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RIP Riichiro Manabe

manabeRiichiro Manabe, a Japanese film composer in the 1960s and ’70s, died January 29. He was 90.

MSTies will remember his music for the movie in episode 212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON. In addition to the score, he also wrote the song “Godzilla and Jaguar, Punch Punch Punch!” or, as Joel and the Bots called it, “The Jet Jaguar Fight Song.”

He also scored “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” (a.k.a. “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster”). His Godzilla soundtracks have been alternately praised and criticized by fans for their offbeat, jazzy and sometimes psychedelic styles. His work on “The Miliatarists” (1970) is more highly regarded. He also made the music for Toho’s “Vampire Trilogy” (“The Vampire Doll,” “Lake of Dracula,” and “Evil of Dracula”) as well as films for prolific director Nagisa Oshima, such as “Naked Youth” (1960).

Thanks to our buddy Jay for the info.

10 Replies to “RIP Riichiro Manabe”

  1. Bruce Boxliker says:

    A great composer. I’ve always loved the music from Megalon, especially the Jet Jaguar song. RIP, your music will carry on.


  2. Th1rt3eN says:

    The scores from those 2 films are great. The “psychedelic” style fit perfectly with the weird feel of Godzilla VS. Hedorah (that fish mask night club scene comes to mind. The Jet Jaguar fight song gets stuck in my head for days every time I hear it. The guy was a good composer for those films it’s too bad he didn’t do a few more.


  3. Doug Glassman says:

    Did he also compose that wacky trumpet music that plays when Godzilla “flies” in G vs. Hedorah? If so, I salute him for being part of one of the most unintentionally hilarious clips I’ve ever seen.


  4. Reaper G says:

    “Smog Monster” and “Megalon” were the first two Godzilla movies I ever saw. RIP to a man who helped be become the hardcore G-fan I am today.


  5. Torgospizza-NJ says:

    Manabe’s Godzilla scores often sounded like college fight songs….at the end of Smog Monster, when Godzilla is marching away from the battlefield, the exit music sounds as if Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas are coming in for the second half of the game…..gotta love the Jet Jaguar song, though ( “who’s there?”)


  6. Happenstance says:

    His music well suited the films he scored. Rest in peace, good sir.

    It’s hilarious that director Yoshimitsu Banno was brought by longtime producer Tomoyuki Tanaka in to “shake up” the Godzilla series, then fired and blackballed when Tanaka saw Godzilla vs Hedorah…yet Manabe, whose music set the tone of Hedorah as much as Banno’s direction, was called back to score vs Megalon.

    (If you’re interested, Sci-Fi Japan has an interview with Banno, who was executive producer on 2014’s Godzilla.)


  7. Bobo "BuckDat" Briggs says:

    Aww, man. That sucks. Even though he’s often considered the redheaded stepchild among the Godzilla composers, his scores are among my favorite. Megalon’s is my favorite for the weird factor alone. But also, i come back to it a lot for sampling. The sound effects in that movie as well are great to use as samples.


  8. EricJ says:

    So, he gave us “Save the Earth” in GvHedorah?


  9. radioman970 says:

    Yeah, these movies would be lesser without his great music. RIP sir, thanks for the Jet Song! I love that very MUCH!


  10. Happenstance says:

    So, he gave us “Save the Earth” in GvHedorah?

    He composed the original music for “Kaese! Taiyo wo (Give Back the Sun!)”, and director Yoshimitsu Banno wrote the lyrics. Guy Hemric and Adryan Russ wrote the English lyrics, with Russ singing. Hemric and Russ performed songs for several dubbed Japanese movies, including Toei’s animated Jack and the Witch.


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