|Japanese Name:||桂 小太郎|
|Romanized Name:||Katsura Kotarō|
|English Name:||Kotarou Katsura|
|Epithet:|| Kyouran no Kikoushi (The Nobleman of Fury) |
Joishishi no Akatsuki (The Dawn of Jouishishi)
Nige no Kotarou (Master Escape Kotarou)
Bakudan ma (Bomb Demon)
Fruits Punch Samurai G
|First Appearance:||Episode 1 (special) , Episode 5 (official).|
|Height:||175 cm (5' 9")|
|Weight:||68 kg (151 lb)|
|Japanese VA:||Ishida Akira|
|English VA:||Illich Guardiola (movie)|
Katsura Kotarou ( 桂 小太郎 Katsura Kotarō ) is the leader of the moderate Joui (攘夷) faction and a fugitive wanted by the authorities. He is also an expert in using bombs and escaping from Shinsengumi and penitentiaries.
In his childhood, Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke were Katsura's classmates under the same tutelage of Yoshida Shouyou. After the Kansei Purge event, they would rise up as the last warriors of the Joui Patriots to free (and later, avenge) their beloved teacher from the Bakufu.
Katsura later became comrades with Sakamoto Tatsuma during the Joui War.
When Katsura and Gintoki were injured, surrounded, and outnumbered by the Amanto, Katsura suggested that they should commit seppuku and die with honour, but Gintoki refused, saying they should rather live life out to the fullest with honour. Katsura agreed and they charged the enemies together.
After the Joui War, the three classmates went different paths as Katsura continued his activities fighting against the government.
He has long black hair (Okada Nizou asked whether Katsura is really a man, for having such silky hair in Episode 58), He sports olive-brown eyes and has an attractive demeanor. He typically wears a blue kimono with a yellow sash. The fact that he typically wears a pale blue haori on top of his kimono and white socks with slippers suggests that he is particular about how he dresses and carries himself. He is never seen lying around or sitting in a unrefined manner, and he typically keeps his arms in his sleeves when not carrying anything.
He is usually seen with his sidekick Elizabeth.
Since he is a wanted man, Katsura usually uses disguises to hide from Shinsengumi or to wander freely in public.
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Katsura's illogical decisions often suggest him to be a complete moron, though this may be a result of his lack of common sense rather than actual stupidity. Despite that, Katsura couldn't identify the Shogun by his physical appearance, or by his nickname "shou-chan". He is hardly ever seen joking, which only serves to amplify the oddities of his character.
He is also very persistent and kept pestering Gintoki to join him in his Jouishishi rebellion. He is a charismatic leader and commands great respect from his followers. One of his Joui followers described him as a man who cannot back down once he gets into high spirits over something. In fact he was able to rally a big group of followers in a very short time during his prison stint in Episode 110.
Thrifty in habit, he eats simple meals like soba, and once advised Elizabeth against eating 'strawberry milk and parfait' so as not to weaken the body and the spirit (see Episode 58), though he has a soft-spot for んまい棒 Nmaibo, a corn snack modelled after うまい棒 umaibo.
Kastura is very polite, Usually adding the honorific "dono" to people. He takes great care not to offend any person. When he thought he offended the human punching bag, he gladly offered his "treasure", a borrowed nintendo cartridge.
Katsura also takes an interest in outdated things. Such is the case when he walked into the Bentendo Owee convention expecting to buy a Famicom when everybody else was looking for the Owee. This could be a satire of how outdated the Joui ideals have become in a modern day world.
Katsura loves animals especially the paw pads of dogs and cats.
He has an extreme imagination and improvisation:
- He sometimes does the voices of some inanimate objects.
- He tends to have long and dramatic flashbacks and reflections out of pointless matters.
He has a soft spot for housewives (or fetish, just choose), especially widows, as shown in the Owee chapter when he was playing the dating simulation and the bond with Ikumatsu. Later on, he digresses on this soft spot by bluntly admitting that he does in fact has a fetish for unfaithful wives. During this digression, Gintoki points out that Katsura has always been shy about women, even as a kid, and mentioned his first crush being the neighborhood widow.
