Leiji Matsumoto, creator of manga and anime series loved around the world, died in hospital from acute heart failure on February 13th, 2023, according to his studio, Leijisha. He was 85 years old.
A brief statement announcing his passing was posted on the studio’s website.
Born Akira Matsumoto in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, Matsumoto had his first work published — Mitsubachi no Boken — while attending high school. His manga Otoko Oidon proved popular, netting him the Kodansha Publishing Award for Children’s Manga.
Some of his more prominent works were set in space, with Space Battleship Yamato (pictured at top), Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Galaxy Express 999, which captivated audiences around the world in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Matsumoto worked themes of antiwar into his stories, using lessons learned from his father, a wartime pilot, that such battles destroy the future.
He also supervised the creation of the 2003 musical film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem which animated Daft Punk’s album “Discovery” into an incredible space opera centred on the kidnapping of an alien band.
Matusmoto is survived by his wife, Miyako Maki, with whom he founded his animation studio Leijisha.
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