As far as we know, Kou Yoneda is one of the most loved and appreciated boys love manga artists. Well, if it's true that she's currently trying out other genres as well, it's even true that she can do magic when it's about boys love. Kou Yoneda's art style is very simple, and yet very precise and neat. With her peculiar art style, which isn't “baroque” but very essential, she manages to express what she wants to convey.
Kou Yoneda is able to create characters who are well described in their inner beings. That's why readers have been able to relate and sympathize with basically each of her characters through years. She is amazing; she can talk about yakuza fellows, and then switch to high school students, and then again switch to clumsy grown up men, and still create masterpieces regardless of what the topic is.
“Love” is the very cornerstone of her works, and it's expressed in a tender, painful and sometimes nostalgic way, because she can touch readers hearts with the daintiness of a little snowflake, and sometimes she can be ferocious and break readers hearts apart. Despite this, fear not, as Kou Yoneda is fond of “happy endings”, so she never gave readers unnecessary cruelty so far. For this ranking, we wanted to list down Kou Yoneda's most popular and loved works, to show you what a skilled manga artist she is. So stick with us until the end, and here we go!
6. Rainy Days, Yesterday
- Genre: Drama, School life, Slice of life, Shounen-ai
- Volumes: 4 chapters
- Published Date: June 2015 - ongoing
Let's get this ranking started with Rainy Days, Yesterday which is a story revolving around two high schoolers, Ume and Take. Their lives are completely on the opposite sides; Ume is introverted and these four chapters show that he probably had some family issues, while Take is very open and honest. They meet by chance in a coin laundry and Ume starts to open up to Take. The only problem is that Ume's cousin was in love with Take, and seeing Ume and Take's friendship develop, she comes in the middle.
This story was supposed to be set during a huge typhoon, and Ume and Take's love was supposed to bloom under the rain, as the title suggests. Yet, four chapters weren't enough for this to happen, and rumors have it that Kou Yoneda decided to drop this series. We wish that's not the case, as this series became popular instantly with Kou Yoneda's name as a guarantee. However, these four chapters are enjoyable and show how good she is at describing uncomfortable situations, without really exaggerating. As the premises are good for a love triangle, and a bit of drama and teenage angst, let's just wait and hope to see an epilogue. It's a short four-chapter trip, but it's worth it!
5. Op: Yoake Itaru no Iro no Nai Hibi (Op: The Colourless Days of Yoake Itaru)
- Genre: Drama, Mystery, Slice of life, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 2 chapters
- Published Date: June 2016 - ongoing
We mentioned it, right? That Kou Yoneda is trying to explore other genres aside from boys love. That's how Yoake Itaru was born. He is a 38-year-old man and an investigator. His side job is to be a confidential informer for an insurance agency. Yoake Itaru is charismatic and good looking – that's a given. Day after day he sees strange accidents happen and his job is to discover what actually lies behind what seems to be cover-ups for murders and suicides. Basically, Yoake Itaru takes on the cases that no one else wants to take, and his colourless days go on and on.
Sadly, very few is known about this seinen manga by Kou Yoneda. These first two chapters, though, immediately show Yoneda's touch. Yoake Itaru is a brave man who accepts everything exactly as it is, and he acts as if he's got nothing to lose. His charm is something else, we think those who liked Kou Yoneda so far, should totally give it a try. It's funny to see her art style on a manga which is not a boys love, but Kou Yoneda keeps the expectations up as always. Hoping to see a sequel to Yoake Itaru's adventures as soon as possible, we recommend this Kou Yoneda's new challenge!
- Genre: Drama, Yaoi
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: July 2008 - 2012
Kou Yoneda is very good at one-shots and short stories as well. In fact, this manga is a collection of non-related stories, revolving around three couples. The first one follows the title and depicts the dark business of a yakuza and the man negotiating with him. The second one is a tender high school love which starts with a misunderstanding – Kanjou Spectrum. And the third one – Reply – revolves around Takami Keigo, a skilled car salesman, and Seki an excellent mechanic of the same company.
Maybe pointless to mention, but these three couples are bound to entertain and touch you deeply. In the same volume, Kou Yoneda goes from a story that is funny and controversial, since it's a love between a yakuza without clan, and a policeman, to a tender high school first love, full of teenage angst. And then, for the conclusion, yet another wonderful story, complicated by inexplicable feelings blooming day by day, as a friendship turn into something else. Kou Yoneda, with her NightS, signed yet another wonderful masterpiece managing to shake our hearts badly!
