From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Benimaru "Ashura" Itoh (Japanese: 伊藤「アシュラ」紅丸) is a manga artist, designer and musician who began drawing comic strips for various Nintendo franchises, including Star Fox and Metroid. Itoh then worked closely with game designer Shigesato Itoi while at Ape, Inc. on the EarthBound (Mother in Japan) series of games. Ape, Inc. later became known as Creatures, Inc., where Itoh became involved in the development of several Pokémon titles, and also illustrated a handful of cards for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. During this time he became more involved in 3D development, serving as a chief designer and supervisor on a number of games. He eventually moved to HAL Laboratory, Inc. in 2002, where he has continued to work on the Kirby franchise.
Itoh is also an accomplished guitarist, and was the guest host for the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live concert, held at Nihon Seinenkan Hall, Tokyo on September 14, 2003. The concert featured performances based on music from Mario and The Legend of Zelda, as well as original music. The collaboration of The Big Band of Rogues, Yoshihiro Arita and his band performed jazz, Latin, country, and bluegrass arrangements—Itoh himself started the concert off with a guitar solo rendition of the Mario opening theme. The concert became the source of a CD and DVD.
Itoh is usually seen wearing his quirky leopard print attire, and likes to go by the nickname "Ash" (アシュ).
|| Release date
| Opening Theme of Mario
|| Mario & Zelda Big Band Live CD
Work for the TCG
Itoh has contributed art for 6 cards in the TCG. The first was a reprint of a promotional Mewtwo card illustrated in the same style as his manga drawings, limiting the colors used on the character and utilizing many lines of various strokes to create areas of detail and shadow. His other cards show his transition into 3D, the Pokémon depicted reminiscent of their renders in the Pokémon Stadium games. Though not as sophisticated as current 3D illustrations, the Brock's Onix and Steelix in particular work because of their composition. For a list of cards he has illustrated, go here.