Yoko Kamio (
Kamio debuted as a manga artist in 1986 with a short story. She is best known for Boys Over Flowers (1992), which currently has a total of 61 million copies in circulation. She has published several series since, including Cat Street (2004), Matsuri Special (2008), Tora to Okami (2009), and Crown of Thorns (2013).
Early worksIn 1986, Kamio debuted in The Margaret (
1992 – 2007
Kamio began Boys Over Flowers in March 1992 in the magazine, Margaret. The series was a big hit in Japan, ending at thirty-six volumes in 2003. The series follows Tsukushi Makino, who stands up to a group of rich bullies called the F4. Kamio returned to the series with three short stories in Margaret during 2006 and 2008, which would lead to the release of the thirty-seventh volume. The series won the 41st Shogakukan Manga Award in the shojo category in 1996. Boys Over Flowers is also the best-selling shojo manga series in Japan having sold over 53 million copies. As of 2018, it is also one of the best-selling franchises in Japan. Boys Over Flowers enduring popularity is probably due to it being adapted into television dramas, including Meteor Garden (2001), Hana Yori Dango (2005), Boys Over Flowers (2009), and Meteor Garden (2018).She began her series, Cat Street in Bessatsu Margaret in August 2004. Kamio referred to Cat Street as a "serious manga." It follows a former child star, Keito Aoyama, as she adjusts to life again. The series ended in October 2007, after eight volumes. Kamio penned an additional chapter of the manga titled "It's Not the End of the World - Another Cat Street" in 2008 to commemorate the release of the television drama adaptation. The television drama aired on NHK and starred Mitsuki Tanimura as Keito and Ryo Katsuji as Koichi Mine.
2007 – 2014Kamio broke into the shōnen genre with her next series, Matsuri Special in Jump Square November 2007 issue. She drew a spin-off, "Matsuri Special SP" in Bessatsu Margaret, published on May 28, 2009. Matsuri Special ended in 2009 with four volumes. The series was also adapted into a vomic, short for "voice comic". They are similar to the popular audio dramas in Japan. The vomic starred Maaya Sakamoto as Matsuri and ended at four episodes in November 2008.
In November 2009, Kamio wrote a sixty-page one shot for Bessatsu Margaret. The one-shot was turned into a series titled Tora to Okami in February 2010. It depicts the life of a BL (Boys' Love) fanatic, Mii Torisawa. Tora to Okami ended in January 2012. Kamio published a one-shot, "Ringo Banana Gyunyu" (
2015 – present
She launched Boys Over Flowers Season 2, a sequel to Boys Over Flowers, on Shonen Jump+ on February 15, 2015. It is her only series to be published simultaneously in Japan and America. The series follows a new generation of Eitoku students, mainly Oto Edogawa and Haruto Kaguragi. It was adapted into a television drama starring Hana Sugisaki and Sho Hirano in 2018. The same year, she contributed a Boys Over Flowers story to Margaret's 2000th issue.
- Main article: Yoko Kamio bibliography
- Sayonara o Arigato (1989)
- Ano Hi ni Aitai (1989)
- Suki Suki Daisuki (1990)
- Mary-san no Hijitsu (1991-1992; 5 volumes)
- Boys Over Flowers (1992-2003; 36 volumes)
- Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box (June 2008)
- Cat Street (2004-2007; 8 volumes)
- Matsuri Special (2008-2009; 4 volumes)
- Tora to Okami (2009-2012; 6 volumes)
- Crown of Thorns (2013-2014; 2 volumes)
- Boys Over Flowers Season 2 (2015-present; 11 volumes)
- "Waiting Until 20" (Margaret No.19 - 1986)
- "End of the Century" (Margaret No.3-4 - January 1992)
- "Story of an Encounter" (Margaret No.19 - September 2000)
- "Night of the Crescent Moon" (Margaret No.1 - December 2003)
- France Story (Margaret No.15 - July 2006)
- "Shall I Talk About Myself? Part 1" (Margaret No.3-4 - January 2008)
- "Shall I Talk About Myself? Part 2" (Margaret No.5 - February 2008)
- "It's Not the End of the World - Another Cat Street" (Bessatsu Margaret - August 2008)
- "Matsuri Special SP" (Deluxe Margaret - July 2009)
- "Tora to Okami" (Bessatsu Margaret No.12 - December 2009)
- "Ringo Banana Gyunyu" (Margaret No.2 - December 2013)
Boys over Flowers related
- Kamio helped Mikio Satake develop and write the story of Hana Yori Dango Final. She also drew the illustration of Tsukushi and the F4 seen at the end of the film.
