Dragon Ball Composer Shunsuke Kikuchi Dies At 89

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Famed composer Shunsuke Kikuchi has died from pneumonia, Oricon reports. He was 89.


Kikuchi was born in Aomori Prefecture in 1931. He made his music debut in 1961 and went on to compose for an array of iconic shows, including the themes for Kamen Rider and Doraemon. His “Doraemon no Uta” (Doraemon’s Song) with lyrics by Takumi Kusube is one of the most famous themes in anime history.

He also scored shows like Tiger Mask, Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Z. As the Dragon Ball Wiki explains, he composed 23 packages of music between 1986 and 1995 for the original show and its follow-up DBZ, which ended up totaling over 400 pieces.

May he rest in peace. And many thanks for all the great music.



Fun fact: when Goku visited Penguin Village in Dragon Ball, they reused Kikuchi’s music from Dr. Slump to add to the authenticity. Because Funimation didn’t replace Dragon Ball’s score like they did with Z and GT, the music was preserved in their 5.1 surround mix. Because of the automated way the Voices, Sound Effects and Music were assigned to the channels, it’s possible to isolate this music, making it the only Dr. Slump score able to be listened to on its own!

Also: never source the Dragon Ball wiki, they’re awful.