‘Dragon Ball’ composer Shunsuke Kikuchi dead at 89

Shunsuke Kikuchi, a Japanese composer famed for his work in the anime world, has died at age 89.

Best-known for scoring the “Dragon Ball” series, Kikuchi died on April 24 from the lung infection commonly known as aspiration pneumonia, according to the gaming site HITC.

Close family members gathered to remember Kikuchi at a funeral in his homeland, local media outlet Oricon News reported.

Born in 1931 in Hirosaki, Kikuchi attended the Nihon University College of Art. He started his composing career in 1961.

Over the course of his career, Kikuchi worked on dozens of TV shows and movies. His compositions appeared in the extremely popular shows “Doraemon,” “Dragon Ball” and its many spinoffs and the “Red Dead Wagon” TV movies, according to his IMDB profile.

DRAGON BALL Z, 1989-2003. (c) Cartoon Network
A scene from “Dragon Ball Z.”
©Cartoon Network/Courtesy Evere

In 1983, Kikuchi was nominated for the Japan Academy Awards for “Best Musical Score” his work on 982 movies “Yûkai hôdô” (“To Trap a Kidnapper”) and “Seishun no mon: Jiritsu hen” (The Gate of Youth Part 2).

Kikuchi originally composed the song “Urami Bushi” for the 1972 film “Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion,” though it later gained popularity for its inclusion on the “Kill Bill” soundtrack in 2003.

Fans mourned the prolific composer on Twitter.