Yoko Tsuno

Yoko Tsuno is a comic book series created by the Belgian writer Roger Leloup published by Dupuis and in Spirou since its debut in 1970. Through twenty-four volumes, the series tell the adventures of Yoko Tsuno, a female electrical engineer of Japanese origin surrounded by her close friends, Vic and Pol. Their adventures bring them to, among other places, Germany, Scotland, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and also into outer space. The stories are heavily technology driven, with concepts like robot dragons (Le Dragon de Hong Kong), suspended animation (La Frontière de la vie), time travel (La Spirale du temps and others), and even an alien species called the Vineans. Despite the often exotic settings, the stories remain very realistic and friendship, love and spirituality are some of the key themes of the series. The art is drawn in Ligne claire style. When depiciting real-world settings, Leloup aspires to be as true to reality as possible, with places like Burg Katz or Rothenburg ob der Tauber depicted with almost photographic skill.

Publication history

Yoko Tsuno first appeared in the comics magazine Spirou on September 24, 1970 with the 8 page short Hold–up en hi–fi. This and the following two shorter works La belle et la bête and Cap 351 served as precursors for the first full-length Yoko Tsuno adventure, Le trio de l’étrange serialised in Spirou from May 13, 1971. Staying with Spirou for the following 30 years, the series still appears in the magazine to date. Accumulating 24 albums with three integral compilations, the fourth, Vinéa en péril, is announced to be released on October 3, 2007.

Main characters

Yoko Tsuno

Yoko Tsuno is an electrical engineer, who was raised in Japan but now lives in Belgium. She is quite compassionate and has a knack for making friends. Yoko is also a skilled scuba diver, holds a black belt in aikido, and can pilot both gliders and helicopters. This wide range of competences, together with her near-flawless behaviour, makes Yoko fall into the classic category of a competent woman. The flaw she does admit to having is the typically Japanese trait of valuing personal honour above monetary wealth, which leads her at times to be trusting to the point of blindness. Yoko Tsuno's first name was inspired by Japanese actress Yoko Tani.

Vic Video

Vic Video (Ben Beeld, but sometimes also referred to as Max): He has a strong personality, and is a close friend of Yoko (whom he seems to be in love with, though this is only hinted at). Before meeting Yoko, he directed live TV shows. He is often the voice of reason and prudence moderating Yoko's impulsiveness. Vic appears in all albums except Aventures électroniques, L'Or du Rhin and La Pagode des brumes.

Pol Pitron

Pol Pitron (Paul Pola, Knut Knolle) is the comic relief of the trio. His name comes from French "pitre", literally "clown". Before meeting Yoko, he worked as a camera operator under direction of Vic. Pol is often lazy and grumpy, as well as a real gourmet. He is also playful and thus quite fond of children. Pol appears in all albums except La Pagode des brumes, although he appears in only two stories of Aventures électroniques.


Khany is a member of the extraterrestrial race of Vineans. As of the end of La Forge de Vulcain and the fall of Karpan's leadership, she is also their undeclared leader who directs the return of the Vineans from Earth to Vinea. She is also undertaking expeditions to find lost Vinean colonies. Like Vic, she is quite careful in her actions. Khany appears in Le Trio de l'étrange, La Forge de Vulcain, Les Trois soleils de Vinéa, Les Titans, La Lumière d'Ixo, Les Archanges de Vinéa, Les Exilés de Kifa and La Porte des âmes.

Rosée du matin

Rosée du matin (Morning Dew; Dutch: Roosje; German: Morgentau) is Yoko's adopted Chinese daughter, as of Le Dragon de Hong Kong. The child of two biologists who experimented with the artificial enlargement of animals, she was orphaned when her parents perished in a storm. She had been raised by her grandfather, but due to his deteriorating health, he entrusted guardianship to Yoko. She has so far also participated in Yoko's time travel exploits and her trips into outer space. Rosée appears in all albums from Le Dragon de Hong Kong onwards. She was inspired by Roger Leloup's daughter, adopted from Korea.


Monya is a fourteen-year old time traveler from 3872, whom Yoko meets during the events described in La Spirale du temps. After changing history during this adventure, Monya is unable to return to her native time. She is adopted by Yoko's cousin and the two girls become fast friends. With the help of Monya's time machine, the translateur, Yoko and her friends undertake several time-travelling adventures.


