Eric Kelso

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Eric Kelso
Eric Kelso providing voice animation.png
Kelso in 2001
Eric Victor Kelso

Other namesErick Keslo, Elic Kelso
OccupationVoice actor, narrator, director, producer

Eric Victor Kelso is an American voice actor, narrator, director and producer currently based in Tokyo, Japan. He is the voice of Paul Phoenix in the video game series, Tekken, as well as Guizhang Chen,[1] Masayuki Fukuhara,[1] Ren of Heavens[1] in the Shenmue series and Jacky Bryant in the Virtua Fighter series.[2] Outside of video games, he has provided voices for Disney, Universal Studios, DreamWorks and the Iron Chef cooking show. His voice is well known in Japan on many TV commercials, as well as NHK TV and radio programs.

Early life[edit]

Eric Kelso was born and raised in San Jose, California. He attended high school in Santa Cruz and went to the University of California at Santa Barbara where he majored in Film Studies. While at UCSB he received a Corwin Metropolitan Film Award for writing and directing the short film, "An Echo en Route".[3] After graduating in 1986 he set out to travel the world in search of documentary film subjects and eventually made his way to Japan where he happily resides today.[4]



Since 1989, Eric Kelso has been a narrator for more than 1,000 international corporate videos including Major League Baseball, Toyota Motors, Mitsubishi, Du Pont, Sony, Panasonic, Isuzu Motors, Yamaha Motors, NEC, Japan Airlines, Nescafe, Tiffany's, Toshiba, RCA Victor, UNESCO World Heritage. He has narrated thousands of English teaching materials as well, from junior high school and high school tests and textbooks, to university entrance examinations, and TOEIC, TOEFL and STEP tests.[4]


For many years, Kelso appeared as the English voice of Masaharu Morimoto in the Iron Chef cooking program on The Cooking Channel.[5] He has also provided voices for many NHK TV series such as Shima Kosaku, Tsunami Survivors, Somewhere Streets, Business World, Go Kitchen Go!, TV Eikaiwa I, TV Eikaiwa II, and Eigode Asobo.[6]

Kelso has had numerous on screen roles as well; as the writer and host of the TBS TV series Mezase Multilingual, newscaster for Asahi Kasei Company News, and presenter for NEC Aris Computer Advancements and Hitachi Future Innovations. He was also an actor in a Nissin Supao TV CM with Fukada Kyoko, the NEC TV CM Global Solutions, and NHK TV Eikaiwa I and II.

Tokyo. 2016


As a cast member of NHK Radio since 1989, Kelso's credits include; co-host of NHK Radio Eikaiwa (1991-1992), reporter for NHK Radio starring in the shows New York and Boston with Eric (1991) and Florida with Eric (1992), Yasashi Business English, English Listening Nyumon, and Jissen Business English. He also appears on the Radio Nikkei program, Let's Read the Nikkei in English.

Television Commercials[edit]

Kelso is the voice of more than 20 Japanese television commercials for companies such as Toyota, TDK, Sony, Max Factor, Suntory, Mazda, Sunkist, Brooks Brothers, Nissin Foods, NEC, Mitsubishi Motors, Namco Bandai, American Express.


In animation, Kelso has been active in Japan doing voiceovers for movies, amusement parks, children's programs and educational broadcasting. In 1995, Kelso provided live interactive voiceover and CG movement work for Mr. Mike, a sarcastic talking microphone character, around the world. Notable events include TELECOM 95 in Geneva, Switzerland,[7] as well as at ASIA TELECOM 97 in Singapore. He played Doraemon in Gakken's English version of the popular Japanese series of the same name. He voiced the Japanese movie trailer for Disney's Mulan, as well as the part of River Guide in the Wild River Splash VR Simulator ride for DreamWorks at SEGA's Joypolis in Tokyo. At Universal Studios Japan he can be heard as the voice of Woody Woodpecker.[8] In 2002, he did several characters for Zoids: Fuzors. In 2006, shortly after the merger of Tomy and Takara, Kelso provided the voice for the newly released Omnibot 2007: i-SOBOT, which has been certified by Guinness World Records as "the world's smallest humanoid robot in production”.

Video Games[edit]

Kelso providing Motion Capture for Time Crisis in 2015.

