There are few mangaka that really capture the innocence and difficulties of an adolescent or child quite like Maki Youko. Through her work, we have gotten a chance to see a more unobscured view of what it is like to be younger, especially for those who have forgotten what it is like to be at that age. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows, and Maki Youko shows that through her manga. Then there are the rather innocent looking school romances and leaps towards love that only Maki Youko could write. There’s something about her work that really strikes us, wouldn’t you agree?
That is why Maki Youko has a special place in our hearts. From well known works like Aishiteruze Baby★★ to lesser known works like 14R, we are looking through all the manga by Maki Youko to find you her top works. Join us today as we discuss the top manga by Maki Youko. We’ll see the sweet, the romantic, and the innocent in these great manga by Maki Youko.
5. Taranta Ranta
- Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, School Life, Slice of Life
- Volumes: 2
Hikaru’s brother has passed away and in her mind, she still continues to talk to him and tell him her thoughts. As she begins life at her new high school, Hikaru makes friends with Nene, a girl who does not hesitate to push Hikaru to kiss a possible crush, Michiya, a boy who appears to be like her brother. However, after the kiss, Hikaru soon learns that Michiya is not who he seems to be and is quite the opposite of Hikaru’s brother. Michiya’s best friend, Jun, has given Hikaru a word of warning. Then it turns out that Nene may not be as nice as Hikaru first thought and their friendship is over.
As a manga, Taranta Ranta has an interesting overall premise with a girl who falls in love with a boy who looks like her brother. However, the plot becomes a bit over complicated as many more boys get involved in the mix, plus the drama with her new friend. As far as the plot goes, it can get a bit complicated, but it’s still a good introduction to the work of Maki Youko. Taranta Ranta has some humor and some cute moments, so come check it out if you want to see an introductory work of Maki Youko.
4. Sora Sora
- Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
- Volumes: 1
Sorao and Sorako who bonded on their similar names when they transferred to the same school. They can be a couple of troublemakers in school and have been known to skip class from time to time. Then you have a girl who tells Sorako that she wants to have Sorao to herself so she declares she will drive a wedge between Sorako and Sorao. However, Sorako and Sorao aren’t like that…?
If you have been into shoujo manga for a while, there’s probably a chance that you will have heard of Maki Youko’s manga, Sora Sora. Being rather short, Sora Sora makes for another great introduction to Maki Youko’s work, especially considering how much older it is compared to the others. Sorako has a lot of personality, and although the manga is known to have shoujo cliches (like the plot), the dynamic between Sorako and Sorao can be pretty sweet and endearing. This is a manga where you watch the romance come alive between our main characters and although it’s short, Sora Sora is a sweet manga for a quick read.
3. Atashi wa Bambi
- Genre: Shoujo, Drama, Romance, School Life
- Volumes: 3
Mai has always been a target of bullying because of her appearance. Determined, Mai starts high school with a makeover. At her new high school, Mai falls for a boy named Sen, but his best friend tries to get rid of her. Apparently he wants her to know that Sen is his, but Mai is not willing to back down just yet!
The relationship dynamic is just not as easy as one would think in Atashi wa Bambi. The dynamic between Mai and Yaezou, Sen’s best friend, is complicated, and Mai’s determination to pursue her feelings for Sen can be fairly endearing. Despite her feelings, Mai is rather sensitive to those around her and can be very sweet. This may have the idealism that is often found in shoujo manga, but it is still a good read and thank goodness it isn’t too long, either. There’s just enough time to invest into a proper plot without feeling rushed or dragged out.
2. Aishiteruze Baby★★
- Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
- Volumes: 7
Katakura Kippei is a high school playboy who cares more for chasing girls than cherishing their feelings. One day, Kippei finds himself the new caretaker of his 5-year-old cousin Yuzuyu, who has just been left with Kippei’s family when her mom disappeared. Kippei has barely taken care of himself, but now he’s got to grow up and figure out how to take care of Yuzuyu, who may not be as simple as he thinks she is. Through Yuzuyu, Kippei suddenly starts to realize that girls were all once like Yuzuyu.
You’re probably more than surprised to see that Aishiteruze Baby is not #1. However, all the same, it rightly deserves its second place position on our list of top manga by Maki Youko. Aishiteruze Baby is the only one of Maki Youko’s work to get an anime adaptation and for good reason, it’s a great heartwarming anime that really reflects the quality shoujo plot that was known in the 90s (and disappeared in our current time). This is a coming of age story where Kippei learns to grow up and understand the value of women as more than just objects to be collected. Yuzuyu is also a darling little child who is innocent yet still reeling from having been abandoned by her mother to a family she has never interacted with. Can you imagine what a child at her age has to bear with emotionally? Aishiteruze Baby is a great manga with a well developed plot in all 7 volumes that you know you will just fall in love with.
1. Yamamoto Zenjirou to Moushimasu
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 5
Now, it’s hard to beat Aishiteruze Baby, but Maki Youko manages to kick Aishiteruze Baby down to the second spot with the release of a newer manga, Yamamoto Zenjirou to Moushimasu. At ten years old, Hotate has been orphaned once her grandmother, who has been taking care of her, dies. Before dying, Hotate’s grandmother warned her of her impending death and instructed Hotate to live with her uncle after she passed. In her new home, Hotate has to go to a new school and get along with new people. However, she has a secret: Hotate has the ability to see the dead.
This is yet another story of a young girl who finds herself left behind in the world and having to adapt to a new family member who will take care of her. Zenjirou’s life has been rather complicated, but he’s more than willing to give it all up to watch over Hotate and help her adjust. It all seems so easy until he discovers that Hotate can actually see the dead, and that people think she’s strange because of her ability. With this ability, though, she learns about the many regrets and feelings other people have and she’s able to make a significant change in Zenjirou’s life, if he’s willing to open his heart to her and understand her. This is another heartwarming story of a child who has the ability to endear you and really change the way you look at others. Hotate may be young, but she’s had to deal with a lot more than many others.
There’s something about shoujo manga that can be heartwarming and enjoyable to read, and when you find one of your favorite mangaka, you know you just have to keep reading more of their works. That’s why we understand if you fell in love with Maki Youko in one way or another and wanted to see what great manga Maki Youko had to offer. Hopefully with our list of manga by Maki Youko, you were able to find a new enjoyable series that you could use to kill a few hours with. Whether you wish to read them for the laughs, the romance, or the cute scenes, we totally understand.
For those of you out there who looked over our list, do you have any opinions about what series earned their spot or didn’t earn it? Do you think a different series should have been included? Want to explain your feelings? Well, feel free to share all of your thoughts in the comments down below and thanks again for checking in here at Honey’s Anime.