Marmalade Boy

Marmalade Boy (Japanese: ママレード·ボーイ, Hepburn: Mamarēdo Bōi) is a shōjo manga series by Wataru Yoshizumi. It was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from May 1992 to October 1995 and collected in eight tankōbon volumes. The series was adapted by Toei Animation as a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The series was also adapted as a 30-episode live-action television series that was broadcast in Taiwan in 2002. A live-action film adaptation was released in Japan by Warner Bros. Pictures on April 27, 2018.

Marmalade Boy
Marmalade Boy 1 manga cover.jpg
Cover of the first volume of the original Japanese manga release
(Mamarēdo Bōi)
GenreRomantic comedy
Written byWataru Yoshizumi
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintRibon Mascot Comics
Original runMay 1992October 1995
Volumes8 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed byAkinori Yabe
Produced byKoichiro Fujita (ABC)
Yasuo Kameyama (ASATSU)
Hiromi Seki (Toei Animation)
Written byAya Matsui
Music byKeiichi Oku
StudioToei Animation
Licensed by
Original networkABC, TV Asahi
English network
Original run March 13, 1994 September 3, 1995
Anime film
Directed byAkinori Yabe
Produced byTan Takaiwa
Tomio Anzai
Tsutomu Tomari
Written byAya Matsui
Music byKeiichi Oku
StudioToei Animation
Licensed by
ReleasedMarch 4, 1995
Runtime26 minutes
Light novel
Written byYumi Kageyama
Illustrated byWataru Yoshizumi
Published byShueisha
MagazineCobalt Bunko
Original runJuly 1994March 1996
GenreDating simulation
PlatformGame Boy, Super Famicom
ReleasedJanuary 27, 1995 (Game Boy)
April 21, 1995 (Super Famicom)
Marmalade Boy Little
Written byWataru Yoshizumi
Published byShueisha
Original runMarch 28, 2013September 28, 2018
Live-action film
Directed byRyūichi Hiroki
Takayuki Mizuno (Assistant)
Produced byHiroyoshi Koiwai
Hibiki Itō
Shinzō Matsuhashi
Naoaki Kitajima
Yuya Satoyoshi
Written byTaeko Asano
Ryūichi Hiroki
Music byHiroko Sebu
StudioWarner Bros. Pictures
ReleasedApril 27, 2018
Runtime127 minutes


Miki Koishikawa's ordinary life as a sophomore in high school is turned upside down when her parents suddenly announce that they are getting divorced in order to swap partners with a couple they met back in Hawaii. They seek her approval of the shocking change, and while at a restaurant during dinner where Miki meets the other couple as well as their teenage son Yuu Matsura, who is around her age, she reluctantly agrees to the arrangement. At first, Yuu appears to be a complete jerk who takes every opportunity to make fun of and tease Miki, but he actually turns out to be fun and attractive, and Miki finds herself falling in love with him. Little by little, she accepts her new family arrangement and opens up to Yuu as they become best friends.

After a while, Miki and Yuu's relationship starts to become complicated because of the former relationships that they've had and developed with other characters. These include Miki's long time classmate and former crush from middle school, Ginta Suou, and Yuu's former girlfriend from his previous school, Arimi Suzuki. A secondary subplot develops when Miki's best friend, Meiko Akizuki, herself starts to have her own problems because of the relationship she has gotten into with one of the school teachers, Shin'ichi Namura.

Throughout the series, Miki and Yuu's relationship is further developed and tried, influenced by the other characters around them and the relationships that they develop with these characters.


The cast of Marmalade Boy is diverse and largely defined by their relationships with Miki Koishikawa and Yuu Matsuura. Although the relationship between these two protagonists is the primary focus of the series, many of the supporting characters are also well-developed.[1]


When Wataru Yoshizumi first started planning Marmalade Boy, Miki, Yuu, Ginta, and Meiko were all the opposite genders of what they ended up being in the final versions, and Miki's original design looked similar to Yuu's final appearance, while Yuu was an attractive girl with long black hair and a "devilish" and "unpredictable" personality. Yoshizumi notes several reasons behind the changes. Part of the reason was that it was a request from the Ribon publishers, who wanted a female as the central character as the story was going to be included in a "Mother's Day" set with magnets featuring the characters. Her associate editor also expressed concerns that a male hero would be a "sissy" when written about by a female writer. Finally, Yoshizumi herself decided that she would go with a heroine rather than a hero as most of the Ribon readers are girls.[2]

