Collegues, Creatives, Fans Remember Lupin the Third Creator Monkey Punch

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

One of manga's most iconic creators, Monkey Punch (real name: Kazuhiko Katō) , passed away on April 11 due to pneumonia at the age of 81. The Lupin the Third creator's death was formally announced yesterday, and colleagues, voice actors, and fans across the world remembered how Katō and Lupin the Third touched their life.

The official Twitter account for the Lupin the Third anime franchise expressed the staff's condolances and gratitude for Monkey Punch's work.

Lupin the Third: Part 5 scriptwriter Ichiro Okouchi wrote that working with Monkey Punch was a "great honor and joy".

Novelist Keiichi Sigsawa (Kino's Journey, Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online) wrote that he won't forget the many ideas that Lupin the 3rd imparted on him since childhood.

"I was really honored to write a script for Lupin the 3rd: Part 5," Sigsawa said.

Goemon voice actor Makio Inoue described Monkey Punch as one of manga and anime's "brightest stars" and he is indebted to the series. Inoue had voiced Goemon for 33 years. He decided to spend the day off social media.

Actor Tadanobu Asano starred as Inspector Zenigata in 2014's live-action Lupin III film. He shared a photo of himself in costume with Monkey Punch on social media. The tweet says: "Monkey Punch-sensei, thank you very much."

Rumiko Tezuka, the daughter of acclaimed manga creator Osamu Tezuka, thanked Monkey Punch for all of his help with her father. She thanked him for his help with exhibitions

"Will you meet my father and play piano together again in Heaven? From the bottom of my heart, I hope you rest in peace," she wrote.

Kōji Yoshimoto, the artist of The Untold Story: How Tezuka created his "Black Jack"," is working on another manga depicting the creation of the Weekly Manga Action magazine. He was surprised to learn Monkey Punch had passed away since he was working on the creator's contribution to the manga when he learned the news.

"Without Lupin the 3rd, I think Japan's youth manga would not have developed how it is now. Lupin the 3rd III is eternal," Yoshimoto said.

Goemon Ishikawa voice actor Daisuke Namikawa described Monkey Punch as the type of person that makes people smile naturally.

"I wish I could talk to you again like we did at the event in Hamanaka [Monkey Punch's hometown]," he said.

Namikawa has voiced Goemon since 2011 after debuting in the role in Lupin the 3rd: Blood Seal of the Eternal Mermaid. He promised to continue to do his best "make the world created by Monkey Punch-sensei be the best."

Lupin voice actor Kanichi Kurita reflected on his 20 years voicing the titular thief.

"Monkey Punch had been the same since the first day I met him. He was always smiling, gentle, and warm. In my seemingly endless days of anxiety and pressure, I was saved by sensei who treated me with a smile. He'd say, 'Don't worry about anything,' and I felt protected."

We Never Learn manga creator Taishi Tsutsui shared fan art of Lupin and his thoughts on growing up with the series.

When I was in junior high, Monkey Punch happily signed something for brazen me who saw him suddenly. I'll never forget when I talked about my dream of being a manga creator with him and his staff and he beamed encouragement. it was the memory of a lifetime. Truly, I absolutely will never regret it. Monkey Punch-sensei, I sincerely pray for your happiness.

Fans and media companies across the world shared their memories of the Monkey Punch on social media, whether it was how his work influenced their own creations or encountering him at an event.

Monkey Punch launched Lupin the 3rd in Futabasha's Manga Action magazine in 1967. Due to the popularity of the series, the first Lupin the Third television anime adaptation premiered in 1971. The franchise has since inspired numerous television anime and films, as well as live-action works and games.

Beginning in the 1980s, Monkey Punch received honors such 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. In recent years, Monkey Punch had been studying 3D art using CG, and he served as a guest lecturer for manga production at major universities.

Nippon Television "Friday Road SHOW!" program will air the first Lupin the Third film, Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo, on Friday in memory of Monkey Punch.

The Lupin the Third franchise's newest anime film, Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso (Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko Mine's Lie), will open in Japan on May 31.

Source: Anime! Anime, Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, (Link 2), Otakomu, Comic Natalie

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