In the beginning of the series, Katsura hated the world for taking away Yoshida Shouyou life and was willing to cause destruction against the government and Shinsengumi. But after seeing how Gintoki was and falling out with Takasugi after the Benizakura Arc, he decided to find more peaceful solutions. (It is also guessed that the encounter with Ikumatsu and hearing about her past had influenced him, too)
Strength & Abilities
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: In his childhood, he was under the tutelage of Yoshida Shouyou together with Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke. He learnt swordsmanship from Yoshida Shouyou, Katsura uses a Katana and he is a highly skilled samurai.
When Katsura was trained by Sarutobi Ayame as ninja to save Elizabeth, according to Sa-chan his speed doesn't fall behind a true ninja. He was ranked B as his speed was good but his awareness was moderate.
Not only is he the leader of a fairly large terrorist group he is also a bomb specialist and is extremely good at gathering information on a variety of people.
He is a crafty, creative and intelligent person despite his outward appearance. This is shown by:
- His stunts to escape Shinsengumi's sight.
- Using a Nmaibo as a smoke bomb.
- He carries a parachute pack under his haori.
- Whenever he incorporates food (curry or fried rice) into his fighting style, enemies become quickly incapacitated from indigestion and severe diarrhea from consuming the food.
- Using Takeshi's Famicom "Super Monkey Adventure" cartidge against the Shinsengumi.
He is a master of diguises:
- When he dressed up as a pirate, Katsura would call himself "Captain Katsura".
- He dressed as a soccer player and called himself Captain Katsura.
- He disguises as a travelling Buddhist Monk.
- While having an interview, Katsura just wore a Groucho glasses disguise
- In Episode 60 it was shown that he managed to escape from Nizo and hide himself and disguise himself as Elizabeth. This shows he is quite intelligent to be able to come up with such a plan.
- He also has his own custom Renho disguise which is also a space suit.
- He also goes by the name "DJ Ozura" as his rapper identity but Kondou Isao saw through it.
- When Katsura is crossdressing, he goes by the name "Zurako" (ツラ子).
- On episode 98, Katsura calls himself "Katsuo" (カツオ) when he cosplayed as Mario during the Bentendo Owee event.
- In Episode 120, he goes by the not-so-clever alias of 'Joey (Joui) Katsura' when he was working undercover as an Amanto in an exclusive Amanto-only Restaurant, with the intention of forcing it to close down by blowing it up, before the extremist factions come and caused trouble.
- He quickly disguised as a waiter when hiding in Ikumatsu Ramen Store.
- He disguised as a maid called "Ichihara Ezurako" in order to spy on Matsudaira Katakuriko.
According to Gintoki, Katsura has never caught a cold because he thinks that his body resisted the cold. It turns out that his body can absorbs viruses to the point of where it strengthens his immune system which turns him into Ill Smith.
- Yoshida Shouyou: Katsura studied under Shouyou and he, Gintoki and Takasuki joined the Joui Patriots to avenge the death of their teacher.
Friends & Allies
- Sakata Gintoki: Katsura and Gintoki have known each other since they were children. They usually fight alongside with each other, so they can be considered very close friends. Gintoki always calls Katsura by the nickname "Zura", which literally means "wig", even though Katsura prefers his real name. Katsura always tries to recruit Gintoki to his organization but ultimately fails as Gintoki isn't interested in fighting a futile fight. After meeting with him more and more he has changed to become more benevolent and tries to find more peaceful solutions to the Amanto infestation instead of just extreme violence.
- Sakamoto Tatsuma: They've fought in the Joui together with Gintoki and Takasugi, although they haven't interacted with each other much after Jouishishi war, but they seem to be on good terms as seen in the Renho arc. Sakamoto gave Elizabeth to Katsura as a pet.
- Elizabeth: He is always accompanied by Elizabeth from Episode 15 onwards,is very attached to it and went to it's rescue when it was 'kidnapped' in Episode 44. Katsura's affection for Elizabeth is so great he refuses to acknowledge that Elizabeth is just a man in sheets despite seeing a picture of the chubby man in an x-ray in Episode 129. Katsura is overprotective of Elizabeth as he'll pursuet any person who injures him. When he sees multiple Renho, Katsura ends up falling asleep.
