Who is Moto Kikaku?

You might have noticed that whenever Strider or Hiryu appear in a game, something by the name of "Moto Kikaku (モト企画)" or "Motomiya Kikaku (本宮企画)" receives a copyright credit. For a long time, it was a mystery whether this was was a person or a company, and there has been much speculation whether Moto Kikaku or Capcom actually own the Strider series. Certain developments in recent years have shed light on both of these matters.

Aside from the Strider series and the Hiryu character, Moto Kikaku has a copyright credit on the 天地を喰らう / Tenchi wo Kurau (Devour the 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, three of which made it stateside. Destiny of an Emperor was a 1989 RPG for the NES, and Dynasty Wars (also 1989) and Warriors Of Fate (1992) were side-scrolling beat-em-ups for the CPS-1 similar to Final Fight. They all are fairly popular in their own right.

Finding this info encouraged me to hunt more thoroughly. I emailed Rey Jimenez, 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.

That helped a bit, but I was initially skeptical of Rey's information. He cited Peter Van Huffel's PRISMS site in his email, which listed several of Motomiya's series and claimed his most popular one was サラリーマン金太郎 (Salaryman Kintarou). Unfortunately, PRISMS was a couple of years out of date when Rey emailed me, and my terminal monolinguism caused problems in locating a more recent source. Eventually I found that Hiroshi Motomiya (本宮ひろ志) is the creator of many, many more series than PRISMS had listed, though I still found no references to Strider in Motomiya's bibliography. There ARE references to the Tenchi wo Kurau series, however, and the PC Engine ports for both Dynasty Wars and Warriors of Fate name Hiroshi Motomiya in their end-game credits. On the latter, he received co-credit with Motomiya Kikaku on the same line (i.e. "Hiroshi Motomiya / Motomiya Kikaku"). So though I found Rey Jimenez' information confusing at first, it seems to have been entirely on the money and my confusion is my own.

So who created Hiryu? Motomiya himself doesn't seem to be Hiryu's creator, but then, he was never directly credited in either the games or the manga. Someone working for him may have, though. The manga credits Tatsumi Wada and Tetsuo Shiba, and Wada had previously worked with Motomiya. So perhaps when Motomiya formed Moto Kikaku, Wada went along for the ride. When you consider that the "kikaku" (企画) part of "Moto Kikaku" actually means "planning" or "development" and its original "Motomiya" kanji is identical to the kanji in Hiroshi Motomiya's name (本宮), this situation seems even more likely. A a couple of you pointed this out to me in years past, but this is complicated by several different companies in Japan named "Moto Kikaku", none of which seem to have anything to do with manga creation. Additionally, since 1996, Hiroshi Motomiya's production company seems to be Thirdline. Whether Moto Kikaku folded and Thirdline took its place, or it evolved into Thirdline, or this is something completely separate is unknown.

Concerning who actually owns the Strider trademark, we turn to Corey Lewis. Corey is an American comic book artist who worked with Udon Studios to produce the Rival Schools comic book for Capcom. His original works Sharknife and Peng have each attracted attention from noted comics scribe Warren Ellis. Corey is a huge fan of Strider and once proposed a Strider comic to the head of Udon, Erik Ko:

Honestly, capcom properties *i* would really like to draw are Strider or Resident Evil or Breath of Fire. Resident Evil has had a comic before, BoF might be a little hard to adapt... Strider is the one I would REALLY love to see-- but Erik has told me that perticular character is more complicated than most of Capcom's other properties. Shame :|

A few years later, Corey clarified this on a different forum:

Strider [...] was created by some dude, and Capcom can't use him freely as they wish :|

(*before you ask... ya, no, seriously. Strider is the creation of some dude, and Capcom just uses him on lisence or something. Sux huh? You'll notice in any game Strider appears in, there's extra info for "Strider Character copyright blah blah used with permission, blah blah"... sucks ass. I asked Udon a long time ago if I could do a Strider comic, and that was the response they gave me, too.)

That's the closest anyone's ever come to resolving who owns the Strider copyright. Reading between the lines, it seems that Hiryu is jointly owned by Moto Kikaku and Capcom, but keep in mind that this is third-hand information at BEST (Corey Lewis -> Erik Ko -> Capcom).

Regardless, finding any useful information about "Moto Kikaku" is well-nigh impossible, so if anyone comes across anything interesting, please email me.


  1. Van Huffel, Peter. "Motomiya Hiroshi 本宮ひろ志". PRISMS. 17 Jan 2004.
  2. "男の履歴書 本宮ひろ志|インライフ". Inlife. 2006.
  3. Duo. "天地を喰らう". 本宮ひろ志 Library.
  4. "弁慶外伝". Game Staff List Association.
  5. "天地を喰らう." Game Staff List Association.
  6. Naoki_703. "作品紹介 天地を喰らう". 本宮ひろ志Museum.
  7. "モト企画:企業情報". @niftyビジネス.
  8. "株式会社サード・ライン". Thirdline.
  9. Ellis, Warren. "SHARKKNIFE". WarrenEllis.com. 4 Jan 2005.
  10. Ellis, Warren. "Corey Lewis' PENG". WarrenEllis.com. 19 Aug 2005.
  11. Lewis, Corey. "REYYY.com". p. 1, #14. SRK Forums. 7 Mar 2005.
  12. Lewis, Corey. "Who is the coolest ninja ever?" p. 2, #34. Gingerbox Forum. 7 Nov 2008.