It's been a year since the passing of Wada Kouji.
Easily the name that is most known to Digimon fans due to his many songs for the Digimon franchise.
Far to many songs to name to be honest, to say nothing of the many times he would appear at Digimon related events to sing his well known songs for fans.
And as many people know, our site/forum was named after one of his songs.
His passing has been mentioned by many people (it's only just April 3rd for many of us, but in other places it's been more than a few hours.) Some of the most notable are from people involved with Digimon.
The first is the Digimon Music Producer, who also included a picture with his message, which we have translated.
Looks like the cherry blossoms are coming close to full bloom here in Tokyo.
Today, April 3rd, it’s been one year since Wada Kouji-san passed away.
In order for everyone’s messages/feelings/thoughts to reach [him], I said "Please allow me to use this place as I would like to express my condolences through silent prayer."
Thank you so much for your wonderful singing voice.
The second is Volcano Ota, one of the members of the team that created Digimon, who also often appeared at Digimon events and helped push the brand forward at Bandai.
At first Ota responded to an English question from a fan about if he remembered it had been a year. He responded with an attempt at a fun and positive message in English.
…I'm just joking(^_^)
Of course, I realize it.
Today, Let's remember a lot of him than usual!
Shortly afterwards he posted a more detailed message in Japanese, which we have here translated.
I really can’t stay calm at all today.
I feel I shouldn’t talk about this sort of thing, but I also have some feelings I feel I should say and will do so frankly/honestly.
Sorry if it comes off as negative!
In the last year I feel there were a lot of good things that happened and it was really a blessing...
But you know... It's been a little... it's just a little... a world without you is lonely, Wada-san.
Later in the day Ota added another message along with an image.
(For those unaware, Angemon was Wada Kouji's favorite Digimon character.)I thought of the idea this morning, and finally coloured in KojiAngemon after taking half a day.
It doesn't look all that good and the colour choices might clash a little, but this is the best I could do for now [sweats].
It feels almost as if I just finished homework that's a year overdue... (laughs)
Come on, Koji!
Ayumi Miyazaki, well known himself for numerous Digimon songs, also said a few kind words.
A year can go by pretty fast.
While Butter-fly continues to always soar in everyone’s hearts, I’ll order drinks for the two of us today.
He has been, and will continue to be, greatly missed by Digimon fans.
He was 42 years old.
Update- Added a comment from Miyazaki and more from Ota.
Update- The Digimon Music Producer posted a photo along with describing what the photo was...
A meeting to remember Koji Wada. AiM, Endou, Oota, Ota, Kageyama, Kitadani, Tanimoto, Cher, Miyazaki, and the other staff are all here. Thank you all for staying so late. As long as everyone's voices are together as one, we're sure to be able to connect together.
Basically just a lot of people who knew and had worked with Wada Kouji getting together to have a meal and drinks in his honor.
While not identified by full names, the ones who we have partial names for are well known to anime fans in general, with many known to Digimon fans in particular. Here is who we know of: (since some of you might want to know who they actually are for ones who might not be as familiar to you visually.)
AiM- Well known to Digimon fans as Mimi in Adventure and 02, along with doing ED songs for Adventure, 02, Tamers, Frontier, and tri.
Masaaki Endou- Well known Japanese singer and member of JAM Project. He would occasionally join Wada Kouji on stage at live events they were both at. In addition, his popular cover album a number of years ago included a version of Butter-Fly. (Wada and JAM Project members often appeared on stage together, I'll only be mentioning it here.)
Michihiko Oota- Well known anime song composer and singer. He has worked on many of Digimon's songs during it's history (including many of the most well known songs.) Probably best known for singing Slash during Tamers.
Volcano Ota- The director of the team that created Digimon.
Hironobu Kageyama- Well known anime singer, another member of JAM Project. Probably best known to many anime fans as the singer of both theme songs to Dragon Ball Z.
Hiroshi Kitadani- Well known anime singer and JAM Project member.
Takayoshi Tanimoto- Anime singer, perhaps best known to Digimon fans as the singer of One Vision from Digimon Tamers.
Cher Watanabe- Does composing and arrangement for anime music. Digimon fans would best known him as the arranger for: the versions of Butter-Fly in both Adventure and tri., Going Going My Soul in Savers, and quite a bit more Digimon music.
Ayumi Miyazaki- Welll known to Digimon fans as the singer of a number of Digimon songs.