- Kagura: . On Episode 44, he wanted to have the red ninja suit which usually means the leader of the team. Kagura told him that red is her color and she should be the leader. She commanded Katsura to call her "Leader". She also said that the color yellow fits him well and he should always bring curry with him, thus having the title "Curry Ninja". He mentions to Gintoki that she would make a good samurai, much to her dismay.
- Ikumatsu: Katsura encounters Ikumatsu as he was on the run from the Shinsengumi in Episode 39. He is shown to be sympathetic over the death of Ikumatsu's husband who was killed during a conflict involving the Jouishishi. Katsura would use Ikumatsu's ramen store to place an interview with the news reporter. In the Benizakura Arc, Ikumatsu was one of the people that was shown to be important for him. And in Chapter 431, he admitted that he's in love with Ikumatsu's soba. But it is a unrequited love because she always thinks about her husband. After Katsura's run in with the Shinsengumi in Episode 39 and the events that took place in that Episode, Katsura has been seen to periodically dine at Ikumatsu's place, this is evident to a point where Gintoki noticed it and couldn't help but ask Katsura if he had ever slept with Ikumatsu.
- Kondou Isao: Katsura and Kondou are rivals, Kondo is always shown chasing after Katsura and they would always fight over similar nicknames such as Fruit Punch/Chinpo Samurai. In episode 88 they lose their memories and become friends (temporarily) both saying "I have a feeling that I was a person who protected the world peace. So we must've been comrades".
- Takasugi Shinsuke: Katsura hated Takasugi now and even when they were still studying under Yoshida Shouyou though he always thought of Takasugi as a comrade. In the recent Benizakura arc, he tried to convince Takasugi out of his violent activities but failed as Takasugi desired only destruction. Katsura and Gintoki swore that the next time they meet, they would do everything to take him down.
- Yagyuu Kyuubei: Since Kyuubei has more frequent appearances than Katsura, Katsura became very jealous stating that their characters are overlapping each other for the dead-serious/eggheaded character, though Gintoki has mentioned many times that their characters don't overlap.
- Tokugawa Shige Shige: When Shige Shige lost his memory, Katsura took him in to his Joui Army and taught him how to be a Cool Leader. Katsura gets defeated by Shige Shige and all of the Katsura's Joui army now think of Shige Shige as a true leader including Elizabeth. When Katsura and Shige Shige decide to compete with each other to see who can get Soyo Hime's head to become the true leader. However it turns out it was all an act and Shige Shige tells Katsura that the next time they meet, one of them get will lose their head.
In Episode 39, he is unluckily spotted and injured by Okita Sougo and forced to take refuge in a ramen shop. The owner, Ikumatsu, allows him to stay as a waiter until the rain stops, he masters ramen making, or until his injury heals. Three fake Jouishishi continue to harrass the owner for money, but Katsura chases them off. Ikumatsu believes Joui are money-hungry bastards, who are responsible for the death of her husband. Katsura leaves with determination to prevent further civilian bloodshed.
Memory Loss Arc
Katsura's working for money when the main characters find him, and he invites a memory-less Gintoki to "forget all his worries" inside. When Gintoki's on the verge of remembering something, Katsura quickly asks if he remembers being his underling, who worked hard day and night, to Shinpachi's ire. Not working, Katsura joins Kagura in beating back the memories, but had to make a quick escape when the Shinsengumi arrive.
Katsura enlists the Yorozuya to help him save Elizabeth, but the difficulty of sneaking in forces them to bring in an Expert to help them. After completing their training with Sacchan, Katsura and Yorozuya head forth to save Elizabeth, only to face various traps and other ninjas standing in their way.
