Lupin III creator Kazuhiko Kato, more commonly known by his pen name ‘Monkey Punch’, died at the age of 81 on April 11 due to pneumonia.
TMS Entertainment, the studio currently working on the ongoing adaptation of the series, confirmed the bad news in their Twitter account.
In April 2005 he became the professor of Manga Animation at Otemae University, in their Faculty of Media and Arts and was a visiting professor at Tokyo University of Technology in May 2010. He was born in Hamanaka, Hokkaido, and resided in Sakura, Chiba until his death. He received a special Tokyo Anime Award in 2015.
Kato created the first manga of Lupin III in 1967 and tells the story of the titular character Arsene Lupin III, a world renown thief, and his exploits around the world searching for precious treasures with his gang while at the same time outwitting the police.
Lupin III was also regarded as a cult classic which paved way for its numerous adaptations including at least five anime series, several animated movies, one live-action movie, and video games.