Legendary Manga Artist Leiji Matsumoto Passed Away at 85!

Leiji Matsumoto is the first name that comes to mind when you talk about the Manga series. The Japanese animator who made cult classics like “Space Battleship Yamato,” “Captain Harlock,” and “Galaxy Express 999” died at the age of 85, but he left behind a lot for people to remember. Read on to find out more about why he died.

What Was Manga Artist Leiji Matsumoto’s Death Cause?

Leiji Matsumoto, a well-known manga and anime artist, died on February 13, 2023. Toei, a company that makes movies and TV shows, told people about the Japanese mangaka. It is said that Leiji Matsumoto died of “heart failure” at the age of 85.

Leiji Matsumoto Death

In 2019, he had serious breathing problems and passed out at an event in Turin, Italy, for the 40th-anniversary tour of the anime version of Captain Harlock. He was in a very bad way when he was taken to the hospital, but he was later said to be “out of danger.”

He was famous for writing some of the most epic space sagas, which were later turned into animated TV shows and movies that people all over the world could watch. In the 1970s and 1980s, Masumoto’s works like “Space Battleship Yamato,” “Captain Harlock,” and “Galaxy Express 999” were made into popular animated TV shows and movies that were seen all over the world.

Matsumoto Always Remain in His Fans Hearts as He Leaves a Legacy Behind

When World War II ended, Leiji Matsumoto was only 7 years old. Leiji’s dad gave him a 35mm film projector when he was young, and he liked to watch American cartoons on it while the Pacific War was going on. During this time, he started reading science fiction books by well-known authors like Unno Juza and H.G. Wells. Leiji moved to Tokyo when he was 18 to become a manga artist.

Most of his manga was “battlefield comics,” which were sad stories about the war. There were more than 150 of these stories. The theme that war should never be fought came from his father, who was an elite army pilot and often said, “War should never be fought.”


In past interviews, Matsumoto often said that his work was “influenced by his wish for people not to go to war and to live for the earth.” In 2015, he told the public broadcaster NHK, “People should try to protect all living things and nature on Earth.

Leiji Matsumoto Death

During his career, he drew fantastic pictures of machines and space travel, such as interstellar steam trains and aliens fighting with radioactive meteorites. These pictures were seen all over the world. In 1972, he made the Western dark comedy “Gun Frontier” for the magazine Play Comics (ran from 1972-1975). Aside from this, he also started the “Senjo Manga Series,” which is a group of short stories about World War II that don’t connect to each other. Later, this became known as “The Cockpit.”

Space Battleship Yamato (1974), Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1977), and Galaxy Express 999 are also worked by Matsumoto (1977). The Shogakukan Manga Award was given to him for his work on Galaxy Express 999 and the Senjo Manga Series.

Both Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 took place in the same universe. Later, shows like Queen Emeraldas and Queen Millennia, which were based on these shows, were made. He was also in charge of making music videos for the popular band Daft Punk. In 2012, the French government gave him a very important award called the Order of Arts and Letters.

Matsumoto talked about living through the atomic bombing in an interview in 2013. He said, “The plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima flew right over my head. The second was for a town near where I lived in Fukuoka. “Nagasaki was doomed because of bad weather,” he said.

He said, “That traumatised me, but it was a source of inspiration, just like all the things that happened to me when I was young.” A creative spirit needs to have lived through things. Even though Matsumoto is no longer alive, his works live on as a cult in the lives of manga fans. Miyako Maki, who is also a manga artist, is the only person who will remember him.