Kōji Wada’s official website has reported that the beloved singer, most famous for performing theme songs of every Digimon TV series and movie since the franchise’s animated debut in 1999, passed away on April 03 after a nearly thirteen-year battle with cancer. The 42-year-old artist had previously taken two major career hiatuses (once from 2003-2006, and another from 2011-2013) to focus on his health. The final song Mr. Wada ever recorded was a 2015 version of “Butter-Fly” (the debut song that kicked off his career in 1999), which currently serves as the opening theme for the ongoing Digimon Adventure Tri film series.
Chances are slim that you’d be reading this article on a Digimon fansite and not already have some sort of attachment to Kōji Wada and his work. As someone who has poured countless hours into this franchise’s music, it’s difficult for me to put into words how hard I’ve been hit by this news. This website is the biggest outlet I have for expressing my fandom, so I’m going to honor Mr. Wada in a way that best suits the purpose of Magic’s DiGiMONMUSiC Database: by informing.
First, I’ve updated the Digimon Adventure Tri section with an entry for Mr. Wada’s final CD single (released only days before his death).
“Seven ~Tri. Version~” is a newly-arranged rendition of Mr. Wada’s second Digimon theme song (coupled with “Butter-Fly” on its original CD release in 1999). DREAMUSIC’s official listing for the single contains a disclaimer stating that Kōji Wada’s vocals for “Seven ~Tri. Version~” have been lifted from “Seven ~10th Memorial Version~” (a tenth anniversary performance of the song released as its own CD single in 2009). In other words, Mr. Wada was unable to actually record a new version of the song. His old vocals have been mixed with a new arrangement by Cher Watanabe, who arranged the original 1999 version of “Seven” as well as the 2009 “Memorial” version.
Lastly, I’ve added a brand new section to the website in honor of Kōji Wada’s career. You can now find translated entries for all of Mr. Wada’s non-Digimon CD singles and albums on their respective pages. A new sub-menu has been added to the top of the website for easy access.
It should be noted that these pages don’t completely cover every song Kōji Wada ever recorded. A couple of non-commercial CDs (Example: the “ONE STEP!!” album, which was released as a concert-exclusive when Mr. Wada toured Japan with fellow Digimon artist Ai Maeda under the group name “KALEIDO☆SCOPE”) and digital-distribution-only songs (Example: the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake/Tsunami benefit song, “Days”) have been excluded. But as far as Kōji Wada CDs you can actually buy? This website now covers everything. Hopefully this can be of help to fans who may not have dipped their toes into Mr. Wada’s non-Digimon career.
And with that, Magic’s DiGiMONMUSiC Database bids farewell to a remarkable talent lost far, far too soon. Thank you, Kōji Wada. Your dedication to your music, your dedication to your fans, and your dedication to the franchise that made your career have been cherished by millions. Our condolences are with Mr. Wada’s family, friends, and fans in this difficult time.
♫ ON MY LOVE ♫