Katsura Kotarou (桂 小太郎, Katsura Kotarō) is the leader of a moderate Joui faction and a fugitive wanted by the authorities. He is also proficient in the art of escape from the Shinsengumi (formerly), penitentiaries and explosives.
BackgroundIn his childhood, Katsura's parents died due to an illness. He and his grandmother were then stripped of their home and for some time they wandered the streets, homeless. While visiting the grave of his parents, his grandmother taught him that no matter how strong or great a warrior may be, if he dies, he wouldn't be able to protect his country or any other people at all. So in order to be a great general, one must be more careful and more fearful in order to survive and lead the war.
It is unknown what he was doing after his grandmother died. But he gained a reputation for being clever which allowed him to receive a scholarship to his village's prestigious military school. He was friends with Takasugi Shinsuke at this time. The duo encounters Yoshida Shouyou, who had opened a free school for mostly poor children, and Sakata Gintoki, a child whom Shouyou was raising. Katsura and Takasugi were already disillusioned with their education, disgusted with their fellow students' pomposity and became attracted to Shouyou's philosophy. They will drop out of the military school and join Shouyou's for the next few years.
During the Kansei Purge, Shouyou is arrested and Katsura joins the ongoing Joui War with Takasugi, Gintoki and the other students to save him. It is during the war that he earned the nicknames Runaway Kotarou, for his strategic retreats, and The Noble Youth of Madness, for his poise when participating in battles. It is also at this time when he met Sakamoto Tatsuma. During a battle (but after Sakamoto was taken off the front lines because of an injury), everyone except Katsura, Takasugi, and Gintoki were killed while said trio were captured. It is then that Katsura and Takasugi were forced to watch as the teacher they joined the war to save was executed, their friend Gintoki being forced to do the deed. After their enemies left, the trio buried their teacher's head and their comrades' corpses then went their separate ways.
For the next ten years, Katsura will continue his Joui activities underground, forming his own faction and learning all he can about what his enemies, the bakufu are doing. This includes learning about the formation of the Shinsengumi.
He has long black hair (Okada Nizou wondered whether Katsura is really a man, for having such silky hair in Episode 58). He sports olive-brown eyes and has an attractive demeanour. Neptune Shoukaku in Episode 319 describes him as a dainty guy with effeminate and delicate features. 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. Since he is a wanted man, Katsura usually uses disguises to hide from Shinsengumi or to wander freely in public.
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 as in his childhood he was considered a talented genius who was able to attend a prestigious school without having the money to pay for it. Despite that, Katsura couldn't identify the Shogun by his physical appearance, or by his nickname "Shou-chan" during the Confessional Arc. It was later revealed that both the Shogun and the Joui rebel knew each other all along. Although he appears as an idiot most of the time in the series, he is very smart and sensible when serious circumstances arise. Katsura is hardly ever seen joking, which only serves to amplify the oddities of his character. He also has an extreme imagination and improvisation, as he sometimes does the voices of some inanimate objects and tends to have long and dramatic flashbacks and reflections out of pointless matters.
Katsura 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 nmaibo (んまい棒, Nmaibo), a corn snack modelled after umaibo (うまい棒, umaibo).
Katsura 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 loves animals, especially the paw pads of dogs and cats.
Katsura 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 his 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 acted and falling out with Takasugi after the Benizakura Arc, he decided to find more peaceful solutions. It is also possible that his encounter with Ikumatsu and hearing about her past might had influenced him as well.
His sense of self-preservation started in his childhood, since his parents died from an illness, having been stripped off of their mansion, and he was left roaming the streets together with his grandmother. While visiting the grave of his parents, his grandmother told him that no matter how strong or great a warrior may be, if he dies, he wouldn't be able to protect his country or anyone at all. So to be a great general, one must be more careful and more fearful in order to survive and lead the war. When his grandmother died, he was on his own until he met Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke. While studying under Yoshida Shouyou, he made a resolve to be "a samurai who is both more cowardly and stronger than anyone else" so he could protect his comrades. This resolve earned him the nickname "Runaway Kotarou".
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 is a highly skilled samurai. Part of the legendary "Joui 4", he earned the nickname "The Nobleman of Madness".
