A very prolific and well-known Mangaka, born in Osaka in 1950, Yuu Watase is best known as the creator of Fushigi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres, both of which have been adapted into anime. They made her debut in 1989 with the oneshot Pajama de Ojama (An Interlude in Pyjamas) and is predominantly a writer of Shoujo series, although they later begun branching out into other demographics, including Shounen (Arata Kangatari), Josei (Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden) and Yaoi (Sakura Gari). They've 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 they do decide to go Darker and Edgier, they do so hardcore: Sakura Gari and Ayashi no Ceres have plenty of bishonen, melodrama and love triangles, plus utterly twisted and psychologically driven storylines.
In 2019, Watase revealed that she came out as X-Gender, which is the Japanese term for non-binary identities.
Some of Watase's manga works include:
- Shinshunki Miman Okotowari
- Fushigi Yuugi
- Epotrans! Mai
- Ayashi no Ceres
- Appare Jipangu!
- Alice 19th
- Absolute Boyfriend
- Sakura Gari
- Arata Kangatari
Tropes Commonly Associated within Watase's works:
- Art Evolution: Big time. The biggest development was done during Ayashi no Ceres. They characters, though still similar to each other, have become more rounded. And they deliberately changed their style for Sakura Gari and Arata Kangatari respectively.
- Anyone Can Die: Just don't get too attached to any character appart of the lead. Just in case. Literally half the cast of Fushigi Yugi are dead by the end.
- Attempted Rape
- Break the Cutie
- Can't Have Sex Ever: They love this trope with a passion! In half of their works there's always some reason for the two leads not sexually 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.
- Creative Differences: They had big, BIG ones with a very stubborn editor while working on Arata Kangatari. It was so bad, they suffered a Creator Breakdown and almost stopped working on manga altogether.
- Darker and Edgier: Their career went this way starting with Ayashi no Ceres. Case in point, Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden AND Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Senki are much more serious and dramatic than the original Fushigi Yuugi. And then there's Sakura Gari...
- First Girl Wins, First Guy Wins
- Love Dodecahedron: They're 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 her 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, she has 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 mentios how they think they look handsome, it's pretty clear there's a lot of Author Appeal involved.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Has been known to ship their own male characters in the comments sections of her various manga and claimed to be disappointed at not seeing fanfics featuring her preferred couplings. Her foray into actual yaoi surprised no-one.