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Actor Kan Tokumaru, who died on 6th March, was a constant presence in the world of Japanese voice-overs. Born in Shizuoka, Japan with the name Kimio Murano, his earliest appearances on TV were in live-action shows such as The Guardman and Seven Lawyers. He moved into cartoons in 1975 with a role as Furusawa in Tomorrow’s Joe, beginning a voice acting career that would span the next four decades. His best known roles were arguably in games, particularly as Junichiro Takagi in The Idolm@ster and both Fan Li in Gaiking and Gaia in the Gundam series. He would find himself reprising these parts in game spin-offs well into the first decade of the 21st century.

Tokumaru specialised in gruff managerial types, a role he would also play to perfection as “M” in the Japanese dub of the Bond movie Live and Let Die. Other dubbing roles in the Japanese versions of foreign works included supporting roles in Silent Running, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dirty Harry.

Jonathan Clements

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