Enhanced Endurance: Katsura has shown a great amount of endurance, as seen during the Rakuyou Arc, during his battle against Neptune Shoukaku. Despite being brutally injured by Shoukaku, he managed to get up and eventually defeat him.
Katsura has shown during the battle against Shoukaku to have a hard head, being able to defeat Shoukaku with a headbutt due to this when both of them were heavily exhausted.
When Katsura was trained by Sarutobi Ayame as ninja to save Elizabeth, according to her his speed doesn't fall behind a true ninja, and he was ranked B as his speed was good but his awareness was moderate.
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.
He is not just 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 him not appearing that way. This is shown by the following:
- He was a prodigy as a child, due to which he was able to obtain a scholarship to a distinguished military school despite being poor.
- His stunts to escape Shinsengumi's sight by 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.
- He used Takeshi's Famicom "Super Monkey Adventure" cartridge against the Shinsengumi.
- In Lesson 173 it was shown he knew Yamazaki Sagaru was a spy sent to infiltrate the Joui the whole time. (In the anime this was changed to lengthen the episode).
- His cunning is shown in Episode 110, where he told Suekichi he gained control of the prisoners and started a revolution in the gaol to change their lives for the better, while in actuality it was all a trick and he was planning to escape all along.
He's shown to be quite good at technology, as evidenced by the following:
- He is a bomb specialist who prepares his own time bombs.
- He is one of the few to own a personal computer (an Apple laptop as shown in Lesson 85), he frequently spends time on forums and sends people spam messages to join the Joui on cellphones.
- In Episode 223 he disrupted a terrorist group's radar net so that the latter would not know where they were, and guided Matsudaira Katakuriko by sending him a map on his cellphone in order for him to rescue his daughter.
- He immediately knew how to pilot a Gunsam without prior experience in Episode 234.
He is a master of disguises:
- When he dressed up as a pirate, Katsura called himself "Captain Katsura".
- He dressed as a soccer player and called himself Captain Katsura.
- He disguised himself 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 Nizou, he hid and disguised himself as Elizabeth.
- He also has his own custom Renho disguise which is also a space suit.
- He also went by the name "DJ Ozura" as his rapper identity but Kondou Isao saw through it.
- When Katsura was crossdressing, he went by the name "Zurako" (ツラ子).
- On Episode 98, Katsura called himself "Katsuo" (カツオ) when he cosplayed as Mario during the Bentendo Owee event.
- In Episode 120, he went 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 himself as a waiter when hiding in Ikumatsu Ramen Store.
- He disguised himself as a maid called "Ichihara Ezurako" in order to spy on Matsudaira.
- He disguised himself as a Shinsengumi member called "Hashira Afuro" during the Afro Arc and he was not recognized by anyone.
- Yoshida Shouyou: Katsura studied under Shouyou together with Gintoki and Takasugi and joined the Joui Patriots to fight for his freedom after he was arrested under Sada Sada's orders. The Tendoshu forced Gintoki to choose between saving either Shouyou or Katsura and Takasugi, with their teacher sacrificing himself in order to save Katsura, and his friends' lives.
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 started to become more benevolent and tries to find more peaceful solutions to the Amanto infestation instead of just extreme violence. Although he witnessed Gintoki being forced to execute Shouyou by the Tendoshuu during their capture in the Joui war, he still forgives Gintoki and understands the regret Gintoki has for killing Shouyou in order to save his, and his friends' lives and also to keep his promise to Shouyou. He even told Takasugi in the Benizakura arc that he too wanted to destroy the world; yet Gintoki, who has more right to be angry at the world than anyone else but still choose endures it, they should honor his decision as well.
- Sakamoto Tatsuma: They fought in the Joui war together with Gintoki and Takasugi and are good friends. Although they haven't interacted with each other much after the Jouishishi war, they are still on good terms as seen in the Renho arc. Sakamoto gave Elizabeth to Katsura as a pet. Sakamoto knew about Katsura's childhood as well, when the former discussed who is the strongest in the group among the Joui rebels during the war. He defended Katsura when the men implied he was cowardly, revealing his admiration and understanding of Katsura.
- Elizabeth: He is always accompanied by Elizabeth from Episode 15 onwards, and he is very attached to it and went to its 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 pursue any person who injures him.
