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Pokémon Anime Replaces Tatsuhisa Suzuki with Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kibana/Raihan's Voice

posted on by Egan Loo
Cast changed as of Pokémon - Journeys episode 82 on Friday

Pokémon Journeys: The Series, the current Pokémon television anime, aired its 82nd episode on Friday, and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka replaced Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the voice of Kibana (Raihan in English), a Dragon-type gym leader in the Galar region. The official websites for the franchise did not post a statement regarding the change, but the episode's ending credits listed Matsuoka instead of Suzuki.

As one of the top eight in the Pokémon World Championships, Raihan is a rival of Dande (Leon, played by Daisuke Ono). Suzuki had begun playing the role in May 2020. The Pokémon Company International lists the current episodes in English as Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series, the second season of Pokémon Journeys: The Series.

Suzuki's agency announced his hiatus from entertainment industry activities in August due to his poor health. Suzuki's musical unit OLDCODEX and Suzuki's agency made the announcement shortly after singer LiSA, Suzuki's wife, also announced a hiatus "from some of her activities" due to mental and physical fatigue.

Suzuki and LiSA announced their marriage in January 2020. The Weekly Bunshun magazine reported on July 30 on an alleged extramarital affair between Suzuki and a female work associate.

Suzuki posted a handwritten apology on August 30, and the musical unit OLDCODEX also stated on the same day that its future is still to be determined. Suzuki is the vocalist of OLDCODEX.

Suzuki offered to step down from the role of Kōtarō Higashi/Ultraman Taro in the Ultraman anime's second season, due to his hiatus. However, he will continue voicing the character Makoto Tachibana in the Free! anime franchise.

Toei's 45th live-action Super Sentai series Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger has replaced Suzuki with Masaya Fukunishi as the voice of the bird robot Gege, as of the 25th episode. The Otome Game no Hametsu Flag Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijō ni Tensei Shiteshimatta... ~Haran o Yobu Kaizoku~ (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! The Pirate Known as "Trouble") game replaced Suzuki with Yuki Ito in the game's bonus drama CDs. Suzuki voices the character Alan Stuart in the game and the anime adaptations of the novels.

Suzuki will no longer participate in the "TV Anime 'Tokyo Revengers' Special Event ~Tokyo Manjikai Tachikawa Touring~" which will take place at Tachikawa Stage Garden on December 18. The event organizers are allowing people to cancel their applications for the advance sale of tickets if they wish.

Suzuki's prolific career has included such characters as The Seven Deadly Sins' Ban, Prince of Stride: Alternative's Tasuku Senoo, Seraph of the End's Shinya Hiragi, Kuroko's Basketball's Kazunari Takao, Dagashi Kashi's Tō Endō., and Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts' Yūji Sakamoto. Last year, he voiced roles in Somali and the Forest Spirit, The Misfit of Demon King Academy, and My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!.

Source: Pokémon Journeys: The Series episode 82


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