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Japanese Bestselling Manga Author Visits Vietnam for the First Time

On the occasion of the third Vietnam Book and Reading Culture Day in 2024, author Ono Eriko of the comic book Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko came to Vietnam to exchange and sign books for readers who love the book.

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Japanese author Ono Eriko, renowned for the bestselling comic book series Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko, engaged with Vietnamese book enthusiasts in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20, as reported by VOV.

This event was part of the festivities commemorating the third Vietnam Book and Reading Culture Day, which took place in 2024.

Japanese author Ono Eriko during the exchange session presenting the comic series Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko. Image credit: Youth Publishing House

Ono expressed her excitement about visiting Vietnam, stating that it was her first time in the country and that she was deeply impressed by it. She was particularly surprised by the popularity of the “Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko” series among Vietnamese readers and extended her gratitude for their appreciation of her work.

Japanese author Ono Eriko interacts with fans at the Ho Chi Minh City book street. Photo source: Ho Chi Minh City Book Street fanpage

According to Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House, the author’s visit to Vietnam aims to promote a culture of reading among the local population. Additionally, it underscores the significance of Vietnamese publishing houses in forging collaborations with international partners.

On April 21, the Japanese writer participated in an exchange event on the Ho Chi Minh City book street and signed books for her fans.

In conjunction with the event, the celebrated author created an artwork titled “Miko wearing Ao Dai,” which depicts an image of Ben Thanh Market. This painting will serve as the cover for a five-volume Miko selection box set and will be distributed to readers as a gift.

Japanese author Ono Eriko wearing Ao dai during an exchange event with Vietnamese fans on the Ho Chi Minh City book street. Image source: Ho Chi Minh City Book Street fanpage

Eriko was born in Tokyo on May 5, 1962. In 1988, one of Eriko’s stories featuring Miko as the protagonist was published in Pyon Pyon magazine, and in 1990, it was transformed into the Miko Kid series.

When she transitioned to Ciao magazine, she evolved the character into Kid Miko, a lively and cheerful girl. Since its inception in February 2008, Kid Miko has sold millions of copies and has since been adapted into an anime series.

According to SGGP, Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko has amassed a substantial fan base. Despite having only reached episode 37 (in the Vietnamese version), it has sold over 50,000 copies. This is a remarkable number, considering the vast array of appealing comic titles available in the Vietnamese market.

Author Ono Eriko has dedicated over 30 years to this series, beginning before she had children and continuing after becoming a mother. Perhaps this personal connection has allowed her to address contemporary social issues in her work, including topics that parents may struggle to discuss with their children, such as teenage romance, early puberty, LGBT (an acronym encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other identities), and the experiences of children in divorced or single-parent households.

Consequently, the comic book Miiko Desu! / Kocchi Muite! Miiko serves as a practical guide for parents seeking to impart essential values to their children and facilitate open discussions about these pertinent issues, while also providing entertainment and enjoyment.

Prior to Ono Eriko’s visit to Vietnam, Tre Publishing House organized the ‘Miko and I’ contest, which drew 119 entries and 297 drawings from readers of all ages. Participants shared how the series has provided solace and companionship during both joyful and challenging times in their lives.

Hannah Nguyen