Shotaro Ishinomori

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Shotaro Ishinomori was a mangaka, or manga artist, who lived from 1938 until 1998. He is known as an extremely influential figure in the manga and anime world. He created many series that ran for an extremely long time. He was born Shotaro Onodera, and changed his name in 1986 to Ishinomori.


Ishinomori created Cyborg 009, which is known as the first team with superpowers in Japan. Ishinomori became known for his superhero’s, creating series like Android Kikaider, Inazuman, Secret Task Force Goranger and Akumaizer 3. Along with those, he created children’s shows like Good Luck, Robocon!. It is obvious that Ishinomori’s mentor was Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka was known as the Walt Disney of manga, and Ishinomori took the same values and morals and applied them to his own work. At one point, Ishinomori was even able to help Tezuka work on the Astro Boy American release, which was one of the highlights of Ishinomori’s career.

Ishinomori even had the chance to work with Nintendo, by creating The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past comic in the Nintendo Power magazine. The story told of Link and his adventures trying to rescue his parents, the Knights of Hyrule from the Dark World.

In 1997, Ishinomori asked a young mangaka if he would be willing to do a continuation of Skull Man, a manga that he created in 1970. The mangaka was Kazuhiko Shimamoto, Shimamoto was honored to work on his idol’s work, just as Ishinomori had been honored to work on his own idol’s work, so many years ago. The series, Skull Man, became a hit, and was recently turned into an anime, but not in time for Ishinomori to see it. Shotaro Ishinomori died in 1998 of heart failure. In 2001, a manga museum was opened in his honor.

Cyborg 009

Cyborg 009 was a manga series created by Ishinomori. It was the first superhero manga to be created in Japan, and became popular very quickly. It stars a unique cast of characters, including:

  • Ivan – a baby who has psychic powers.
  • Jet Link – a gang member who has rocket boosters on his feet.
  • Francoise Arnoul – a girl who has enhanced vision and hearing.
  • Albert Heinrich – a cyborg who has a number of different guns and weapons on his body.
  • Geronimo, Jr – a Native American who is the largest and strongest of them all.
  • Chang Chang Ku – a pig farmer from China who can breathe fire.
  • Great Britain – a man who can morph into anything.
  • Pyunma – A man who has mechanical lungs, which allows him to survive underwater for a long time.
  • Joe Shimamura – a cyborg that is able to move at lightening-fast speeds.

These people were all frozen at one point or another, and were unfrozen when technology became more advanced. They are bound together in order to defeat the Black Ghost: a nameless entity that wants to control the world.

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