Japanese jazz saxophonist who is the composer for Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.
Born in Choshi, Chiba, Kikuchi took interest in starting a music career in 1985. He performed in a group with internationally acclaimed Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita, as their saxophonist. Later on, he joined a jazz troupe called Tipographica, which included members such as Tsuneo Imahori (Kikuchi and Imahori would later work together to do the music for Trigun).
He founded the J-pop duo SPANK HAPPY in 1992. In 1998, he started his own big band, Data Course Pentagon Royal Garden. It is a free-form unit that plays a variety of music genres, consisting of techno, house, and the so-called "club culture."
In 2004, he announced his return to jazz music, and released Dégustation à jazz, a solo album consisting of 31 tracks that are only 90 seconds each in length. Kikuchi continues to contribute to the evolution of jazz through a new group called Naruyoshi Kikuchi Dub Sextet, and has released several albums each year. The band is, according to Kikuchi, a tribute to the Miles Davis Electric period (around late 1960s to early 1970s).
Kikuchi often uses French words and phrases in his various works. Aside from making music, Kikuchi is also well known as a professional music teacher and writer who has taught in Keio University and various private schools, as well as having published several books on music theory.
Along with Pepe Tormento Azcarar (a chamber orchestra of sorts), Kikuchi recorded an album called New York Hell Sonic Ballet (2011), which he described as his "strange lounge orchestra." One of the songs in the record called 'Wuthering Heights' would eventually become the OP theme for the 2012 Lupin III television series, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. The track has been redone for the show (titled 'New Wuthering Heights'), with some minor variations and added-in vocals. Kikuchi is also currently doing the music for the anime.