A very prolific and well-known mangaka, Yuu Watase (born March 5, 1970) is best known as the creator of Fushigi Yuugi and Ceres, Celestial Legend, both of which have been adapted into anime. They made their debut in 1989 with the oneshot Pajama de Ojama (An Interlude in Pyjamas) and is predominantly a writer of shoujo series, although they have recently begun branching out into other demographics, including shounen (Arata: The Legend) and yaoi (Sakura Gari). They have also written some novels as well, according to The Other Wiki.
Their first works were typically characterized by love triangles, high levels of melodrama (specially during the original Fushigi Yuugi era), drawn out, almost laughably sappy love scenes, and of course, plenty of bishonen.
On the other hand, when Watase does decide to go Darker and Edgier, they do so hardcore: Sakura Gari, Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden and Ceres, Celestial Legend have plenty of bishonen, melodrama and love triangles, but the utterly twisted and psychologically driven storyline has had people refer to Watase as a potential Magnificent Bitch.
Some of Watase's manga works include:
- Shinshunki Miman Okotowari
- Fushigi Yuugi
- Epotrans! Mai
- Ceres, Celestial Legend
- Appare Jipangu!
- Alice 19th
- Absolute Boyfriend
- Sakura Gari
- Arata: The Legend
Tropes Commonly Associated within Watase's works:
- Art Evolution: Big time. The biggest development was done during Ceres Celestial Legend. Their characters, though still similar to each other, have become more rounded. And they deliberately changed their style for Sakura Gari and Arata: The Legend respectively.
- Anyone Can Die: Just don't get too attached to any character apart of the lead. Just in case. Literally half the cast of Fushigi Yuugi are dead by the end.
- Go Out with a Smile: At least Watase kills most of them like this.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: Watase loves this trope with a passion! In half of their works there's always some reason for the two leads not hooking up. Either the female lead needs to stay a virgin, or one of the characters is cursed, or not a real human, and so on, so on.
- Costume Porn: First, we had the Miko clothes in Fushigi Yuugi. Then we had Aya's pretty school uniform in Ceres Celestial Legend. Then we have the Amawakuni clothing in Arata: The Legend.
- Darker and Edgier: Watase's career went this way starting with Ceres Celestial Legend. Case in point, Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden is much more serious and dramatic than the original Fushigi Yuugi. And then there's Sakura Gari...
- Love Dodecahedron: They are the master of this.
- Only Six Faces: Take a look at some of the major male characters from their works, spanning from early series Fushigi Yuugi to their more recent Absolute Boyfriend. Most of them have the same exact face, and their hairstyles are also very similar. Same goes for their female characters, although they're a bit more distinguishable (usually). Although as stated above, they have improved over the years. The type of face and hair that repeats more often is the male leads... and since in their free talks they always mention they think these characters look handsome, it's pretty clear there's a lot of Author Appeal involved.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Their Official Couples must go through LOTS of shit to stay together. And even then, they don't get the guarantee that they won't be separated.
- Yaoi Fan: Watase been known to ship their own male characters in the comments sections of their various manga and claimed to be disappointed at not seeing fanfics featuring their preferred couplings. Watase's foray into actual yaoi surprised no-one.