Michio Kinugasa, Composer of Aquaplus’ Utawarerumono, Passes Away

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Michio Kinugasa composed Musouka, the opening song of the 2006 Utawarerumono anime.

Naoya Shimokawa, President of Aquaplus, announced on Twitter on July 29 that one of the company’s iconic composer, Michio Kinugasa (Real name: Susumu Mameda) has regrettably passed away in 2020.

Shimokawa mentioned Michio Kinugasa worked with Aquaplus for over 17 years, thanked him for all his contributions, and presented his condolences to the family. Naoya Shimokawa himself is one of Aquaplus’ iconic composers and formed a duo many times with Kinugasa.

On Twitter, multiple Aquaplus staff reacted to the news of Michio Kinugasa passing away. Most notably Suara (real name Akiko Tatsumi) who sung multiple songs composed by Kinugasa for Utawarerumono, Tears to Tiara, and more.

Suara wrote on Twitter she still can’t believe it, and hoped to keep singing Michio Kinugasa’s songs for for many years to come. She thanked him for 15 years of wonderful memories.

Tsuyoshi Koyama, who voices Kurou in the Utawarerumono series, shared his feelings on Twitter as well. In particular, he mentioned he was always incredibly happy to work with Michio Kinugasa, and how he made the Utawarrumono Kurou insert song Boku Dake no Tabiji in 2010.

All legendary doujin games from the early 2000s used music as one of their most iconic components. Key’s Clannad. Type-Moon’s Fate/stay night, 07th Expansion’s Higurashi, Nitroplus’ Demonbane, are all among the many examples. Aquaplus is the same. Michio Kinugasa composed for the very first game by Aquaplus, Shizuku released in 1996, and most notably worked on White Album, Comic Party, Utawarerumono, To Heart 2, Tears to Tiara, and Aquapazza. He will be dearly missed.

Kinugasa definitely played a huge part in the development of Aquaplus and its franchises. Utawarerumono, like many of its contemporary doujin games, started being hugely popular worldwide with its first anime adaptation, which aired in 2006. This is personally how I discovered the series as well. Michio Kinugasa composed the Utawarerumono anime opening theme song, Musouka, sung by Suara.

The Utawarerumono series is available in English on PC. Aquaplus recently launched the mobile game Utawarerumono Lost Flag in Japan. The company also confirmed it’s working on multiple new Utawarerumono console games.

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