Who is Moto Kikaku?

One thing that has always bothered me about the Strider series is how little we know about its creator, Moto Kikaku. We don't even know if this is a person or a company. I don't know about you, but when I don't know something, I get obsessed with it until I find the answer. Finding Moto Kikaku is a long-term goal of mine. I'm not having much luck, but here's what I have so far:

Aside from the Strider series and the Hiryu character, Moto Kikaku has a copyright credit on the Tenchi wo Kurau (Destruction of Heaven and Earth) manga series. This series is set in the Chinese historical period of the Three Kingdoms, and takes place just after the Hen Dynasty ended.

Capcom made four video games based on the Tenchi series, the first two of which made it stateside under the names "Dynasty Wars" (released in 1989, the same year as Strider) and "Warriors Of Fate" (released in 1992). These are side-scrolling beat-em-ups similar to Final Fight, and are fairly popular in their own right.

Finding this info encouraged me to hunt more thoroughly. If Moto Kikaku did something other than Strider, wouldn't that make him easier to find?

Apparently not. The trail ends there, as far as direct searches go.

Having nowhere else to turn, I emailed Rey Jiminez, asking him for Capcom's information on Moto Kikaku, and here's what he replied:

Moto Kikaku is the name of a company. The artist that you are referring to is Hiroshi Motomiya. I think Moto Kikaku is the company he works for. As you might know, he is a famous manga artist. You can see some of his art at the URL below:

http://users.skynet.be/mangaguide/au1239.html

Well, okay. That sort of helped. Hiroshi Motomiya is the creator of several manga series, the most popular of which is Salaryman Kintarou. You may have heard of it. I hadn't. I had no idea who Hiroshi Motomiya was, before Rey Jiminez directed me to that bio.

But something still bothered me. There is no reference to Strider in any of Hiroshi Motomiya's listed bodies of work. Nor any mention of the Tenchi wo Kurau series. You would think that these would be featured prominently.

So, I was left with one of three options: either Hiroshi Motomiya isn't the creator of Strider and Tenchi wo Kurau, or his fans don't know about his work on those manga, or he's ashamed of those works and would rather forget them.

As obsessive as otaku are, there's no way they would make the kind of mistake necessary for option B to take place. I should know. I am one. And there's no reason for him to be ashamed of Strider or Tenchi, so that rules out option C. Therefore, until someone can otherwise convince me, I'm sticking with option A.

I'm not sure whether to entirely scrap Rey Jiminez's information or what, but the information I've been given points to one of several conflicting options for Moto Kikaku's identity.

  1. Moto Kikaku is an alias for Tatsumi Wada, the artist who is credited on the manga itself.
  2. ...or an alias for Tetsuo Shiba, the manga's plot writer.
  3. ...or himself. It's his real name.
  4. ...or the company that Strider's creator worked for when he came up with the concept.

None of those options help very much. And alarmingly, I've recently uncovered some information saying that Moto Kikaku might be dead! I sincerely hope this is not the case.

At any rate, actually finding anything useful about "Moto Kikaku" is nigh impossible, so if anyone comes across anything particularly interesting, please email me.

UPDATE 12/18/05: I received a couple of emails from some people who were doing research on Moto Kikaku. They (quite independently of one another, I might add) suggested that #4 is the correct assumption. Take a look, and judge for yourself.

From: "Zero-chan" <zerochan@*****.com>
Subject: ATTN: LSCM webmaster : about Moto Kikaku

I don't know who the other person who wrote to you about the Strider manga is, but he's totally wrong. The artist of the manga is Wada Tatsumi, who, along with Hiroshi Motomiya, have worked under the Moto Kikaku banner..

This leads me to believe that Moto Kikaku is a planning/development company ("kikaku" is Japanese for planning. I think the "moto" part comes from Motomiya's name.)

Several manga artists have their own company that manages the rights to their concepts and designs, so I think this is what Moto Kikaku is.



From: "Max H" <staticmotion@*******.com>
Subject: ATTN: LSCM webmaster - Motomiya Kikaku

It sounds as if "Motomiya Kikaku" is actually a manga "circle" and not an individual creator. Circles are more common with doujinshis, but they have been known to be credited with mangas and other works since it's basically a collective of writers and illustrators that work together.

Motomiya Kikaku translates to "Motomiya Planning", "Motomiya Development", or "Motomiya Production House" (I would have to see the kanji used to figure out which one they intended). Motomiya Kikaku, later renamed Moto Kikaku, is a group of writers, artists, etc. The "Kikaku" part was used to denote a development group that creates original works. Apparently, "Circle" is usually used for a group of doujinshi artists and writers. It's like trying to find out who Studio Madhouse or Studio Gibli is - they aren't anyone in particular, just a bunch of animators and writers that create movies or TV series or what-not.