Kenyuu Horiuchi to Succeed Unshō Ishizuka as Pokémon's Profesor Oak
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
TV Tokyo announced on Monday that voice actor Kenyuu Horiuchi (Naruto's Pain and Second Hokage, Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-'s Wilhelm van Astrea, Joker Game's Lieutenant Colonel Yūki) will replace late voice actor Unshō Ishizuka in the role of Professor Oak (Professor Ōkido) in the Pokémon Sun & Moon television anime series.
TV Tokyo revealed last month that 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. Ishizuka also narrated the series. Horiuchi will take over as the character starting with the episode that will air on October 21.
TV Tokyo said in its memorial comments last month, "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 August 13 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.