Sad news: Hisayuki Toriumi (1941 – 2009) passed away on Friday, and his funeral will be held today in Hachioji City, Tokyo.

Although his name may not be familiar, his work certainly will be to millions of my generation – not just in Japan – but also in the UK, the US and across the world where series like Gatchaman (known outside Japan as Battle of the Planets and G-Force), The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Speed Racer became huge childrens TV hits in the 1970s and 80s, and for fans like myself were our first introduction to the world of anime.

In later life his impact on modern anime was even greater, when he became a mentor Mamoru Oshii, particularly while they worked together on Dallos, considered to be the world’s first original video anime (or OVA). Since the 1980s, he had also been a prolific novelist in Japan with nearly two dozen volumes to his credit.

Clearly a legendary figure, and a great loss to the industry and the art form. Best wishes and our warmest thoughts to his family.