Mazinger Z,” “Baville II,” and “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” (……).
All of them are masterpieces of Japanese animation. The theme song was sung by Ichiro Mizuki, the “King of Anime Songs. Mr. Mizuki, who was affectionately called “Aniki” by his fans, died of lung cancer on December 6 at a Tokyo hospital. He was 74 years old at the time of his death, and the music and entertainment worlds are filled with mourning.
He was 74 at the time of his death, and the music and entertainment worlds are in mourning. Mr. Mizuki was trusted because he was friendly with everyone, famous or unknown.
In July 2000, he formed “JAM Project” with his junior anisong singers, Nobuhiro Kageyama and Rika Matsumoto. The group created an ani-song boom not only in Japan but also in other countries, especially in Asia. Mizuki’s Wikipedia page has been translated into 90 languages. He is also known as a big Chunichi fan and threw out the first pitch at Nagoya Dome in June 2002. (an employee of a major record company).
Mr. Mizuki has remained “active throughout his life. Even after he was diagnosed with lung cancer last April, he continued to perform on stage. On November 8 this year, he appeared in a wheelchair to sing “Mazinger Z” at the “49th Song Contest,” and at an anime song live performance with Miyako Horie on November 27, he moved his mouth and smiled, even though he was already in no condition to sing.
Working in Cabarets and Nightclubs
However, Mizuki’s life as a singer was not smooth sailing. Immediately after his debut, he experienced a long period of disappointment.
It was in 1968 that Mizuki made his debut as a singer with “Kimi ni Sasageru Boku no Uta” (My Song for You). However, for a while, he was not making any headway. Lacking hit songs, he temporarily retired from the music industry. He worked in cabarets and nightclubs to earn money.
There were other reasons for his retirement. He got married to Mariko Kujo, a senior member of the same record company (Nippon Columbia). Ms. Kujo, who had hit songs such as “Twilight Town” and “Susuki no Blues” at the time, was a popular singer for Nippon Columbia. Ms. Mizuki, on the other hand, was an unknown newcomer who was performing in front of Mr. Kujo. It is said that Mr. Mizuki withdrew from the music industry out of respect for Mr. Kujo.
Mr. Mizuki and Ms. Kujo were married in 1971. It is said that Mr. Kujo was the one who approached her. It was also Mr. Kujo who encouraged Mr. Mizuki to return to the music industry after his retirement.
A Nippon Columbia producer approached Mr. Mizuki with an offer to sing the theme song for the anime “Genshi Shonen Ryu. Mr. Mizuki, who made his debut as a singer, must have had mixed feelings. I heard that it was Mr. Kujo who pushed Mr. Mizuki to “give it a try. Since then, it is a well-known fact that Mr. Mizuki has sung more than 1,200 themes for animation and special effects works as a leading singer.
When he appeared in the media, Mr. Mizuki would talk and laugh, saying, ‘I’m a fearless wife. He once got into an argument with Mr. Kujo and received a series of kicks. In 1984, they even released a duet song, “Koibito Kidori” (Lovers’ Pretend).
Mizuki used to sing the theme songs of his films, pretending to be his character. He also said that the anime songs, which became his life’s work thanks to his encounter with his beloved wife, were “a treasure chest filled with courage, hope, and dreams.
Photo： Jiji Press Kyodo News