The anime and manga industry is currently in mourning after the news that legendary mangaka, Kazuhiko Katou, also known to the world as Monkey Punch, has passed away. He was the man behind Lupin III, and has undoubtedly touched the lives of people around the world. However, there are those in the anime industry whose lives he touched more personally. Among them is Lupin’s own seiyuu Kanichi Kurita. He posted a heartfelt message, and it reads:
“It has been over 20 years since I, who had no voice acting experience back then, was given the important ‘Lupin The Third’ from Sensei. Since the first time we met, you had been always with a smile, gentle, calm, and warm. In the days of endless anxiety and pressure, I was saved by Sensei, who treated me with a smile. I felt protected with your word, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’ I will keep the memory of several visits to your home town Hamanaka-cho (in Hokkaido) with you as a precious treasure only for myself. I am really thankful to you. May you rest in peace.”
Reports stated that Monkey Punch passed away due to Pneumonia. He leaves behind a legacy that many mangaka can only dream of. These include dozens of awards for both him and Lupin III, as well as worldwide recognition of his characters. He was 81.
生前は多くの魅力的なキャラクターを生み出し、映画「ルパン三世 DEAD OR ALIVE」ではアニメーション監督としてもご活躍くださいました。
— アニメ「ルパン三世」公式 (@lupin_anime) April 16, 2019
The mangaka hails from Hamanakka, Hokkaido, and was born there on May 26, 1937. He started off his manga career with a title named Playboy School, and three years later, he would launch the “big one”, Lupin III. The series would go on to have global recognition, inspiring anime, spin-off manga, live-action plays and movies, and games. Truly, Monkey Punch is a trailblazer for the industry.
Rest and peace and thank you for everything, Kazuhiko Katou!
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