TOKYO: Japanese singer Ichiro Mizuki, dubbed the “emperor of anime songs,” died of lung cancer at a Tokyo hospital Dec. 6. He was 74.
Mizuki, whose real name was Toshio Hayakawa, is said to have over 1,200 songs to his credit, including the theme songs for popular television anime titles such as “Mazinger Z,” “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” and “Babil 2.”
He also sang theme and insert songs for “tokusatsu” live-action superhero dramas including the “Kamen Rider” (Masked Rider) series and “Ganbare!! Robocon.” He gained popularity with a powerful singing style marked by his trademark shouts of choruses and catchphrases.
Mizuki made his debut as a pop singer in 1968. He shifted to anime songs with the theme song for the animation “Genshi Shonen Ryu” (Ryu, the Cave Boy) in 1971.
With his long career, Mizuki was loved by people of all ages and referred to as “aniki,” which means big brother.
He gave many live performances in Japan and abroad, including China, South Korea, Thailand, France and the Middle East.
Mizuki continued performing even after he was found to have lung cancer in April last year. His last stage performance took place Nov. 27 this year.