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Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at 96

posted on by Alex Mateo
Watanabe composed Mazinger Z, Getter Robo Go, Kikaider, Super Sentai

Composer Michiaki Watanabe (also known as Chumei Watanabe) passed away due To Heart failure at a Tokyo hospital on June 23. He was 96.

Watanabe was born in 1925. He studied psychology at the prestigious University of Tokyo under composers Ikuma Dan and Saburō Moroi. He made his debut as a composer for a radio drama produced by the Central Japan Broadcasting Company in the 1950s. For the next 20 years, Watanabe worked with TOHO regularly on film soundtracks while improving his craft under the likes of jazz musician Sadao Watanabe. This had a large effect on Watanabe's compositions. He introduced brass instruments when he created "Theme of Z" for Mazinger Z, also using an analog synthesizer. The combination was considered unique to 1970s listeners' ears.

He composed music for the anime series Mazinger Z, Godannar, Getter Robo Go, and Transformers: Victory, among others. He also composed the music for the first two Kikaider live-action series, Inazuman, the first six Super Sentai series (and contributed to later Super Sentai series as recently as last year's Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger), and the first five Metal Heroes series starting with Space Sheriff Gavan.

Update: Corrected date of death. Thanks, DamianSalazar.

Image Source: Studio21

Source: Kyodo News

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