Ai Yazawa, born March 7, 1967 in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, is a Japanese shojo and josei manga author. Yazawa started her manga publishing life in 1985, and has written over 10 series for Ribon magazine. She studied in a fashion school but later dropped out, which is perhaps the most obvious influence on her work. Her pen name comes from Japanese singer Eikichi Yazawa, of whom she is a fan.
Many of her works have been adapted into other media. Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai was adapted into an OVA in 1994, and Gokinjo Monogatari, Paradise Kiss, and Nana into anime series in 1995, 2005, and 2006, respectively. In addition, Gokinjo Monogatari, Kagen no Tsuki, Nana, and Paradise Kiss have been adapted into live-action films, and Nana even received a sequel, Nana 2.
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 the Nana manga serialization.
Her works in chronological order:
- 15-nenme (1986)
- Love Letter (1987)
- Kaze ni Nare! (1988)
- Escape (1988)
- Ballad Made Soba ni Ite (1989)
- Marine Blue no Kaze ni Dakarete (1990)
- Usubeni no Arashi (1992)
- Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai (1992) (lit. I'm No Angel)
- Gokinjo Monogatari (1995) (lit. Neighborhood Story)
- Kagen no Tsuki (1998), (lit. Last Quarter of the Moon, licensed as Last Quarter)
- Paradise Kiss (2000)
- Nana (2000, currently on hiatus since 2009)
Tropes common across many of her works:
- Cameo: Characters often reappear or have an impact on later stories, such as Miwako being Mikako's sister and Mikako and Tsutomu being mentioned/appearing in Paradise Kiss, and Midori and Akira appearing at the street market in Gokinjo Monogatari.
- Dysfunction Junction
- The Fashionista
- Important Haircut: Happens to both Mikako in Gokinjo Monogatari and Yukari in Paradise Kiss.
- Medium Awareness
- No Fourth Wall
- Say It with Hearts