- Kagura: In Episode 44, he wanted to have the red ninja suit which usually is for 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" which he always did ever since. 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 mentioned to Gintoki that she would make a good samurai, much to her dismay. Kagura calls Katsura "Zura" just like Gintoki.
- Shimura Shinpachi: They are very respectful to each other, but at times Shinpachi wonders about Katsura's lack of common sense. Just like the other two members of Yorozuya, he does seek advice from Katsura every once in a while.
- Kondou Isao: When Kondo was the commander of the Shinsengumi, he and Katsura were rivals. Kondo was always shown chasing after Katsura and they would always fight over similar nicknames such as Fruit Punch/Chinpo Samurai. In Episode 88 they lost their memories and become friends (temporarily), and both mentioned that "I have a feeling that I was a person who protected the world peace. So we must've been comrades." Apparently they have the same peaceful goals, despite being enemies once. They worked together during the Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc in order to fight the enemy forces that ambushed them. Also, Katsura shielded Kondo before Sasaki Isaburo shot him, taking the hit instead, much to Kondo's worry.
- Matsudaira Katakuriko: Although they were enemies once before Shinsengumi was disbanded by the new Shogun Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu after their friend, Shige Shige, died after being poisoned by Tendoshuu's assassins. He first assisted him while he was undercover as the assistant Ezurako to know about Matsudaira's status in 2 days, and the Shinsengumi Director's daughter's birthday, where she was taken hostage by some Joui terrorists in the following day. After assisting Matsudaira in rescuing his daughter, Matsudaira spared Katsura afterwards. During Nobu Nobu's reign after Shinsengumi was disbanded and with the Director and the Chief Kondo were about to be executed five days later, at the same time Nobu Nobu and Mimawarigumi threatened Tae, Gintoki, Heiji, Haji, and the former Shinsengumi Vice Chief Hijikata, Katsura sacrifices himself and saved them, in order to save Kondo and Matsudaira from execution before five days later. He had already made a promise with the late-Shige Shige to carry on his peaceful will if the late-wise Shogun died, and already planned to call a truce with Shinsengumi to save Edo and also Earth from Tendoshuu and the currently corrupted Bakufu.
- Takasugi Shinsuke: He and Takasugi met in childhood before meeting Yoshida-sensei and Gintoki. Takasugi who is about to be disowned by his Samurai family would often hang out in a temple. Katsura would visit him and even offered onigiri. Both of them would often talk about what it's like to be samurai and would be curious later on upon seeing Yoshida Shoyou and Gintoki. After the war and the death of their teacher, all of them lost sight of each other. Katsura was just like Takasugi (wanting to destroy the world) only to change his mind after being reunited again with Gintoki and learning to love the people in Edo. During the Benizakura arc, he tried to convince Takasugi to renounce his violent activities but failed as Takasugi only desired destruction. Although seen frequently looking out for him in flashbacks, he later claimed that he never liked Takasugi to begin with but still considered him as a comrade. Katsura and Gintoki swore that the next time they meet, they would do everything to take him down. During the escape he mentioned to Gintoki that they all started at one place yet ended up far away from each other. After Takasugi realized why Gintoki saved them for their master's will that has been passed to them to move on, Katsura may seemingly reconcile with him.
- Yagyuu Kyuubei: Since Kyuubei had more frequent appearances than Katsura, the latter 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. Despite this, Katsura was ranked as the more popular character of the two. Despite this, they get along during her birhday or when they got lost on an unknown island during the Ryuuguujou Arc.
- Tokugawa Shige Shige: When Shige Shige was alive and lost his memory, Katsura took him in to his Joui Army and taught him how to be a cool leader. However, Katsura got defeated by Shige Shige and all members of Katsura's Joui army taught of Shige Shige as a true leader, including Elizabeth. Katsura and Shige Shige decided to compete with each other to see who can get Soyo Hime's head to become the true leader. However it turned out it was all an act and Shige Shige told Katsura that the next time they meet, one of them get will lose their head. Despite being enemies, they have the same will to change Edo into a better place. He did mourn his death before learning that Kondo was also about to be executed in five days later during Nobu Nobu's reign.
