Mikiya Mochizuki, the mangaka best known for his police drama series Wild 7, died on Sunday morning at the age of 77. NHK reports that Mochizuki died of pulmonary adenocarcinoma, a form of lung cancer, at a hospital in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Mochizuki, who was born in Yokohama, started working at a construction company after graduating from high school but resigned a year later and started drawing manga. He debuted in 1960 with Tokudane wo Oe in a special New Year issue of Kodansha's Shounen Club magazine. Mochizuki later worked as an assistant under mangaka Taku Horie (Tsubakuro Zukin) and Tatsuo Yoshida (Mach GoGoGo). When Yoshida founded Tatsunoko Production in 1962, Mochizuki joined the company's manga department.
In 1964, Mochizuki began drawing Himitsu Tantei JA, a detective series published in Shounen King which has also been called the James Bond of Japan. While the vast majority of his titles were published in shounen manga magazines, he also drew a seinen manga series titled Mad Dog in 1968 under the pseudonym Mike Hustler. Mochizuki was also interested in World War II military and weaponry and used the Western Front of its European theater as a setting in a number of his works.
After Himitsu Tantei JA ended serialization in 1969, Mochizuki began working on his Wild 7 manga, which would continue serialization until 1979. Wild 7 was first adapted into a television drama series in 1972, which earned a viewership rating as high as 20 percent during its 25-episode run. Studio Kikan (now Pierrot Plus) then produced two OVA adaptations in 1994 and 1995. A TV anime independent from the manga also aired in 2002.
Mochizuki was diagnosed with lung cancer in January and had been given a life expectancy of six months to one year by his doctors. In an interview with Sankei Shimbun last month, he revealed that he was working on a sequel of his 1979 work Ore no Shinsengumi. Mochizuki is survived by his wife Sanae.
Source: NHK News