Lupin III manga creator Monkey Punch (real name: Kazuhiko Katō) passed away on April 11, 2019 due to pneumonia. He was 81 years old at the time of his passing.
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.
Monkey Punch received such honors 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. He has also served as a guest lecturer for manga production at major universities.