comic art by Leji Matsumoto
Comic art by Leiji Matsumoto. 

Leiji Matsumoto, the son of an air force pilot, was only fifteen years old when his first story, 'Mitsubachi no Bôken', was published in Manga Shônen. Soon, he created a varying oeuvre, at first inspired by Osamu Tezuka, in several genres: children's comics ('Kuroi Hanabira', 'S no Taiyo'), science fiction ('Denkô Ozma', 'Sexaroid', 'Kosoku Esper'), westerns and others. He was one of the first mangakas whose manga and animation work crossed over internationally.

Star Blazers, by Leji Matsumoto
'Star Blazers', by Leji Matsumoto.

His fame came with the series 'Otoko Oidon', about the student Nobotta Oyama, who was rejected by all universities. Matsumoto mostly enjoyed creating war stories, but he had his biggest success with science fiction stories such as 'Uchû Senkan Yamato', a series created simultaneously for TV and comics. His space pirate 'Captain Harlock' first appeared in Arcadia in 1977. Around the same time, he set up other science fiction series, including 'Ginga Tetsudo 999' ('Galaxy Express 999') and 'Sennen Joô'. His 1974 SF anime 'Space Cruiser Yamato' earned fame in the USA from 1979 under the title 'Star Blazers'. Matsumoto was hired by the French band Daft Punk to animate their music videos, compiled into the 2003 movie 'Interstella 5555'. One of the most well-known is the video for their hit single 'One More Time' (2001).

Matsumoto's wife, Miyako Maki, was an mangaka in her own right. In 2023, Matsumoto died from a heart attack. 

Leiji Matsumoto was an influence on Christian Quesnel

Uchu Senkan Yamato, by Leji Matsumoto
'Uchu Senkan Yamato'.

Series and books by Leiji Matsumoto you can order today:


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