Otaku USA Magazine
Three Lesser-Known Performances by Anison Great Ichiro Mizuki

Ichiro Mizuki, a.k.a. "Aniki"

Some of you may have heard that Ichiro Mizuki, one of the biggest names in anime music, is currently recuperating after partial vocal cord paralysis. Fortunately, he seems to be on the road to recovery. As we wait, and wish him the best, we’re thinking of all he’s brought to the anime world. From epic music to the founding of JAM Project, he’s leaving his mark on the anison scene to this day.

But he’s been around where you least expect it, too. Mizuki, called “Aniki” by fans and peers, has voice acted, appeared in tokusatsu series, and much more. Here are three of our favorite lesser-known appearances by the legend.


Singing About Happy Robots in Tonari no Seki-kun

When you need someone to sing about robots, you turn to Ichiro Mizuki. The singer has performed lots of mecha anime themes, notably the opening to Mazinger Z. So his voice is synonymous with big ‘bots and hot blood. Tonari no Seki-kun knew this, and turned to him for a song about three robots having a nice time as a family.

In an episode of the school comedy, title prankster Seki-kun plays out a happy family life with three robot toys. Underscoring the action is “Danran! Robot Kazoku,” a song by Mizuki that sounds for all the world like your traditional 70s mecha anime theme. But the lyrics are all about a happy family enjoying scrambled eggs for breakfast and taking the kiddo to school. Aww.


Doing Science in Go-Busters

Mizuki as Saburo in Go-Busters

In addition to anime, Ichiro Mizuki has supplied themes for lots of tokusatsu series over the last few decades. So it makes sense he’d show up in some. In particular, you can hear him throughout 2012’s Go-Busters as the Lio Attaché/LioBlaster and other equipment. This makes him one in a long line of music stars to lend his voice to a toku item.

But there’s more still to see of him! In one episode, he plays the scientist Saburo Hazuki. You won’t see him much, but what you do see leaves an impact. And it explains why the rangers’ gear has Mizuki’s voice: it’s the voice of the tech’s creator!


Unleashing Hell as Keisar Ephes in Super Robot Wars

The villainous Keisar Ephes doesn’t sound a lot like Ichiro Mizuki, given the heavy distortion dropped on it. But listen closely, and you won’t be able to miss it. Ephes is the biggest bad in 3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha, and hits your heroes with an attack called “End of the Galaxy.” You can see and hear it above (flashing image warning), and see Ephes’s true demonic form.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of anime Mizuki worked on make an appearance in this game. Listen carefully when you play — apparently if Ephes has an encounter with a mecha Mizuki sang a theme song for, he’ll quote the lyrics!

We wish Aniki all the best for a speedy recovery, and can’t wait to see what he does next!

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. Beyond the world of anime, she's a writer for Doctor Who expanded universe series including Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved, as well as an editor for the critically-acclaimed Black Archive series.