It has been announced that Noriyoshi Ohrai—the Japanese illustrator best known for producing remarkable poster art for Metal Gear Solid as well as for films including the Godzilla series and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back—passed away from pneumonia yesterday morning at the age of 79.

With a career spanning over half a century and an impressive portfolio of artworks for novels, games and well-known international movie releases, fans around the world are mourning the loss of a great talent and taking a look back at his extraordinary body of work.

Ohrai’s passing has prompted many in Japan and around the world to post touching tributes on social media, including the below comment from celebrated video game designer Hideo Kojima. In the tweet, Kojima says that he grew up enjoying Ohrai’s art on book covers and at the cinema, and one of his childhood dreams was to ask Ohrai to illustrate for him if his games ever became famous. That childhood dream was realised with Metal Gear Solid and ANUBIS: Zone of the Enders.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Kojima_Hideo/status/659011890136244224 align=’center’]


A look back at the illustrator’s illustrious career reveals the breadth of his work and his exceptional ability to capture the mood, action and romance of some of the world’s most cinematic masterpieces.

Ohrai was the king of Godzilla movie posters, designing for eight titles, including Godzilla vs King Ghidorah in 1991.


▼ Just looking at the poster for 1993’s Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla would have been enough to sell tickets.


▼ He also designed the poster for the classic Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992).


Ohrai’s star rose even further when George Lucas saw his art for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in a science fiction magazine, which led to him being asked to design the poster for the next movie, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.




▼ Ohrai also created the action-filled poster for the 1986 film King Kong 2, also known as King Kong Lives.


▼ And he even designed the poster for The Goonies in 1985.


It’s hard to believe that these influential posters make up only a small portion of the incredible artist’s work. Despite the sad news of his passing, Ohrai’s creative vision has left a great legacy of art and made a lasting impression on pop culture that will continue to be enjoyed by generations for years to come.

Source: Huffington Post Japan
Top Image: Film on Paper (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert Images: Metal Gear WikiFilm on Paper