Ichiro Mizuki, ‘king of anime songs,’ dies at 74

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Ichiro Mizuki

Singer Ichiro Mizuki, known as the “king of anime songs,” died from lung cancer on Dec. 6, his agency announced Monday. He was 74.

Born in Tokyo as Toshio Hayakawa, Mizuki made his debut in 1968 as a singer of popular songs, then switched to anime songs in 1971.

He sang more than 1,200 songs, including the theme songs for the anime “Mazinger Z” and the Kamen Rider tokusatsu superhero TV series.

His powerful singing style gained renewed attention in recent years as he remained active even through the 50th anniversary of his debut.

In April 2021, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He kept performing onstage despite repeatedly having to enter the hospital. Just before his death, he gave a live concert on Nov. 27 at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall in Tokyo.