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Dragon Quest Composer Koichi Sugiyama Passes Away at 90

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Composer known for long-running RPG series, Cyborg 009, Ideon, Rayearth, Godzilla vs. Biollante

The official website for Square Enix's Dragon Quest role-playing game series announced on Thursday that composer Kōichi Sugiyama passed away on September 30 due to septic shock. He was 90 years old.

Sugiyama is best known for his work in the long-running Dragon Quest series, beginning with the series' first game in 1986. He composed more than 500 pieces for the series since then. In the announcement of Sugiyama's passing, Square Enix reported that his work for the upcoming Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate (Dragon Quest XII: Erabareshi Unmei no Honoo) game will be his last work. Dragon Quest's iconic "Overture: Loto's Theme" played as the first song ushering in the athletes' Parade of Nations during the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony in July.

In addition, Sugiyama composed music for anime such as the second Cyborg 009 television series, Space Runaway Ideon, Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken (and other Dragon Quest anime) and Magic Knight Rayearth. He also scored the live-action special-effects film Godzilla vs. Biollante.

Sugiyama's legacy remains marred by controversial statements, often echoing Japanese conservative and right-wing political rhetoric. He wrote a letter opposing United States House of Representatives Resolution 121 in 2007. The resolution asked the Japanese government to apologize to "comfort women" who became sexual slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. In the same letter, he denied the occurence of the Nanking Massacre perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese Army. He appeared in a 2015 program alongside politicians Mio Sugita and Kyōko Nakayama, decrying LGBTQ+ indivdiuals as "unproductive" because they do not have children, and dismissed concerns about high suicide rates within the LGBTQ+ community.

Source: Dragon Quest series' website

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