Leiji Matsumoto, manga legend and creator of the Albator series, died at the age of 85
Steph Deschamps / February 20, 2023
Leiji Matsumoto, legend of manga and Japanese animation and father of the space pirate Albator, died last week at the age of 85 years of heart failure, announced Monday the production company Toei.
In the course of a career spanning several decades, the mangaka had made a name for himself in particular with science fiction works such as "Yamato, the Space Battleship" (1974) or "Galaxy Express 999" (1977).
But it is especially the series "Captain Albator" ("Harlock" in the original English version), telling the adventures of the space pirate with a scar on his face and a long black cape with a skull and crossbones on it, which made him famous all over the world.
Published in Japan between 1977 and 1979 and then adapted into a cartoon, this work was a worldwide success, notably broadcast on French television from 1980.
Albator is my oldest and most faithful friend. He is my alter ego in his determination", said Leiji Matsumoto in 2011 at the Annecy Animation Film Festival, where he came to present the trailer of the film "Albator, Space Corsair ».
Born in 1938 on the island of Kyushu (southwestern Japan), this precocious genius, an admirer of the great mangaka Osamu Tezuka, published his first manga at the age of 15, "The Adventures of a Bee", after winning a creative contest.
The artist also said he was inspired in his work by the atomic bomb dropped by the United States in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when he was 7 years old and lived in Fukuoka, 300 km from there.