November 23, 1961
Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
|Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell|
|Awards||Seiun Award (for Appleseed)|
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|Anime and manga|
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Masanori Ota (太田正典 Ōta Masanori, born November 23, 1961), better known by his pen name Shirow Masamune (士郎 正宗 Shirō Masamune), is a Japanese manga artist. The pen name is derived from the legendary swordsmith Masamune. Shirow is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, which has since been turned into three theatrical anime movies, two anime television series, an anime television movie, an anime OVA series, a theatrical live action movie, and several video games. Shirow is also known for creating erotic art.
Born in the Hyōgo Prefecture capital city of Kobe, he studied oil painting at Osaka University of Arts. While in college, he developed an interest in manga, which led him to create his own complete work, Black Magic, which was published in the manga dōjinshi Atlas. His work caught the eye of Seishinsha President Harumichi Aoki, who offered to publish him.
The result was best-selling manga Appleseed, a full volume of densely plotted drama taking place in an ambiguous future. The story was a sensation, and won the 1986 Seiun Award for Best Manga. After a professional reprint of Black Magic and a second volume of Appleseed, he released Dominion in 1986. Two more volumes of Appleseed followed before he began work on Ghost in the Shell.
In 2007, he collaborated again with Production I.G to co-create the original concept for the anime television series Shinreigari/Ghost Hound, Production I.G's 20th anniversary project. A further original collaboration with Production I.G began airing in April 2008, titled Real Drive.
A substantial amount of Shirow's work has been released in art book or poster book format. The following is an incomplete list.
Galgrease (published in Uppers Magazine, 2002) is the collected name of several erotic manga and poster books by Shirow. The name comes from the fact that the women depicted often look "greased".
The first series of Galgrease booklets included four issues each in the following settings:
The second series included another run of 12 booklets in the following worlds:
After each regular series, there were one or more bonus poster books that revisited the existing characters and settings.