- Hijikata Toushirou:: Formerly as a wanted man due to his involvement in terrorist activities against the Bakufu, Katsura was constantly attacked by the Shinsengumi, especially Hijikata. Most of all, he always was quickly handcuffed by Hijikata and couldn't escape easily. After Shige Shige's death, they become allies due to the corruption of the Bakufu caused thanks to Tendoshu. After the first rebellion during a rescue mission to save Matsudaira and Kondo, but which resulted in the sacrifice of Isaburo, Katsura suggested the Shinsengumi and the other special police forces loyal to Shige Shige like Mimawarigumi to leave Edo with his faction since it is currently ruled by Nobu Nobu and is not safe for them to stay in Edo, and it's for the sake of the Edo citizens. Hijikata agreed with Katsura's suggestion.
- Okita Sougo: Formerly as a wanted man due to his involvement in terrorist activities against the Bakufu, Katsura was constantly attacked by the Shinsengumi, especially Sougo. Later, when a war between the Mimawarigumi, the Tendoushu and the combined forces of the Yorozuya, Shinsengumi and Katsura's Joui faction started, they become allies.
- Sasaki Isaburo: Isaburo underestimated Katsura's skill when the wise Joui rebel sacrificed himself to save Gintoki, Tae, Heiji, Haji, and Hijikata, along with the people who were inside the bar and grew tired of Nobu Nobu's reign. Sasaki shoots Katsura after the latter sacrifices himself to defend Kondo from the shot. Apparently as Mimawarigumi is revealed to have also plotted against the corrupted Bakufu for the sake of their late-true leader, Shige Shige. The alliance between Jouishishi and Shige Shige's loyal police forces, Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi increased. Apparently, once Matsudaira and Kondo were saved, he and his allies retreated but Sasaki sacrificed his life to save Nobume and his half-brother, Tetsunosuke. Katsura and his allies later mourned his death.
- 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. 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.
- Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu: Much like Sada Sada was, he's responsible for allying himself with Tendoshu, killing Shige Shige, disbanding Shinsengumi and deciding to behead their Director Matsudaira and Chief Kondo, even killing the loved ones and the people who had nothing to do with a mess, heartlessly. While disguising, Katsura made his move evacuating the people who were threatened by Nobu Nobu's tyranny.
- Neptune Shoukaku: In Episode 320
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.
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.
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.
Katsura disguised as a parody of the popular game character Mario, naming himself "Katsuo" and competed against Kondo during the first part of a Yorozuya vs Shinsengumi game, and eventually beat him.
Katsura was riding a flying soft-shelled turtle, and was headed to Tianzhu. He saw Gintoki and a warship started to attack him. He got lost and reached to an island.
He started draw an SOS with his piss and sing Taiyo no Komachi Angel. He saw a giant cloud and stated that Takizawa Crystal must be there and ran out of piss. He also protected the SOS from the waves with his body. Then he saw Gintoki and others. They talked about their situation and made three groups. Katsura, Kagura and Gintoki were in charge of exploring the island. Katsura and his group found a giant box in the forest. Katsura accidentally touched the box and a gas came out of it, turning Gintoki and Katsura into old men. Then some turtles attacked them and due to being old, they easily got caught.
In the prison, they started to talk about their strategies and Gintoki was watching sumo watches with Katsura. Kagura thought Gintoki was eating something and attacked him. Katsura got disturbed by the noise and stated that kids must stop playing with the mega drive and go outside. They all got annoyed by Katsura and Gintoki’s behaviours and some turtles appeared. They took Otae and left. Then Kamenashi came and pushed the guard to the bars to make them take the keys, but Kagura kicked the bars down. The turtles attacked them but Kyubei and Kagura defeated them.
Before they went to take Otae back, Kamenashi used spouzer to divide their power equally, but the spouzer got destroyed as Gintoki and Katsura were too much of a burden. The soldiers found them and started to attack. Shinpachi carried Gintoki and Katsura, and tried to escape from the soldiers.
After getting away from the soldiers, Shinpachi, Katsura and Gintoki entered into a room and there was a man in a capsule. Katsura sit on the controller and the computer opened, showing Otohime’s journal, mostly about Urashima. After reading the journal, Gintoki asked Katsura if he can run straight, and went to ‘’rehabilitate a 3000 year old woman’’. Urashima communicated with Shinpachi through the computer and told him about the antidote.
