Renowned manga creator Hisaya Nakajo, born on September 12, 1973, in Osaka, Japan, passed away on October 12 at the age of 50 due to a heart condition. Nakajo’s remarkable career began in 1993 when she clinched the Hakusensha Athena Newcomers’ Awards for her manga “Manatsu no Hanzaisha”. This early success paved the way for her first major serialization, “Heart no Kajitsu”, which debuted in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume magazine in 1994.
However, it was in 1996 that Nakajo truly left her mark on the manga world with the launch of “Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e” (commonly known as “Hana-Kimi”). This beloved series ran from 1996 to 2004 in Hana to Yume.
The story’s popularity led to adaptations, including a 2007 live-action television series and a subsequent series in 2011, featuring AKB48 idol group member Atsuko Maeda. Beyond Japan, the manga inspired versions in South Korea and Taiwan.
In 2011, Nakajo delighted fans with a short continuation of “Hana-Kimi”, and in 2014, she released a special chapter. Her final addition to the series, “Himitsu – Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e After School”, made its debut in 2021. Viz Media also played a part in sharing Nakajo’s work with North American audiences by publishing the “Hana-Kimi” manga.
The passing of Hisaya Nakajo marks the end of an era for manga enthusiasts worldwide. Her contributions to the industry, particularly through the iconic “Hana-Kimi”, will forever hold a special place in the hearts of fans everywhere. Nakajo’s legacy is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in manga and its ability to touch the lives of readers across generations.
Sources: Anime News Network