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Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗, Shirō Masamune?) is an internationally renowned manga artist, born Masanori Ota (太田 まさのり Ōta Masanori) 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 three anime movies, two anime TV series and several video games. Shirow is also popular 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.


  • 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)
  • Intron Depot 1 (1992) (sci fi-themed color illustration artbook collecting his work from 1981 to 1991)
  • Dominion: Conflict 1 (No More Noise) (1995)
  • Intron Depot 2 - Blades (1998) (fantasy-themed color illustration artbook featuring female characters with armor and edged weapons)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface (2001) (released in collected form in America on January 19, 2005)
  • Intron Depot 3 - Ballistics (2003) (military-themed color illustration and CG artbook featuring female characters with guns)
  • Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor (2003) (original version of Ghost in the Shell 2, scrapped when Ghost in the Shell 2 was collected in a single volume, but recently re-released in Japan)
  • Intron Depot 4 - Bullets (2004) (color illustration artbook collecting his work between 1995 to 1999)