Gintoki and Katsura went to stop the cannon, and old turtles confronted them. However, as all of them are old, Gintoki stated that there isn’t any way that they will lose and started to run much faster than the others. Shinpachi catched up to them with the antidote on his shoulder. But, their new challenge was stairs, and it was very hard for Katsura and Gintoki. However, Hasegawa, Kamenashi, Kyubei, and Kagura tried to stop Otohime and earned them some time. Before they put the antidote to the canon, Otohime caught the antidote and made it fall down. But, the antidote leaked, resulting in Katsura and Gintoki return to their former selves and they easily shot the antidote to the cannon. Everyone in Edo got back to their old selves. Otohime lost and got stuck under the parts of the cannon that was destroyed. Katsura and others saved her.
Katsura went to a veterinary to show Elizabeth. He saw Kagura and asked if Sadaharu is feeling bad. Kagura told him that Sadaharu isn’t as bad as Katsura’s head and this relieved Katsura. Suddenly, they heard a doctor talking with someone about a dying dog and its dying master. At night, Katsura stood near the dog and Kagura suddenly appeared. After talking for a while, Kagura convinced Katsura to take the dog to see his master one last time, but when they took Kintarou out of his cage, he kicked Katsura and stated that he won’t see the old man.
They went out to drink something. Kintarou introduced himself as a planet eater and started to how he came to the earth. Kagura got bored and wanted to go home, but Katsura convinced her to bring Kintarou to his master. They all started to ride on Sadaharu, and go to Kintarou’s master, but the cats, planet pukers, started to pursue them. Katsura tried to convince them as he didn’t want the cuddly balls of flesh killing each other but failed and the cats attacked him. Then he jumped towards them to draw their attention and felt good as he wanted to touch some cuddly balls of flesh, but the cats didn’t look at him and fell to the ground.
He later went to a hospital and asked the nurse if she has seen a small leader, a small dog and a large dog. Then, he saw the man who was talking about Kintarou with the doctor, and that man asked Gintoki to find his father. While Gintoki and Shinpachi were on their way, Katsura followed them on foot and told Gintoki everything about Kintarou. Katsura also wanted to ride on his bike, but they stopped, gave Katsura the doll and left.
Katsura is ranked 5th in the second character poll. He hid in a storage along with the other high-ranked characters but he is held captive by the Hijikata and Sougo.
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.
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 turned into a black cat with an blue handkerchief tied around his neck.
According to his new year card he sent to Gintoki, he was standing outside on standby with Elizabeth.
Two years later, Katsura becomes 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.
When Jugem escapes, Yorozuya use their social network to help them find him. They first called Katsura and Elizabeth. They brought Balmung Fezalion instead.
Katsura asks the Yorozuya for help when he sees that Elizabeth has disappeared.
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."
Katsura was on standby while everybody was playing kick the can.
Katsura is invited along with Gintoki and Sakamoto to a Reunion party organized by Kurokono Tasuke. However, him and Sakamoto are taken prisoners by Kijima Matako and Takechi Henpeita, but are saved by Kurokono.
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.Shinsengumi member with an afro wig named Hashira Afuro. In Episode 295 Katsura took a nap outside with a futon and he took off his wig, revealing his true identity. Katsura and Shimaru fight for a while but shortly after the former reveals that he had Elizabeth put bombs in Shinsengumi's headquarters.
He appears, trying to bring back the boulder meant to smash the coffin that Kagura was put in, (as a wrong belief that Yato people are burried this way).
Katsura and the Yorozuya visit Ikumatsu, who tells them 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.
A disguised Katsura launches a bomb to save the ones in Snack Smile threatened by Nobu Nobu, but due to this he gets thrown in jail. It is revealed that he did this in order to see Kondo. He asks him for help in order for the two of them, along with Matsudaira to escape from prison. He gives Kondo a pill that when ingested makes the respective person go in a death-like state for a while. Later, the three of them are able to escape from prison. Katsura and Kondo get separated from Matsudaira and encounter several Naraku troops. They proceed to fight the troops, but after a while Sasaki Isaburo appears and attempts to shot Kondo, but Katsura pushes him away and takes the shot. Kondo is worried, but Katsura tells him that he got a second bellybutton. Later, some members of both Shinsengumi and Katsura's Joui faction come to rescue their leaders. Despite being injured, Katsura, who is carried by Elizabeth, keeps fighting the enemy forces alongside the others. After the fight has ended, Katsura and Hijikata had a small conversation, where the former told the latter that the Shinsengumi should leave Edo due to the recent actions that took place.
