is one of the great names of anime and manga, primarily for being the principal creator of what is probably one of the earliest shared continuities
over several anime series, creating a unified arc commonly referred to as the Leijiverse
. The characters and settings, combined with a strong reception in the West, meant that his early series were often the primary introduction to anime for Western viewers of the '70s and early '80s.
A little-known fact is that Matsumoto was not
the creator of Uchuu Senkan Yamato
, but was brought on to the project by the producer. However, it is acknowledged that Matsumoto's vision was the primary ingredient for the success of the series.
Matsumoto's wife, former manga artist Miyako Maki, has been credited with the creation of both the Licca-chan
doll (pretty much the Japanese equivalent of Barbie
) and quite the contributions to the shojo
manga genres. In fact, Matsumoto himself was a notable shojo
artist in his early years, when Space Opera
, his real passion, sold poorly, and they reportedly met at some manga magazine. It is sometimes speculated that it was the Licca-chan
's success, which made them financially independent, was the thing that allowed Matsumoto to pursue his artistic vision largely free from Executive Meddling
Anime series of note include:
Accepted an invitation from the French musical group Daft Punk
(who are great admirers of his work) to come out of retirement and collaborate on the concept album/anime feature film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
On October 23rd 2012, Leiji Matsumoto is honored with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
. The French seem to really love him.