Shunsuke Kikuchi, who was the composer for the popular Dragon Ball anime series, passed away on Saturday. He was admitted to a medical facility in Tokyo at the time of his demise. The Japanese music industry outlet Oricon News broke the news to the world. According to Oricon, 89-year-old Kikuchi was going through medical treatment for pneumonia.
It is sad news that the legend who gave us the classic soundtrack of Dragon Ball has left the world so early. The well-known composer began his career back in the 1960s. For more than five decades, he had been gifting the world with his talent. The first-ever film that he worked on was the 1961 film “The Eighth Enemy.” Later, he composed music and theme songs for several anime TV series.
Dragon Ball Composer Shunsuke Kikuchi
The popular Japanese anime “Dragon Ball,” produced by Toei Animation, first premiered in 1986. It was Kikuchi who gave his music to this cult series. The show’s theme song gained massive popularity all over the world. Seeing the popularity of his music, the company hired him again for the second season as well. Hence, he joined the sequel series “Dragon Ball Z” in 1989. He even worked on the remastered series called the “Dragon Ball Z Kai” and composed the music for its episodes.
Kikuchi composed a total of 23 packages of music for the Dragon Ball series, including the sequel show Dragon Ball Z. This was a total of over 400 different pieces of music. On the other hand, the legendary composer is also known to be the creator of the classic theme for the Doraemon series.
Shunsuke Kikuchi: Other Renowned Works
Over the five decades of his career, Kikuchi worked on plenty of anime and TV drama series. He worked with several productions, movies, and television shows. However, his first rise to prominence came in the 1960s when he made a professional debut as a composer for the popular film The Eighth Enemy. Later, as his career progressed, he earned worldwide recognition for his contributions to the Dragon Ball franchise.
Besides Dragon Ball, Shunsuke Kikuchi worked on several other remarkable projects. Some of his other composing credits include the names like “The Unfettered Shogun,” the theme song for “Doraemon,” “Masked Rider,” “Tiger Mask,” “Gaiking,” “Tōshō Daimos,” “Dr. Slump” and many more. Kikuchi later decided to get retired in 2017 due to his health conditions.
Accolades And Condolences
Overlook Events paid tribute to Kikuchi on Twitter. The production company is behind all the concerts that feature the music of “Dragon Ball.” These concerts also include composers like John Williams and Ennio Morricone. Everyone who has ever worked with him paid their condolences for the lost legend. The company wrote on Twitter, “Our work and concerts are dedicated to him from the beginning.”
Shunsuke Kikuchi has a nomination in his name for the Japan Academy Award for outstanding music in 1983. This was for his work on “The Gate of Youth” and “To Trap a Kidnapper.” Besides, he also earned the award of merit at the Tokyo Anime Awards in 2013. Not to mention, a lifetime Japan Record Award was also named under his work for distinguished service in 2015.