Lupin III manga creator Monkey Punch (real name: Kazuhiko Katō) passed away on April 11 due to pneumonia. He was 81.
Monkey Punch was born in Hamanaka, Hokkaido in 1937. He made his major debut with Playboy Nyūmon in Futabasha’s Manga Story magazine in 1965. Lupin III then launched in Futabasha’s Manga Action magazine in 1967. Due to the popularity of the series, the first Lupin III television anime adaptation premiered in 1971. The franchise has since inspired numerous television anime and films, as well as live-action works and games.
Beginning in the 1980s, Monkey Punch received honors such as Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Award, Romics’ Golden Romics, the Association of Media in Digital (AMD) Awards’ Meritorious Service Award, and Tokyo Anime Award Festival’s Meritorious Service Award. In recent years, Monkey Punch had been studying 3D art using CG, and he served as a guest lecturer for manga production at major universities.
The Lupin III franchise’s newest anime film, Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso (Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko Mine’s Lie), will open in Japan on May 31.