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Aoi Honō Manga Ends '1st Part,' Starts 2nd Part in January

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Fictionalized account of college life with Gainax founders

The November issue of Shogakukan's Gessan (Monthly Shonen Sunday) magazine published the final chapter of the "first part" of Kazuhiko Shimamoto's Aoi Honō (Blue Blazes) manga on Monday. The manga will continue with its "second part" in the magazine's February issue in January.

The coming-of-age drama is a fictionalized account of Shimamoto's own college years in the early 1980s. The manga centers on Moyuru Honō, a first-year student in a certain major university of the fine arts in Osaka. Full of passion and ambition, he vows to become a manga creator while also being interested in becoming an animator. The manga is notable for the inclusion of fictionalized versions of some of the founding members of anime studio Gainax — including Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, and Takami Akai — as Shimamoto went to college with them in the Osaka University of Arts. (Gainax went on to make an original video anime of Shimamoto's Honō no Tenkōsei manga.)

Shimamoto launched the manga in Shogakukan's Weekly Young Sunday magazine from 2007 until the magazine's closure in 2008. It then ran in the spinoff publication Spirits Zokan YS Special before moving to its new home, Gessan (Monthly Shonen Sunday). Shogakukan published the 23rd compiled book volume on June 12. The Japanese government's Ministry of Cultural Affairs named the Manga ONE of the Jury Recommended Works in the Story Manga division in the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 2009. The manga was also nominated for the third Manga Taisho awards in the following year.

The manga inspired a live-action television series adaptation in 2014.

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

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