Masakazu Katsura (桂 正和 Katsura Masakazu?, born December 10, 1962) is a Japanese mangaka who is best known for several works of manga, including:
He has also worked on the character designs for IRIA: Zeiram the Animation (which was based on the movie Zeiram), Tiger & Bunny, Garo Crimson Moon and Double Decker. Love & Destroy marks his character design debut in videogames and Astral Chain his second foray after 10 years.
Born in Fukui, he had always liked to draw, but spending some months recovering from illness is what got him into drawing seriously. Few later he began his career as a mangaka, kickstarted by Wingman and then reassured by Video Girl Ai, which is the series that made him famous.
Katsura's style is very easy to recognize, both in terms of design and then of storytelling:
- He draws really, really pretty girls. Not only that, but he gives lots of attention to their legs and bottoms. He's infamous for these female butts, mmkay. And his males aren't anything to sneeze at, either.
- He also goes for the Impossibly Cool Clothes and Costume Porn. His characters, whether male or female, dress up in pretty nice clothing, some of them going into Iconic Outfit territory like Ai's Video Girl outfit or Karin Aoi's jumpsuit/armor combination.
- As for storyline, Katsura's stories tend to be not just fanservicy, but very emotion-driven. More than one of his mangas are huge on the "growing up and going into adulthood" aspect, with the charas going through lots of emotional turmoil. i.e.: in Video Girl Ai, the Robot Girl Ai develops feelings for a guy she was just supposed to help, which threatens her own existence; said guy loves her but isn't necessarily in love with her, but then his feelings change and waver. In DNA² we have Junta's Pornomancer powers being jumpstarted all of a sudden and influencing all the girls around him whether for good or not. In I"s, the I Trio (Iori, Ichitaka and Itsuki) have to deal with their own matters as well as their relationships, and it goes on and on.
Katsura has been Vitriolic Best Buds with Akira Toriyama for a long time, too. A Running Gag in his mangas is the presence of this background character "Mr. Mayarito", whose name is an anagram of Toriyama's surname.
Masakazu Katsura's mangas contain the following tropes
- Art Evolution: Compare Wingman to his later works. In fact, the illness that led Katsura to refine his technique came near the end of Wingman's serialization.
- Author Appeal: His love for Batman can be seen in multiple of his mangas, usually in the form of a Batman movie.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: It's not very easy for his characters to achieve their goal and be happy. Even when the goal has been reached, Katsura likes to show what happens after this high-point, and the characters need to work to keep things going well.
- Male Gaze: Several of his manga have panels dedicated to a woman's bosom, butt or shapely legs.