An exhibition of “Masakazu Katsura(桂正和)”, a manga artist known for “Video Girl” and “I”s,” was held at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. In this article, we would like to introduce the “Masakazu Katsura: The World of Character Design exhibition”. This event was an exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of Katsura’s painting career.
I used to read “Video Girl” and “I”s” serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump” from the time of serialization, and I remember being fascinated by their realistic drawings and the cuteness of the girls that Katsura wrote. I am now in my thirties, but even looking at them now, they have not lost their cuteness.
He analyzes “Iori Ashizuki”, the heroine of the “I “s” that he created, as follows. I wanted to depict a classic romantic story, so I came up with a girl who would be popular with everyone. I don’t like it, it’s just not interesting. I drew a character that everyone thinks is cute and cute, using the same theory as when (an editor) told me that “Son Goku” from “Dragon Ball” would be accepted because he is transparent, so I tried not to give Iori any color. So he is not interesting as a person. It’s calculated and mathematical,” he said, appreciating the character.
He not only draws cute girls, but he also creates heroes. And the heroes he creates are characterized by the fact that they are never invincible. The heroes he depicts are the ones who face suffering and difficulties and open up the future by confronting the world.
Katsura says his design for “ZETMAN” was inspired by the Japanese demon(Japanese “Oni”).
He says, “For me, the best hero design is Ultraman,” and has stated that he wants to achieve that simple yet striking design. In “Wingman”, the single vertical line running down the center of the face is an influence from that design.
In an interview conducted in conjunction with the event, he talked about his future goals. Writing a sequel to “ZETMAN” in addition to a new manga on the theme of ghost stories, which he says he has recently become more interested in. He has apparently set his sights on remaking “Wingman” and “Video Girl” Katsura said, “Video Girl is difficult, but I have an idea for Wing Man. I would like to draw a continuation of the previous one and give it a modern twist. It is a sequel rather than a reboot. I think it would be more interesting that way,” he said.
The final episode of the 13-volume book depicts the decision of the main character, Kenta, to discard all memories of Wingman in order to save Aoi’s life. Katsura revealed part of his idea: “I think that when Kenta, who has forgotten everything, and Aoi, who remembers everything, meet, a drama is born.