Matsumoto had his big break with Otoko Oidon, a series that chronicled the life of a ronin (a young man who was preparing himself for entrance examinations to universities and colleges), in 1971. The series was met with both critical as well as public acclaim. Around the same time he started a series of unconnected short stories set during World War II, Senjo Manga Series, which would eventually become popular under the title The Cockpit.
Both his involvement in Space Battleship Yamato (1974) and the debut of the highly popular series Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 (both 1977) made him one of the most popular artists in the entire manga-industry. In 1978, he was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen for Galaxy Express 999 and Senjo Manga Series. Animated versions of Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 proved to be very successful. Both of these series are set in the same universe, which spanned several spin offs and related series, most notably Queen Emeraldas and Queen Millennia. This shared universe is often called the Leijiverse or the Matsumoto Milieu.
By the late 80s, Matsumoto's influence seemed to somewhat dwindle. However, the debut of an all-new Galaxy Express 999 series in 1998 was greeted with enthusiastic success and started a "renaissance". Since then numerous anime based on his works have been produced, including a new Captain Harlock OVA, as well as several animations based on Galaxy Express 999's Maetel and other aspects of the Leijiverse.
Matsumoto also supervised the creation of several music videos for the French house group Daft Punk, set to tracks from their album Discovery. These videos were issued end-to-end (making a full-length animated movie) on a DVD release entitled Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.
About two dozen bronze statues - each perhaps four feet tall - of characters and scenes from Space Battleship Yamato and Galaxy Express 999 were erected in the downtown area of Tsuruga in 1999. Each statue includes a plaque at its base explaining the character, and featuring Matsumoto's signature.
Leiji Matsumoto is also often (mis)credited as the "creator" of Space Battleship Yamato (known outside Japan under various names, but most commonly as Star Blazers). In truth, he was brought onto the project after its conception by producer (and by extension, actual creator) Yoshinobu Nishizaki, but it is now generally agreed that Matsumoto's artistic vision and direction is the primary reason why Yamato was such a memorable success. Matsumoto created a manga loosely based on the series, and the Yamato makes cameo appearances (sans crew) in several of his works including the Galaxy Express 999 manga. A recent work by Matsumoto called Great Yamato featuring an updated Yamato had to be renamed Great Galaxy due to the legal issues with Nishizaki. As of this writing both Matsumoto and Nishizaki are working on independent anime projects featuring the acclaimed Space Battleship Yamato, with the conditions that Matsumoto cannot use the name Yamato or the plot or characters from the original and Nishizaki cannot use the conceptual art, character or ship designs of the original.
DAFT PUNK, THE MANGA MOVIE.(Manga artist Leiji Matsumoto creating music videos for Daft Punk)(Brief Article)
Aug 01, 2001; French dance duo Daft Punk are taking the music video to a new, episodic level with their latest album, Discovery. Each track is...