• Kyodo

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Famed manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto returned to Japan Thursday from Italy, where he had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia since mid-November.

“I’m feeling very good and happy to return home,” the 81-year-old told reporters as he sat in a wheelchair at Narita Airport near Tokyo.

He was discharged Wednesday from a hospital in the northern Italian city of Turin.

The internationally known cartoonist was taken to the hospital on Nov. 15 while he was in Turin for an event to celebrate 40 years since the first broadcast of his video animation series “Space Pirate Captain Herlock” in Italy.

Initially, Italian media outlets reported that Matsumoto was in serious condition, possibly having suffered a stroke. But Japanese sources close to him later said no severe symptoms were observed.

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