- In 2011, she drew Jun Matsumoto for a special issue of Asahi Shimbun, titled "Arashi Meets Manga".
- Kamio joined Twitter on December 29, 2015 and Instagram on March 17, 2018. She regularly posts news relating to Boys Over Flowers and new illustrations.
- Kamio drew illustrations of the F4 members for the Hana Yori Dango Café, which she had finished the day before the opening on October 8, 2015. She posted close-ups of the illustrations on Twitter.
- Yoko Kamio went to see the Hana Yori Dango musical five times. First on opening night, followed by a second time to present special illustrations to the actors playing Tsukushi and the F4. On the third time, she drew an illustration of the Lilies and posted it online. She also saw the musical in Nagoya, and Osaka.
- Kamio also drew an illustration celebrating the musical that was placed in the lobby of the venue, Theatre Creation in Tokyo during the musical's run. She also gifted several illustrations to cast members, including Ririka Kato and Nami Tamaki.
- She saw two performances of the Korean musical Boys Over Flowers on the first and third day.
- Kamio went to an autograph session in Barcelona, Spain in November 2017, where she did a live drawing of Tsukushi and Tsukasa. She also gifted an illustration to the publisher, Planeta Cómic.
- During her visit to China in November 2018, Kamio gifted special illustrations to Dylan Wang, Caesar Wu, and Shen Yue from Meteor Garden (2018).
- She provided many of the illustrations and manuscripts displayed at the My Margaret exhibition.
- Maki Minami, author of S · A: Special A, worked as Kamio's assistant for four years. In volume ten of Minami's Voice Over! Seiyu Academy, Kamio drew a bonus page and stated that "[Minami] was a super assistant – always stylish and good at work." She visited the Hana Yori Dango Café with Minami in January 2016.
- She is good friends with Yuki Yukie, who worked as an art director on the Boys Over Flowers anime. They were also both interviewed for the book,Time Slip! Toei Animation 80s-90s Girls.
- Yoko Kamio has visited France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Hawaii, Germany, Taiwan, New York City, and South Korea. Many of the trips were research for or relating to Boys Over Flowers.
Hobbies and interests
- Kamio is a fan of cats. She had a male cat, named Ken, that had forgotten her, when she moved out of her parents' home. Kamio later adopted two male cats named, Tora and Ryu. Kamio still keeps cats as pets, and adopted two in 2015.
- Kamio is a long-time fan of professional wrestling, and has seen All Japan champ Mitsuharu Misawa fight at the Tokyo Dome. She expressed this admiration in her series Matsuri Special, which is about a girl working as the masked wrestler, "Honey Princess".
- She is a fan of the pop music acts, Pink Lady, Linda Yamamoto, and Finger 5. Her other musical interests include Kenji Ozawa, Ulfuls, Tamio Okuda, Unicorn, and X4.
- Kamio is a fan of the comedy duo Downtown, particularly Hitoshi Matsumoto, who she referred to as "Matchan".
- Kamio enjoys reading novels, such as Agota Kristof's The Notebook, The Proof and The Third Lie, and Jiro Asada's books.
- Her blood type is B, which is commonly associated with the traits of being emotional and irresponsible. Kamio has stated that she does not believe blood type affects personality, even though she has said her stories sometimes follow her moods.
- Yoko Kamio is a fan of the television shows, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, True Detective, and Hibana: Spark.
- Kamio is also a fan of the World Cup and looks forward to every championship. She particularly admired Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata at one point.
- Yoko Kamio interview on Natalie (Japanese)