Follow TV Tropes


Creator / Masami Kurumada

Go To

Masami Kurumada (born December 6, 1953) is a Shounen manga artist and writer from Tokyo, Japan.

Born to a family of industrial workers, Kurumada aspired to become a manga artist upon becoming a fan of Hiroshi Motomiya's Otoko Ippiki Gaki Daisho, and was disciplined under the line of Ikki Kajiwara by assisting Kajiwara's longtime collaboration artist, Kou Inoue. Kurumada is noted to have assisted on Kajiwara's Samurai Giants.

At 20 years of age, Kurumada broke into the manga industry with Ring ni Kakero on Shonen Jump.

Known for his Shoujo-esque approach to character design, knowledge in physics, impressive usage of quotation from various classical literatures, philosophers, The Bible, and the grandiose usage of rich screentones while maintaining a Rated M for Manly story execution made him the prominent grandfather of the Bishōnen Jump Syndrome, and became one of Jump's Golden Age artists with Saint Seiya.

List of Kurumada's works, in debut order:

  • Ring ni Kakero: A boxing manga and Kurumada's favourite work, as well as the one that made him big. Heavily inspired by Tomorrow's Joe.
  • Fuma no Kojiro: A story involving high school Japanese delinquent ninjas.
  • Otoko Zaka: His personal favorite work, which is a pure throwback delinquent manga inspired by Otoko Ippiki Gaki Daisho. Cut Short by Shonen Jump in 1983, only to be Uncanceled in 2014, continuing where he left of.
  • Saint Seiya: By far his most famous work. Greek goddess Athena reincarnates in present time to fight evil alongside her personal army, the Saints.
  • Silent Knight Sho
  • B't X: His take on the Super Robot Genre by using Compact Animal Mecha with a strong Shout-Out to God Mars.
  • Evil Crusher Maya
  • Saint Seiya: Next Dimension: the canonical sequel/prequel to Saint Seiya.

Tropes associated with Masami Kurumada

  • Hotblooded: He's the champion of this genre. Hell, he even wrote the lyrics to a song titled Shounenki I~ BURNING BLOOD for one of Saint Seiya's opening theme songs.
  • Meaningful Name: His protagonists will all have some sort of name that fulfills their purpose within their stories.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Kurumada highly values the concept of "men are protectors of women," and "women are more redeemable than men."
    • B't X has a staggering 100% High-Heel–Face Turn rate for all female characters; while presenting Demon General Sapphire as a monster by killing Salome with a gruesome death, and B't Raphaello as the Machine Emperor's ultimate Doomsday Device by having B't Raphaello consume all forms of life to let itself grow, including all of Karin's elementary school classmates.
    • Despite the high death count, Saint Seiya too, has all the female Saints including Marin, Shaina and June survive while all but the five main bronze boys (and the secondary bronze saints as well) die.
  • Only Six Faces: Many of the characters he draws tend to have the same face and body type, with only a couple of minor differences such as the haircut or having scars on their faces. As is pointed out below, the main character of most of his series tends to look identical.
  • Punched Across the Room: Happens so often, a lot of anime Megaton Punch uppercuts are parodies of Kurumada's compositions. It's just that his targets usually have to land back in the arena.
  • Rated M for Manly: Most of his stories tend to focus on the action and stoicism of the main characters, similar to what Fist of the North Star has in stock. Oh yeah, there is also of blood and violence.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Just look at his photograph, then look at the tropes below, it's unimaginable.
  • Recycled Premise: Besides the Reused Character Design, most of Masami Kurumada works tend to follow a very similar premise of superpowered young men fighting against evil, as it can be seen in Saint Seiya, Fuma no Kojiro and B't X, to the point he has been often accused of Self-Plagiarism. One of his works, Silent Knight Sho, basically recycled the premise of Saint Seiya, featuring young men using armors to fight against evil.
  • Reused Character Design: If it is a Masami Kurumada work, you can bet that it will have several characters who are identical to characters from the same work, characters from previous works, and characters from future works. Just to cite one example, the main characters of all his most famous series, Kojiro from Fuma No Kojiro, Seiya from Saint Seiya, Sho from Silent Knight Sho, Teppei from B't X, and Ryuji from Ring Ni Kakero, all look basically identical: they all have the same hairstyle, body type and attitude, to the point it makes you wonder if Kurumada seriously can't draw any other kind of protagonist.
    • He justifies this as using a variation of Osamu Tezuka's Star System, wherein each of his works have what could be considered "revisions" of characters and themes (you could have a field day spotting the similarities between Saint Seiya and B't X), hence why they all look alike.
    • It comes to a head when reading Ai no Jidai, showing that Tropes Are Tools, and while there is definitely creative license at work here in his own pseudo-autobiography, he reused designs from all over the place for the stand-ins for his friends.
  • Shōnen: All his most famous works target this demographic.
  • Signature Style: Pegasi, Arrows, and all types of Cool Horse motifs. It's even the icon for Kurumada's 40th Anniversary logo.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The large majority of his work stands firmly on the idealistic side, with the forces of good triumphing over evil, despite all the constant violence, tragedy and Crapsack World elements embedded in his stories.
  • What Could Have Been: He was going to do a manga adaptation of Samurai Shodown in the 90s. Sadly, the plans for said manga were cancelled. Here are some of the designs he made.
  • World of Ham: From the constant uses of Calling Your Attacks to the character's passionate declarations of their resolve to fight, to all the Hot-Bloodedness exhumed by the battles, Kurumada certainly has a passion for this trope.
  • Younger Than They Look: Kurumada somehow likes to render the appearances of his teenage characters to look as if they're 20-30 years old. The person who suffered the most extreme age dissonance is Kazuki Shinatora of Ring ni Kagero—A 15 year-old middle schooler who looks as if he's over 30.