Leiji Matsumoto

Essays on the Manga and Anime Legend


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About the Book

Leiji Matsumoto is one of Japan’s most influential myth creators. Yet the huge scope of his work, spanning past, present and future in a constantly connecting multiverse, is largely unknown outside Japan. Matsumoto was the major creative force on Star Blazers, America’s gateway drug for TV anime, and created Captain Harlock, a TV phenomenon in Europe. As well as space operas, he made manga on musicians from Bowie to Tchaikovsky, wrote the manga version of American cowboy show Laramie, and created dozens of girls’ comics. He is a respected manga scholar, an expert on Japanese swords, a frustrated engineer and pilot who still wants to be a spaceman in his eighties.

This collection of new essays–the first book on Matsumoto in English–covers his seven decades of comic creation, drawing on contemporary scholarship, artistic practice and fan studies to map Matsumoto’s vast universe. The contributors–artists, creators, translators and scholars–mirror the range of his work and experience. From the bildungsroman to the importance of textual analysis for costume and performance, from early days in poverty to honors around the world, this volume offers previously unexplored biographical and bibliographic detail from a life story as thrilling as anything he created.

About the Author(s)

Helen McCarthy has been researching anime and manga since 1981. She has edited two classic British anime magazines, curated exhibitions and film seasons, lectured widely, and written a dozen books translated into seven languages including Japanese. She lives in London, England.

Darren-Jon Ashmore holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Sheffield. His main area of research is in Japanese media arts, especially the literature, theater and film of the 1960s–1980s. He is Head of Japan Studies at Yamanashi Gakuin University.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Helen McCarthy and Darren-Jon Ashmore
Foreword by Gilles Poitras

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: 55 photos, appendices, glossary, notes, bibliography
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7996-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4085-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Gilles Poitras 1
Darren-Jon Ashmore and Helen McCarthy 3
Glossary 5
Darren-Jon Ashmore and Helen McCarthy 7
Leiji Matsumoto: A Life in Context
Helen McCarthy 13
Sailing a Sea of Stars: Growth and Change in Matsumoto’s Space Opera
Darren-Jon Ashmore 29
Even Better Than the Real Thing: Matsumoto’s Manga
Tim Eldred 57
The Cockpit and the Nobility of Failure
Jonathan Tarbox 84
Female in a Male Universe: Women in Matsumoto’s Space Operas
Stefanie Thomas 111
The Impact of Matsumoto’s Universe on Anime Magazines as a Platform for Cosplay
Edmund W. Hoff 147
A Captain’s Tribute to Leiji Matsumoto: A Cosplay Project
Ondine Montoya and Matthew Montoya 164
Translating Leiji Matsumoto
Zack Davisson 187
Interview with Leiji Matsumoto
Darren-Jon Ashmore 200
General Bibliography and Weblinks 211
Appendix A: Matsumoto Animation 213
Appendix B: Matsumoto Comics and Graphic Works 215
Appendix C: Matsumoto Collaborations and Other Works 229
About the Contributors 233
Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

“The real deal, honestly a one-of-a-kind must-have. Informative, unique essays, revealing interviews, and an exhaustive appendix of Matsumoto’s manga and anime career guarantee you’ll be returning to this again and again.”—Let’s Anime