Hideko Mizuno's Fire! Manga About American Rock Star Reprinted After 23 Years
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Bungeishunjū published a reprint of Hideko Mizuno's classic Fire! manga for the first time in 23 years last Friday. The release is compiled across two volumes, each containing a short story that has never previously been released in tankōbon format: "Pink Floyd" in the first volume and "Keith Jarrett" in the second.
At the venerable age of 83, Mizuno drew brand new covers for the reprint and posted them to Twitter:
私の代表作「ファイヤー！」が23年ぶりに刊行される事になりました。文芸春秋社 上下巻 各2200円+税 1月27日発売予定。ぜひお読みください。— 水野英子 (@MizunoHideko) January 10, 2023
「復刻版 ファイヤー！」下https://t.co/o2fpLMLsBF pic.twitter.com/H5fKv9ONGy
The manga's story is set in 1960s America. Aaron, a poor but earnest young man, is mistaken for a criminal and sent to a juvenile prison. There, he meets Fire Wolf and is captivated by the music he hears. After Fire Wolf's untimely death, Aaron leaves prison and takes Fire Wolf's guitar with him. He forms the band Fire with his friends. Gradually, Aaron's talent blossoms, and Fire becomes a popular band.
Mizuno launched the manga in Shueisha's Seventeen fashion magazine in 1969 and ended it in 1971. The series won the 15th Shogakukan Manga Award in 1970.
The press release describes Fire! as a historically significant manga that helped define the hitherto nonexistent shōjo manga category in the 1960s. In interviews, Mizuno has said that she was inspired by the anti-Vietnam War movement and civil rights protests in the United States. Aaron's character is based on Scott Walker, lead singer of the Walker Brothers.
Also known for creating the classic shōjo manga Honey Honey no Suteki na Bōken, Hideko Mizuno won the Literary Giant Award at the 39th Japan Cartoonist Awards. She was a resident of Tokiwasō, an apartment building famous for housing some of Japan's most renowned early manga artists, including Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), Fujio Akatsuka (Tensai Bakabon), Fujiko Fujio (Doraemon) and Shotaro Ishinomori (Kamen Rider).
Sources: Comic Natalie, Press Release, Hideko Mizuno's Twitter account