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Gegege no Kitarō Voice Actor Isamu Tanonaka Passes Away

posted on 2010-01-15 06:46 EST
Only voice of Kitarō's father in all anime/live-action projects since 1968

Voice actor Isamu Tanonaka passed away due to a heart attack in his Tokyo home on Wednesday, January 13. He was 77.

The Tokyo native is best known in Japan for being the only voice of Medama Oyaji, the walking eyeball that is the father of the title character in Shigeru Mizuki's Gegege no Kitarō horror anime franchise. Since 1968, Tanonaka played the character in all five Gegege no Kitarō television anime series, the related Hakaba Kitarō television anime, the spinoff animated films, and even the two recent live-action films.

Tanonaka can also be heard as Gara in Dr. Slump, Mucha in the Mazinger Z projects, Yonarudepazutori in Akuma-kun, and Omawarisan in Tensai Bakabon — among dozens of other credits. In video games, he played Igor in Persona 3. He provided the Japanese voice of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel film trilogy.

Services will be held in Tokyo Memolead Hall on Tuesday, January 19. Tanonaka leaves behind his older brother Hiroshi.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun


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