In the original story, the title of Marmalade Boy was an indication of the hero Miki's cheerful, sweet, and naive nature. After redoing the concept, she wanted to keep the original title, changing its meaning to what is stated in the first volume, that Yuu "has lots of bitter bits inside" him but people only see his sweet surface.[2][3]

The ending for the series was also very different from the final version. Ginta and Arimi were not going to be a couple in the original version, nor was Meiko going to be reunited with Namura. Yoshizumi originally intended for Miki and Yuu to truly be blood siblings, and thus have to break up. Afterwards, Ginta would comfort Miki and promising to wait for her to get over Yuu. Yuu and Meiko would have been shown meeting four years later, having both failed in their previous relationships. The ending would have been more open-ended so readers would have had to wonder what really would happen to everyone. However, as she was writing the third chapter, Yoshizumi became less certain of the ending, as it made Miki and Yuu's parents appear to be awful people for doing such a thing to their children. She also was concerned how readers would react, and her own feelings of "emptiness" at the sad ending. Her editor agreed that the ending would be bad, so she changed it to the happier one now found in the series.[4]



Marmalade Boy first premiered in the May 1992 issue of Ribon where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in the October 1995 issue. The 39 untitled chapters were collected and published in eight tankōbon volumes by Shueisha starting on December 12, 1992; the last volume was released February 20, 1996.[5] Shueisha later republished the series in six special edition volumes. The first special edition volume was released on March 15, 2004, with new volumes published monthly until the final volume was released on August 11, 2004.[5]

The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop. The individual chapters were serialized by the company's manga anthology Smile from December 2001 through April 2002.[6][7][unreliable source?] Tokyopop released the first collected volume of the series on April 23, 2002, releasing new volumes monthly until the final volume was released August 5, 2003. It was one of the first manga series that Tokyopop released in the original Japanese orientation, in which the book is read from right to left, and with the original sound effects left in place.[8] Tokyopop's volumes of the series are out of print. Shueisha refused to renew the company's license of the series after becoming part-owner of rival publisher Viz Media.[9][10][11] At Anime Expo 2022, Seven Seas Entertainment announced that they licensed the series for English publication in collector's edition format.[12] It is also licensed for regional language releases in France by Glenat, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini Comics, in Italy by Planet Manga, and in Germany by Egmont.

From March 2013 to September 2018, a sequel to Marmalade Boy titled Marmalade Boy Little (ママレード・ボーイ little, Mamarēdo Bōi Ritoru) was serialized in Cocohana. While Miki and Yuu make appearances, the new series, set 13 years after the end of the earlier one, focuses on Rikka Matsuura and Saku Koishikawa, Yuu and Miki's respective sister and brother.[13][14]


The final volume of original Japanese release of the Marmalade Boy Japanese light novels

Marmalade Boy was adapted into a series of Japanese light novels by Yumi Kageyama, with Wataru Yoshizumi acting as illustrator. The ten volume series was published under Shueisha's Cobalt Bunko label from July 1994 through March 1996.[15]

No. Original release date Original ISBN
1 July 19944-08-611872-6
2 September 19944-08-611893-9
3 November 19944-08-614013-6
4 December 19944-08-614033-0
5 March 19954-08-614056-X
6 April 19954-08-614073-X
7 July 19954-08-614105-1
8 October 19954-08-614124-8
9 December 19954-08-614156-6
10 March 19964-08-614176-0


Toei Animation adapted Marmalade Boy into a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The anime series was licensed for Region 1 DVD release by Tokyopop, which released the series in four box sets. Tokyopop's license had since expired, leaving the anime out of print,[16] until May 6, 2017, when Discotek Media announced they have licensed the anime, and would release the series in two DVD sets. The first set (episodes 1-38) has been released on August 29, 2017,[17] and the second set (episodes 39–76) on November 28, 2017. An SD on BD Set has been announced for 2018.

The movie for the anime acts as a prequel to the story. Taking place as a flashback after Yuu kisses Miki in the nurse's office, he recalls the first time he met Miki, shortly after his parents told him of their impending divorce and spouse swap. He found Miki practicing tennis in the park and spent the rest of the day following her around, eventually finding out she was to be his new stepsister. According to this movie, Yuu was in love with Miki before the family's meeting. The second Discotek set, as well as the upcoming SD on BD set has the movie packaged in there.