Yoko Tsuno first meets Vic and Pol when they catch her trying to break into a laboratory, in Le Trio de l'étrange. The moment the men confront her, the owner of the laboratory explains that he hired the Japanese girl to test a burglar alarm system. Vic, intrigued by Yoko's knowledge in electrical engineering and planning to do an independent television production with Pol as the cameraman, asks Yoko to come along.

The main characters are based in Belgium, although adventures take place around the world and even in the Vinean solar system, 2,500,000 light years away. When the stories are earth-based, they mostly take place in existing settings, like for example Burg Katz, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Hong Kong and Bruges.


Comic books

  1. Le Trio de l'étrange (The Trio of the Bizarre), 1972 ISBN 2-8001-0666-2
  2. L'Orgue du Diable (The Devil's Organ), 1973 ISBN 2-8001-0667-0
  3. La Forge de Vulcain (Vulcan's Forge), 1973 ISBN 2-8001-0668-9
  4. Aventures électroniques (Electronic Adventures), 1974 ISBN 2-8001-0669-7
  5. Message pour l'éternité (Message for Eternity), 1975 ISBN 2-8001-0670-0
  6. Les Trois soleils de Vinéa (The Three Suns of Vinea), 1976 ISBN 2-8001-0671-9
  7. La Frontière de la vie (On the Edge of Life), 1977 ISBN 2-8001-0672-7
  8. Les Titans (The Titans), 1978 ISBN 2-8001-0592-5
  9. La Fille du vent (The Daughter of the Wind), 1979 ISBN 2-8001-0633-6
  10. La Lumière d'Ixo (The Light of Ixo), 1980 ISBN 2-8001-0687-5
  11. La Spirale du temps (The Time Spiral), 1981 ISBN 2-8001-0744-8
  12. La Proie et l'ombre (The Prey and the Ghost), 1982 ISBN 2-8001-0908-4
  13. Les Archanges de Vinéa (The Archangels of Vinea), 1983 ISBN 2-8001-0971-8
  14. Le Feu de Wotan (Wotan's Fire), 1984 ISBN 2-8001-1029-5
  15. Le Canon de Kra (The Cannon of Kra), 1985 ISBN 2-8001-1092-9
  16. Le Dragon de Hong Kong (The Dragon of Hong Kong), 1986 ISBN 2-8001-1378-2
  17. Le Matin du monde (The Dawn of the World), 1988 ISBN 2-8001-1585-8
  18. Les Exilés de Kifa (The Refugees of Kifa), 1991 ISBN 2-8001-1748-6
  19. L'Or du Rhin (The Rhine Gold), 1993 ISBN 2-8001-1999-3
  20. L'Astrologue de Bruges (The Astrologer of Bruges), 1994 ISBN 2-8001-2101-7
  21. La Porte des âmes (The Gate of Souls), 1996 ISBN 2-8001-2340-0
  22. La Jonque céleste (The Celestial Barge), 1998 ISBN 2-8001-2587-X
  23. La Pagode des brumes (The Pagoda of the Mists), 2001 ISBN 2-8001-2948-4
  24. Le Septième Code (The Seventh Code), 2005 ISBN 2-8001-3762-2

L'Écume de l'aube

Roger Leloup also wrote a novel with Yoko as the heroine, published in 1991: L'Écume de l'aube (The Foam of the Dawn) (ISBN 2-203-38033-0), which relates the childhood and youth of Yoko Tsuno.


Yoko Tsuno series has been translated from French in twelve languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Books #3 and 6 (La Forge de Vulcain and Les Trois soleils de Vinéa) were released in English under the series title, The Adventures of Yoko, Vic and Paul by Catalan Communications under their "Comcat" line. Some liberties were taken in the translation to English. For example, Yoko's last name was changed to "Suno", Khany was renamed "Kan" and the Vineans became "Vinans" from the planet "Vinea". Comcat planned next on reprinting books #8, 10, 13, and possibly #17, but the company went under.

Three books have been translated into English and published by Cinebook Ltd:

  • On the Edge of Life (La Frontière de la vie), published July 2007
  • The Time Spiral (La Spirale du temps), published January 2008
  • The Prey and the Ghost (La Proie et l'ombre), published July 2008

A fourth English language volume —- Daughter of the Wind (La Fille du vent) —- is scheduled for publication by Cinebook in July 2009.



External links

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