Paru Itagaki (Japanese: 板垣巴留, Hepburn: Itagaki Paru, born September 9, 1993) is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known as the creator of the manga series Beastars, for which she has won the 2018 Manga Taishō, a Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, a Kodansha Manga Award, and a Japan Media Arts Festival Award. She is the daughter of manga artist Keisuke Itagaki.
Itagaki began painting in kindergarten, and started drawing manga in the second grade. As a teenager she developed the character Legosi, an anthropomorphic wolf who would later appear in her manga series Beastars. She cites Disney movies and the artists Nicolas de Crécy and Egon Schiele as among her early influences.
She later attended Musashino Art University, where she studied filmmaking. She continued to pursue manga as a hobby while in university, creating dōjinshi that she would sell at dōjinshi conventions. After being unable to find a job in the film industry, Itagaki submitted her dōjinshi to editors at the publishing company Akita Shoten, which began publishing her short story collection Beast Complex in Weekly Shōnen Champion in 2016. That same year, Weekly Shōnen Champion began serializing Itagaki's critically- and commercially-acclaimed series Beastars.
In September 2019, Itagaki's autobiographical manga series Paruno Graffiti began serialization in Kiss.
Itagaki is highly private about her personal life, and wears a large chicken mask that obscures her face at all public appearances. Japanese tabloids reported in 2018 that Itagaki is the daughter of Keisuke Itagaki, the creator of the manga series Baki the Grappler; the claim was later reported in April 2019 by Le Monde. Itagaki confirmed these reports in a joint interview with her father in the September 2019 issue of Weekly Shonen Champion, stating that she did not wish to disclose her parentage until she was established in the manga industry in order to avoid accusations of nepotism.
- Beast Complex (serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion, 2016–2019)
- Beastars (serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion, 2016–present)
- Paruno Graffiti (serialized in Kiss, 2019–present)
- White Beard and Boyne (published in Weekly Manga Goraku, 2018)
- Manga Noodles (published in Monthly Comic Zenon, 2019)
|2017||Beastars||Male Readers||Kono Manga ga Sugoi!||Second place|
|2018||Beastars||New Face Award||Japan Media Arts Festival Awards, Manga Division||Won|
|2018||Beastars||New Artist Prize||Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize||Won|
|2018||Beastars||Shōnen||Kodansha Manga Award||Won|