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Late Voice Actor Unshō Ishizuka Remains in Pokémon Anime Until October

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Successor for Professor Oak role is not yet decided

TV Tokyo revealed on Friday that late voice actor Unshō Ishizuka had already recorded before his death his parts for the Pokémon Sun & Moon television anime through the episode that will premiere in the first week of October. The broadcaster plans to air the recorded episodes as planned.

Ishizuka narrates Pokémon Sun & Moon and voices the character Professor Oak (Professor Ōkido). A successor for the role has yet to be decided.

TV Tokyo said in its memorial comments, "Unshō Ishizuka worked as a voice actor with many roles in anime programs and anime films, and in dubbing foreign films and foreign drama programs." The company noted Ishizuka's work on the Pokémon anime from its debut in April 1997 through the most recent film, Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, which premiered on July 13. TV Tokyo said Ishizuka's work on the franchise has impacted children around the world. The company offered "heartfelt gratitude" to Ishizuka and condolences for his passing.

Ishizuka passed away on Monday due to esophageal cancer. He was 67 by modern age reckoning, and 68 by traditional Japanese age reckoning.

Talent management agency Aoni Production noted that Ishizuka had been receiving medical care for some time before his death, but it had not proved effective. His close relatives held a private wake and a funeral, and a public farewell ceremony is being planned, with details to come at a later date.

Since his 1984 debut in voice acting as the narrator in Giant Gorg, Ishizuka played a large number of starring roles in anime. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop; Professor Oak, Narrator, and various Pokémon in the Pokémon franchise; Mr. Satan in Dragon Ball Super; and Joseph Joestar in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable. Most recently he has voiced the characters Willibard Joachim von Merkatz in The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, Dino Golzine in Banana Fish, Cain Ibrahim Hassan in Last Hope, and the narrator in Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. Ishizuka was also active in Japanese dubs of Western films, most notably dubbing roles played by Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne.

Update: Ishizuka's name corrected in article title. Thanks, mrsatan.

Source: Oricon News via Hachima Kikō

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