The legendary composer who breathed life into Doraemon and Dragon Ball’s iconic music, Shunsuke Kikuchi, has passed away at 89, JASRAC announced. Various news sources have indicated that his passing was due to aspiration pneumonia. A private funeral was held by his relatives.
Kikuchi’s work has been integral in many Japanese pop culture films and series. Notable anime, apart from Doraemon and Dragon Ball, include Dr. Slump Arale-chan, Tiger Mask, Casshern, Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, Grendizer, and Ninja Hattori-kun. He has also worked on multiple tokusatsu series, particularly Showa era Kamen Rider series, Jumborg Ace, Space Ironman Kyodain, and Hoero! Voicelugger, to name a few. His music composition work has even reached the heisei era of Super Sentai, having insert songs in Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Juuken Sentai Gekiranger, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, and Tensou Sentai Goseiger.
Kikuchi’s prolific work in pop culture music has earned him multiple accolades, such as the Japanese Academy Film “Excellence in Music” in 1983, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 by the Japan Record Awards.
It was previously reported that Kikuchi went on hiatus in 2017 to undergo treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Top photo: JASRAC