Mitsuhiro Yoshida, the Director of River City Ransom (a.k.a. Downtown Nekketsu), has died. His studio Miracle Kidz announced his death via the official Miracle Kidz Twitter account on September 3, 2022, although he “passed away suddenly” on August 30th. His cause of death was not given. In the Japanese-language announcement, Miracle Kidz staff stated that Yoshida was “at the head” of efforts to make every new title as good as it could possibly be.” The funeral was held privately and for family only, but received messages were shared with the family and staff.
Miracle Kidz President, Mitsuhiro Yoshida (吉田晄浩) passed away suddenly on August 30.
He was the creator of the “River City Ransom(Downtown Nekketsu)” series. pic.twitter.com/C70jTbbhej
— ミラクルキッズ！公式アカウント (@miracle_kidz) September 3, 2022
Mitsuhiro Yoshida is best known for his time at classic Japanese developer Technos Japan and his association with River City Ransom and the wider Kunio-kun series. However, he worked on many of the developer’s most iconic projects, including Super Dodge Ball, Double Dragon, and Nintendo World Cup. 1989’s Downtown Nekketsu was the first Kunio-kun title made specifically for consoles, and as River City Ransom became the most widely recognized title of the franchise. His influence was such that even WayForward’s 2019 River City Girls spin-off had special thanks for him in the credits.
He helped found Miracle Kidz, recruiting former Technos developers and working on Kunio-kun-related titles under the supervision of Arc System Works. Arc System Works acquired the rights to Kunio-kun in 2015, along with the other Technos intellectual properties.