Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Moribi Murano was born in Dalian, China on September 5, 1941 under the name Mamoru Sato. He started his career in 1958 with Dangan Ronkii. His manga works include Kusabue no Kisetsu, Boxer, Kakine no Majo, Osamu to Tae, and Shokunin-zuku Hyakkei. His best-known work is Hoero! Bun Bun (Howl! Bun Bun), which is a manga following the adventures of a puppy. This manga series inspired a television anime series that ran on Japanese television from 1980-1981, as well as a 1987 anime film.
Murano also became an animator, and studied under the late Osamu Tezuka. One of Murano's first anime credits was writing for the 1964 series, Big X, which was being produced by a new animation production studio founded by puppeteer Yutaka Fujioka called Tokyo Movie. Unfortunately, the Big X project turned out to be a big disaster. Murano also did some work on Jungle Emperor Leo (which is better known to Western audiences as Kimba the White Lion). In 1968, Murano served as an episode director and an animation director for the anime series, Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae. In 1978, he helped with the art for the One Million-Year Trip: Bander Book anime film.
In 1980, Murano aided in the character design for the anime series based on his manga, Hoero! Bun Bun. For the 1987 film of Hoero! Bun Bun, Murano wrote the lyrics to the theme song. In 1981, he provided assistance for the setting of the 1981 anime film, The Fantastic Adventures of Unico. In 1983, Murano directed and wrote the script for the film, Unico: To the Magic Island. Murano served as a character designer for the 1985 film, The Dagger of Kamui. In addition to being a character designer for the film, Murano also illustrated the five volume novel of The Dagger of Kamui that was released between 1984 and 1985.
Murano was also responsible for introducing Akio Sugino to Osamu Tezuka in 1964. Sugino would go on to work on such titles as Aim for the Ace, Space Adventure Cobra, Black Jack, Nobody's Boy Remi, The Fantastic Adventures of Unico, Golgo 13: The Professional, and Air: The Motion Picture.
Sadly, Moribi Murano passed away due to heart failure in a Tokyo hospital on Monday, March 7, 2011; he had been hospitalized since January 2011 due to illness. Murano was 69 years old at the time of his passing.