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Overnight in Japan, the first details were revealed by Sony’s Aniplex confirming that Hisaya Nakajo‘s Hana-Kimi: For You in Full Blossom manga will finally be adapted into an anime and is now in active production. Outside of the anime announcement, details such as cast, production staff and main production studio were not confirmed at this time.

Hanazakari no Kimitachi he © Hisaya Nakajo 1996/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Originally published between 1996-2004 in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume magazine, Hana-Kimi (which is a portmanteau of its full Japanese title, “Hanazakari no Kimitachi e”) follows the adventures of Mizuki Ashiya, a Japanese girl living in the US who has a crush on Izumi Sano, a high school athlete she saw on TV. She decides to take her crush to the next level by transferring to his high school in Japan — but there’s one catch: he attends an all-boys school. But this is shojo manga, so that’s not a problem: Mizuki cuts her hair and enrolls as a male student, and gets closer to her crush than she ever expected.

VIZ Media has published the Hana-Kimi series in English under its Shojo Beat imprint as 23 single volumes between 2004 – 2008. It is also available as eight 3-in-1 omnibus editions.

While Hana-Kimi has been presented as live-action TV dramas including a Chinese version in 2006, two Japanese TV drama adaptations in 2007 and 2011, and the most recent adaptation produced in South Korea in 2012, this is the first time that this story is being adapted as an animated series.

A statement was released by Nakajo’s Japanese publisher Hakusensha on the development, translated by Crunchyroll:

Hana-Kimi’ is becoming an anime!

This is a project that’s been discussed for a while with Hisaya Nakajo-sensei as we moved things forward. Nakajo-sensei had been watching over the rough drafts of the characters and the scenario, and she was looking forward to seeing the world of “Hana-Kimi” presented in a different way than the manga.

It’s very unfortunate that we weren’t able to see the completed product along with Sensei, but because of the passionate support of the readers, ‘Hana-Kimi’ is coming back again in the form of an anime right around the 20th anniversary of when the manga ended, and we are truly grateful for that fact.

Hana to Yume editorial department and the production staff have been working together so that we can live up to the expectations of Nakajo-sensei and the readers, so please look forward to the broadcast!”

As alluded to in the statement, Nakajo passed away at the age of 50 from a heart condition in 2023, and her publisher confirmed the news in October of that year. 

HanaKimi English anime confirmation key visual
HanaKimi English anime confirmation key visual

In a related announcement timed simultaneously with the Japanese PR, anime streaming platform Crunchyroll announced that it has licensed and would stream the adaptation, without confirming a premiere date. The platform will stream the series in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, CIS and India.

VIZ Media first released the Hana-Kimi manga as a part of the first wave of shojo manga titles in 2004, where it garnered critical acclaim with US readers. The title became a hallmark of the first manga boom of the mid-2000s for driving young girls and women to manga when the medium was usually dominated by titles for boys and men. As VIZ Media describes the first volume:

Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself to transfer to a high school in Japan…but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she’s going to an all-guys’ high school…and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they’re more than classmates…they’re roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates–and the school nurse–must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation…

 

While Hana-Kimi is not currently available on the VIZ Media app, a free preview of the first chapter is available to read at VIZ Media’s Hana-Kimi manga page.

Sources: Official Site (Japanese), Crunchyroll