Dragon Ball Wiki

This article is about the
real world.

Akira Toriyama with his pet cat, Koge (1987)

Shunsuke Kikuchi

Shunsuke Kikuchi (菊池俊輔; November 1, 1931 in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan – April 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan) was a prolific Japanese composer. He specialized in background music for television and film.


Shunsuke Kikuchi

Shunsuke Kikuchi graduated from Nihon University College of Fine Arts, Music. Active from 1961 until 2017, Kikuchi was one of Japan's most highly demanded film and TV composers, working principally on tokusatsu and anime productions for children, as well as violent action films, jidaigeki and dorama. His works are comparatively more common in Toei Animation's productions.

Shunsuke Kikuchi created the soundtrack for the original Japanese Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series. He retired soon after the end of Dragon Ball Z in 1995, and was replaced by Akihito Tokunaga for Dragon Ball GT. His music from Dragon Ball Z was re-used for the 2008 OVA Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends! His music was re-used in Dragon Ball Z Kai from March 2011, due to the firing of Kenji Yamamoto by Toei Animation after allegations of plagiarism. Kikuchi's music initially only played on the final two Dragon Ball Kai episodes that aired on TV (episode 96 and episode 97), but a limited selection of his compositions were then used to re-score the remaining 96 episodes of Kai, which became the official score of Kai from then on.

Kikuchi's compositions characteristically have a 16-beat blues and pentatonic basis. Up-tempo works like those in Kamen Rider and Abarenbō Shōgun form the majority of his works, while the 12/8 theme of Doraemon and the slow background music from long-running series have become some of his best-known works. On April 24, 2021, he passed away from aspiration pneumonia at the age of 89.

Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z music packages

From 1986 to 1995, Kikuchi composed 23 different packages of music for the original Japanese versions of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, resulting in over 400 different pieces of music. The vast majority of his cues have not been released on CD. The recording dates are taken from Daizenshuu and BGM Collection booklets. Although most of these packages of music were mixed in stereo, they were only used in mono in the original run, except for the Japanese version of the Wrath of the Dragon movie (which was actually in surround sound, though the music itself appears to be stereo).

Background music composed by Kikuchi

Shunsuke Kikuchi

External links