Akio continues to work with Irem and even drew the cover art for 2021's R-Type Original Sound Box, showcasing the famous Dobkeratops boss — Image: Irem / Akio

Akio Oyabu, the main designer on titles such as R-Type and Metal Slug, has announced on social media that he's considering a return to the world of pixel artwork.

Responsible for the signature look of Irem's seminal R-Type – including its famous bosses, such as Dobkeratops – Akio also claims that he was the one who came up with the idea for the game's iconic 'Wave Cannon', a unique chargeable weapon which was unlike anything anyone had seen in a shmup up to that point.

The 60-year-old artist recently joined Twitter and already has over 8,600 followers. He posted the following message today (translated via Google):

Nice to meet you, my name is akio.

I drew pixel art as the main designer for Metal Slug 1-3 and R-TYPE. After working for Irem and SNK, I am now a freelance painter. I haven't drawn pixel art for a long time, but I think I'll draw it again. I am an old man on his 60th birthday this year, but I would like to thank all of you.

Akio left Irem to co-found Nazco Corporation in 1994, where he worked on the first three Metal Slug titles. He joined SNK in 2001 and is created as the lead character designer for Metal Slug Anthology and as a character designer for Metal Slug 7 / Metal Slug XX.

He left SNK in 2010 to go freelance and has more recently contributed artwork to Capcom's Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. You can view some of Akio's recent work on his Pixiv account.

[source twitter.com]