...In the Spotlight!

Mangaka in the Spotlight

Yuu Watase


Watase's self-portrait


Watase's self-portrait


    It's February, the season of flowers and chocolates and romance.  Yes, Valentine's day is coming... here... recently passed, depending on when I change this and/or when you read it... and what better way to celebrate than with a tribute to Japan's mistress of shoujo (since dates with are favorite bishies are obviously out)?  So what is shoujo?  Just in case you don't know Shoujo is the genre of manga aimed at teenage girls and young women and it generally deals almost entirely with romance.  In most English speaking countries we label any manga that is romance, and most that have female leads, as Shoujo.  In Japan shoujo applies to romantic manga aimed specifically at the teenage girl demographic.  Generally the plots revolve around middle school or high school girls, though they occasionally go into the early university years and some focus on romance from the male perspective.  Romance manga with older characters or more "mature" subject matters are labeled Josei and are aimed at an older demographic- generally career women in their mid-twenties to thirties.  Yuu Watase is a shoujo magaka in the Japanese sense of the word, and all of her stories involve female leads between the ages of 15 and 18 (as far as I have seen).  

    Yuu Watase , born March 5, 1970 in Osaka),is a Japanese shoujo manga author and artist. She received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo for Ceres, The Celestial Legend in 1998.  Since writing her debut short story "Pajama de Ojama" ("An Intrusion in Pajamas"), Watase has created more than 50 compiled volumes of short stories and continuing series.  Because of her frequent use of beautiful male characters in her works, she is widely regarded in circles as a bishounen mangaka.

    Her name is romanized as "Yű Watase" in earlier printings of Viz Media's publications of Fushigi Yugi, Alice 19th, and Ceres, The Celestial Legend, while in Viz Media's Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden and Absolute Boyfriend her name is romanized as "Yuu Watase". In Chuang Yi's English-language versions of Fushigi Yugi (spelled without a macron or circumflex), her name is romanized as "Yu Watase".

    Yuu Watase's best known work is probably Fushigi Yugi - and if you're a shoujo fan and haven't read this series (or watched it, the anime is surprisingly close to the manga) you owe it to yourself to pick it up.  The story revolves around Miaka, a fifteen year old exam student living her life for everybody but herself and hating it.  One day while visting the library she gets sucked into an old Chinese spell book and becomes the Priestess of Suzaku.  She's supposed to find the seven "celestial warriors" and summon the beast god Suzaku.  Of course, it isn't going to be easy.  And Miaka's rather easily distracted...Of course, if the seven warriors destined to protect you were all hot guys you might be distracted too... A warning that there is the obligatory shoujo "cross-dresser" and some ambiguous reference to some adult matters, but for the most part Yuu Watase is very clean.  As with any manga, please pay attnetion to the ratings - they are there for a reason.


Watase Yuu Flower Comics

  • Fushigi Yugi - 18 Vols.
  • Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden - Vol.7 - ongoing.
  • Shishunki Miman Okotowari - 3 Vols.
  • Epotoransu! Mai - 2 Vols.
  • Ayashi no Ceres (Ceres, The Celestial Legend) - 14 Vols.
  • Appare Jipangu! - 3 Vols.
  • Imadoki! - 5 Vols.
  • Alice 19th - 7 Vols.
  • Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) - 6 Vols.
  • I Won't Let You Become a Star! - 1 Vols.
  • Sakura Gari - ongoing

Watase Yuu Masterpiece Collection

  1. Gomen Asobase!
  2. Magical Nan
  3. Otenami Haiken!
  4. Suna no Tiara
  5. Mint de Kiss Me
  6. Shounen Aromatic (Aromatic Boy)

YuuTopia Collection

  1. Oishii Study
  2. Musubiya Nanako

Watase Yuu Flower Comics Deluxe, Kanzenban, Shogakukan Bunko

  • Shishunki Miman Okotowari - 3 Vols.
  • Pajama de Ojama (her debut work)
  • Mint de Kiss Me
  • Fushigi Yugi Kanzenban - 9 Vols.
  • Fushigi Yugi -
  • Epotoransu! Mai


  • Watase Yuu Illustration Collection Fushigi Yugi
  • Watase Yuu Illustration Collection - Part 2 Fushigi Yugi Animation World
  • "Ayashi no Ceres" Illustration Collection Tsumugi Uta ~Amatsu Sora Naru Hito o Kofutote~
  • Yuu Watase Post Card Book


  • Shishunki Miman Okotowari
  • Maseikishinden
  • Fushigi Yugi
  • Ayashi no Ceres
  • Yada ze!
  • Alice 19th

    To check out any of these manga you can visit Yuu Watase's profile on Wikipedia or check out Shoujo Beat online...

Links: Yuu Watase on Wikipedia

          Tasuki no Miko's Yuu Watase Page


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