Tarako, Voice Actress of Chibi Maruko-chan, Died
Image via Nippon Animation Co and Crunchyroll

Tarako, Voice Actress From Chibi Maruko-chan, Died

Tarako, the voice actress most famous for her work as Maruko on Chibi Maruko-chan, died at age 63. This comes the same day we learned that Akira Toriyama also died in March 2024. [Thanks, Livedoor!]

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Tarako died on March 8, 2024, and it was a sudden passing. The cause of her death is unknown. Her family reported her death to Fuji TV and her agency, and will hold a private funeral. The Fuji TV representative who heard the news from the family said that Tarako had been sick earlier this year but still participated in recordings until very recently. Her death was so sudden that they were at a loss for words.

In an interview in Summer 2023, Tarako talked about her views on life and death. She revealed that her parents died very sudden deaths, which in turn caused her to lose her fear of dying. She said that if she dies, then she could go to Heaven and meet her parents, dog, cat, and friends. She stated that when people go to her funeral, she wants people to wear what they would normally wear. As well, she hoped that people would mourn her by acting out the scripts that she wrote for plays.

Tarako debuted in 1981, but her voice-acting career took off after she appeared as Momoko Sakura in Chibi Maruko-chan. The anime is a very popular Japanese series that has a significant cultural impact in Japan. It is on par with the likes of Doraemon, Dragon Ball, and Crayon Shin-chan. Aside from voicing Momoko, Tarako was also Kirara on Inuyasha and Melody on Hunter x Hunter (1999). She replaced Nobuyo Oyama as Monokuma in Danganronpa after Oyama’s retirement in 2015 following a dementia diagnosis.

Tarako, the voice actress for Momoko Sakura on Chibi Maruko-chan, died at 63.

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Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a senior writer who has been writing for games journalism and translating since 2020. After graduating with a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing, she spent a few years teaching English and history before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a writer. In terms of games, she loves RPGs, action-adventure, and visual novels. Aside from writing for Siliconera and Crunchyroll, she translates light novels, manga, and video games.