Writer Kyoichi Nanatsuki reported that he had received word that his collaborator, Kazumasa Hirai, had passed away on January 17, 2015. Hirai was 76 years old at the time of his passing.
Hirai was born on May 13, 1938 in Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture. While attending Chuo University’s law school in 1961, he made his writing debut by winning the first SF Magazine contest’s encouragement prize with “Satsujin Chitai.”
Hirai was an acclaimed science fiction novelist and the story creator for several manga. His Genma Taisen manga was adapted into a film known as Harmagedon and the Genma Wars anime series, and several manga and novel titles. In August 2014, Nanatsuki and artist Masato Hirase launched the Genma Taisen Rebirth manga.
Hirai also created the 8 Man manga, which inspired an anime series, the 8 Man After original video anime sequel, live-action movies, and several other spin-off manga and text stories. He was involved in the anime’s production as a scenario writer. His Wolf Guy manga and novel series inspired the original video anime series of the same name. Hirai penned the Zombie Hunter manga and novel series, and he also contributed to writing the Spider-Man manga series drawn by Ryoichi Ikegami. He also launched Bohemian Glass Street, which was arguably Japan’s first full-fledged online novel, in 1994.