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Author Information: Yu Watase

 
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Manga artist Yu Watase is wildly popular for her time-travel fantasy Fushigi Yuugi (it seemed as if there were dozens of Miaka costumers at Anime Expo). Now, Watase fans will have another of her series to follow, now that Viz is releasing her Aya no Ceres manga and anime in North America. "I wanted to have a world that is more realistic and more dramatic than Fushigi Yuugi," said Watase about Ceres. "I don't like to settle in a genre. I might feel at home with one kind of story, but I don't feel that I'm growing as an author."

Ceres' romances will be more mature than Miaka's schoolgirl fantasies from Fushigi Yuugi. "The human relationships naturally happen between the characters," said Watase. "Sometimes I think things out, and other times they turn out completely different from what I expected." Storywriting takes effort for Watase, but she enjoys the effort. "They keep flowing out because the stories can't happen in real life - it's more dramatic."

Watase is aware of her popularity of Japan, but she's not going to tailor her stories for overseas audiences. "The emotions are universal. The human relations and the heart are the most important. I try to convey that in my work, and that's probably why it's universally accepted. Japanese and overseas audiences usually laugh and cry at the same places."

In the same vein, Watase has begun reading American comics and is awed at their artistic skill. "It's very realistic," she said of U.S. comics such as Batman. "I feel I have to preserve a Japanese art style, but I'd like to take an American technique to better my work." Watase also had a message for American fans who have created fan subs of the anime based on her manga: please take it easy with them, now that more of her work is coming to the U.S.

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