ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, TokyoPop, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 2000, Los Angeles, CA 90036-5020.
CAREER: Illustrator and writer.
Ai Yori Aoshi (graphic novel; title means "True Blue Love"), Hakusensha (Tokyo, Japan), 1999, translated and published in several volumes, Tokyopop (Los Angeles, CA), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Kou Fumizuki wrote the multi-part graphic novel Ai Yori Aoshi, which is Japanese for "True Blue Love." Published in several volumes in the United States, the novel is a love story about Kaoru Hanabishi and Aoi Sakuraba, who were betrothed to each other as children but have never met. Kaoru accidentally meets Aoi in a train station and learns that she has run away from home and hopes to fulfill her marriage obligations much earlier than expected by the family. As they begin their life together in advance of marriage, Aoi dedicates herself to Kaoru's happiness. Things go awry, however, because Kaoru has disconnected himself from his prestigious family; now Aoi's mother decides that the marriage agreement is no longer suitable. By volume two, however, Aoi's family accepts Kaoru, and the couple's new worry is to avoid a scandal as they are living together under the guise of tenant and landlady.
In a review of volume one of Ai Yori Aoshi, a Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "Fumizuki has a real fondness for the whole cast—if the artwork is a little on the generic-manga side, the depth of characterization fleshes out Kaoru and Aoi considerably." Steve Raiteri, writing in Library Journal, noted that the second volume has a "lighter tone [than] its predecessor."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kliatt, September, 2004, George Galuschak, review of Ai Yori Aoshi, Volume 1, p. 34.
Library Journal, July, 2004, Steve Raiteri, review of Ai Yori Aoshi, Volume 2, p. 61.
Publishers Weekly, April 5, 2004, review of Ai Yori Aoshi, Volume 1, p. 43.