14-year-old Sato Ito is still in ninth grade, but she's about to make her professional debut as a manga artist.
She was first spotted by Nakayoshi deputy editor Toshiko Suda, who was one of the judges for the Niigata Manga Competition, which Sato won three years in a row. She encouraged Ito to go pro, and invited her to join the Manga School program run by Kodansha. It was there that she created Toaru Neko-kaburi Shonen no Himitsu, making her the first artist in nine years to make a professional debut directly from the program.
Ito, who is inspired by artists such as the Czech painter Alphonse Mucha, hopes to attend a private high school where she can study illustration and design.