RIP Video Game Composer Kenichi Okuma

RIP Video Game Composer Kenichi Okuma
Image: GötzenDiener Original Game Music - Liner Notes

Kenichi Ōkuma, a video game composer known for his work on the Super Smash Bros series, has passed away at the age of 56.

According to a post written by Ōkuma’s family members on his official Twitter, the composer passed on July 22 after battling with esophageal cancer.

The post translated to English reads:

[Notice] Kenichi Okuma passed away on July 22 due to esophageal cancer at the age of 56. Due to the time of the year, the funeral will be held in a family-style service. We would like to thank everyone who loved Okuma’s music and all those involved for their kindness and support over the years on his behalf. Thank you very much. (Family members)

Ōkuma is responsible for arranging tracks in Super Smash Bros Brawl and Super Smash Bros Ultimate that were related to PokemonR.O.B, and Game & Watch, and was notably the writer of Flat Zone 2. Let’s have a listen!

Prior to his work on Super Smash Bros, Ōkuma also arranged the track ‘Rondo of Light and Shadow’ for RPG Lunar: Eternal Blue, which was released in 1994 for the SEGA CD, in 1998 for the Sega Saturn, and in 1999 for the original PlayStation. The soundtrack was composed by Noriyuki Iwadare, who also expressed his sympathies in response to the family’s announcement.

The post translated to English reads:

Kenichi Okuma has been a close friend of mine for 38 years since our college days, playing and making music together. He also arranged “Rondo of Light and Shadow” from Lunar 2 and “Like Hoshi” from Lagrisser 5. It is a pity that there were so many things he would have liked to do more. Anyway, have a good rest. Gassho….

The track in question, Rondo of Light and Shadow, is truly beautiful, so let’s have a listen.

His work also includes composing music for many other games, including a whole lot of Japanese dating sims, from the early 90’s up until this year. Truly one of those fantastic quiet achievers. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Rest in peace to an absolute king.

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