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The Japanese Voice Of Pokémon's Professor Oak Has Died

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Voice actor Unsho Ishizuka, who voiced Professor Oak and narrated the Pokémon anime in Japanese, has died.

Ishizuka has been voicing Professor Oak and narrating the Pokémon TV anime since the show debuted in Japan in 1997. He also voiced some Pocket Monsters, including Onix and Steelix.


Besides his Pokémon anime work, Ishizuka also voiced Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop, among many other iconic roles. After voice actor Daisuke Gori died in 2010, Ishizuka also took over the role of Mr. Satan in the Dragon Ball franchise and Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken series.

This year he did voice work for Banana Fish as the character Dino Golzine and Willibald Joachim von Merkatz in Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These as well as narration work in Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online. You can see his full list of credits here.


According to Mantan Web, Ishizuka died from esophageal cancer. He was 68.

Update August 17 - 5:08am: As Twitter user Gwyn Campbell points out, Ishizuka’s talent agency listed the voice actor as 68, using the old system for calculating ages that stated newly born babies were already one. Ishizuka’s age in the contemporary system was 67 years old.