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Akira Watanabe was an art director at Sega. He did the majority of production and game artwork in Sega games from the late 1980s to early 90s; the original Sonic the Hedgehog being his most famous work. After his work on OutRunners for the Mega Drive, he was transferred to the AM1 department of Sega.
Watanabe's first work with Sega was in 1987 on the anime Zillion. He also worked on the 16-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Pengo, Turbo Outrunners, WaveRunner, and Motor Raid, and his final work was on the arcade version of The House of the Dead 2 in 1998.
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