Infant Strife Arc
Train Samurai Arc
At the start of the Benizakura arc, Katsura is cut down by Okada Nizou, and the majority of his hair is put in a knot to show to Gintoki as proof of his death. Later Katsura re-appears bursting out of an Elizabeth costume, which Takasugi cut in two. Katsura was shown explaining his reasons for not wishing to destroy the world(also that he placed a bomb in the room with all of the Benizakura which then exploded). as Gintoki appears to face Nizou for a third fight. At the end of the arc, Gintoki and Katsura battle the Harusame space pirates in order to flee the ship as Takasugi and the Kihetai watch.After he and Gintoki declare that they will kill Takasugi, Katsura uses a parachute after they both jump out of the airship. Katsura comments about the pamphlet Shouyo gave the group of Joui as children. Gintoki said that he accidentally spilled Ramen on his, and had thrown it out.
He was briefly seen eating Soba with Elizabeth when the news made an emergency announcement that robots were taking over. In the end of the arc, Katsura went to Otose Snack bar and spoke to Tama trying to teach her about Samurai.
Monkey Hunter Arc
Yorozuya Barbers Arc
Character Poll Arc
He briefly made an appearance as the source of information about joushishi activity. Gintoki and Shinpachi went to the amusement park where Katsura was working and asked Katsura about the Soukaitou group.
Kabukicho Stray Cat Arc
After escaping from the Shinsengumi, He is later found hiding on a bushes near a temple infested with stray cats. After defecating and urinating on the grave of the stray cats Katsura turn onto a black cat with an blue handkerchief tied around neck.
According to his new year card he sent to Gintoki, he was standing outside on standby with Elizabeth.
When Jugem escapes, Yorozuya used their social network to help them find him. They first called Katsura and Elizabeth brought Balmung Fezalion instead.
Two years later, Katsura became a transgender with his okama name Zurako. He battles with Kyuubei to be the best gay bar champion. Later he confronted Kondou when he gave birth to his child Goriko.
Katsura and Elizabeth spent six months practicing to beat Kintoki at the Costume Grand Prix, and step on Gintoki while he's still lying in the road shocked over the altered 60 DVDs of Kintama.
Hasegawa Taizou and Katsura later reminisce about nothing, then about someone they always hung out with... Big Daddy! Kintoki runs them over for ruining the mood.
When Gintoki was wanted for hurting Tama, everyone was out on the streets handing out wanted posters - including Katsura and the Jouishishi (but theirs were for other wanted fugitives). While helping look for Gintoki (and dragging his feet), Katsura visited a cosplay shop and cosplayed a flight attendant woman, scoring an offer from Tsukuyo to join Yoshiwara.
When the three girls defended Gintoki from Kintoki, and Kintoki crossed the line made of kunai, Hasegawa and Katsura both raised their hands against Kintoki, Katsura declaring their promise to "never change," and "if you ever change, I'll be there to cut you down."
Ikkoku Keisei Arc
Katsura was on standby while everybody was playing kick the can.
School of Beam Saber Arc
Before the events of Gintoki's sham confessional charging one thousand yen(approximately $12.77), Katsura saved the life of the current Shogun Tokugawa Shige Shige. Katsura gave him training to keep him calm so that he can become a future leader, justifying this by saying "shou-chan" possessed style, and was refined. Katsura's training included a match of Jenga while Elizabeth pelted them with dodge balls, and a recording of a black school teacher yelled the words "You Fool". The tower was referred to as the "organization" that they were leading. The tower soon collapsed as Elizabeth hit it with a ball, but Katsura kept his cool in order to teach his subordinate. After numerous balls hit him he still manages to keep his cool, but after the teacher started yelling "You Fool", Katsura snapped. He broke the television while screaming "Baka Janai, Katsura da!", a variation of his catch phrase "Zura Janai". After he saw the Shogun setting the Jenga pieces up Horizontally instead of Vertically, Katsura analyzed his setup and commented that without a leader at the top of the organization, it would fall apart. Katsura placed a piece ontop of the others to represent the leader, but a dodgeball hit him in the back of the head, causing a Domino effect on the Jenga blocks. The