Hey guys, Samurai here and I wish I had some better news to relay to you guys tonight, I really do. It has just been announced on several websites including Japanese website Oricon that Koji Wada, the spirited vocalist behind all the Digimon franchise themes and other various songs, has died at the age of 42 on April 3rd after a long bout with cancer.
His passing comes as a great shock to the anime community as he was believed to be in recovery, and had come back to sing the opening theme to Digimon Adventure tri; singing an updated version of the first opening theme song “Butter-Fly”.
According to several sources, while there will be a private family funeral, there will also be a public “Fan Farewell” event taking place later this month for the public.
Koji Wada’s passing also adds a note of sad irony as in February of this year, Paul Gordon, the accomplished composer who gave us the majority of the English soundtrack for Digimon, including it’s iconic opening theme, passed away due to heart disease. He was 52.
Having listened to both “Butter-Fly” and the English theme for Digimon for the better part of the last two decades, I can honestly say that both of these gentlemen were absolute geniuses in their respective languages. In “Butter-Fly” Koji Wada gave us hope that we can escape the darkness and break out into the light and, as the song says, “Ride out on the earnest wind”.
With regards to Paul Gordon, while his Digimon theme didn’t contain the romantic imagery of “Butter-Fly”, the songs he composed were no less as iconic; from “Kick it Up” to “Run Around” and even the much lambasted “Digi-Rap”; each song has the power to propel you back into a time in your life when things were a little more innocent, time moved a little slower, and seven young kids went out to save the worlds. In my own personal life, “Kick it Up” had a very special, personal meaning to my mother not long after the passing of my older sister. I won’t get into it here, but suffice it to say, that one song, as silly as it sounds, had a lot of meaning to us all in those days after her passing and for that, I am forever grateful.
It is this writers wish that both of these gentlemen rest in eternal peace with the knowledge that their respective contributions to the world of music will never be forgotten and will continue to ring in the ears of fans forever.
“I’ll become a happy butterfly, and ride on the glittering wind
I’ll come to see you soon” – Koji Wada
“If we take our time, and we stick together, everything we do,
will go our way. And if we try, now and forever, no matter what comes next,
we’ll be okay.” – Paul Gordon