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Manga / Twittering Birds Never Fly

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Twittering Birds Never Fly (Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai / 囀る鳥は羽ばたかない) is a Yaoi Genre manga created by Yoneda Kou. It is a sequel to both Don't Stay Gold and Tadayoedo Shizumazu, Saredo Naki mo Sezu , two one-shots that focus on what brought about the Yakuza setting of the story.

The story follows the developing relationship between Yashiro, an infamous yakuza known for his extreme levels of promiscuity and masochism, and Doumeki, his impotent and stoic bodyguard.

Yashiro is a former street rat that climbed up the ladder of the organization, embroiled in the usual power struggles of the ruthless Yakuza society, while Doumeki, a former cop, is trying to fit in and to come to terms with what he feels for his boss.

The manga began serialization in the Josei magazine ihr HertZ in 2011, and is still ongoing. An anime film adaptation produced by Fuji Television's label, Blue Lynx was released on February 15, 2020.

This manga contains

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Yashiro was raped by his stepfather when he was ten. His mother either didn't notice or didn't care.
    • Doumeki's father regularly raped Doumeki's adopted sister for years.
    • Kuga's cigarette burns are from his now-institutionalized parents.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Doumeki began to ignore his little sister when he thought she had feelings for him, and failed to notice his father abusing her as a result.
  • Animal Motifs: Birds. There are birds on every chapter title page, and the title itself has been translated as Twittering Bird Never Fly.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Kageyama does run a legitimate clinic, but after hours he performs operations on wounded Yakuza that he's not always qualified to perform.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Though sex happens with frequency, there's almost no genitalia to be found.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ryuuzaki and Yashiro's usual dynamics. Ryuuzaki is nominally straight but, for a reason he himself can't really grasp, he's clearly head over heels in love with Yashiro and he hates it.
  • Berserk Button: Doumeki. Just the idea of Yashiro getting hurt triggers the stoic bodyguard into violence, to the misfortune of Inami and others.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Yashiro acts affably most of the time... however, being a member of the yakuza, he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.
  • Bodyguard Crush
  • Breakout Character: It all started with Don't Stay Gold, with Kageyama and Kuga as protagonists and Yashiro as a supporting character. After publishing Don't Stay Gold, Yoneda sensei felt that Yashiro must have had a history with Kageyama, thus started to explore deeper into this character.
  • Broken Bird: Both Doumeki and Yashiro, but especially Yashiro.
  • Captain Crash: Yashiro
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Doumeki gets so easily distracted in chapter 5 by Yashiro that he forgets his story.
    • Subverted: Doumeki actually discontinued his story on purpose then pretends to have forgotten it, as he finds his boss masturbating was too hot and wants him to stop.
    • Played straight in chapter 22, where Yashiro was taken by surprise by a fully naked Doumeki and was speechless for a moment.
  • Does Not Like Men: Despite Yashiro only sleeping with men he tells Doumeki in the first chapter he has never liked men, and only sleeps with them because he's a sadomasochist who can't get it up with women.
  • Double Entendre: Yashiro loves them, while Doumeki is usually a bit too slow to understand them.
  • Dull Surprise: This is how Yashiro reacts to being shot
    Yashiro: Well....That hurts.
    Perpetrator: Y...You're crazy!
  • Dumb Muscle: Doumeki who looks like the perfect Yakuza but is a bit too slow to be an effective one.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: A few of Yashiro's subordinates have expressed interest in him but Yashiro has a rule to never sleep with his subordinates and even goes as far as making them quit if they show too much interest in him.
  • Every One Is Bi: Doumeki, Kageyama, Ryuuzaki, and Misumi all have (presumably) had some actions with both sexes. Yashiro also identifies as Bi, however, his interest in women is not at all evident in the story.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Happened to Yashiro in high school, when two classmates saw him with an older man and decided to broadcast it in class the day after.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Yashiro and Doumeki first noticed each other years before the series begins, when Doumeki was still a cop, but the moment was so brief that they both forgot it.
  • Furo Scene: In chapter 3.
  • Gayngst: Throughout the story, it is implied that Yashiro is gay. Though not a full confirmation, several examples are listed throughout the story that indicates he is gay despite claiming he doesn't like men. It shows that he may be living in denial about his sexuality.
    • The first would be that despite having sex with women, it doesn't bring him any pleasure at all and knows that he will never fall in love with a woman.
    • Throughout most of the story, he has never shown any interest in women and mainly has sex with men.
    • Yashiro admits that he enjoys sex with men and not women. He says he doesn't like men as a means of proving to himself that he isn't attracted to men because of his stepfather raping him but he fully knows well that he enjoys sex with men.
  • Gayngster: This manga is all about Yakuza and Boys' Love.
  • Going Commando: Yashiro gets pissed enough to forget to wear underwear in chapter 5.
  • Hiding the Handicap: Yashiro. Hirata's assault leaves his right eye blind. He manages to hide this handicap from Nanahara and Sugimoto for four years.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Poor Nanahara.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Doumeki is shocked to realize he means something more to Yashiro than an amusing toy.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Yashiro for Doumeki, and to a certain extent both Kageyama and Doumeki for Yashiro.
