The veteran mangaka Leiji Matsumoto passed away at the age of 85 on February 13. Studio Leijisha announced the news in a statement, in which they thanked the fans and everyone that have supported Matsumoto’s works over the years.
A message from Leijisha:
On February 13, 2023, the mangaka Leiji Matsumoto departed from a Tokyo-area hospital on a trip to the ocean of stars
We are grateful to all the fans who have supported him.
Matsumoto always used to say: “You can meet again at a place that connects to the distant wheel of time.”
We believe in those words and look forward to that day.
The studio is a project focused on the works of Matsumoto and his wife Miyako Maki, who is also a mangaka. Their daughter Makiko Matsumoto is currently heading the studio.
Following the announcement, messages of support from the manga and anime community came forward to honor the veteran mangaka’s works. Messages came from those including Trigun manga creator Yasuhiro Nightow, animator Hirotoshi Sano, Papuwa mangaka Ami Shibata, and Dance in the Vampire Bund author Nozoku Tamaki came pouring in.
Leiji Matsumoto was born on January 25, 1938. He is best known for his manga work in Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1977), and Galaxy Express 999 (1977). He debuted his first manga work, titled Mitsubachi no Boken, debuted in 1954 under his real name, Akira Matsumoto. He got his first big break with the 1971 manga Otoko Oidon, followed by the 1972 dark comedy manga Gun Frontier, and the 1973 World War II-centric story collection Senjo Manga, also known as The Cockpit. Other mangas he worked on during that time include Queen Millennia (1980), Arcadia of My Youth (1982), Harlock Saga (1998), and Fire Force DNAsights 999.9 (1998).
He was also the director of the 1974 Space Battleship Yamato, which was produced and written by Yoshinobu Nishizaki and animated by Academy Productions. He directed other titles such as Star Blazers: The Comet Empire (1978), Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars (1980), and the anime films Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love (1980) and Be Forever Yamato (1980).
Matsumoto also worked with the French electronic duo Daft Punk to create music videos for their second studio album Discovery, released in 2001. The music videos for all of the album’s tracks were then compiled to create a feature-length anime film titled Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, which was released in 2003. The film was animated by Toei Animation and supervised by Matsumoto.
Source: Leijisha Official Twitter