Matsumoto was born Kazuya Terashima on October 13, 1958. He entered the manga industry in 1982, and became best known for creating “Kimagure Orange Road,” a supernatural romcom that ran in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1987. Described by The Japan Times as “the Bible for Japanese teenagers,” the comic told the story of Kyōsuke Kasuga, a boy with psychic powers who becomes part of a love triangle with two girls who both (secretly) love him. It was subsequently adapted into an anime TV series in 1987, as well as a pair of films in 1988 and 1996, and an original video animation series released from 1989 to 1991, and along with “Dragon Ball,” was widely credited with helping popularize manga and anime in Europe.
He followed up with “Sesame Street” (not to be confused with the American children’s show), a romantic Super Jump strip published from 1990 to 1992, and in 1994, he founded his own company, Genesis DPC, to create digital manga for CD-ROMs. In 1998, he began a new project, the action-packed “Eternal Eyes,” as well as the historical “Bakumatsu Rashamen-musume Jyoushi (The Far Eastern Romances),” chronicling the life of Dutch-American interpreter Henry Heuksen, but these were canceled after Matsumoto began suffering from neck pain, and other symptoms that made it impossible to concentrate on working. In 2004, after seeing many doctors who failed to diagnose him accurately, Matsumoto learned he was suffering from cerebrospinal fluid leakage, which stemmed from a car accident he had when he was 3.
After his diagnosis, Matsumoto announced he would return to comics with the autobiographical “Tobyoki (Recovery),” but progress was slow, and he only found a publisher in 2011. His condition worsened again, and he became bedridden for three months after another accident in 2016. He announced his intention to return to cartooning in 2018, but the following year revealed he had spinal stenosis. According to Matsumoto’s doctor, he passed away in his sleep without suffering.