Not all celebrities are known by their faces. Some of them become famous thanks to their work behind the scenes. Such is the case with Japanese manga artist, Yusuke Murata. How did he learn to create such artistic designs?
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Early life and Education
Yusuke Murata was born on 4 July 1978, in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Little is known about his earliest years, as he has never disclosed much information about his family or education, except that he was close to his father, and has a brother named Kensuke Murata. It isn’t even known which high school he went to, but he is mostly self-taught, not having received any formal artistic education.
When he was just 12 years old in 1990, he entered a contest where it was necessary to design a villain for a science fiction video game entitled “Mega Man”. He won the contest twice, and so his sketches were used in the final design for the games. He is credited as the creator of Dust Man, a villain that appears in “Mega Man 4”, and he also created Crystal Man that is used in “Mega Man 5”.
Murata’s manga debut happened in 1995, when he created a one-shot called “Partner” and which was published in a Shueisha’s “Weekly Shōnen Jump”; he won the Hop Step Award for this work, and had already become a prominent name in a manga artist’s community.
Three years later, in June 1998, Murata won the Akatsuka Award for “Samui Hanashi”, another manga that he published in “Weekly Shōnen Jump”. He was once again featured in the same magazine in 2002, for his manga etitled “nKaito Cōlt”.
During the same year, Murata was asked by “Eyeshield 21” writer, Riichiro Inagaki, to illustrate the manga. In fact, Inagaki was supposed to be both writer and an illustrator for this work, but he felt that it would be too ambitious and that he wasn’t a good enough artist, so he himself wanted Murata to join the crew. “Eyeshield Part 2” and “Eyeshield Part 2” were published in March of the same year, once again in “Weekly Shōnen Jump”.
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“Eyeshield 21” become a regular publication on 23rd July 2002, and lasted until 15th June 2009, totalling 333 chapters and 37 volumes. “Eyeshield 21” also got its anime adaptation that was directed by the famous Masayoshi Nishida, who is responsible for such as “Shakugan no Shana”, and co-produced by NAS, TV Tokyo and Gallop. Anime aired for three years, from April 2005 until March 2008.
Starting from 2008, “Weekly Shōnen Jump” published his manga “Hetappi Manga Kenkyūjo R” for two years straight, a remake of “Hetappi Manga Kenkyūjo” that was originally made by Akira Toriyama, Murata’s colleague.
The story follows Saitou, editor of a magazine called “Jump”, who is based on Inagaki and Murata’s real-life editor who they worked with on “Eyeshield 21”. Shueshia released a collected volume of the manga series on 3rd June 2011. During the next year, Murata posted a short story on Twitter that is set in the same universe, and won considerable praise for his artistic approach.
In 2008 Murata drew and wrote “Madofuki Park”, a one-shot that was published in April’s edition of “Jump Square”. Another one-shot that he published in April of the next year was “Blust!”, about a boy who obtained supernatural powers after he was experimented on. Murata continued his work for “Weekly Shōnen Jump” when he created another one-shot on 21st June 2010, under the title “Minds”, and he also illustrated posters for the magazine’s 40th anniversary.
In the same year, he was appointed as an artist for Yasuo Ōtagaki’s manga “Donten Prism Solar Car”, that was published between September of 2010 and June of 2011 in “Jump Square”.
In 2012, two more of Murata’s one-shots were published, together with “One”, a Japanese web comic. The first one – “Dotō no Yūshatachi” – was published in “Weekly Young Jump” on 1st April, and the other wan on 17th April in “Miracle Jump”, and was named “Dangan Tenshi Fan Club”. In June 2012, Murata started collaborating with “One” on making a remake of the famous web comic “One-Punch Man”, published in “Weekly Young Jump”. The comic was released in 13 volumes over five years, and it also got its own anime adaptation that aired in 2015.
In November of 2013, the artistic crew of anime adaptation of “Majin Bone” hired Murata as a character designer, which started airing in 2014, and Murata’s work was once again highly praised. In 2015, Murata drew the illustration for One’s story about a soldier named “Gokiboru Buster” that was published for the 10th anniversary issue of Square Enix’s magazine “Young Gangan”. Inn June of the same year, he started publishing “Mangaka Yashoku Benkyusho” in the digital edition of “Morning”, Kondansha magazine. Each chapter shows Murata preparing some sort of dish, and until 2nd November 2016, 33 chapters were released.
One of the biggest of Murata’s influences is Kinu Nishimura, who is a character designer for Capricorn games. Another big influence is “Dragon Ball”, a series created by Akira Toriyama. In fact, Murata said that the battle between Goku, Piccolo and Freeza is one of his favorite manga moments of all time.
Murata is often times praised for his detailed work, humor and balance of realistic design, and exaggerated features that create a comedic effect. In fact, most of his mangas are said to be better than anime adaptations, due to his unique drawing style.
Murata keeps his private life away from the headlines. In fact, nothing is known about his dating life, sexual orientation or family.
However, in 2019 he posted on Twitter about his father’s passing in a heartbroken tweet. He is rather active on Twitter, on which he has over 670,000 followers as of 2020.
Murata has made quite a fortune from his drawing and character design career. In fact, he is considered one of the most famous manga creators. As of March 2020, his net worth is estimated at around $15 million. There is no disclosed information about any cars or real estate that he might own.
Murata dislikes having his photos taken, and very few of them exist. He has dark eyes and black hair and has slim built, but none of his vital body measurements are disclosed.