Monkey Punch, whose real name is Kazuhiko Kato, has passed away last April 11 due to Pneumonia. He was 81 years old.
He is well-known as the creator of the popular action comedy manga series Lupin the Third.
Monkey Punch was born in Hamakama, Hokkaido on May 1937, where he started drawing at a young age. He has drawn manga strips for his school newspaper during his junior high school year.
His professional career started in 1965 with Playboy School, which was published in Futabasha’s Weekly Manga Action magazine.
Lupin the Third made its debut in August 1967 on the same magazine, which eventually became a hugely popular media franchise with five television anime adaptations, seven theatrical anime films, two live-action adaptations, as well as several video games, music albums and specials among others.
Monkey Punch, himself, directed the franchise’s fifth animated feature film Lupin III: Dead or Alive, which was released in 1996.
The manga artist had received recognition for his works, including the Meritorious Service Award of Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2015.