8 Man Theme Singer Shigeru Katsumi Passes Away
posted on by Marlene First
Shigeru Katsumi, the singer of the 8 Man anime's opening theme, passed away on February 27 this year. He was 75. The singer, whose birth name was Seiya Tsumura, had succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage in his home in Gunma Prefecture. The news was only made public on October 1, over eight months later.
In addition to the "8 Man" theme song, Katsumi sang the 1964 hit song "Sasurai," which Keiko Fuji (who also passed away in August) later covered. Katsumi appeared on Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle), the New Year's Eve singing contest that is Japan's most viewed music television program, in 1964 and 1965.
However, the singer would then be arrested and sentenced in 1976 for killing his female lover, and sentenced again in 1989 for violating Japan's Stimulant Drug Control Act. He was forced out of the entertainment industry after his crimes, but he was reported to have died peacefully. According to a person who was close to him, he lived in Gunma with his wife who was 32 years younger than him. He suffered facial paralysis and speech impairment from the cerebral hemorrhage. However, he would still try to sing all he could in his last year of life, even though he was in a wheelchair.
The 8 Man anime series about a cyborg detective ran for 56 episodes from 1963 to 1964. It adapted the 1963 manga of the same name by Kazumasa Hirai. The story later inspired a live-action movie and an original video anime series called 8 Man After.