Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty
years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga
masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA!
in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed
in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of
different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A
Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former
mercenary (Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating
psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga
(20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of
the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka;
co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and
with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions). Many of his books have
spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and
2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action
Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys.
No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa received the 2011 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia, and is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and also received the Kodansha Manga Award. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.