Spotlight: Katase Waka
Been a while since I did a post like this, hasn’t it? :9
I don’t really know very much about Katase Waka and her work, but I saw her actual art for the first time in LYNX volume 29 (I’d been wanting to read her first tankoubon since a while after its release, but hadn’t cared enough to seek it out properly) and pretty much fell in love with it. I’m a sucker for super-cute art styles like that, so sue me.
She’s pretty unknown in western fandom if only because she’s a relatively new mangaka who hasn’t been lucky enough to get pimped out by a scanlation group yet. Aside from her only tankoubon that was released around a year ago, she also currently has a series running in LYNX (Link -Boku to Kimi no Aida-) that had its fourth and final chapter in the latest volume. Sugao no Kimi had a drama CD released for it in November ’09 but that’s really about all Katase Waka has under her name at the moment.
Katase Waka’s stories are pretty simple—nothing really realistic or super original and I don’t really have to think too much while reading. (Aside from thinking along the lines of “…what kanji is that??” maybe.) Her stories are pretty simple and fluffy, and follow the types of plots that a lot of other BL manga go along with. But I’m not one to instantly hate any and all cliches, especially if they come with beautiful art. Also, her characters are always interesting and either incredibly hetare and cute, a little crazy, or bitchy. All my favorite archetypes. And her ukes are so cute. Really, all of her characters are cute.
Characters designs are usually quite effeminate—even the seme. She’s very good at drawing gentle, pretty faces. Her art style is somewhere between Moegi Yuu and Takarai Rihito, and is very pretty especially when it’s in color. She takes a somewhat shoujo-y approach to her art with sparkly eyes and flowery screentone backgrounds, but it all fits together quite nicely. Especially since she has a good sense of humor about it. Sex doesn’t happen so much, and when it does it’s somewhat rushed and definitely not explicit in any way.
But who needs sex when you have so. damn. much. cute??