The Kyodo News agency reported on Saturday that manga creator Leiji Matsumoto’s condition is now stable after being transported to a hospital in Italy. According to Kyodo’s source who has ties with Matsumoto, the creator is expected to be eventually discharged from the hospital and return to Japan following his recuperation.
According to Kyodo’s source, Matsumoto had undergone a head examination at the hospital, but the examination did not detect any serious symptoms.
According to Italian media, Matsumoto was hospitalized in Turin, Italy on Friday after collapsing. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that it was suspected that he had a stroke and that he was in serious condition. The newspaper added that according to Italian media, after Matsumoto started speaking inarticulately at an event, staff took him back to his hotel, and he was then taken to hospital via emergency transport.
The Kyodo news agency previously reported on Saturday through the Corriere della Sera daily newspaper that Matsumoto had been hospitalized for a suspected stroke and was in serious condition, but the agency did not confirm the other details noted by Asahi Shimbun.
Matsumoto was in Turin to attend a series of events that celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Captain Harlock anime’s debut on Italian television. According to the Leiji Matsumoto Cultural Association, Matsumoto was scheduled for an autograph signing at the Cinema Massimo on Friday, but was only able to sign a few autographs before retiring to his hotel room and undergoing medical supervision. The association added that Matsumoto’s schedule on Saturday and Sunday was being evaluated.
Matsumoto was born in 1938, and he debuted as a manga artist in 1953 with Michibachi no Bōken (Honeybee’s Adventure) while he was still in high school. His notable works include Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, and Queen Emeraldas — all of which inspired multiple anime or live-action adaptations — and he contributed designs and created the tie-in manga for Space Battleship Yamato. He also supervised animated music videos for French electronic pop group Daft Punk’s Discovery album, and the videos were strung together into the INTERSTELLA 5555 film. His designs and works have influenced multiple generations of artists around the world.
In 2001 Matsumoto was awarded the “Medal with Purple Ribbon” honor, and in 2010 he was awarded with the “Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette.” In 2012 he received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) decoration from the French government.