Influential Japanese manga artist Leiji Matsumoto dies
Leiji Matsumoto, the creator of 'Space Battleship Yamato,' dies.
Manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, whose epic science-fiction stories had a significant impact in Japan's comic-book and anime worlds, died on February 13, aged 85, production company Toei said Monday.
Matsumoto's cult works, "Space Battleship Yamato", "Captain Harlock" and "Galaxy Express 999" were adapted into animated series and movies that became a huge hit in the 1970s and 80s.
rest in peace Leiji Matsumoto thank you for your childhood defining work 🤍 pic.twitter.com/JhEycn58Bv— Madeon (@madeon) February 20, 2023
The artist also supervised the production of an anime set to the songs of French electro duo Daft Punk, who used part of the film as the music video for their 2000 hit "One More Time".
Last week, Matsumoto died of heart failure, according to Toei.
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His first comic "The Adventures of a Bee" was published when he was just 15. He was cleverly talented, and he admired the great manga artist Osamu Tezuka.
He started drawing when he was 6 years old and rose to fame with "Otoko Oidon," a manga series that tells the story of a poor man from southern Japan who lives in a boarding house in Tokyo and struggles to find equilibrium between work and studying.
Rest in peace Leiji Matsumoto. pic.twitter.com/tXDAqIpaf4— Archipel | アルシペル (@SailToArchipel) February 20, 2023
Matsumoto's fantastical depictions of machinery and space travel were not only revered in Japan, but in several countries abroad. His work depicted interstellar steam trains and battles against aliens wielding radioactive meteorites.
He was awarded the prestigious Order of Arts and Letters in 2012 by the French government. Today, songs from his cartoons are karaoke favorites in Japan, and they are often played by brass bands at baseball games.
Some of the artist's remembered interviews is one by AFP in 2013, where he described living through the 1945 atomic bombings that ended World War II.
"The plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima went right over my head. The second was meant for a town close to Fukuoka where I was living. It was bad weather that condemned Nagasaki," he said.
"That traumatised me, but was a source of inspiration, as were all the experiences of my youth... personal experience is essential for a creative spirit."