Sad news for generations of japanimation enthusiasts: composer Shunshuke Kikuchi died at the age of 89 from pneumonia, as Kotaku reports via a report from the Japanese site Oricon.
If this name may mean nothing to you, his compositions will however necessarily be familiar to those who were rocked to the animes of the 80s and 90s, and still present on French televisions today: Kikuchi is thus the man. to whom we owe the music of the anime adaptations of the manga Dragon Ball , Dr. Slump or Goldorak .
Kikuchi has composed more than twenty different sets of music for the animated adaptation of the Dragon Ball saga, then its Dragon Ball Z sequel. representing more than 400 different musics, his compositions thus set the tone for the cult clashes between Son Goku and his various opponents during the broadcast of the anime, having spanned from 1986 to 1995 on Japanese television antennas and indefinitely on French territory.
This was not his first collaboration with the work of Akira Toriyama – Kikuchi also composed the music for the anime Dr. Slump , broadcast from 1981 in Japan and 1988 in France.
For more than 40 years on the French airwaves
Beyond his work for Dragon Ball , Kikuchi's work has crossed many different media and genres through the generations.
We could list dozens of television productions for which the composer worked, composing the main themes of the Kamen Rider series, the credits of Doraemon in Japan, or the music of the cult anime Tiger Mask , one of the pioneers of the genre. The Japanese artist has also worked for the big screen, composing the music for a number of films featuring the creature Gamera from the late studio Daiei Film.
Kikuchi's compositions have accompanied French viewers for much longer than it first appears – he is thus the origin of the music of San Ku Kaï , the first Japanese live-action series to be broadcast. in France – in 1979 more precisely, on the airwaves of Antenne 2.
And if the French spectators were entitled to a completely different opening credits for the broadcast of Goldorak ( UFO Robot Grendizer in Japan) by Pascal Auriat and Noam from 1978, the original compositions of Kikuchi used during the anime have fortunately been preserved.