As stated on the artist’s Twitter account by their publishers, boy’s love manga artist coco passed away on January 15th, this year. Their death was kept secret and the funeral held privately for friends and family, before finally giving a public report earlier this week. The exact details around the artist’s death are unknown at the time of writing.
Coco was a fairly new boy’s love author who had been releasing their work on Pixiv Comics and had published physical titles in Japan through numerous imprints. Their debut story, Kyō no Hayakawa-san, was published between 2007 and 2019, spanning over four volumes. Although coco was noted for their boy’s love manga, Kyō no Hayakawa-san was the exception. The series was a 4-panel anthology telling the daily life of a nerdy girl obsessed with science fiction novels and her bizarre group of friends.
Their second story, Yuzukuro, was published in October 2016 by MIKE + comics. The story revolved around high school classmates named Saoru and Yuzuhiko who reunited years after graduation when they inherit their family’s respective businesses. Saoru inherits his family’s traditional Japanese inn while Yuzuhiko takes over his family’s pottery shop. Stuck in their hometown, they begin to rekindle their friendship, and love starts to blossom.
あとがきにちっさくBOTSUった方の表紙のっけたら友達がカラーで見たいと言ってくれたので( ・∀・)塗りは未完成だけど pic.twitter.com/k6Q8PgOygW
— coco＠「エリート捜査官のふらちなあやまち」連載中 (@_v_coco_v_) October 18, 2016
Norainu no Inu was published by East Press via their Splush label in December 2018. The story followed a spy hacker who gains the company of a mysterious stranger with an addictive scent. Intoxicated, the two characters’ story unfolds to be one about seduction, lies, and the line of duty.
In 2019, the follow-up, Elite Sōsakan no Furachi na Ayamachi, continued on the secret agent and federal crime themes of Norainu no Inu, but with different characters and scenarios. The story follows a duo consisting of an FBI agent (Kai) and a police officer (Fred). When Kai begins investigating a series of bombings in the city, he enlists the help of Fred as he goes undercover in numerous gay bars. While doing so, he requests Fred poses as his lover. This would unknowingly be coco’s final work, left unfinished with only three chapters published.
In 2020, coco was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment.
Coco’s last few tweets were nothing out of the ordinary and showed that they were hopeful. They had confirmed that their road to recovery was the cause of delays on Elite Sōsakan no Furachi na Ayamachi. Their final words on social media were that they were looking forward to getting to see the new Gintama and Neon Genesis Evangelion films. With only the former having been released prior to their death, I hope coco at least got to see it before it was too late.
— coco＠「エリート捜査官のふらちなあやまち」連載中 (@_v_coco_v_) January 7, 2021
Splush made a statement on the imprint’s blog, stating that they were deeply saddened about coco’s passing. The editing department noted that coco had a tremendous talent for storytelling, always paid attention to finer details, and had overwhelming illustration skills. Splush concluded with the thought that coco had died too soon, and thanked coco’s fans for their support until the end.
In shock over coco’s death, fans have left their concerns and prayers for coco on their Twitter profile, as well as in the review sections of their comics on publisher’s webshops.
Coco-sensei, may you rest in peace.
— coco＠「エリート捜査官のふらちなあやまち」連載中 (@_v_coco_v_) June 2, 2019