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Mangaka whose series are published in Jump Comics magazines. He and his Studio K2R are famous for slightly ecchi romantic comedies. His male leads are mostly shy and thus unable to tell their love interest how they feel, and there are always other cute girls providing ample distraction on the way, before the two that are meant for each other can have their happy end together. However clicheed this basic plot sounds, it works for his manga, as they are always highly entertaining and, in the end, fulfilling.

Katsura's current drawing style is very realistic, unlike the cartoony style of some other manga (his first series, Wingman was also still very cartoony). Many of his western readers who usually don't care for manga like his books nonetheless. That, and Katsura draws the cutest, most lifelike girls in manga. His covers, especially on I''s are almost photorealistic, as are most girl pictures in his later series.

Katsura is a big Batman fan, which show by small cameos and parodies all over his works, especially in Zetman. For example, there are plastic masks lying around, figures of batman with baseball bats for ears on TV, and so on.

Here is a list of series published so far:

Masakazu Katsura was born on December 10, 1962 in the prefecture from Fukui, Japan. After participating in the Tezuka Osamu manga contest, his first series, Wingman, started. It is noteworthy that he started as manga author, not as assistant, as most mangaka do. Although his first series were only moderately successful at best, he persevered, until his breakthrough came with Video Girl Ai, where he also developed his current drawing style. His last series, I''s, ended in the summer of 2000 and a one-shot OAV-release has been announced for December 2002. After that, no new series had been published for a long while except from a couple of small one chapter shorts.

In 2001, his more violent remake of his old Zetman manga started running in Young Jump Magazine. This is his most violent piece yet, with only remnants of the romantic and comedic stories which made him successful. But from various interviews, one can deduce that the new Zetman is a series he wanted to do for a long time, since he really did not like romantic comedies at all, and only wrote them at the request of his editors in the frst place.

He also put out an Artbook and several short stories, most of which have not been collected in paperbacks yet:

Finally, a few links to Galleries of his work to get a better insight into what I am talking about:

  • http://www.multimania.com/kokoro/katsura_e.htm
  • http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Island/1443/
  • http://dmoz.org/Arts/Comics/Manga/Creators/Katsura,_Masakazu/
  • http://www.ipc-tokai.or.jp/~stom/ Official Fanpage (japanese)

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