Born Masanori Ota on November 23, 1961 the highly influential and world famous Manga artist later adopted the more familiar name, Masamune Shirow (named after Japan’s greatest ever swordsmith, Gorō Nyūdō Masamune). Shirow was born in the Hyōgo Prefecture capital city of Kobe, here he studied oil painting at the Osaka University of Arts; it was whilst he studied here that he developed an interest in Manga.
(Atlas fanzine logo and an early sketch by Masamune Shirow)
His first exploits such as, Areopagus Arther, Yellow Hawk, Colosseum Pick and Persuit featured in fanzines such as ATLAS, Funya and Kintalion dating back to 1980 through to 1982.
Following on from these came Shirow’s first major work, Black Magic, which also appeared in the fanzine Atlas.
(early Black Magic cover)
His work managed to catch the eye of Seishinsha President, Harumichi Aoki, who offered to publish him.
Following his graduation, Shirow went on to teach high school art and during this period he created Appleseed, which was first published in 1985 and a further three volumes were released over the coming years.
(early Appleseed drawing)
From here on this was the start of an illustrious career which saw the creation of works such as; Dominion, Orion and Ghost in the Shell, along with his input on numerous film and TV productions, the most notable being his collaborations with Production IG.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be taking a closer look into the works of Masamune Shirow, starting with, in my opinion, his most important output, Ghost in the Shell.
(Apologies for the low quality images, I don't own these comics, they are scans I've found from searching online and are the best examples I could find.)
Arice In Jargon
Shirow Kunwa Konkai Oyasumidayo!