‘Dragon Ball,’ ‘Doraemon’ composer Shunsuke Kikuchi dies at 89
Renowned Japanese composer Shunsuke Kikuchi, known for his works on anime classics such as “Dragon Ball” and “Doraemon,” has passed away at 89 years old.
The award-winning composer died on April 24 due to pneumonia, as per Oricon yesterday, April 28, via Kotaku earlier today.
Kikuchi, born in 1931, started in the industry back in the 1960s. Among his early works are the themes of classics such as “Kamen Rider” and “Doraemon.”
“Doraemon no Uta” (Doraemon’s Song), which Kikuchi composed with lyrics from Takumi Kusube, remains one of the most iconic anime themes to date, according to the report.
Kikuchi also composed over 400 packages of music for the original “Dragon Ball” anime and “Dragon Ball Z,” for which he was bestowed the International Award by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. He also scored “Dr. Slump” and “Tiger Mask,” among others.
Fans have since taken to social media to pay tribute to the legendary composer. “Dragon Ball” Twitter fan account @DBPerfectshots, for one, posted yesterday that Kikuchi’s work “will always be remembered.”
Shunsuke Kikuchi, the composer/musician of Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z, has passed away. His soundtracks will always be remembered. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/jLvzNu4sGA
— Dragon Ball Perfect Shots (@DBPerfectShots) April 28, 2021
Christopher Sabat, the American voice actor for “Dragon Ball” main character Vegeta, also took to Twitter yesterday to honor the composer.
“Shunsuke Kikuchi, the legendary, award-winning composer, known best for his work on Dragonball and Dragonball Z, passed away at 89,” he simply said, sharing a photo of young Kikuchi.
Shunsuke Kikuchi, the legendary, award-winning composer, known best for his work on Dragonball and Dragonball Z, passed away at 89. 🙏🐐 pic.twitter.com/Kjm6G7oNp8
— Christopher Sabat (@JustChrisSabat) April 28, 2021
A fan who goes by the handle @DudeExclamation on Twitter, meanwhile, made a thread earlier today featuring some of Kikuchi’s major works to share with fellow fans.
Shunsuke Kikuchi's work has been with me for about as long as I've been into anime, so his passing is a major bummer for me. My exposure to his work obviously started with Dragon Ball Z, but through the years he just kept appearing in things I liked! A thread of Kikuchi tracks.
— Alex "Lapti Nek was #1 on TRL for 43 days" Kazanas (@DudeExclamation) April 28, 2021
Aside from anime, Kikuchi also worked on several television shows and films. His song “Urami Bushi,” which he composed for the 1972 Japanese film “Female Prisoner,” was also featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.”
Kikuchi has also received several awards for his works throughout his lifetime. For one, he was given the prestigious lifetime achievement award at the 57th Japan Record Awards back in 2015. Ian Biong. /ra
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