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Anisong Singer Ichirou Mizuki Dies at 74

by Vindstot
Dec 12, 2022 1:50 AM | 17 Comments
Prolific anisong singer Ichirou Mizuki—nicknamed "Aniking"—died on December 6 at 6:50 p.m. due to lung cancer. He was 74 years old.

Mizuki's management agency announced in July that he was diagnosed with lung cancer with lymph nodes and brain metastasis, following his partial vocal cord paralysis last April. He underwent surgery in June and was receiving physical and speech therapy. Mizuki was planning his 50th anniversary as an anisong singer. He held his final live performance on November 27.

Born Toshio Hayakawa in Setagaya, Tokyo in January 1948, Mizuki debuted under Nippon Columbia and released his first single Kimi ni Sasageru Boku no Uta in January 1968. However, due to poor sales and a disagreement with his manager, he temporarily retired from singing. In 1971, when he was about to quit singing and become a composer, Hidetoshi Kimura, the director of Nippon Columbia, suggested he sing the opening theme of the anime Genshi Shounen Ryuu (Ryu the Primitive Boy), which shifted his focus to anime songs.

In the 1970s, Mizuki began performing theme and insert songs for anime and tokusatsu works, establishing himself as a pioneer. Four years into his career, he released over 150 tracks for children's programs, averaging a record sales of around 100,000 copies and reaching a cumulative total of six million. The theme songs for Mazinger Z and Uchuu Kaizoku Captain Herlock (Space Pirate Captain Harlock), released in 1973 and 1978, sold over 700,000 and 150,000 copies, respectively. Following these major hits, Mizuki was dubbed the "Emperor of Anisongs," alongside Mitsuko Horie, the "Queen of Anisongs."

Mizuki formed the band JAM Project in July 2000 with fellow anisong artists Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki Endoh, Eizou Sakamoto, and Rica Matsumoto. He became a part-time member in August 2002 due to his busy schedule.

Some of his later works for anime include theme songs for Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! (Marriage of God & Soul Godannar!!), Katte ni Kaizou, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 (Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199), and Tonari no Seki-kun (Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time). Mizuki's final performance was a newly recorded version of the original Mazinger Z theme for the Mazinger Z: Infinity movie, which premiered in January 2018.

Source: Oricon News

17 Comments Recent Comments

Damn, what a loss. RIP T_T

Still remember Aniki's cameo in Gaki no Tsukai with his iconic "ZET!!!"

Dec 12, 2022 8:10 PM by Gear707

.... this is awful .... oh my god

Dec 12, 2022 6:53 PM by Trypo

RIP, I just finished Harlock two weeks ago, the opening was really cool and the opening of Katte ni Kaizou was the best thing about that show.

Dec 12, 2022 1:17 PM by mazuchi

R.I.P Mizuki-san. Otsukaresama for trying to fight against the cancer. Thank you for making Anisong Grand Prix, so that several amazing singers and talents including seiyuus have been born.

Dec 12, 2022 11:18 AM by tsubasalover

RIP another legend

Dec 12, 2022 9:44 AM by deg

The last time I saw him was in a livestream for a super robot wars game and let me tell you the condition of his voice at that time was already rough... Rest in peace to this legend. I'll never forget the Mazinger Z theme.

Dec 12, 2022 9:10 AM by VVill


Dec 12, 2022 9:05 AM by Gegenschein

Thank you mizuki-san for singing one of my childhood anime in the early 2000s I will never forget that ED song from voltes v even though I don't understand it I still sing along with it thanks again, may you rest in peace and my condolences to your family and friends.

Dec 12, 2022 8:40 AM by scout_joe

I wasn't familiar with this legend, but I hope that his family and friends are doing okay, and that his beautiful soul is resting peacefully now

Dec 12, 2022 7:05 AM by Tokoya

He was the GOAT.
RIP You'll always be remembered.

Dec 12, 2022 6:52 AM by Ahegyao

RIP and may Lord take care of the family.

Dec 12, 2022 5:43 AM by Peeti

This was awful news to wake up to - hits me harder because I am a mecha fan and as such have some familiarity with his solo performances, not just what he sang as part of JAM Project, but really, I feel that if he hadn't laid the groundwork by being so prominent a singer back in the 70s, anime OPs would be very different so his passing is something we should all take note of...

Dec 12, 2022 5:27 AM by TARDISES

Aniki ;_; You will be missed

Dec 12, 2022 5:26 AM by Kattvalp

Rest in peace sir.

Dec 12, 2022 5:22 AM by Absurdo_N

My condolences to all who knew this legend...

Dec 12, 2022 4:23 AM by Memore

Cancer needs to GFTO already!

RIP Aniking!

Dec 12, 2022 3:42 AM by CataOrShane

RIP Aniki, you fucking legend.

For all of you shounen dweebs, this man literally defined anisong as a genre in Japan.
Every mecha anime from the 1970s HAD to have him as OP singer.
Mazinger, the OG Captain Harlock, Combattler V, GoLion, Dangaioh, Getter Robo, Godannar, this man just knew how to create LEGENDARY OPs.


Dec 12, 2022 3:39 AM by TheMechaManiac

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