The official Twitter account for Shonengahosha’s Young King Ours magazine has announced that manga creator Yuki Hijiri passed away from pneumonia on October 30, 2022. He was 72 years old at the time of his passing.
Hijiri had announced in 2020 that he had Parkinson’s disease. Hijiri was diagnosed with a chronic sinus infection in November 2018, and he went to a hospital for surgery in December 2018. He collapsed at the hospital and went into cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated, went into a coma, then underwent heart surgery. He was hospitalized for two months. He had to undergo rehabilitation every day because he was still unable to move his body as before.
Hijiri is known for the Locke the Superman manga series. Hijiri was also the character and mechanical designer for series such as Voltes V, Fighting General Daimos, and Future Robot Daltanious.
The Locke the Superman manga launched in Sakuga Group’s dōjinshi in 1967. The series then made its commercial magazine debut in Minori Shobō’s Monthly Out in 1977. The manga ran in Shonengahosha’s Shōnen King magazine from 1979 to 1988, when the magazine ceased publication. Works in the series then appeared in various magazines, and then the manga launched in Monthly Comic Flapper in 2007. The manga inspired an anime film in 1984. The franchise also inspired a novel in 1984 and radio dramas in 1996.
Hijiri launched the Locke the Superman: Chaos Bringer manga in Young King Ours in November 2019.
He had serialized the Locke the Superman The Mirror Chamber manga in Young King Ours and the Locke the Superman The Fang of Gaia manga in Kadokawa’s Monthly Comic Flapper magazine. Locke the Superman The Fang of Gaia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original manga.