Leiji Matsumoto, famed for ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ anime, dies at 85

Manga creator Leiji Matsumoto, who is most known for his works “Space Battleship Yamato” and the series “Galaxy Express 999,” passed away on February 13 in a hospital in Tokyo due to severe heart failure, according to an announcement made by his firm on Monday. He was 85.

The funeral was held in private with the deceased person’s relatives. Miyako Maki, his wife and a former manga artist, was the one in charge of hosting the event. She is most known for drawing the artwork for the dress-up doll Licca-chan, which is the Japanese version of Barbie.

An official announcement from the manga artist Leiji Matsumoto’s company declared, “Manga artist Leiji Matsumoto has gone for the sea of stars,” which is a reference to the fact that many of his works are set in space.

Makiko Matsumoto, who is the head of Studio Leijisha, was quoted in the announcement as saying that her grandfather, Matsumoto, was known for saying, “At the farthest point where the rings of time join together, we shall meet again.” “We have faith in what you have said, and we are looking forward to it.”

Leiji Matsumoto, creator of 'Space Battleship Yamato,' dies - ABC News
Source: ABC news

In November of 2019, Matsumoto became unwell and fainted in Turin, Italy. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and needed medical care for it. The next month, he went back to Japan, where he was quoted as stating that he was “feeling really well and glad to be home.”

Leiji Matsumoto was born in 1938 in the prefecture of Fukuoka, and he started painting manga when he was 5 years old.

Famous Works and legacy

His works, such as the manga series “Otoko Oidon,” which followed the life of a young man living in poverty and studying for university entrance examinations in Tokyo, brought him to notoriety in the 1970s.

“Space Battleship Yamato” is an animated science fiction series that tells the story of humanity’s struggle for survival against extraterrestrial invaders. There have been several sequels, spinoffs, and remakes of the series, as well as a live-action film adaptation that stars the well-known singer and actor Takuya Kimura, who is a member of the boy band SMAP.

The anime is rumoured to have served as inspiration for the anime series “Gundam” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” both of which have received widespread critical praise in Japan and elsewhere.

His art reflected both his curiosity with history as well as his interest in the history of mankind and its potential future. Matsumoto expressed his idea that enlightened extraterrestrial creatures formerly lived on Venus, leaving behind remains of cities they abandoned, and may have fled to Earth. This belief was stated by Matsumoto in an interview with The Japan Times in 2017.

In the interview, Matsumoto stated, “When I was a youngster, and indeed throughout my life, I was always pondering and reading about the Earth and sentient creatures in the past, present, and future.”

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