Creator of Lupin III 'Monkey Punch' dies at age 81

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — A legendary manga artist has died.

Kazuhiko Kato, more popularly known by his pen name "Monkey Punch," died at age 81 on April 11.

He was the creator of the popular Lupin III series, which followed the exploits of world-famous thief Arsene Lupin III, as he searched for treasure treasure, escaped the police, and helped people along the way somehow.

This was confirmed by TMS Entertainment, the animation studio working on the ongoing adaptation of the series.

"We're so saddened to hear the passing of LUPIN THE 3rd creator Monkey Punch. Thank you for the immeasurable joy and excitement you brought to us through Lupin and his gang," TMS Entertainment said in a tweet.

Kato first drew the manga for Lupin III in 1967, and the series has spawned several adaptations since, including at least five anime series, several animated movies, one live-action movie, and video games. A series based on Lupin III's love interest, Fujiko Mine, also aired in 2012.

Filipinos might be more familiar with the series when it aired on GMA-7 at a primetime slot in the late 90s.