‘Dragon Ball’ series narrator, anime voice actor Jouji Yanami dies at 90

Joji Yanami, a voice actor who gave life to many memorable characters, including the narrator of Akira Toriyama’s “Dragon Ball” anime series, has passed away at the age of 90.

What happened: News of his death was shared by his agency, Aoni Production, on Tuesday, according to SportsSkeeda. In its statement, the agency expressed its “deepest gratitude” to the late talent for “his kindness during [his] lifetime.” 

  • Kotaku, citing a report from Nikkan Sports, noted that a private funeral was held for the family of the late Japanese voice actor. Yanami passed away on Dec. 3, but reports did not specify the cause of death.

Other details: Born in Tokyo on Aug. 31, 1931, Yanami began his voice acting career with the 1963 Toei Animation series “Wolf Boy Ken” as the Boss. He rose to popularity in 1986 for voicing several characters in the “Dragon Ball” franchise, including King Kai, Dr. Briefs and the show’s iconic narrator. 

  • He also appeared in many other popular series, including “Digimon Adventure” as Gennai, “Mazinger Z” as Professor Gennosuke Yumi and “One Piece” as the two-time God of Skypiea, Gan Fall.
  • His last voice acting roles were for “Dragon Ball Super” and its movie “Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’” in 2015, where he returned as King Kai and the narrator. However, starting with the show’s 12th episode, which aired on Sept. 27, 2015, Yanami had to leave his role to undergo treatment for an unspecified illness. He was replaced by voice actor Naoki Tatsuta, according to Anime News Network.

Featured Image via Zeno Dad

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