blocks lead to Shou-chan's face, and he said that he would be the foundation supporting the organization. Katsura was considered the loser of the match. In his loss, Katsura claimed that there was another quality that a leader must have, to never show weakness, and that he will show him this in a game of Othello with insults written on the backs of the pieces. A few days later Katsura plans to break Gintoki out of prison and tells his comrades not to follow under any circumstances, just to see if any of his comrades are concerned about him, but after telling them four times, they tell him to keep quieter, as they are busy playing UNO with Shige Shige. Katsura then made his way into Edo Castle, and knocked out the guards in his way and met up with Gintoki. After hearing enough about Katsura's personal problems, Gintoki kicks him in the face, and tells him that it's his own fault for letting the Shogun live with him. Katsura corrects him, saying that he was not the shogun but actually Shou-chan, and that Gintoki had already killed the Shogun. A group of guards finds Katsura inside but "Shou-chan" knocks them out. Katsura decides that whoever takes the head of Soyo Hime should be the true head of the Joui. When they start running on the rooftops a group of archers fire towards the two, and Katsura pushes Shige Shige to the ground and cuts all of the arrows with one swing of his blade claiming that a leader must be cool at all times. Katsura accidentally tore Shige Shige's clothes off when he tried to pull part of the roof out of his ass, but Katsura took it as an expression of Shou-chan throwing out the concept of strength and weakness all together. After the roof collapses, the two fall in and some of the Joui members accompanying them pull their blades on Shige Shige, while the Shogun's subordinates draw their blades on Katsura. It is revealed that the two of them had knew about each other all along and that they truly wanted to see what kind of man their enemies' leader was. Soyo comments that they should keep it quiet because a friend of hers is trying to get to sleep and Gintoki asks if he is allowed to be released as well. On their way out Kagura, who was having a sleep over with Soyo Hime at the time pulled Gintoki, Shige Shige, and Katsura under the blanket, and threw their battered bodies out moments later.
Katsura and the Yorozuya visit Ikumatsu, who narrates the story of a strange, poor man who used to visit her and her husband Daigo every year until her husband's death. Katsura decides to find this man and drags Gintoki into dressing up as a homeless man along with him, but not before Gintoki mercilessly teases Katsura about his obvious romantic interest in Ikumatsu. There they meet Daigo's brother who has sworn revenge on Katsura and Ikumatsu for rendering him homeless. He plans to have his revenge by killing the man Ikumatsu mentioned earlier who he reveals is her father.
Daigo's brother prevents the other homeless men who are with Katsura and Gintoki from moving to other areas, in an attempt to force Katsura to identify Ikumatsu's father. Katsura, Gintoki, Hasegawa and the man known among the homeless as 'Kami-sama' head into the sewers in order to find a way out. After a discussion, they realise Kami-sama is Ikumatsu's dad and are intercepted by Daigo's brother who reveals he has sent some men to deal with Ikumatsu, to Katsura and Gintoki's shock.
After a brawl in which Katsura uses Ikumatsu's father as a weapon while Gintoki does the same with Hasegawa, Gintoki tells Katsura to leave them to him and go after Ikumatsu. In spite of his protests, Gintoki throws both him and Ikumatsu's dad into the sewer water.
When Katsura gets to Ikumatsu's shop, he sees her falling off the bridge after having been hit by one of Daigo's brother's homeless men. Both he and her father go in to save her, and though Katsura is able to bring her out, her father doesn't come back up.
Later, Ikumatsu attempts to give Katsura a bowl of ramen instead of the soba he ordered, in order to follow her father's last words and share with the one she loved. Katsura says he cannot accept it and notes her sad face. He says he will be back and gets up to leave, asking her to talk to him whenever she would like to find something she had lost. As he walks out, Ikumatsu's father enters, in a wheelchair. Shortly after, Katsura returns with Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura, and together with Ikumatsu's father, they share the bowl of ramen.
