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Michihara Katsumi

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

(1958-    ) Japanese artist of Manga and book covers, best known for her Illustration work on Rieko Yoshihara's erotically-charged novel Ai no Kusabi (October 1987-October 1990 Shōsetsu June; 1990; trans as The Space Between 2007), likely to have been the main impetus behind her Seiun Award for Art in 1990. She has also illustrated several iterations of the long-running Ginga Eiyū Densetsu ["Legend of Galactic Heroes"] (see Yoshiki Tanaka), including the manga Tie Eiyūtachi no Shōzō ["Portraits of the Heroes"] (graph [date unknown/] Comic Ryū; fixup 1995) Her largest manga work is the art for the Joker series (1987-1993, 1997, 2004), based on an original story by Yū Maki. Her lissome, gracile, graceful men, often depicted in homosexual or homoerotic relationships, were harbingers of character stereotypes that endure today, particularly in Japanese sf for women (see Sex; Gender).

Michihara's work as illustrator also led to her being credited as the character designer for the video Anime remake of Ai no Kusabi (1992). Her work for hire has ironically eclipsed her own creations, which alone would have been enough to ensure her presence in the ranks of Women SF Writers. Most notable are the linked stories Al Kalal no Isan ["The Inheritance of Aru Kararu"] (1985 Ryū; graph 1990) and Archa Lyra (1990 Source; graph 1993), a well-realized First Contact story in which human scouts are initially charmed by the dark and golden-eyed residents of a newly discovered planet. With twists redolent of Ray Bradbury or Hitoshi Iwaaki, the scouts discover that their arrival has upset a delicate symbiosis between the humanoid natives and a vicious reptilian species (see Parasitism and Symbiosis). The Anime adaptation of the first tale is Aru Kararu no Isan (1993; vt Legacy of Aru Kararu; vt The Inheritance of Aru Kararu; vt Al Caral no Isan). [JonC]

Katsumi Michihara

born Mihara, Hiroshima, Japan: 13 February 1958

works (selected)


Ginga Eiyū Densetsu

individual titles

  • Pandora no Wakusei ["Pandora's Planet"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1983) [graph: pb/Katsumi Michihara]
  • Noli Me Tangere (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1984) [graph: based on a story by Yū Maki: pb/Katsumi Michihara]
  • Joker (Tokyo: Shinshokan, 1987-1993, 1997, 2004) [graph: in eight volumes: based on a story by Yū Maki: pb/Katsumi Michihara]
  • Al Kalal no Isan ["The Inheritance of Al Kalal"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1990) [graph: first serialized 1985 Ryū: pb/Katsumi Michihara]
  • Joker Michihara Katsumi Gashū ["Joke Michihara Katsumi Art Collection"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1993) [pb/Katsumi Michihara]
  • Archa Lyra (Tokyo: Shinshokan, 1993) [graph: first serialized 1990 Source: pb/Katsumi Michihara]


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