3. Soredemo, Yasashii Koi wo Suru (Even So, I Will Love You Tenderly)
- Genre: Romance, Slice of life, Yaoi
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: October 2008 – October 2013
This manga is a spin-off/sequel of her popular series, Doushitemo Furetakunai. It revolves around Ryo Onoda, and Harumi Deguchi. Onoda and Deguchi are booze buddies, and Deguchi has a crush on Onoda for a long time now. Onoda, on the other side, has just had his heart broken with a one sided love – he fell in love with Shima, Doushitemo Furetakunai's protagonist. While booze friendship may turn into something else, Onoda accidentally keep on hurting Deguchi's feelings.
This story is exactly as its title suggest, very tender. Deguchi is an amazing character, he loves Onoda but he is not so pure to sacrifice his sexual life waiting for someone who doesn't even notice him. That is the exact moment when finally Onoda opens his eyes and starts to understand that he probably holds feelings for Deguchi. Kou Yoneda decided to give Onoda a happy ending, and we are overly thankful to her, as the story and the art style merge together to give birth to this funny, heart touching and yet lighthearted, wonderful story.
2.Doushitemo Furetakunai (No Touching at All)
- Genre: Drama, Yaoi
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: September 2008
Kou Yoneda's second position is her first manga. This was her first challenge, and we must say she did a great job out of it, showing immediately all the traits that will influence her following works: drama and psychological in-depth analysis. This story revolves around Shima, who had a horrible experience while working in the previous company, starting his job at a new company and meeting the open and cheerful Togawa.
It's a story about how past can condition and change people. Shima, at his previous company, had fallen in love with a guy who loved him back, but was married and unable to accept his being gay. If things could be worse, he falls in love with Togawa, who is straight and has a tragic past to deal with. Togawa, after his father and brother were turned to ashes in a fire accident, and his mother committed suicide while he was a teenage, has one dream: to build a happy family. Two impossible situations meet and the plans both of they had, are incontrovertibly transformed. It will take time, for Shima to admit that he loves Togawa, and for Togawa to give up his dream. But when their hearts will finally touch, love will explode in beautiful sparks.
What else can we say? This is probably one of the most touching of Kou Yoneda's story. It's sad, and yet funny, it's deep, and yet lighthearted. It has all what a good boys love manga should have, and that's why we recommend for you to read it!
1. Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai (Twittering Birds Never Fly.)
- Genre: Drama, Yaoi
- Volumes: 4
- Published Date: March 2008 - ongoing
Here we reached our first position! Talking about drama and psychological in-depths analysis, Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai is yet another perfect example of Kou Yoneda's brilliance, and without a doubt her biggest masterpiece. It revolves around Yashiro, a yakuza leader who only fell in love once, one-sidedly, during high school. Yashiro is depicted as an obscene man who loves to show people his perverted and sadomasochistic kinks. His carefree character is just a facade, as Yashiro's past is full of loneliness and abuses. He is a broken man who doesn't want to become attached to people. When Yashiro meets his new bodyguard, Doumeki Chikara, he's suddenly attracted to him, but there's a problem: Doumeki is impotent. As Yashiro's counterpart, Doumeki is quiet, clumsy, and silent. But his past is not less tragic than Yashiro's.
Basically, this is a story depicting a lonely man who finally starts to harbor feelings, in spite running away in fear, and a man who is reborn thanks to the fated meeting with Yashiro. Kou Yoneda managed to develop their relationship slowly, but surely, keeping a strong yakuza background. You can clearly see and understand what Yashiro fears, and how his brain works, and you can sympathize with Doumeki whose earnest love is in plain sight, without covers. We could probably define Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai as the peak of every single thing we appreciated from Kou Yoneda's past works. That's why it deserved our first position!
Our ranking came to an end, but we really need to point something out. There are two other stories we didn't mention: Ore ni Koishite Dousunda? (Why Are You In Love With Me?) and Yorubenaki Mono. We intentionally didn't mention them in the list, for some reasons. Ore ni Koishite Dousunda? is a boys love manga revolving around an uncle and a nephew. Kou Yoneda discontinued it herself from fourth chapter on, stating that it was turning out to be too “lame”. Yorubenaki Mono is a shounen-ai manga which either is on hiatus, or was dropped from third chapter on. Even though they're stories that will probably never see a sequel, not to mention an epilogue, please give them a try as they both start with good premises!
We really hope you enjoyed this ranking as much as we did while writing it. Please, don't forget to share your thoughts below! Let us know what you think!