Every 30 years, a new princess is chosen from the Hime family to serve the Hayagami. The time has come again, but over these past years, records state not a single female has been born, save for one, the 15-year-old Arata. The only problem is, Arata is actually a male! Forced to disguise himself and take the place of the princess candidate until a formal one can be found, he attends the festival only to witness the current princess, Kokuri-hime, murdered, and his own life is forfeit as well, by the hands of the princess' personal guard, the 12 Shinshou. As he runs for his life, Kannagi of the 12 convinces everyone that Arata is the one who has murdered the princess instead, and now everyone in the Imperial Court is after his head!
Arata Kangatari has been published in English as Arata: The Legend by VIZ Media under the Shonen Sunday imprint since March 9, 2010.
In 2014, mangaka Yuu Watase blogged that she was subject to editorial harassment while working on Arata Kangatari. She explained that her former editor would bulldoze her ideas to make room for his own and would constantly ask her to redraw scenes, which lead to immense stress and exhaustion.