One of the mangaka most responsible for the prevalence of Cyber Punk
themes in anime and manga since the early 1980's, Shirow Masamune specializes in stories about technology-gone-berserk and post-apocalyptic madness
Beginning his career with such works as Intron Depot
and Black Magic M-66
, Shirow struck gold with Dominion
, one of the funniest dystopian fantasies
ever written — which was later turned into the successful OAV
series Dominion Tank Police
. The more serious Appleseed
manga was also successful.
However, he is currently best known for his hard-SF saga Koukaku Kidoutai
, known overseas as Ghost in the Shell
; not only did GITS
have an extremely successful print run
, but it was turned into a film
by Mamoru Oshii
and adapted — with help from Shirow himself — into a TV series (GITS: Stand-Alone Complex
) that has run for two seasons.
In 2008 he worked on Real Drive
with Production I.G
., which have been responsible for the GitS series Stand-Alone Complex
. Another Production I.G
work he participated in was Sampaguita
, the 3rd game of the interactive anime Visual Novel
, providing character design. He also did the cover art for the TurboGrafx-CD Shoot 'em Up Lords of Thunder
, and was involved with character design for the PlayStation Light Gun Game Project: Horned Owl
and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
; the true extent of his involvement with the latter game beyond drawing official artwork (below his normal skill level in places
) for the game is unknown, but the in-game character designs do suggest he did have quite the influence on the general style direction.
Shirow's art style is characterized by an obsessive attention to technical detail (rivaling that of his contemporary Katsuhiro Otomo
), and a similarly detailed — if unrealistic — approach to character design.
Shirow is a very private and reclusive individual
, having often been called the J.D. Salinger of Japan; like many mangaka
, he is best known by his pen name. All that anyone knows about Masanori Ohta, the man behind the pseudonym, is that he lives in Hyogo, Japan (where he moved after losing his house in the 1995 Kobe earthquake), and that he was formerly a high school teacher.
He is a fan of FN guns and the FAMAS