Unsho Ishizuka, widely known for his voice acting for Professor Oak in the Japanese dub of the Pokémon anime since the first season up to the current Sun & Moon anime, sadly passed away this week from esophageal cancer.
Ishizuka lent a quirky but mature voice to the older Professor, and was also known for doing various deep voices for male characters, such as Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop, Old Joseph Joestar in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and more.
On the gaming side, you may have heard him in recent years as Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken series, where he took over the role from the previous voice actor, Daisuke Gori. He also voiced Captain Matthews in the Xenosaga series, Adray Lasbard in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, and Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4.
Some of Ishizuka’s other gaming voicework includes that of Guile in the Capcom vs. SNK series, Edward Morrison and Eugene Gallard from the Tales of series, Brad Wong in the Dead or Alive series since Dimensions, and the one-time role of Captain Price in the Japanese dub for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
The news was broken by Ishizuka’s management agency, Aoni Production, who revealed that Ishizuka had been receiving medical care for some time, which did not prove to be effective. He was 67 years old at his death. A public farewell ceremony is currently being planned, with more details to come later.