Top 10 Yaoi Mangaka

INTRODUCTION

In the beginning, yaoi manga artists didn't have to focus on a plot for their stories, but they had to simply depict some boy-on-boy action, as yaoi was like a hentai branch directed toward a female audience. As years passed by, and the word “yaoi” lost its true meaning – “no climax, no meaning, no fall” in Japanese – this genre became what today is referred to as “boys love”. So what was merely hentai, gradually became a brand-new genre full of love and good vibes. Yaoi/BL genre boasts a big range of very good manga artists, and some of them tested themselves with other genres as well. This list is meant to talk about ten among the best yaoi mangaka who managed to create the most wonderful yaoi stories. That's why we decided to mention those who are “old but gold”, and the most recent ones, as well – those who managed to gain popularity from their first appearance in magazines. Stick with us until the end to discover who they are!

10. Zariya Ranmaru

Let's get this ranking started with a rising star. Zariya Ranmaru opened her own path in the yaoi universe with some doujinshi. She gained popularity instantly, thanks to her amazing art style; she sticks perfectly to human bodies proportions, and her characters are the hottest. The very cornerstone of her works is all the smut and bondage she is able to turn into something somewhat romantic, even when it doesn't look like it. So far, Zariya Ranmaru's masterpiece is VOID. Since she is a rising star in this genre, of course we expect more from her, but we think VOID is difficult to surpass. It contains a mix of tragedy, psychological in-depth examination, sci-fi elements as one of the protagonist is a humanoid, and then drama, smut, and all what we love about Zariya Ranmaru.

Maybe it was too soon to depict Zariya Ranmaru as one of the best yaoi manga artists out there, but with her latest manga – Coyote – she's proving us right. Her stories are full of love, passion, and drama, so much so that the readers can easily relate with the characters, and of course, her way of depicting spicy scenes is really something else. What else can we say about Zariya Ranmaru? We are positive she will meet our expectations!


9. Junko

Let's go on and if we talked about Zariya Ranmaru who is into bondage, now it's time to lighten the atmosphere with Junko's fluffy stories! Junko is fluffy and cute from her stories to her art style. Even though she hasn't been doing yaoi manga for years now, we needed to mention her as she is unforgettable in the yaoi universe and all of her fans are still hoping she will be back again as a top yaoi mangaka.

Junko likes to draw cute characters who have, for example, a gap with their appearances; she likes to depict really – like, REALLY – sweet stories and it goes without saying that she gives her readers happy endings as if it's raining. Even though drama is not her favorite, she tested herself with “Kasa no Shita, Futari”, which is a torrid love story. We must admit she proved herself to be good with drama as well. While waiting for Junko to return in the yaoi scene with yet another cute story, we recommend you to give Junko a chance!


8. Kou Yoneda

It's time to talk about one of the most popular and loved yaoi manga artists. Kou Yoneda was a slow starter, as she tested herself with a lot of doujinshi. When she debuted with her first original manga – “Doushitemo Furetakunai” – she immediately gained a lot of popularity and now she is one of the most appreciated yaoi mangaka. Kou Yoneda's art style is very neat, precise and yet simple. She likes to describe her characters in their inner-beings, and loves to make them struggle very much before giving them a happy ending.

Kou Yoneda is very skillful as she can switch from stories about yakuza, to stories full of teenage angst. Her biggest masterpiece, so far, is “Twittering birds never fly”. In this manga, Kou Yoneda showed all of her good points; she created a detailed yakuza background, described two protagonists in their innermost thoughts, made her readers' hearts skip beats with a lot of scenes, from the saddest to the most spicy ones. She is definitely one of the best!


7. SHOOWA

Let's go on with Shoowa, a yaoi manga artist with a lot of peculiarities making her one of the greatest in the genre. Let's begin with her art style, which is probably what catches the eye the most. Shoowa's art style is rough, but still amazingly good; watching her drawings is like staring at a painting full of skillful brush strokes. While her art style is amazing, Shoowa has the power to put in all of her stories an equal amount of comedy, drama, sex, and sadness.

Shoowa's characters are mostly complicated fellows who harbor hidden feelings toward someone. That's probably the cornerstone of her works; she makes her characters struggle, but at the same time, she wisely put gags, or funny scenes to soften the atmosphere. It results in stories that are objectively sad, but that won't make the readers sad. With the power of humor and a unique art style, Shoowa is another queen of the yaoi genre as a yaoi mangaka!


6. Scarlet Beriko

Scarlet Beriko is a yaoi mangaka who started with shoujo-ai genre and then switched to yaoi. We must say that her great potential was clear from the beginning, but she blossomed immediately when she created her first yaoi manga. Scarlet Beriko's art style is amazing, it is detailed, and absolutely awesome. “Amefurashi” was her springboard, but her masterpiece came later with “Minori no Te”, and from that onward she gave the readers one masterpiece after another.

Scarlet Beriko likes to depict the seme character with an uke attitude, and vice versa. In her stories, except from one or two characters, the seme usually acts all wimpy and insecure, while the uke is determined and strong. Together with this peculiarity, she writes stories that are tender and very troubling at the same time. Her characters have a long way until the happy ending. Reading one of her stories is like climbing a mountain of feels, and so far she has never failed. Even though she is a rising star, we can safely say she is one of the best yaoi manga artist nowadays!


