The legendary Japanese composer Shunsuke Kikuchi, who fans will remember from Dragon Ball, Doraemon and Kamen Rider, has passed away aged 89 years old.

Millions of people around the world, including myself, grew up watching the Dragon Ball anime series.

From iconic characters to great storytelling, Dragon Ball was a part of our childhood and was the first impression of anime that many of us would have experienced.

Today, the Dragon Ball community and the wider television industry will pay their respects to one of the most prolific composers of the past 60 years, Shunsuke Kikuchi.  

Shunsuke Kikuchi passes away aged 89…

  • The legendary Japanese composer Shunsuke Kikuchi passed away aged 89 years old from aspiration pneumonia on April 24th, per Oricon News.

According to the Oricon news report, Kikuchi died on April 24th at a medical facility in Tokyo due to aspiration pneumonia; a type of lung infection.

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The funeral was attended by close relatives of the late-composer, with an outpouring of respects and tributes from fans following on social media.

A career to remember…

Kikuchi was born on November 1st, 1931 in Hirosaki and after graduating from the Nihon University College of Art, made his composing debut in The Eighth Enemy (1961).

Over the course of his 56-year career, Kikuchi produced music for countless film and television projects, including Doraemon, Kamen Rider, Tiger Mask, Dr Slump and most famously, Dragon Ball.

According to the Dragon Ball Fandom page, Kikuchi composed 23 different musical packages for the franchise, resulting in over 400 pieces of original music.

His work was revered both in Japan and around the world, earning him countless nominations and awards in the industry.

In 1983, he was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for music for to his work on The Gate of Youth and To Trap a Kidnapper.

Thanks to his music being a part of multiple global franchises, he won the JASRAC International Award in 1983, 1989, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Finally, Kikuchi received a lifetime achievement award at the 57th Japan Record Awards; a most-deserved accolade.

The film and television industry in Japan, as well as fans around the world, will remember Shunsuke Kikuchi.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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