The actor who voiced Professor Oak in Pokemon has died
The Pokémon cartoon series was so, so good
Japanese voice actor Unshō Ishizuka, famous for voicing Pokémon's Professor Oak in the animated series, has died according to the Anime News Network.
— Anime News Network (@Anime) August 17, 2018
The actor passed away from oesophagal cancer on Monday at the age of 67 (68 in Japanese age reckoning).
Ishizuka was famous for his deep, masculine voice and often portrayed senior, authoritarian figures. He is well known in Japan for voicing Jet Black in Cowboy Bepop, Joseph Joestar in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Captain Gantu in the Japense dub of Lilo & Stitch and Mr. Satan in Dragon Ball Super.
English audiences will be most familiar with his work in the Pokémon series as both the narrator and Professor Oak, a pre-eminent researcher and Ash Ketchum's mentor. Incredibly, he also voiced several of the Pokémon themselves, including Onix and Steelix.
For those of you who didn't get into Pokémon, for whatever reason, you'll recognise Ishizuka's gruff voice as the character Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken video game series.
If you didn't watch Pokémon OR play Tekken then I'm not sure what on earth you were doing with your life in the 90s. Presumably, you've at least seen Liam Neeson in Taken, who Ishizuka has dubbed in all three of the fils in Japan, just to give you an idea of his talents.
His relatives have held a private wake and funeral, but a public ceremony is also planned for the Katsuyama native.
Rest in peace.