#AnimangaMonday: HanaKimi

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Hana-Kimi or known originally as Hanazakari no Kimitachi e is a shōjo manga series written by Hisaya Nakajo. The manga series was first serialized in the 20th issue of Hakusensha’s semi-monthly shōjo manga magazine, Hana to Yume in 1996. Its serialization continued until August 2004, where the series ended with 23 collected volumes. Hana-Kimi was also published in English by Viz Media. The English release was previously only limited to Waldenbooks from February to May 2004. It was then made available to other retail stores after May that year.

The series centers on Mizuki Ashiya, a Japanese girl who lives in the United States. One day, she sees a track and field competition on TV, and becomes attracted to one of the high jump competitors, Izumi Sano. She begins to idolize the young athlete and eventually transfers to Japan to attend the same school that Sano attends. There is a catch, however: Sano attends an all-boys high school, named Osaka Gakuen and Mizuki must disguise herself as a boy to enter.

The 22 Japanese volumes of the series has sold over 11 million copies in Japan while the total sales came in 5th after Death Note in the ranking of the most read series throughout year 2007. The series ranked 37th place in Matt Blind’s Top 300 series in 2008. It was later chosen as one of the series for the GC4K Summer Reading Challenge in 2009.

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Despite its lack of an anime series, HanaKimi is an immensely popular manga series with four live-action television series adaptation under its belt.

In 2006, Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, a Taiwanese series adaptation, aired on Chinese Television System (CTS) and Gala Television (GTV) Variety Show/CH 28 from November 2006 for 15 episodes, starring Ella Chen of S.H.E, Wu Chun and Jiro Wang of Fahrenheit and Danson Tang.

In 2007, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise, the Japanese version aired on Fuji Television from July to September 2007 for 12 episodes, starring Maki Horikita, Shun Oguri and Toma Ikuta.

In 2008, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise 2011, a remake of the initial Japanese version aired on Fuji Television from July to September 2011 for 11 episodes, starring Atsuko Maeda of AKB48, Aoi Nakamura and Shohei Miura.

In 2012, To The Beautiful You, a Korean series adaptation adaption aired on SBS on August 15, 2012 for 16 episodes, starring Sulli Choi of f(x), Choi Min Ho of SHINee and Lee Hyun-woo.

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