One of Japan’s most storied voice actors has just passed away. Unshō Ishizuka (born Yukinori Ishizuka), who voiced a number of well known roles — including some iconic fighting game characters — had been under medical care before finally succumbing to esophagus cancer at age 68.
Fighting game fans will most likely recognize Ishizuka for being the voice of Tekken‘s Heihachi Mishima in recent games (including Tekken 7), replacing Daisuke Gōri (who himself passed away back in 2010), as well as Dead or Alive‘s Brad Wong. He was also the voice of Guile during the early 2000s, voicing the character in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Capcom Fighting Jam.
Of course, as part of his work as a voice actor in anime, he did the voices for his characters in the fighting games for franchises such as Mister Satan from Dragon Ball, Zabuza Momochi from Naruto (both roles also inherited from the late Daisuke Gōri), as well as the elderly Joeseph Joestar from JoJo’s Bizare Adventure. Additionally, he also voiced Street Fighter’s Blanka in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie from 1994, and Virtua Fighter‘s Wolf Hawkfield in the series’ anime adaptation from 1995, and of course Tekken‘s Heihachi Mishima in Tekken: Blood Vengeance from 2011.
The loss of this actor that has brought his touch to so many anime and game properties — also including Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop, and Pokémon’s Professor Oak — will be sorely felt. He will be missed.