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Shotaro Ishinomori (January 25, 1938 – January 28, 1998, birth name Shotaro Onodera) was a prolific Japanese manga artist and writer. He was the creator of the Cyborg 009 franchise, as well as many other works that are now part of Japan's pop culture zeitgeist. Examples include Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (which indirectly gave birth to the Super Sentai series and its American TV adaptation franchise Power Rangers), Kamen Rider, and Kikaider among others.

A former study of revered manga artist Osamu Tezuka, aspects of Shotaro's art style resemble Tezuka's; but Ishinomori's style has bits of more intricate details and sometimes much more serious story lines. Many western comic book fans who know of Shotaro's works sometimes refer him to as the Japanese equivalent of Stan Lee, as his superhero characters have life altering tragedies and flawed-but-human characteristics that made them memorable.

The Go Nagai connection[]

In 1965, a dejected Go Nagai was trying to make it into the manga industry with the help of his brother Yasutaka, despite his mother's disapproval and her sometimes sabotaging his chances. One day, he submitted work to the publisher Shōnen Sunday who then contacted Ishinomori. After a bit of talking and some trial work, Ishinomori hired Nagai as his assistant. Ishinomori liked Nagai's artwork, but stressed that it could be improved as the fledgling artist's early character designs were, as he described, "Too chunky". After 3 years of working under the master manga artist, Nagai went professional in 1967 and began publishing him own work, eventually establishing the company Dynamic Productions.

Despite leaving Ishinomori, Nagai wished to collaborate with his teacher again on a crossover project, an event that sadly would not happen until long after Ishinomori had passed on.


On January 28, 1998, Shotaro Ishinomori died from heart failure due to complications from lymphoma at the age of 60. His creative works and company Ishimori Productions are now in the care of his sons, Akira Onodera and Joe Onodera.


  • In 1968, Ishinomori was working on an animated film called The Flying Phantom Ship and needed assistant animators to complete the project, which then debuted in theaters in 1969. One of the animators he hired was a young man named Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Ishinomori's pen name was originally Shotaro Ishimori until 1986 where an additional character made it Ishinomori.
  • Ishinomori posthumously holds the Guinness World Record for most comics published by a single author, his entire life's work spanning over 128,000 pages.
  • Ishinomori once met Batman writer and artist Jerry Robinson at an art exhibition in 1996, the two even toyed with the idea of The Dark Knight either fighting against or teaming up with Kamen Rider.

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