Masanori Ota (Masamune Shirow) is an internationally renowned manga artist. 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. While in college, he developed an interest in manga, which led him to create his own complete work, Black Magic. 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. Many of his works follow a common form: a strong female law enforcement officer/warrior battles external threats while facing difficulties from internal politics, in a near-future setting with strong cyberpunk and postcyberpunk influences.
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