Masamune Shirow is a well-known manga artist and writer. He is most popular for his science fiction works, and the philosophical ideas that he presents in his work.

Masamune Shirow was born in Kobe City, Hygo Prefecture, Japan on November 23, 1961, with the name Masanori Ota. He went to the Osaka University of Art and studied drawing and oil painting. During his time at the Universtity, he wrote his first published manga, Black Magic.

After graduating, he went on to teach high school art, and also wrote Appleseed in 1985, Dominion Tank Police in 1986. In 1986, he also won the Galaxy Award(similar to a Hugo Award), for Appleseed as Best Science Fiction Comic. Shirow realeased three more volumes up until the release of the fourth in 1989.

After directing and doing character design in an anime production of his first work, Black Magic, he went on to do Ghost in the Shell. The first episode appeared in 1990, and also during this time Dominion Tank Police was made into an anime series.

After writing many episodes of what might or might not become Appleseed Volume Five, he decided to take a hiatus from his life work, Appleseed. Also he had been working on the Neurohard series. A series of books on how to make animation, comics, games, etc.

In 1995, he released a new Dominion Tank Police, Conflict 1. In November 1995, he began the sequel to Ghost in the Shell, Man-Machine Interface. This date also was the release date of the Ghost in the Shell anime movie, directed by Mamoru Oshii.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface has been finished in Japan, and will be released into a single volume, hopefully, in June 2001. The American release will probably come almost a year later, and will have two versions, the "non-sex scene" version and the "more graphic sex scene" version, which will be more graphic than the original Japanese version.

Shirow is well-known, for drawing rather perverted scenes in his comics, but most of the time, it's rather small, and in the case of Ghost in the Shell, actually introduce more science fiction ideas.

Shirow is very private, and does not allow his picture to be photographed as Shirow, nor does he go to conventions. The birth name was found through a search on IMDB, and could be unreliable. He enjoys reading, and likes to keep pet spiders.

His fans look upon him with great respect except for one small fault. It takes him forever to finish a manga. Sometimes equated to "Kubrick in Slow Motion", many fans have volunteered to send him amphetamines. Of course, most people accept that they can't rush Shirow's work. Though he is known to throw out completed pages of work, much like Hayao Miyazaki.

Ghost in the Shell - Masamune Shirow

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