|Born||March 7, 1967|
Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
|Notable works||Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai, Neighborhood Story, Paradise Kiss, Nana|
Ai Yazawa (矢沢あい Yazawa Ai, born March 7, 1967) is a Japanese manga author. Her pen name comes from Japanese singer Eikichi Yazawa, of whom she is a fan. While most of Yazawa's manga is published in Japan by Shueisha, publishers of Ribon and Cookie (Nana was serialized in the latter), series like Paradise Kiss have appeared in non-Shueisha magazines such as Zipper, published by Shodensha.
Yazawa's most famous manga include Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai, Neighborhood Story, Paradise Kiss, and Nana. All five volumes of Paradise Kiss were released in English by Vertical, Inc. Nana ran in now-defunct American manga magazine Shojo Beat. In 2003, Yazawa was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for Nana. Nana was made into an anime (produced by Madhouse) and a successful movie with a sequel in Japan.
In June 2009, it was revealed that Yazawa had contracted a sudden illness, and had to be sent to hospital for treatment, putting Nana on hiatus. She returned from the hospital in April 2010, although has yet to reveal when or if she will be continuing Nana.
Yazawa's storylines are generally centered on young women and their relationships. The characters are always very stylish, and she is known especially for her hip sense of fashion. Yazawa herself attended a fashion school after high school but did not complete her studies there. Another key point is her often rebellious characters, who tend to be juxtaposed against the more traditional ones.
- Ano Natsu (1985)
- 15-nenme (1986)
- Love Letter (1987)
- Kaze ni Nare! (1988)
- Escape (1988)
- Ballad Made Soba ni Ite (1989) – 2 volumes
- Marine Blue no Kaze ni Dakarete (1990–1991) – 4 volumes
- Usubeni no Arashi (1992)
- Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai (1992–1995) – 8 volumes
- Neighborhood Story (1995–1998) – 7 volumes
- Kagen no Tsuki (1998–1999) – 3 volumes
- Paradise Kiss (2000–2004) – 5 volumes published by Shodensha
- Nana (2000–2009) – 21 volumes (hiatus)
- "祥伝社の出版物". shodensha.co.jp. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- 小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
- "Nana's Ai Yazawa Puts Manga on Hold Due to Illness". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "Nana Manga Creator Ai Yazawa Returns from Hospital". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- McNeill, David (September 3, 2005). "Cartoon friends strike a blow for Japanese women". The Independent. London. Retrieved September 3, 2005.