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Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

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Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby Emerje » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:46 am

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It is with a heavy heart that we report on the passing of composer Michiaki Watanabe (known professionally as Chūmei Watanabe) at the age of 96 due to heart failure at a Tokyo hospital on June 23. Having been trained in jazz composition his music often combined brass instruments with synthesizers to make his signature sound. Among Transformers fans he'd be best known for composing the score to both the Transformers Victory and Zone animated series. However, among fans of Japanese giant robots and superheroes in general he's considered the father of their respective soundtracks. To his anime credit are Getter Robo Go, Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Kōsoku Denjin Albegas, and Kotetsu Zieg. On the live action side he composed for Jinzo Ningen Kikaida, Mechanical Violator Hakaider, Toei's Spider-man, and perhaps most importantly the first six Super Sentai series. As a man that never formally retired he was still working in his advanced years including 2021's Muteking anime series and Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger.

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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby Sabrblade » Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:26 am

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He lived to a ripe old age and composed some amazing music. May he rest in peace.
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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby o.supreme » Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:17 am

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Amazing career, he will be missed. All of those Super Robot series compositions are pretty awesome, the fact he contributed to Transformers was just the icing on the cake.

I think it's extremely telling the difference in culture. In North America tens of thousands will pack a stadium to see their favorite rock, pop, or county musician.

In Japan, tens of thousands will pack a stadium to hear an orchestra play their favorite themes to Anime and Tokusatsu shows and movies. If such an event ever came within a driving distance of me, I'd definitely be there.
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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby bluecatcinema » Thu Jun 30, 2022 1:02 pm

The Victory theme was always my favorite out of the Japanese TF series. RIP.
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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby Sabrblade » Thu Jun 30, 2022 4:17 pm

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bluecatcinema wrote:The Victory theme was always my favorite out of the Japanese TF series. RIP.
He did the score, not the theme song.
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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby bluecatcinema » Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:02 pm

Sabrblade wrote:
bluecatcinema wrote:The Victory theme was always my favorite out of the Japanese TF series. RIP.
He did the score, not the theme song.

My bad. But the score was great, too.
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Re: Prolific Transformers Victory and Zone Composer Michiaki Watanabe Passes Away at Age 96

Postby o.supreme » Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:27 pm

Motto: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
Also just thinking about it, I believe the music score in the single Zone episode was all just reused music from Victory. Not trying to take away anything from the man, just an observation. A lot of Mazinger Z themes reappear in Great Mazinger as well, but GM has its own unique compositions as well.
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