Ai Yori Aoshi
(藍より青し, Ai Yori Aoshi
?) is a manga by Kou Fumizuki, originally serialized in 1998 in Hakusensha's Young Animal
, a magazine for young men. The original manga series ended its run in 2005.
The title is taken from a quote from the Chinese philosopher Xun Zi: "Blue comes from indigo, yet it is bluer than indigo" (青は藍より出でて藍より青し, Ao wa ai yori idete ai yori aoshi
?, 青出於藍而勝於藍 Qīng chū yú lán ér shèng yú lán
in Traditional Chinese)). The phrase is used in both Chinese and Japanese to mean that, although people are molded by their teacher, they surpass that teacher through their own efforts. The name of the main character, Aoi (葵, Aoi
?), is pronounced the same way as a ao(i)
, a version of ao
Ai Yori Aoshi
was made into an anime in 2002 and video games were released for the PlayStation 2 and Windows 98. The anime series, directed by Masami Shimoda and animated by J.C.Staff, was completed when its second season, under the title Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi
(藍より青し ～縁～, Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi
?), was completed in 2003. The anime was released in North America by Geneon and in Singapore by Odex. The manga was released in English by Tokyopop. Also, a drama CD series was produced, with slight differences in the voicing cast as compared to the anime.
The series is sometimes referred to as a halfway point between a harem anime and a magical girlfriend story. It is also referred to as "Japanese Love Hina" (和製 ラブ ひな, Wasei Rabu Hina
?) as the story is similar to Love Hina
, but in a more traditional Japanese style.[citation needed