Manga Road

Manga Road
From Ishomaki Station to Ishinomori Shotaro Manga Hall

Cyborg 009, created in 1963, became the first superpowered hero team created in Japan, featuring nine cybernetic warriors. That same year, Hirai Kazumasa and Kuwata Jiro created Japan's first android superhero, 8 Man (which predated Ishinomori's Kikaider by nine years). The success of the tokusatsu superhero TV series Kamen Rider, produced by Toei Company Ltd. in 1971, led to the birth of the "Transforming" (henshin) superhero (human-sized superheroes who transform by doing a pose, and use martial arts to fight henchmen and the weekly monster), and resulted in many sequel shows to this day. Ishinomori then created many similar superhero dramas, which were once again all produced by Toei or in Sarutobi Ecchan's case Toei Animation, including Android Kikaider, Henshin Ninja Arashi, Inazuman, Robotto Keiji, Secret Task Force Gorenger (the first Super Sentai series), Kaiketsu Zubat, Akumaizer 3, Sarutobi Ecchan, the Toei Fushigi Comedy Series and countless others. He even created popular children's shows such as Hoshi no Ko Chobin (Chobin, Child of the Stars, 1974, a co-production with Studio Zero which was a major success on Italian television), and Ganbare!! Robokon.

Ishinomori's art is quite reminiscent of that of his mentor, Osamu Tezuka. The true story of his first meeting with Tezuka was illustrated in a short four-page tale drawn up as supplementary material for the 1970s Astro Boy manga reprints. Around 1955, Ishinomori submitted work to a contest seeking new talent in the magazine, Manga Shonen. Tezuka was impressed by his drawings and asked Ishinomori to help him with Astro Boy. In the American release, this story can be seen in Volume 15, along with Ishinomori's earliest work on the "Electro" story arc.

Ishinomori also illustrated a comic adaptation of the Super NES video game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was produced for the American publication Nintendo Power. The comic consisted of 12 chapters, which were serialized from January 1992 (Volume 32) to December 1992 (Volume 43). The comic was republished as a graphic novel collection in 1993.