A longtime veteran of the anime industry is no longer with us, as the influential Asei Kobayashi has passed away at 88. The composer, actor, and activist—known for composing themes for titles ranging from Sally the Witch and Gatchaman to Turn A Gundam and many more—passed due to heart failure on May 30.
Among Kobayashi’s earliest works are titles like Wolf Boy Ken, which was Toei Animation’s first TV anime and featured direction by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata. Kobayashi also worked on early magical girl series Sally the Witch and Himitsu no Akko-chan, as well as titles like Beast King GoLion, Dororon Enma-kun, and Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider.
Kobayashi received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 57th Japan Record Awards in 2015, celebrating both his work in anime and in some of the biggest commercials of all time. He was featured in hundreds of TV series, movies, and commercials as an actor, so his talent and notoriety went well beyond composing music.
Our thoughts go out to Kobayashi’s friends and relatives, who held a funeral for the actor/composer shortly after his passing.
Photo: Mainichi (Emi Naito)