-- The Creator -----------------------
Behind the depths of this amazingly addictive plot with a realistic and intelligent heroine and four compelling male leading characters, is none other than the all-must-hail mangaka, Kamio-sensei. A Hana Yori Dango site would not be complete without at least a tribute to the wonderful creator of our beloved manga series- so below, you can find various tidbits about her as well as some pictures for you to enjoy.
Name: Kamio Yoko
Birthday: June 29, 19??
Favorite Pets: Cats
Favorite Foods: Tea, Japanese, and Indian Food
Most Auspicious Place: Graveyard in Paris
Likes: Wrestling, jazz music, computers, and good-looking men
Family: Has talked about father and older sister....
Dreams about: Doumyouji Tsukasa (Don't we all ^_-)
Manga Works: Suki Suki Daisuki (1 Volume), Ano Hi ni Aitai (1 Volume), Meri-san no Hijitsu (5 Volumes), Hana Yori Dango (36 Volumes), Cat Street (currently ongoing)
Kamio Yoko readily admits that she had no intention of becoming a professional manga artist when she was young. Kamio-sensei originally went to secretarial school but her love of drawing soon led her astray. She then eventually entered the professional mangaka field in 1989. Within the following years, Kamio-sensei published Suki Suki Daisuki, Ano Hi ni Aitai, and Meri-san no Hijitsu through Margaret Comics before she finally created Hana Yori Dango in 1992.
The Hana Yori Dango manga became established relatively quickly in Japan. Many people commended Kamio-sensei for her realistic portrayal of high school life and everyday violence through the Hana Yori Dango series. Although Kamio Yoko was initially surprised by the confessions of high school violence stated in fan letters, she realized that Tsukushi's fiery character served as a role model for much of Japan's youth and helped others cope with school violence. Kamio Yoko watched as the success of Hana Yori Dango's 1992 debut followed through with many more months on the best-sellers list. Voice CDs by SMAP and a Live Action movie about Hanadan charted the series success in the mid-1990s. By 1995, an animated series for Hana Yori Dango was already in progress and Kamio-sensei had also helped pick main leads for the anime show.
Hana Yori Dango ran in the Japanese Margaret magazine as well as the Korean Wink magazine. The series has also been published in Japanese, Chinese, Cantonese, Thai, Korean, and English. The anime series has been broadcasted in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, and has also been licensed and released in the United States. Additionally, it was also recreated in a Gameboy Color Game during the Summer of 2001. With its ever-increasing popularity, HYD was then made into a popular live action TV series in Taiwan titled "Meteor Garden." The manga series finally ended in Margaret's August 2003 issue, and the 36th tankoubon which included the Akira special "Night of the Crescent Moon" was released in January 2004 as the manga's final volume.
Despite Hana Yori Dango's success, Kamio-sensei had originally planned to end the series by Spring 2000. However, in February 2000, a mangaka conference was held in Taipei, Taiwan where Kamio Yoko announced that she would continue writing Hana Yori Dango. At one point, she got so wrapped up in the Hana Yori Dango storyline, that she confessed to having dreams about Doumyouji. Of course, she said that "Falling in love with a character that I created is just disgusting..." But ah, in Doumyouji's case, who can blame her? ^_^;;
After Hana Yori Dango
Although Hana Yori Dango has ended, it doesn't mean we've seen the last of Kamio-sensei! She has since gone on to her next project, Cat Street. It's another shoujo drama/romance- published by Shueisha and serialized in Monthly Bessatsu Margaret (Betsuma), with the first manga tankoubon volume released in April 25, 2005. As of the last update, the manga has released its 4th volume in March 24, 2006.
In brief, the story revolves around a former famous child actress, Keito Aoyama, who had retired early on due to a traumatic experience- which ultimately also made her withdraw from others and the society. Now, at the age of 16, she passes day by day in boredom and without purpose...until one day, she comes across a stranger who takes her to a school called El Liston. El Liston happens to be a free high school for people like her- those who don't really belong anywhere. Keito eventually enrolls into the school, and her life begins to change as she becomes friends with her classmates- Kouichi, Rei, and Momiji. Through them, she begins to open up again...and here begins her journey to finding her way...to love, maybe? ;p
If you're a fan of Kamio-sensei, you just might want to give her new manga a try! :)
c/o Margaret Publications
JAPAN 101 8050
And finally, here are two more pretty pictures of Kamio-sensei. ^_^