Patriot Reunion Arc
Gintama The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yoruzuya
The second Gintama movie shows Katsura wearing a bandage in his right eye and a kimono, fashion, and appearance similar to Takasugi Shinsuke. 5 years after Gintoki's apparent death, Katsura, failing to protect what Gintoki left behind, gone mad and aimed to "destroy the world"(somewhat becoming like Takasugi in fashion). He was about to be executed by the government alongside Kondo and Gengai, when they were rescued by the combined forces of Hijikata and Elizabeth. He thanks the two groups, an got along with Kondo and the Shinsengumi. He later tells Gintoki(not knowing who he is) about the "white curse" which apparently was caused by the Enmi, and that Gintoki himself was infected with the virus during the Joi War.
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Katsura Kotarou vs. Okada Nizou||Loss||Lesson 89|
|Sakata Gintoki and Katsura Kotarou vs. Harusame||Retreat|
|Yorozuya, Kaientai, Katsura Kotarou and Elizabeth vs. Dark Vader||Win|
|Katsura Kotarou vs. Saitou Shimaru||Draw|
- According to Sorachi, Zura is modeled after Kido Takayoshi who went under the name Katsura Kogoro 桂小五郎, a man known as "Runaway Kogoro 逃げの小五郎" because of his feat of eluding from the sight of Shinsengumi during Bakumatsu.
- In the Japanese drama "Shinsengumi!" that Sorachi-sensei used to get some of his ideas from, he would always be known to elude capture.
- Gintoki calls Katsura by his nickname Zura ( ヅラ). The term ヅラ zura is a shortened form derived from Katsura.
- He is shown to mistake his basic vocabulary easily, just as when he mistook "nakama" (which means comrades) into namaka, manaka (main character of Ichigo 100%) and ManaKana (which is a japanese girl group composing of twin girls).
- In episode 112, on his birthday, he made a short Katsuratama segment (parody of Gintama).
- namaka manaka nakama ichigo100% manakana gil twin group
- In the real history Ikumatsu was originally a Geisha, but eventually she and Katsura got married.
- "It's not Zura, it's Katsura!"
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "Your right arm isn't enough to carry the burden, from now on I'll be your left arm."
- (To Kihentai) "'I can't die before I see the dawn of Edo, if Edo is woken by rude people like you, it will get upset, you've got no need to see tomorrow's sunshine so rest in peace."
- (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "Takasugi, do you know how many times I have also wanted to reduce this world to smouldering ashes? However, that man has always endured it... Gintoki... He who has the most reason to hate this world has always endured it. "
- (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "If you hate this country, then destroy it. But if you hurt the people living in Edo, then I cannot allow you to indulge yourself."
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "Gintoki, there are things in this world that won't go your way! Forget about the country, I can't even change one friend"
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "Gintoki, don't change, it'll take too much effort to kill you"
- (To Suekuchi) "I am a revolutionary, I came to revolutionize this hell"
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "Who do you think you're talking to? My eyes may have failed me but I can still properly see, I can still see the path we must take"
- (To Otohime) "Just like how you've been longing for him over these many years, that man inside the chamber, lying within that deep darkness, always been longing for you too, shining like a pearl so you wouldn't lose your way"
- (To Fumiko and Yorozuya) I'm not cooperating with you! And I am not fighting as a Joui patriot defending his planet! I'm going to save my friend! I may have a hundred doubts, a thousand doubts, but I choose to believe in the drink we shared. That's how a friendship between men works. He must have his reasons. He must have been forced into his current situation. In that case, I will cross the galaxy and rivers of blood to save him!"
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "You're always blaming your natural perm for your cowardice. You're a pitiful man."
- (To Ikumatsu) "Good evening, I'm Santa Claus."
- (To Elizabeth) "It doesn't matter if you're in a dark place or at the farthest reaches of the universe! I told you that I've got your back!"
Gintama The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya
- (To Enmi) " A Samurai won't fall to the same trick twice!"
- (To Gintoki) " Gintoki.. We've lost so many comrades over the years, and we were overcome with grief everytime it happened. We kept living our lives thinking that those days were behind us. But you, we.. Have ended up back here yet again, didn't we?"
- (To Gintoki) " Gintoki! We will clear up a path for you! Thats why, don't do this for the future or the past! Do this for the time we live in! Open up a path to the 'present !"