  • Imagine Spot: Yashiro seems to have at least one per chapter where he's being gang raped.
  • Implausible Hair Color: Yashiro is a natural blond in a setting where most characters have black or brown hair.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: How Yashiro and Doumeki meet. Doumeki finds Yashiro having sex and assumes that he's being raped, so he pulls the guy off him, something which does not amuse Yashiro.
    • Coitus Uninterruptus: Later on, the manga shows Yashiro having sex with another guy while a stoic Doumeki watches on.
    • And then there was that time when Misumi could totally guess what Ryuuzaki and Yashiro was up to, but enters the room anyways. The aftermath was hilarious, in Ryuuzaki's expense.
    • Also in chapter 13 Yashiro and Doumeki themselves get this when one of Yashiro's subordinates barges in on Doumeki giving Yashiro a blow job.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yashiro wants people to believe him a sex-obsessed jerk, but he's a bit nicer than that. Also Ryuuzaki, who is not at all that gruff as he wants to seem.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: When Yashiro first kisses a sleeping Doumeki on the cheek, the reader is not permitted to see it until much later, in flashback.
  • Leg Focus: Doumeki admits that he has a thing for legs.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: See Dull Surprise above.
  • No Name Given: Most characters, including the protagonist Yashiro, are always referred to by their last name. Doumeki (brother and sister) and Kageyama are the only characters whose given name is revealed.
    • Last-Name Basis: Partially a result of the trope above, but it is not unnatural for adult men to only address each other by their last names in Japan. The only exception is at one point Kuga called Kageyama by his given name while flirting, which is something he doesn't do often.
  • Meaningful Name: Doumeki's first name is "Chikara", which is Japanese for "power".
  • Not Blood Related: Doumeki and his sister. His sister is in love with him, but he considers them to be Like Brother and Sister
  • Oblivious to Love: Kageyama. Both Doumeki and Kuga can sense Yashiro's unspoken love for him straight away, whereas Kageyama has considered Yashiro as just a friend for almost 20 years.
  • Only a Flesh Wound:
    • Doumeki gets shot in each leg by Yashiro (so he won't interfere with the latter's plan) but that doesn't do much to stop him.
    • Subverted by Yashiro who is left exhausted and in pain by the 'warning shots' fired on him for the whole storyline and whose right arm is left incapacitated for almost as long.
    • Hirata and Ryuuzaki stab each other, but the former is back on his feet in no time while the latter nearly dies.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Yashiro, when stopping to watch the sunrise at the harbor. Played With as Nanahara even calls him out on this.
    Nanahara: "Stop emoting into the sunrise! (...) Please stop doing things, that are out of character."
  • Opposites Attract: Doumeki and Yashiro, even though they gradually appear to be similar.
  • The Peeping Tom: Yashiro installs a hidden camera in Kageyama's room to catch him having sex with Kuga.
  • Point of No Return: Doumeki cuts off his little finger, and acknowledges that he'll never be able to leave the yakuza world.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: Yashiro was raped by his stepfather when he was young, possibly triggering his promiscuity which emerged as early as middle school and the development of his sado-masochistic sexual preferences.
  • Rape as Backstory: Both Yashiro and Doumeki's sister. The two carry on their lives in completely opposite manners.
  • Rape and Switch: Some of Yashiro's problems are most probably a result of his rape in the hands of his stepfather.
  • Secret Stab Wound: Ryuuzaki, thanks to Hirata. Luckily it's Only a Flesh Wound.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Yashiro is always in a suit, so is Doumeki but Yashiro looks better in one.
  • Shout-Out: Yashiro sings the OP of the The Rose of Versailles in the first chapter when he thinks about Kageyama and Kuga together.
  • Smoking Is Cool: There is so much smoking in this manga (and it looks so good), that one might fear to become a nicotine addict just by reading it.
  • Stepford Smiler: Yashiro is obviously disturbed but he hides his brokenness behind smiles and a somewhat cheerful facade.
  • Subordinate Excuse: The whole reason why Domeki even bothers with the antics of Yashiro.
  • The Stoic: Doumeki is almost always straight-faced, to the point that nobody really knows what he thinks or feel. But his inner monologues do prove that he's anything BUT emotionless.
    • Not So Stoic: When Yashiro tells Doumeki that he told his sister the cause of his impotence, Doumeki gets angry and almost hits Yashiro
    • Also Doumeki pretty much loses it when Yashiro is shot.
  • Shipper on Deck: Young Yashiro wonders out loud if the relationship between Misumi and Amou is truly platonic.
  • Subordinate Excuse: The whole reason that Doumeki stays with the Yakuza is to be closer to Yashiro.
  • There Are No Therapists: At least Doumeki would benefit from one since his problem is psychological.
  • Too Kinkyto Torture: Yashiro. Just...Yashiro.
    Yashiro: Awesome. Don't tease me like that.
  • Tsundere: Ryuuzaki, being more tsunsun than deredere. Misumi falls into this category as well though to a lesser extent and the other way around.
  • Unrequited Love: Yashiro was in love with Kageyama, one of the protagonists of Don't Stay Gold, since high school.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Doumeki and Yashiro are always tiptoeing around each other. But their respective broken personalities make for a quite difficult relationship, to the point that it's never sure that they will ever confess that they feel for each other.
  • Yakuza: The whole point of the story is to illustrate the ruthlessness of the Yakuza world and how a homosexual relationship wouldn't really fly in it, even for a higher-up.
  • Yubitsume: Doumeki cuts off his pinky finger in penance after leaving his post momentarily and letting Yashiro get shot.

Alternative Title(s): Saezuru Tori Wa Habatakanai