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Colleagues Offer Tributes to Late Voice Actor Ichirô Nagai

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Remembrances from fellow voice actors, animators, fans

As word spread about the passing of voice actor Ichirô Nagai on Monday, tributes and accolades poured in from colleagues and fans alike:

Warner Entertainment Japan said that his passing came as an unexpected shock and noted that he played Dumbledore in the Japanese dub for the entire Harry Potter film series.

The staff at the Sosen Book Market in Tokyo's Kanda district posted a message, saying that the people of Japan came to know Nagai thanks to the many father figures and grandfatherly characters he played.

Anime director Hitoshi Nanba drew a picture of Space Battleship Yamato's lead character Susumu Kodai and Captain Jūzō Okita welcoming Dr. Sado for a drink after a long day. Kodai's voice actor Kei Tomiyama passed away in 1995, and Okita's voice actor Gorō Naya passed away last March.

Anime director Masaaki Yuasa also drew a picture of Dr. Sado in a final salute:

Fellow voice actor Toshio Furukawa noted that he was in shock over the news, having just talked to Nagai at a New Year's party.

Voice actor Akira Kamiya also offered his prayers for Nagai and thanked his mentor for his kindness.

Voice actor Kappei Yamaguchi said, "No... This is the worst... I can't stand up... No, I won't listen to the news, l'll wait for official word. ...At times like this, I want to watch Knight of the Iron Dragon."

Yamaguchi explained this anime is his favorite one in which he acted with Nagai.

Voice actor Wataru Hatano said that he was simply stunned by the news. He thanked Nagai for giving so many dreams and hopes to us through his works and characters.

Voice actress Ai Maeda recalled his gentle smile, which she saw as recently as this year's New Year's party. She said she cannot express her true feelings yet, but she wants to see his gentle smile again.

Voice actor and celebrity talent Yuu Mizushima remembered thinking that Nagai looked thinner in recent years, but was still taken aback by the news. He noted that it has already been 37 years since they co-starred in Chōjin Sentai Barattack (Mizushima's first role in the main cast of a regular series), and he thanked Nagai for teaching him many lessons.

Takako Sasuga, the voice of Namihei's grandson Tarao "Tara-chan" Fuguta on Sazae-san, had co-starred with Nagai since the first episode of the anime aired in October 1969. She said that she was simply stunned and lauded him as a truly good person. Mina Tominaga, the voice of Namihei's son Katsuo, said that his sudden passing was a terrible shock that simply left her disconsolate.

Source: Oricon via Yaraon!


Voice actress Junko Iwao said that to think that we won't be able to hear that splendid voice anymore is a terribly lonely feeling.

Thanks, Daniel Zelter and mrsatan

Update 2: Midori Katō, the voice actress of Sazae-san's title character since it premiered in 1969, mourned, "Since I heard about the passing of Nagai-san with whom I have worked for 45 years, I am missing him so much." She expressed her condolences, "Nagai-san was the leader who actually played very important roles behind the scenes, such as taking initiative and bringing together everyone to complete the scene. Also, it will greatly impact the show to have lost Nagai-san, who has a lot of scenes and lines to play. More than that, personally, I miss him so much." Source: Oricon

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