The background between Katsura's nicknames are discussed in this arc. Also known as "Runaway Kotarou" and known to insist on being referred by his full name rather than the popularly adopted "Zura," Katsura forfeits the former nickname and embraces the latter. In a flashback, amid soldiers' fervent discussion about the strongest warrior during the Old Jouishishi War, with Gintoki and Takasugi in favor, the soldiers express doubts about Katsura's individual strength although they praise his leadership skills. With Katsura's military tactic being largely defense based without reaping the fruits of war, he had earned the moniker "Runaway Kotarou." The soldiers go as far to suggest that Katsura is cowardly, but Sakamoto interjects and claims their campaign would have ended a lot sooner if it had not been for Katsura, who understands warfare very well and knows when to retreat and refuel.
The reason for his fighting practice and his insistence on his name are made clear through Katsura's childhood. Katsura, after losing his parents to disease and being singlehandedly raised by his grandmother, became the head of the Katsura family and the sole heir after her demise. His grandmother taught him that a general must possess the most fear on the battlefield, for if the general dies, then the battle ends in defeat. Moreover, upon death, one is no longer able to protect his soldiers or his country. Thus, she reassures him that it is okay to cry and be a coward, leading Katsura to vow to become a strong coward who can protect his nakama and carry on his family name.
Sakamoto then claims that Katsura's real name won't be revealed (the title he truly deserves), until a general whom he can entrust everything to surfaces and until an enemy whom he needs to bet everything against to win arrives.
The first pre-requisite had already been fulfilled by Gintoki in their childhood, who had proclaimed he will be the "general guy" for Katsura so that he could freely fight (because Katsura would not freely fight in the doujou to not tarnish his family name, and the head of the family and the general are conflated). Gintoki remarks: '"I will be your general. So just be "Zura" when you are with me."'
Although Katsura had always resisted being called "Zura," earning him his iconic phrase: "It's not Zura. It's Katsura!" when he faces Neptune Shoukaku, he rises back to combat him while shouting: "IT'S NOT KATSURA. IT'S ZURA!"
Thus, Katsura finally sheds his old names and the burdens that had prevented him from expressing his full power.
Katsura then earns his first notable victory by head-butting Shoukaku, and he concedes that although he can forfeit the position of a general, he will not give up the position of number one stone-head.
Gintama The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya
The second Gintama movie shows Katsura wearing a bandage over his right eye and a kimono, with a fashion and appearance similar to Takasugi Shinsuke. 5 years after Gintoki's apparent death, Katsura, failing to protect what Gintoki left behind, is shown to have gone mad and aimed to "destroy the world" (somewhat becoming like Takasugi in fashion). He was about to be executed by the government alongside Kondou and Gengai, but they were rescued by the combined forces of Hijikata and Elizabeth. He thanks the two groups, and gets along with Kondou and the Shinsengumi. He later tells Gintoki (not knowing who he was) 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||Episode 61|
|Yorozuya, Kaientai, Katsura Kotarou and Elizabeth vs. Dark Vader||Win||Episode 236|
|Katsura Kotarou vs. Saitou Shimaru||Draw||Episode 295|
|Katsura Kotarou vs. Neptune Shoukaku||Win||Episode 320|
|Katsura Kotarou and Elizabeth vs Enshou||Loss||Lesson 644|
|Katsura Kotarou and Sakamoto Tatsuma vs Enshou||Draw||Lesson 645|
- According to Sorachi, Katsura 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 the nickname Zura ( ヅラ), the term being a shortened form derived from Katsura.
- He is shown to sleep with his eyes open several times; once in Episode 110, Episode 233, Episode 272, and Episode 318.
- 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).
- In the real history Ikumatsu was originally a Geisha, but eventually she and Katsura got married.
- A Katsura is the name for a wig.
- "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!"
- (To Kondou Isao) "Please lend me your strength so that we may protect this country."
- (To Hijikata Toushirou) ,,People prattle on about ideals, convictions, and whatnot when in safe place, but only when we're on the verge of death do we first realize that we simply wish to live beside the ones we trust and die by their sides. That's all we, as humans, really care about.''
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!"