Leiji Matsumoto, Manga Creator of Epic Space Sagas, Dies Aged 85

By Reuters
February 21, 2023Entertainment
Leiji Matsumoto, Manga Creator of Epic Space Sagas, Dies Aged 85
Japanese mangaka/author Leiji Matsumoto attends "Harlock Space Pirate" Photocall at the 70th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy, on Sept. 3, 2013. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

TOKYO—Leiji Matsumoto, the famed Japanese manga and anime creator of epic space sagas including “Galaxy Express 999” and “Space Pirate Captain Harlock”, has died aged 85, his office said on Monday.

The cause of death was heart failure, local media said.

Matsumoto was also known for his work with Yoshinobu Nishizaki on the 1970s TV series “Space Battleship Yamato”—titled “Star Blazers” in the United States—with Matsumoto credited as its director as well as the creator of the manga series spun off from it.

He also supervised several animated videos for the French electronic music duo Daft Punk including “One More Time.”

Matsumoto, who was 7 years old when the World War II ended, said his work was informed by his wish for people not to experience war and to live for the Earth.

“Human beings should make efforts to protect all living creatures and nature on earth,” he told public broadcaster NHK in 2015.

Matsumoto is the recipient of several awards from the Japanese government, as well as the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government.

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