On the afternoon of 17 August 2018, fans worldwide were saddened by the news of the sudden passing of Japanese veteran voice actor Unsho Ishizuka after his long battle with esophageal cancer. Ishizuka-san was 68-years-old.

© Aoni Production

Ishizuka-san’s passing was announced in an official news update via Aoni Production’s website– this was the management agency which the veteran voice actor had been affiliated to at the time of his death.

© Aoni Production

“We bear the regrettable news that Unsho Ishizuka (68-years-old), who was affiliated to our agency, has passed away from esophageal cancer on this day 13 August in the 30th year of Heisei. We humbly and sincerely thank all fans for their unfailingly dedicated support of Ishizuka-san all these years.”

Update 17 August 2018

During the course of his voice-acting career, Unsho Ishizuka has provided the character voices to a variety of characters that have become familiar and endearing to anime fans, and was probably most well-known for his voice as ‘Professor Ookido’, as well as the series’ narrator, in the “Pokemon” anime series. Some of the other unforgettable character voices by the veteran seiyuu also included:

Bunta Fujiwara – “Initial D” series
Jet Black – “Cowboy Bebop”
Gozaburo Kaiba – “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series
Zabuza Momochi – “Naruto” series
Rabat – “Vandread” series
Seigei Smimov – “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” series
Heiji Kozenigata – “Gintama” series
Van Hohenheim – “Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood”
Dr. Harada – “Chihayafuru” series
Lehm – “Jormungand” series
Mr. Satan – “Dragon Ball Super”
Joseph Joestar – “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable”
Dino Golzine – “Banana Fish” (the series is currently broadcasting this season)
(And many others)

The anime and voice acting world has lost a veteran star on 17 August 2018 and the legacy of Ishizuka-san’s life-works will always be treasured amongst fans and colleagues of the industry.

WJ extend our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones that Unsho Ishizuka-san left behind.