Leiji Matsumoto is one of the great names of anime and manga, primarily for being the principal creator of what is probably one of the earliest shared continuities over several anime series, creating a unified arc commonly referred to as the Leijiverse. The characters and settings, combined with a strong reception in the West, meant that his early series were often the primary introduction to anime for Western viewers of the 70's and early 80's.
A little-known fact is that Matsumoto was not the creator of Uchuu Senkan Yamato, but was brought on to the project by the producer. However, it is acknowledged that that Matsumoto's vision was the primary ingredient for the success of the series.
Matsumoto's wife, former manga artist Miyako Maki, has been credited with the creation of both the Licca-chan doll (pretty much the Japanese equivalent of Barbie) and quite the contributions to the Shojo and Josei manga genres.
Anime series of note include:
- Uchuu Senkan Yamato a.k.a. Space Cruiser Yamato a.k.a. Star Blazers
- Galaxy Express 999
- Captain Harlock
- The Galaxy Railways
- Queen Millennia a.k.a. The Queen of a Thousand Years which was cut together with Captain Harlock in the only US release.
Accepted an invitation from the French musical group Daft Punk (who are great admirers of his work) to come out of retirement and collaborate on the concept album/anime feature film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.