Blue Exorcist’s Kazue Kato will be the next mangaka to join the illustrious list of contributors to the Dragon Ball Super Gallery Project.
News of Kato joining was leaked on Twitter earlier today, getting fans of her work as well as Dragon Ball excited. The leak claims that she will be joining the library project next month, so readers should expect the July release for her to join the project. The Dragon Ball Super Gallery is a project to celebrate the series’ 40th anniversary, giving other mangakas the chance to redesign the classic Dragon Ball manga cover of their choice each month. To date, many of the industry’s most prominent artists have participated, from Naruto’s Masashi Kishimoto to Chainsaw Man’s Tatsuji Fujimoto, with many more coming soon, as the project will run monthly until November 2024 .
Why Blue Exorcist Mangaka’s appearance is remarkable
With her participation, Kato will become the only third female mangaka to participate in the Library project out of 23 entries. The first is Akira Amano, known for the Katekyō Hitman Reborn series! and more recently Ron Kamonohashi: Deranged Detective, followed by Posuka Demizu, author of The Promised Neverland. Interestingly, these artists were two of the last six to be included in the project, and with Kato soon to follow, signs could indicate that the Dragon Ball Super franchise is actively interested. more towards gender equality in celebration of its 40th anniversary. Like many manga of its time, Dragon Ball hasn’t always been fair to its female characters, with Chi-Chi being a notable example. Thus, allowing women like Kato and Demizu to redesign it in their own style is an encouraging sign of how far this medium has come.
For those unfamiliar with Blue Exorcist, the series focuses on protagonist Rin Okumura, who learns after years of living with Catholic exorcist Shiro Fujimoto that he and his brother Yukio are sons of Satan. When Shiro is killed trying to protect them, Rin unleashes her demonic powers and decides to become an exorcist to defeat her biological father and avenge her adoptive father. The manga began in 2009 and is still serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump to this day, reaching an impressive 29 volumes at the time of writing and spawning several adaptations, including an anime series, a movie story and a spin-off manga.
The Blue Exorcist comic is available in English from VIZ Media. Her work on the Dragon Ball Super Gallery Project and 22 previous covers can be found on the pages of Shueisha’s Saikyo Jump.