Leiji Matsumoto legendary manga creator dies aged 85 BBC

Leiji Matsumoto, legendary manga creator, dies aged 85

2 hours ago

Famous Japanese manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto, real name Akira Matsumoto, has died at the age of 85, his studio announced.

In a statement, Studio Leijisha said he died on February 13 from acute heart failure.

Matsumoto was known for his epic sci-fi sagas, including Galaxy Express 999, Queen Emeraldas, and Space Battleship Yamato.

His work often included anti-war themes and emotional storylines.

Matsumoto’s daughter Makiko Matsumoto, who runs Studio Leijisha, said in the statement that he “embarked on a journey to the Sea of ​​Stars.

Born in 1938 in the southwestern city of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, Matsumoto was only 15 years old when his debut work, Mitsubachi no Boken (Honey Bee’s Adventures), was published in a manga magazine.

After graduating from high school, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming a professional artist.

In 1961 he married Miyako Maki, a well-known manga creator and one of the first Japanese artists of the genre. Together they worked on several projects and he changed his name to Leiji Matsumoto.

His big break came a decade later after publishing Otoko Oidon, a series about the life of a poor young man preparing for university exams. It was very successful and won the Kodansha Publishing Award for Children’s Manga.

Several of his manga comics have been adapted into anime television series, including the sci-fi epic Space Pirate Captain Harlock, which follows the adventures of an outcast turned space pirate.

More than 150 of his manga stories featured the tragedy of war – Matsumoto was seven years old when World War II ended. Many years later, he said he was inspired by his own father, who was an elite army pilot and taught him that war should never be fought because it “destroys your future.”

Zack Davisson, a California writer who has translated much of Matsumoto’s work, said on Twitter that the world had lost an “absolute giant.”

He added that Matsumoto’s portrayal of emotionally vulnerable boys and young men showed that it was okay to have feelings: “Star Blazers and Galaxy Express were a punch in the pit of the stomach. People died. people… cried. People… fell into love.”

“There was an immense sadness in his works, a grandeur that was seen nowhere else. All wrapped in powerful imagery that was mythological and futuristic in equal measure,” said Mr. Davisson.

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French musical duo Daft Punk were fans of Matsumoto’s work and commissioned him to create several animated music videos for them, most notably for the song One More Time, which was released in 2000.

Both members – Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo – described Matsumoto as one of their childhood heroes.

Together they also made the film Interstella 5555, which tells the story of an anime gang of aliens. Japanese publication Pen Online described it as “a cult hit before it even came out”.

In 1999, a series of bronze statues, each depicting a character or scene from the Yamato and Galaxy Express 999 space battleships, were erected in the Japanese port city of Tsuruga.

Matsumoto has received several prestigious culture and arts medals from Japan, including the Order of the Rising Sun, and was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

His works have long been adapted and, due to their popularity, had spin-offs that influenced generations of manga and anime fans.