The Creator Of Lupin The Third Has Died

The Creator Of Lupin The Third Has Died

Manga artist Kazuhiko Kato, better known by his pen name Monkey Punch, has passed away. According to Mantan Web, Kato died from pneumonia on April 11. He was 81 years old.

Kato took the name Monkey Punch at a manga editor’s recommendation during the mid-1960s. In 1967, when Lupin III debuted, the moniker stuck.

Lupin is the grandson of the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, the famous French literary character. When the manga debuted, Kato used the character’s name without permission.

The estate of novelist Maurice Leblance, who created the original Arsène Lupin, filed suit, but legal action was unsuccessful in Japan. Internationally, however, this is why the character’s name was initially different.

Lupin III went to become a highly successful manga and anime, and the 1979 film The Castle of Cagliostro, perhaps the best anime version, was directed and co-written by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame.

The Lupin franchise is responsible for some of Japan’s most iconic characters, who are still incredibly popular to this day. Besides Lupin III, Kato created an array of manga, but was best known for his stylish crime series, which continues to delight generation after generation. 


  • RIP to a great talent and creator of one of the greatest and most-enduring properties in manga and anime history.

  • Ah damn, thats really sad to hear.
    Castle of Cagliostro was one of my more serious early anime films.

  • Lupin III is fantastic. If you only know it from Castle of Cagliostro, then I highly recommend checking out more.

    In fact, the most recent TV series is excellent.

  • I know what I’m watching on the weekend.

    Despite the bad rap it tends to get, Castle of Cagliostro is one of the first anime movies I’ve ever seen. Back in the 90s when Japanimation was still a in use term.

    R.I.P., Monkey Punch.

    [Lights a little candle]

  • Sad to hear this. Castle was my first introduction to Lupin, and made me fall in love with Ghibli’s art style.

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