant other. As a result, the dynamics of established romantic relationship in both series are also extremely similar. Those who enjoyed Haru wo Daiteita for its love drama aspects such as self-doubts and jealousy but with love prevailing in the end would also enjoy Kizuna.
5. Ai no Kusabi
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: January 2012 – April 2012
In the world of Amoi, there’s a strict caste system that no one could stand up against: the Elites of Tanagura, the Midas citizens, and lastly the Mongrels of Ceres. Iason Mink, the most powerful Elites belonging to the highest social class known as Blondies, had fallen in love with a Mongrel of Ceres by the name of Riki, who was later taken in as Iason’s “pet”. Caged in Tanagura as Iason’s pet for three years, Riki was torn between wanting to preserve his pride as a human and his feelings for Iason, who had begun to love Riki to the point of obsession. Ai no Kusabi tells the story of a wretched love in a futuristic world of Amoi, filled not only with glamor and technology, but also secrets and social exclusion.
Originally a novel written by Yoshihara Reiko serialized in 1986 to 1987, Ai no Kusabi is the one series with multiple OVA adaptation that was never completed due to financial reasons. Though Ai no Kusabi is notably much darker compared to Haru wo Daiteita (it also plays with themes such as rape and human trafficking), it does have several similarities; one of them being the solid world-building that also showcased its supporting characters and their relationships with the two main characters really well. Those who loved Haru wo Daiteita for its vast range of characters and relationships between those different characters would also be intrigued with Ai no Kusabi’s characters. The 2012 OVA also had Katou’s seiyuu, Miki Shinichirou, participating as the voice of Katze, alongside names such as Itou Kentarou, Toriumi Kousuke, Koyasu Takehita, and Ohkawa Tohru.
6. Hyakujitsu no Bara (Maiden Rose)
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: May 2009 – October 2009
Based on the first volume of a manga by Inariya Fusanosuke, Hyakujitsu no Bara depicts the relationship between Klaus von Wolfstadt and Taki Reizen, two men who belong to different countries in the midst of a great world war, but bound to one another as a Master and Knight. What began as a sweet, almost naïve romance between the two of them quickly evolved into something that was much tenser, crueler, and emotionally taxing, as the two of them faced the war, external societal pressures, and their own sense of duties as soldiers to their countries. Starring seiyuu such as Inoue Kazuhiko and Chiba Susumu, Hyakujitsu no Bara is a series that blurs the line between hopeful, dreamy fairytale and the cruel world of war, and depicts how it could change a relationship.
If you only watched Haru wo Daiteita’s OVA and didn’t read the manga, Hyakujitsu no Bara’s OVA has a similar atmosphere to Haru wo Daiteita—in the sense of how both couples are approaching their romantic relationship in a wrong way, even though it was clear that they do hold strong love for one another. The sense of devotion Katou has for Iwaki is also mirrored in the way Klaus devoted himself to Taki, and both Iwaki and Taki have very similar personality, though Taki is noticeably much colder and expressionless. However, Hyakujitsu no Bara, like Ai no Kusabi, does offer dark themes that includes non-consensual sexual acts, so you might also want to be careful if you decided to dive in.
The sort of relationship between Katou and Iwaki might be something that most of yaoi series nowadays lack—their reversible nature, their healthy habit of actually talking out their problems with one another, and how supportive they are of each other’s personal careers and friendships—while on the one hand it had been labeled ‘porntastic’ by a lot of people, Haru wo Daiteita represents a stable, secure relationship that gives its audience a sense of happiness over Katou and Iwaki’s love.
That doesn’t say that other titles are less interesting though. With yaoi series, it is a bit of a hit-and-miss when you’re trying to decide whether or not to pick up a series—especially when OVA adaptations are more likely to gloss over things the manga had delved into. But OVA could start as something to intrigue audience into reading the manga, which you should totally do if you enjoy those titles!
Have more recommendations, or simply want to comment on our selections? Let us know down in the comments!