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Masamune Shirow (informally Shirow Masamune) is an internationally renowned manga artist, born Masanori Ota (太田 まさのり Ōta Masanori)[1] on November 23, 1961.

Masamune Shirow is a pen name, based on a famous swordsmith, Masamune. He is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, which has since been turned into two theatrical anime movies, two anime TV series, an anime TV 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 fanzine Atlas. His work caught the eye of Seishinsha President Harumichi Aoki, who offered to publish him.

The result was 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 year anniversary project.

A further original collaboration with Production I.G began airing in April, 2008, titled Real Drive.


Shirow is a world-famous illustrator. Indeed, for a time, he was more popular outside of Japan than inside. He was chosen as an early author to bring to the West because of many stylistic similarities between his work and traditional American comics.

Ghost in the Shell is a famous anime in the West based on his work, hence his popularity. Many people mistake him for the creator of the original anime movie, but he had no major role in its production. Mamoru Oshii directed both movies, which were adaptations of several chapters of the original manga put to film. However, he did play a role in the development of the TV anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.


  • Black Magic (1983)
  • Appleseed - Book 1 (1985)
  • Appleseed - Book 2 (1985)
  • Dominion (1986)
  • Appleseed - Book 3 (1987)
  • Appleseed - Book 4 (1989)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1991)
  • Orion (1991)
  • Dominion: Conflict 1 (No More Noise) (1995)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface (2001) (released in collected form in America on January 19, 2005)
  • Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human Error Processor (2003)

Art books[]

A substantial amount of Shirow's work has been released in artbook or poster book format. The following is an incomplete list.

  • Intron Depot 1 (1992) (science fiction-themed color illustration artbook collecting his work from 1981 to 1991)
  • Intron Depot 2 - Blades (1998) (fantasy-themed color illustration artbook featuring female characters with armor and edged weapons)
  • Cybergirls Portfolio (2000)
  • Intron Depot 3 - Ballistics (2003) (military-themed color illustration and CG artbook featuring female characters with guns)
  • Intron Depot 4 - Bullets (2004) (color illustration artbook collecting his work between 1995 to 1999)
  • Pieces 1 (2009) - Premium Gallery
  • Pieces 2 (2010) - Phantom Cats
  • Pieces 3 (2010) - Wild Wet Quest
  • Pieces 4 (2010) - Hell Hound 01
  • Pieces 5 (2011) - Hell Hound 02


Galgrease (published in Uppers Magazine, 2002) is the collected name of several erotic manga and poster books by manga artist Masamune 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:

  • Wild Wet West (Wild West-themed)
  • Hellhound (Horror-themed)
  • Galhound (Near-future science fiction-themed)

The second series included another run of 12 booklets in the following worlds:

  • Wild Wet Quest (A Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones-style sequel to Wild Wet West)
  • Hellcat (Pirate-themed)
  • Galhound 2 (Near-future science fiction-themed)

After each regular series, there were one or more bonus poster books that revisited the existing characters and settings.

Minor works[]

  • Areopagus Arther (1980), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Yellow Hawk (1981), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Colosseum Pick (1982), published in Funya (fanzine)
  • Pursuit (Manga) (1982), published in Kintalion (fanzine)
  • Opional Orientation (1984), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Battle on Mechanism (1984), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Metamorphosis in Amazoness (1984), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Arice in Jargon (1984), published in ATLAS (fanzine)
  • Bike Nut (1985), published in Dorothy (fanzine)
  • Gun Dancing (1986), published in Young Magazine Kaizokuban
  • Pile Up (manga) (two parts) (1987), published in Young Magazine Kaizokuban
  • Colosseum Pick (1990), published in Comic Fusion Atpas (fanzine)
  • Neuro Hard - The planet of a bee (two parts in 1992, four in 1993, four in 1994), published in Comic Dragon

main source: shirowledge





  • Black Magic M-66 (1987) by Hiroyuki Kitakubo and Masamune Shirow (this is the only anime Shirow played a direct role in the production of)
  • Appleseed (OVA) (1988) by Kazuyoshi Katayama
  • Dominion Tank Police (1988) by Takaaki Ishiyama and Kôichi Mashimo
  • New Dominion Tank Police (1990) by Noboru Furuse and Junichi Sakai
  • Landlock (anime) (1995) by Yasuhiro Matsumura (character and mecha designs only)
  • Gundress (1999) by Junichi Sakai (character and mecha designs only)
  • Tank S.W.A.T. 01 (2006) by Romanov Higa


  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2003) by Kenji Kamiyama (26 25-minute episodes; also called Alone on Earth or GitS:SAC)
  • Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (2004) by Kenji Kamiyama (26 25-minute episodes; second season of GitS:SAC)
  • Shinreigari/Ghost Hound (2007); original concept in collaboration with Production I.G
  • Real Drive (2008); original concept in collaboration with Production I.G

Video games[]


  • Horned Owl (lightgun shooting game)

Super Famicom[]

  • Appleseed

Nintendo DS[]

  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (Strategy RPG)


  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Yarudora Series Vol. 3: Sampaguita
  • Project Horned Owl

PlayStation 2[]

  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • Appleseed EX (Japan only release)

PlayStation Portable[]

  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Notes and References[]