Galaxy Express 999 creator's 59 year anime/manga career earns him a fancy French title.
Leiji Matsumoto, creator of the likes of Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 and the fantastic Daft Punk music videos which formed Interstella 5555, has been made a Knight of the order of Arts and Letters by the French government. The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres recognizes individuals, including foreign nationals, who've made significant contributions to the arts. Matsumoto received the honor at the French embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Matsumoto joins the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux, and Akira creator, Katsuhiro Otomo, in the first rank of the order. Recipients of the rank of Commandeur, the highest the order can bestow, include T. S. Eliot, Sean Connery, Bob Dylan and Jean Claude Van Damme.
Matsuomoto will celebrate his 60th year as a mangaka in 2013. He's worked in numerous genres since his professional debut in 1957, but his epic space operas, particularly his take on Yoshinobu Nishizaki's Space Battleship Yamato, are regarded as his most popular and influential works. At 74-years-old, Matsuomoto is still active in anime/manga production. His most recent work, a post-apocalyptic action adventure called Ozuma, aired in Japan earlier this year.