A prominent Japanese manga (comic book) author, Yazawa is particularly famous for her Paradise Kiss, Nana, Gokinjo Monogatari, and Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai series. Her work Nana received the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award and was adapted into both an anime series and a movie.
Before beginning her career as a manga writer in the mid-1980s, she briefly studied fashion design.
Her manga typically focus on hip, stylish, and often rebellious female characters.
She was born and raised in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture. She chose her pen name, Ai Yazawa, because of her admiration for the similarly-named Japanese rock singer Eikichi Yazawa.
She is a contemporary of fellow Japanese manga creator Kazuki Takahashi.