kodoani.com – Japanese production company Toei announced today that the influential anime and manga creator Leiji Matsumoto, best known for creating Space Battleship Yamato and Galaxy Express 999, passed away on February 13 at a hospital in Tokyo from acute heart failure. He was 85 years old.
Matsumoto was born in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture on January 25, 1938. As a child and teenager during World War II, Matsumoto watched many American cartoons and comics through his father, a pilot. experimental work of the Imperial Japanese Army, when he had to move around due to war. He was able to witness many aircraft in his early years through his father’s work and US Army raids.
He became interested in anime and science fiction by forming a manga doujinshi group in elementary school. Matsumoto moved to Tokyo in 1953 to pursue a manga career at the age of 18, debuting with Mitsubachi no Boken, a manga Matsumoto wrote after finishing high school.
Since then, Matsumoto has been known for creating works such as Space Battleship Yamato, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Queen Emeraldas and numerous other influential works that have inspired generations of artists across world.
In 2010, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, 4th Class, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his work in promoting Japanese culture abroad. The French government knighted Matsumoto in 2013 in honor of his works of art.
He gets to live with his wife Miyako Maki, an award-winning manga artist based on the Genji Monogatari manga. A funeral was held in the presence of close family and friends.
Our thoughts are with Matsumoto’s family and friends during this time. Rest in peace, Matsumoto-sensei, thank you for letting us explore your world.