Kazuhiko Shimamoto’s manga Aoi Honō (trans. Blue Blazes) released the final chapter of its first part in the latest issue of Shogakukan’s Gessan magazine, a Weekly Shonen Jump on Monday. The manga will be coming back with its second part in the February’s issue of the magazine in the mid-January 2021.
Shimamoto launched the manga in Shogakukan's Weekly Young Sunday magazine from 2007 until the magazine's closure in 2008. It then ran in the spinoff publication Spirits Zokan YS Special before moving to its new home, Gessan (Monthly Shonen Sunday). Shogakukan published the 23rd compiled book volume on June 12. The Japanese government's Ministry of Cultural Affairs named the Manga ONE of the Jury Recommended Works in the Story Manga division in the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 2009. The manga was also nominated for the third Manga Taisho awards in the following year.
The manga inspired a live-action television series adaptation in 2014.
With his coming of age manga/anime Aoi Honō, Shimamoto has tried to bring his own experiences of college years in the early 1980s on the papers and screen. Aoi Honō tells the story of a young guy full of passion and ambition, Moyuru Honō. Young Moyuru is extremely driven toward his wish of becoming a manga artist as well as an animator who is studying in a local university college of fine arts in Osaka.
Shimamoto has also inserted fictionalized and animated characters of his college time companions of Osaka University of Arts, Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, and Takami Akai who are also the founding members of anime studio ‘Gainax’. Gainax also went on to make an original video anime of Shimamoto's Honō no Tenkōsei manga.