Yumi Unita was born in 1972. Therefore, you can expect her career to be rather long and fruitful. Yumi Unita is one of those underrated mangakas that flies below the radar. We think part of the reason is her peculiar illustration style, which might remind some otakus of older manga, like those found in news papers. However, she should not be underestimated! Yumi Unita’s work has been animated afterall! Therefore, in this article, we are going to review a few of Yumi Unita’s best works. Let’s go!
7. Glass Mukou no Ano Ko (The Girl on the Other Side of the Glass)
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Josei
- Volumes: 1 shot
- Released: Jun 29, 2013
If you are at a loss about what Yumi Unita’s work looks and feels like, don’t worry, because we have you covered! Usually, a one shot is a good place to get to know a new mangaka. In Glass Mukou no Ano Ko, we see the story of two people who always see each other from afar in a busy subway station. Will they ever approach each other? You will have to read this one shot to find out!
The magic on this story goes beyond the artistic style, which reminds us old cartoons. The characters do not speak much, but the face and body cues which they use to express their feelings are relatable. The comedy will make you have a good laugh too! If you like simple stories about romance, this might be the right choice for you.
6. Zettai Donkan
- Genres: Comedy, Music, Romance, Josei
- Volumes: 1
- Released: Apr 28, 2008 to Jun 30, 2010
Music can be a powerful tool to connect with others. That is something that Taki Kanon and Ryou Nakamori understand well, as they met thanks to a piano in their first high school year. They spend a lot of time together doing music and taking care of the instrument, but you know how young love can be, full of misunderstandings. Will they ever be able to get their feelings sorted?
If you love music and teenage romance, you have to read Zettai Donkan. Yumi Unita’s graphic style is fresh and to the point, just like young love! The comedy is also highlighted in every panel that does not have to do with romance, of course. Overall, Zettai Donkan is a well balanced story.
- Genres: Romance, Seinen
- Volumes: 1
- Released: Nov 5, 2000
This is a collection of stories that usually have male protagonists. In Akubi-chan, we testify a love triangle in a company. In Ningen wo Torou, we see the woes of a professional photographer learning to shoot models. In Nodo no Biribiri, a couple where the woman is older than the man will have to break several barriers to be together. In Knock! Knock! Knock!, copying in class might lead to many problems for the protagonist. In Futari no Nozomi, the staring couple have different views towards sex. In Suki na Hito, a shy girl will pursue the guy she likes. In Unbalance, we again have an older woman and a man who will do anything to be by her side. In Voice, Haruta’s girlfriend is not very expressive, which makes him wonder if their relationship will work. Finally, in Shibainuin no Maid Machi, we see the daily life of a maid machine from her point of view.
Fiu! As you can see, Unita’s imagination is rich. Every story has a different angle of what a relationship can be. The protagonists are grown ups who confront their problems in several ways, and we get a surprise or two. If you like short stories, Rakuraku is the right recommendation for you.
- Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Seinen
- Volumes: 4
- Released: Nov 2003 to May 2008
Yoningurashi shows us the daily life of the Hondas: father Tarou, mother Chiharu, sister Yuri and brother Kotarou. Nothing more than their simple family life narrated in several volumes. Yes, sounds plain, but slice of life manga can be surprisingly refreshing. Yoningurashi takes the point of view of the father, but it immerses us in each one of the characters.
This does not mean that there is no conflict in the story, as the adults have plenty of confrontations. Also, the comedic moments suit Unita’s simplistic style the best, and believe us when we say there is plenty of comedy with a pair of small children around. Overall, the family is represented with realistic and straightforward attitudes, which help us identify ourselves with them. Probably you are not the family type, but if you are curious about how such a life would be, this is the manga you should read.
3. Parapara Days
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Seinen
- Volumes: 1
- Released: Oct 27, 2014 to present
Who among us otakus have not imagined how life is like for those who work in the Japanese otaku world? Well, in Parapara Days, you can catch a first hand glimpse through the protagonist named Yashima. He is a quiet and indifferent animator who (unsurprisingly) works a lot. Will a faithfull encounter change his daily life?
If you want to see the unfiltered Japanese life, you have to read Parapara Days. If you want an average protagonist you can relate to, you also have to read Parapara Days. The only problem with this manga is that it does not have a regular release. Therefore, there is no way to know when we will know the end of the story.
2. Usagi Drop
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life, Josei
- Volumes: 10
- Released: Oct 8, 2005 to Dec 8, 2011
Warning: sensitive content ahead!
We can say that Usagi Drop is divided in two big parts. The first one starts on a depressing note but gets better as the story advances. Sometimes we are living so fast that we lose sight of the consequences of our actions, especially for younger generations. When Daikichi’s father passes away, he leaves a tiny illegitimate daughter at the mercy (or lack of) of her relatives. Therefore, the single Daikichi decides to take care of the girl. What follows is one of the most heart-warming stories ever.
Home and family is truly where we are well received, regardless of the blood ties. Daikichi’s inexperience is fuel for comedy, and the innocence of his protegee Rin makes for most of the cute material in the manga. There are some bittersweet scenes when the characters grow, though, particularly in the second part of the story. So, we have to warn you that the second part of the manga will not appeal to everyone. However, there is a reason why this manga has become an anime, so it still is one of the best Yunita’s works.
1. Nemurime Hime (Slumbering Beauty)
- Genres: Josei
- Volumes: 1
- Released: Jun 30, 2014 to present
To end this article, we could not help but notice that this manga is genial in its plot. Who does not like to sleep? The problem comes when you can’t stop. That is the worry of Yaneko, a High School student who has to struggle to wake up on time. However, that is why she counts on a sleep spirit called Nerim. Apparently, Nerim has chosen Yaneko to be his assistant when he grants comfortable sleep to living beings.
If you like fantasy manga but are a bit weary of the shoujo style, Nemurime Hime might be the right story for you. It does have a bit of the super heroine vibe, but it is also more mature and complex. As this is one of Unita’s most recent works, her style has visibly improved. The only problem with this title is that it is ongoing, but hey, that means there is more to come.
Yumi Unita’s works might not be for everyone, but if you are in that sweet spot that is the transition between shoujo and josei or seinen, she is a good option. Her characters are never overdone, and also invite us to see the little wonders in life. Some of them can be controversial, but above everything, they are trying to find their call. And aren’t we all doing exactly the same? We expect that Yumi Unita will keep surprising us in her future works. Tell us, which is your favorite manga by Yumi Unita? Do not forget that we are open to all your comments and suggestions. See you soon!