Art booksEdit

Marmalade Boy: Koi no Style Book, ISBN Marmalade Boy: Yoshizumi Wataru Illust-shū, ISBN 4-08-855091-9


Marmalade Boy, a dating simulation video game was released by Bandai Entertainment for the Nintendo Game Boy system in Japan on January 27, 1995. Based on the manga, the game puts players in the role of Miki, who must try to win the heart of one of her three potential suitors from the series: Yuu, Ginta, or Kei.[18] It was released for the Super Famicom system on April 21, 1995.[19] On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Super Famicom version of the game a 24 out of 40,[20] giving the Game Boy version a 20 out of 40.[21]

Live-action television seriesEdit

In Taiwan, Marmalade Boy was made into a 30-episode live-action television series called 橘子醬男孩 (pinyin: Júzǐjiāng Nánhái). The series starred pop star Stella as Miki and F4 member Ken Zhu as Yuu; Stella also sang the theme song, "溫室的花 Wēnshì de Huā (Greenhouse Flower)". Although the basic premise was the same, it did not feature many of the characters of the anime, and the love triangles were considerably simplified.[citation needed]


The English translation of the manga was favorably reviewed by Anime News Network, calling it a classic lighthearted shōjo romance that's sweet and endearing and compulsively readable.[1]

Serialized in Tokyopop's Smile back in 2001, then collected in 2002, Wataru Yoshizumi's Marmalade Boy helped introduce English language readers to the kind of situation found in shoujo manga, with its story of a pair of teens brought together when their parents swap spouses.

The manga has over 10 million copies in print.[22]


  1. ^ a b Jason Sondhi (2004-09-10). "Review: Marmalade Boy Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-01-25. Marmalade Boy is a wholly engaging read that does not demand as much in terms of time or money as many longer shōjo titles. Yes, it is clichéd, and yes, there is never any doubt in how the story will eventually turn out, but yes, you will enjoy following it nonetheless.
  2. ^ a b Yoshizumi, Wataru (2003-08-05). "The Inside Story of Marmalade Boy". Marmalade Boy, Volume 8. Los Angeles, California: Tokyopop. pp. 172–175. ISBN 1-59182-192-4. OCLC 53040858.
  3. ^ Yoshizumi, Wataru (2002-04-23). "Chapter 3". Marmalade Boy, Volume 1. Los Angeles, California: Tokyopop. p. 93. ISBN 1-931514-54-2. OCLC 50194414.
  4. ^ Yoshizumi, Wataru (2003-08-05). "The Inside Story of Marmalade Boy II". Marmalade Boy, Volume 8. Los Angeles, California: Tokyopop. pp. 176–179. ISBN 1-59182-192-4. OCLC 53040858.
  5. ^ a b "Marmalade Boy Kanzenban Releases" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  6. ^ "Tokyopop Plans Major Manga Expansion". ICv2. 2001-07-08. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  7. ^ "November 2001 News Archive". AnimeOnDVD. 2001-11-24. Archived from the original on 2006-03-25. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  8. ^ "Tokyopop Commits to Unflopped Manga". Anime News Network. 2002-01-29. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  9. ^ "Tokyopop Inc. Out of Print Titles". Tokyopop. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  10. ^ Ahlstrom, Peter (2007-04-12). "Ask the Editors: Manga from Ribon magazine?". Official Tokyopop forums. Tokyopop. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2008-04-11. Unfortunately for us, Shueisha is one of the owners of VIZ, so VIZ gets almost all of the Shueisha manga. We published Kodocha and Marmalade Boy, but they didn't even let us renew those licenses and don't want to give us anything else anymore.
  11. ^ "Marmalade Boy Misunderstanding". Anime News Network. 2005-07-16. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  12. ^ Hazra, Adriana (July 2, 2022). "Seven Seas Licenses Raven of the Inner Palace, The Invisible Man and His Soon-to-Be Wife, 10 More Titles". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  13. ^ Loo, Egan (2013-02-27). "Marmalade Boy Sequel Manga to Launch in March". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  14. ^ Ressler, Karen (2018-08-27). "Marmalade Boy Little Manga Ends Next Month". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  15. ^ "Marmalade Boy novel listings". Shueisha. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  16. ^ "Marmalade Boy 1-24, St. Tail's Anime Licenses Expire". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
  17. ^ "Discotek Licenses Marmalade Boy, Sanrio's Nutcracker Fantasy". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  18. ^ "Game Boy: Marmalade Boy". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  19. ^ "SNES: Marmalade Boy". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  20. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ママレード・ボーイ. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.335. Pg.29. 12–19 May 1995.
  21. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ママレード・ボーイ. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.323. Pg.37. 24 February 1995.
  22. ^ ""Marmalade Boy" Live-Action Film Teaser Announces April 27, 2018 Release".

External linksEdit