Japan Honors Gundam Composer Shigeaki Saegusa as Person of Cultural Merit

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Composed for Char's Counterattack, Zeta Gundam, numerous classical works

The Japanese government announced composer Shigeaki Saegusa as one of 20 recipients of this year's Person of Cultural Merit honor on Wednesday.

Within anime, Saegusa is perhaps best known for composing the music for Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. He also composed the music for Amon Saga, E.Y.E.S. of Mars, and Catnapped! The Movie.

Saegusa is also an accompished composer of contemporary classical music, and has written works that have run the gamut of classical composition, arrangement, and instrumentation, from unaccompanied compositions for solo instruments, to solo concerti with orchestral accompaniment for violins, celli, and shamisen. He has also composed for newer instruments in a classical context, using synthesizers and vocoders, and has also composed works for early music, such as polyphonic Renaissance madrigals. He has composed an operatic version of the Forty-Seven Ronin traditional tale, as well as Jr. Butterfly, his take on a sequel to Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

Manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) also received the Person of Cultural Merit honor in 2001, and fellow manga creator Shigeru Mizuki (GeGeGe no Kitarō) received the same honor in 2010. Anime director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki received the honor in 2012. Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and manga creator Moto Hagio received the award in 2019.


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