5. Yonezou Nekota

Let's go on with a veteran of yaoi genre, a popular manga artist who keeps up the expectations whatever she does! Yonezou Nekota tried with shoujo, did a lot of yaoi doujinshi, tested herself with shounen-ai, but established herself with yaoi manga. Her biggest masterpieces are probably “Delusion Elektel” and “Hidoku Shinaide”, but she actually did a very good job with all the other yaoi manga she created as a yaoi mangaka!

Yonezou Nekota's art style is amazingly good; it's full of details, and very neat and precise. Her strong point is the abundance of specifics she likes to draw, for example, during spicy scenes. In her stories, she likes to depict a seme who is usually a tease, and an uke who is usually insecure. However, she proved to be skillful even by changing the order and by being a bit non-conventional. She's just good at it, and that's why she's one of the best yaoi manga artists out there!


4. Isaku Natsume

What about another skilled veteran? Isaku Natsume, just like Yonezou Nekota, had done a lot of doujinshi, tried with shoujo and shounen-ai, but then went back to square one with what she can do better, yaoi manga. Her stories are all witty, with well-described characters and a little bit of drama easily overcome. Isaku Natsume's art style is very simple and neat, but still aesthetically very appealing.

Her peculiarity as a yaoi mangaka is the way she manages to depict her protagonists and their relationships; she's never schmaltzy, or overly focused on the skinship between the two characters; on the contrary, she sets a very strong background and, almost playing second fiddle, there's a love story. As she puts all her humor in her stories, all of them are too good to read; she is gifted with the ability of making readers laugh and so she deserved to be mentioned!


3. Tanaka Ogeretsu

Our 3rd position is yet another rising star, a very young one! She drew attention with a lot of Kuroko's Basketball's doujinshi and from there, the step to gain huge popularity was very, very small. Despite her young age, Tanaka Ogeretsu's art style is really something else; it's detailed, precise, and her characters are always super fashionable. In barely three years she cranked out masterpieces of the caliber of “Sabita Yoru Demo Koi wa Sasayaku” and “Renai Rubi no Tadashii Furikata”, its spinoff.

Tanaka Ogeretsu has a talent as a yaoi mangaka at keeping the readers on the edge of their seats. That's probably her strongest point; her stories are full of love, it's true, but before the tender part, the readers have to go through a lot of hardships and events leaving them with bated breath. With Tanaka Ogeretsu two things are guaranteed: the first is that readers will be thrown into a tornado of emotions; and the second is that she will make sure to make everyone happy, her characters and her readers, equally. In spite her young age, she is, without a doubt, a little yaoi queen!


2. Youka Nitta

After a younger yaoi mangaka and queen of yaoi, let's go back to our beloved veterans! Our 2nd position had to be Youka Nitta. She is like a milestone in the yaoi universe, and that's no wonder seeing how she is skilled and good at it. Her first yaoi manga – “Groupie” – dates back to 1995 and she is one of the few yaoi manga artists who is loved by both straight women and gay men. Youka Nitta's art style has always been good, but during the years it experienced a clear improvement and now it is simply astonishing, full of details and neat.

Youka Nitta has some strong points, like for example her tendency to create older uke. She is appreciated by both males and females, probably thanks to the fact that her stories mirror the daily life, with a realistic background. She is one of the few yaoi manga artist who created reversible homosexual couples, so uke and seme frequently switch places. Youka Nitta is fond of happy endings, intense erotic moments, and even some idiotic character to soften the atmosphere. She's amazingly good at describing the characters relationships, and never fails to amaze the readers.


1. Kotetsuko Yamamoto

Our first position goes to another veteran who managed to gain a place in the readers' hearts. Kotetsuko Yamamoto is actually the best yaoi mangaka out there. Her simplicity is what makes her the queen of the cutest and most fluffy love stories of this genre. She tested herself with other genres, as well, like shoujo and josei, but with yaoi she creates masterpieces. Kotetsuko Yamamoto's art style is simply adorable, she draws cute characters with a peculiar trait which is simply unique. She can talk about yakuza, about sport, or even about priests, and yet she manages to draw attention whatever the subject.

She can create witty stories that are full of the funniest gags, and since she loves happy endings, she never fails to give the readers the loveliest ones. Kotetsuko Yamamoto never depicts cruelty, nor violence; if she creates a deeper story, she makes sure to turn the table for her characters at the end. She is guarantee of good times and laughter, as she can perfectly mix comedy, drama and spicy scenes; plus, she creates some idiotic characters that usually turn out to be some real cutie pies. It's not a stretch to say that she is, so far, the best yaoi manga artist out there, as she can boast one masterpiece after another, many doujinshi and some attempts with other genres as well, never disappointing her fans!


Final Thoughts

These ten yaoi mangaka are the most loved ones by the fandom. As you could see, this is a list containing some of the most recent rising stars, and some veterans. All of them have in common their skills at entertaining their readers by creating amazing stories, with awesome art styles. Yaoi universe is full of manga artists who would deserve a mention; in fact, it's been hard for us to exclude, for example, Rihito Takarai, Reibun Ike, Aya Sakyou... but since we had to choose, we preferred these ten. We hope you all found this list useful somehow! And let us know what you think in the comments below.

Mari Mari

Writer

Author: Mari Mari

An italian girl currently living the Japanese Dream. I'm an anime and manga enthusiast (I mean... very enthusiast. XD), and my other hobbies are writing, reading, playing volleyball, listening to good music and thinking about pointless things.

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