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1961- . Pseudonym for Masanori Ota. Born in Kobe, Shirow graduated from Osaka University of Arts. He achieved early fame as a manga creator, leading to an ill-starred role as director on his own Black Magic M-66, from which he eventually stepped down in favor of Hiroyuki Kitakubo mid-production. Subsequent adaptations of Shirow's manga work, such as Ghost in the Shell, have traded on his name, but have been made without his direct involvement. Others, such as Landlock and Gundress, have utilized the bare minimum of Shirow's contribution (a single character design, for example) and trumpeted it as if he has made every frame.