Presented in both Vietnamese and Japanese, the launch of the manga is part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

Manga is a popular Japanese comic book that is popular among adults and children in Vietnam and Japan. The Anio Princess manga aims to help Vietnamese and Japanese people learn about the history, cultural similarities, and close connections between the two countries.

Adapted from an opera of the same name, the comic is based on historical facts and has been illustrated by manga artist Higashimura Akiko.

The story follows the 17th-century love affair between Araki Sotaro, a merchant from Nagasaki in Japan, and Princess Ngoc Hoa of the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam. Princess Ngoc Hoa was the daughter of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, who reigned from 1613 to 1635.

Araki goes to Hoi An in Vietnam to trade and meets the princess. They fall in love and get married.

In 1620, he takes her to Nagasaki, where locals liked her due to her beautiful appearance and gentle character.

Today, locals still stage a palanquin procession ceremony to welcome Princess Anio at Nagasaki Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki.

The second part of the manga Anio Princess will be released on July 7 on the website japanvietnam50.org, while the opera of the same name will be premiered in September at the Opera House in Hanoi. This will be followed by the Japanese premier in the beginning of November. 

The printed version of the manga will also be available. The Japanese-language version will be handled by a Japanese company, while the Vietnamese-language version will be distributed by Kim Dong Publishing House.

The manga books won’t be published for commercial purposes – they’ll be freely distributed to schools in Japan and Vietnam.

Manga artist Akiko was born in Miyazaki prefecture in Japan in 1975. She’s known for her debut in the comic Bouquet Deluxe in 1999. She won a prize in 2010 for her manga series Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish).

In 2015, she was awarded the Manga Taisho prize for her Kakukaku Shikajika (Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey) – an autobiography detailing her life. The book has been listed in the Top 20 Manga for Female Readers four years in a row, from 2013 to 2016.

Some of her best-selling works such as Tokyo Tarareba Musume (Tokyo Tarareba Girls), Bishoku Tantei Akechi Gorou (Gourmet Detective), and Hyper Midi Nakajima Haruko (Nakajima Haruko – Classy Lady) have been adapted for TV and movies in Japan.