Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1 // Japanese Comic Review

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk! In this post, we’re going to talk about Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1.

Twittering Birds Never Fly (or Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai) is a Japanese comic or manga under the genre of Yaoi (Boys’ Love/Gay Romance) and is written by Kou Yoneda.

The official premise goes:

Yashiro is the young leader of Shinseikai and the president of the Shinsei Enterpirse, but like so many powerful men, he leads a double life as a deviant and masochist.

Chikara Doumeki comes to work as a bodyguard for him and, although Yahiro had decided that he would never lay a hand on his own men, he finds there’s something about Doumeki that he can’t resist.

Yashiro makes advances toward Doumeki, but Doumeki has mysterious reasons for denying. Yashiro, who abuses his power just to abuse himself, and Doumeki, who faithfully obeys his every command, begin the tumultuous affair of two men with songs in their hearts but no wings to fly.

My Thoughts Before Reading

I’ve read this Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1 before. In fact, I’m up-to-date on the story through the scanlations. That said, I bought the physical copy of volume 1 at BishounenCon, so this gives me an opportunity to start from the beginning again with a professional translation.

In addition, I’ve never really loved the story. I’ve liked it enough to keep reading, but I’ve never been invested in the characters enough to really care about them. We’ll see if that’ll change in this second reading or if I’ll understand why I’m not connecting to it.

This is Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1.

*Warning: This post is tagged as NSFW because of several sex scenes in the comic.

Where to Buy:

Juné Manga’s Website

The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):

Don’t Stay Gold & The Extra Chapter

The story starts with a side-pairing. I don’t remember if the situation was that Kou Yoneda created this story with a different couple and then was like, “Maybe I should make a story with the Yashiro character,” or if she (I’m assuming the author is a she) had planned it that this story of Yashiro and Doumeki would start with the side-pairing from the get go.

As for this couple, I like qualities of them and their story, but I don’t really care for them.

I really like Kou Yoneda’s art style, she draws really cool and attractive looking scenery and characters. I also like the idea of these two characters being forced upon each other and building attraction and love from there.

But again, this story doesn’t keep me. This isn’t a story that has panels that I need to re-read twice because they got a certain reaction out of me. This isn’t a chapter that I will need to re-read again. In fact, if this was my last time reading it I would be perfectly fine with that.

In fact, I liked the Kageyama in high school better as he was a foil for young Yashiro. He really sparked a lot of introspection out of Yashiro, which was nice. Also, young Kageyama and old Kageyama are two totally different people.

Art & Sex

Again, I really love the design of the characters. The strong, serious, and statuesque features make the characters look bold and striking.

I will note that Yashiro looks different in Don’t Stay Gold and the rest of the main story. He seemed smaller and more rounded out and now he’s thinner and more dynamic looking. Perhaps when he got upgraded from a side character to a leading man the author decided to give him more of a leading man’s look.

Also, I honestly don’t remember there being this much sex in this story. Perhaps the story starts hot in this volume and then the emotions come in with future volumes. From there things cool down to give room for the angst and love. Or, perhaps I just have a bad memory.

The Main Characters

While the story is still not a sensation to me (and certainly doesn’t get as much of a reaction from me as Lost in the Snow did), Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1 was an entertaining read. Perhaps the fact that I had a big chunk to read and not one chapter every few months added to that experience.

Part of me thinks the story is interesting because Doumeki is so stoic. I think Yashiro feels the same way. Watching the two is like watching a piece of stone being chiseled away at. The question is, who’s the stone and who’s doing the chiseling?

Going with that, I like the combination of the two personalities. You can say what you want about how it works in the real life, but having two people with opposite personalities makes for an interesting read and watch. That’s the whole point of buddy cop/partner movies.

Having Doumeki be this strong but silent, but at the same time, earnest and truthful character makes him a great offset for the charismatic yet guarded Yashiro.

And, the two seem to have found a quick connection. Laying in bed together after just a few weeks of knowing each other? I guess Yashiro’s abrasive personality and the passive (at least to Yashiro) Doumeki created this easy physical bond between them.

The Topic of Rape

Besides the main couple, I think what’s really noteworthy of Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1 is the storyline with the sister. The topic of parental rape is a conversation the doesn’t get talked about a lot.

When these situations happen they’re often ignored or silenced like the situation expressed in the manga. So, artists like Kou Yoneda who use their art to talk about these issues are doing brave things. (Brave things that shouldn’t be brave but just everyday acts. Maybe in the future).

As for in the actual story, I appreciate the craftsmanship of folding this storyline into Doumeki’s “origin story.”

There’s a lot going on with the dude. He has regrets towards the sister’s rape and how his neglect of her enabled the situation. Doumeki accidentally became a yakuza member. He’s impotent, and he’s attracted to Yashiro. All of that makes him such a dynamic character.

As for Yashiro’s part in it all, having him connect with the sister by expressing his own history of rape was a nice touch.

Yaoi manga so often adds to rape culture, so it’s refreshing to have a story that actually addresses rape not only in a negative light but also expresses realistic after effects of it.

In Conclusion

I had a good time reading this comic. It was serious yet it had its funny moments. It was certainly sexy with a sex-addict as it’s lead, and it has glimpses of hope and love dispersed within all the angst.

Damn, now I’m gonna have to buy the next one.

My rating for Twittering Birds Never Fly Volume 1 is 5 stars out of 5. What’s Yours?

Extra Thoughts

  • What were the background images in the last two pictures? They didn’t seem to belong to pages in the first volume. Are they from future chapters?
  • I love the Misumi character. A doting father figure-like gang boss? Yes please.
  • I feel bad for Yashiro. He really loved Kageyama, and Kageyama never even considered it.
  • Seriously, I don’t remember there being all this sex lol.