Ichirou Mizuki (水木 一郎), affectionately dubbed Aniki (big brother) by the anime community whose real name is Toshio Hayakawa (早川 俊夫), has passed away at 74. This news comes to us from Ichirou Mizuki’s official website, Mizuki Spirits, in a post explaining his battle with cancer which came to an end on December 6th, 2022.
Ichirou Mizuki was known for his musical composition and singing talent for many anime intros, theme songs, and more. His work expanded beyond anime and even branched into many well-known tokusatsu. Ichirou Mizuki had a notably charming personality and stage presence that carried throughout his career—see him at :40 seconds into this video speaking with birds.
Some of his most well-known work can be found in classic anime titles like Tekkaman: The Space Night, Steel Jeeg, Mazinger Z, and, one of my personal favorites, Captain Harlock. If you’re a fan of old-school tokusatsu, you may recognize him from shows like Kamen Rider or Robot Detective. This is just a glimpse at what he’s dabbled in over the years, take some time to look up his work as it’s definitely worth a listen.
Mizuki Spirits goes on to explain that Ichirou Mizuki first received a diagnosis of lung cancer in April of 2021. He endured lymph node metastasis, meningeal dissemination, and brain metastasis. Despite these challenges, he was determined to continue his musical career and proceeded to perform while completing therapy and rehabilitation.
Ichirou Mizuki’s passion overflowed in every performance. Regardless of his abilities he always sang with unwavering determination. His last performance was on November 27th, 2022 which the team explained he completed with a big smile on his face.
A private funeral was held by his close relatives who ask that fans avoid sending their condolences or flowers. Please respect their wishes but feel free to share your condolences with the greater community at large so the bereaving family can grieve in private. If you want to read more about Ichirou Mizuki’s career, visit the official Mizuki Spirits website.