Credited with over 50 games, Kelso began voice acting for the video game industry in 1996, with his first role(s) being in Soul Blade, released on the Sony Playstation console. Continuing to work with Sony, in 1997, Kelso voiced the character of Paul Phoenix in the fighting video game, Tekken 3, also released on the Sony Playstation. In 1999, he reprised the role of Paul Phoenix in Tekken Tag Tournament, and continued to voice the character in Tekken 4,[9] Tekken 5,[10] Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, and Tekken 6. In 2000, Kelso provided voices for the English dub of the iconic Sega Dreamcast game, Shenmue. Playing the roles of Masayuki Fukuhara[1] and Guizhang Chen,[1] Kelso noted how expansive the project was, having a more developed storyline and more dialogue than other games. In 2001, Kelso became the voice artist for another iconic fighting game character in Virtua Fighter 4 called Jacky Bryant.[2] He also reprised the role in Virtua Fighter 5,[11] as well as side projects featuring the character, such as, Sega Superstars,[12] Virtua Quest,[13] Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing,[14] and Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate[15] In 2002, Kelso also worked on the sequel to Shenmue, Shenmue II, voicing a new character in the franchise, Ren of Heavens.[1] The English dub of the game appeared in the re-released version on the Microsoft Xbox console as well as the high-definition ports for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Director and Producer[edit]

Kelso has been a director and producer for corporate video recordings for companies such as Prologis Inc. and Medtronic.


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Under the Dog Soldier
2017 Sakura Quest Mayor Naumann Japanese version
Ep. 27


Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Platform
1996 Soul Blade Siegfried Schtauffen Playstation
1997 Tekken 3 Paul Phoenix Arcade / Playstation
1999 Tekken Tag Tournament Paul Phoenix Arcade / PlayStation 2 / PlayStation 3
2000 Gungriffon Blaze Various PlayStation 2
2000 Shenmue Masayuki Fukuhara / Guizhang Chen Dreamcast / Microsoft Windows / PlayStation 4 / Xbox One
2001 Virtua Fighter 4 Jacky Bryant Arcade / PlayStation 2
2001 Tekken 4 Paul Phoenix Arcade / PlayStation 2
2001 Planet of the Apes Various Microsoft Windows / PlayStation 2
2001 Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure Woody Woodpecker GameCube
2002 Dino Stalker Lt. Mike Wired PlayStation 2
2002 Shenmue II Ren of Heavens Microsoft Windows / PlayStation 4 / Xbox / Xbox One
2003 Dino Crisis 3 Jacob Ranshaw (motion capture) Xbox
2003 F-Zero GX Captain Falcon, Blood Falcon GameCube
2003 Glass Rose Takashi Kagetani, Kazuya PlayStation 2
2003 Bloody Roar 4 Reiji Takigawa PlayStation 2 / PlayStation 3
2003 Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean Kalas Gamecube
2004 Firefighter F.D.18 Dean McGregor PlayStation 2
2004 Gradius V Pilot/Boss PlayStation 2 / Playstation Network
2004 Taiko: Drum Master various PlayStation 2
2004 Sega Superstars Jacky Bryant PlayStation 2
2004 Tekken 5 Paul Phoenix Arcade / PlayStation 2
2004 Baten Kaitos Kalas GameCube
2004 Metal Wolf Chaos various Xbox
2005 Virtua Quest Jacky Bryant GameCube / PlayStation 2
2005 Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Paul Phoenix Arcade / PlayStation Portable / Playstation Network
2006 Virtua Fighter 5 Jacky Bryant Arcade / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
2006 Elebits Ed, Dad Wii
2006 Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix various Arcade
2007 Lunar Knights: Boktai DS Duma, Kay, Kid Nintendo DS
2007 Dynasty Warriors: Gundam various PlayStation 2 / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
2007 Mega Max ZX Advent Aeolus Nintendo DS
2007 Tekken 6 Paul Phoenix (In-game grunts) Arcade / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / PlayStation Portable
2009 The King of Fighters XII Arcade / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
2010 Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Jacky Bryant Arcade / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / Nintendo DS / Wii / Microsoft Windows / MAC OS X / Android / BlackBerry / Java ME
2010 Ace Combat: Joint Assault Michael Arena PlayStation Portable
2011 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Tower Controller Nintendo 3DS
2013 Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Jacky Bryant Arcade / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
2015 Dead or Alive 5 Last Round Jacky Bryant Arcade / Microsoft Windows / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One
2015 Transformers Pachinko Optimus Prime Arcade
2015 Time Crisis 5 Marc Godart Arcade
2015 Devil’s Third Online various Wii U / Microsoft Windows
2016 NightCry Harry, Newscaster, HQ Microsoft Windows
2016 Pokémon Tretta Announcer Arcade
2018 Fitness Boxing Evan Nintendo Switch


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Eric Kelso | Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 8, 2017. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources
  2. ^ a b "Voice Of Jacky Bryant - Virtua Fighter 4". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "SEGA Nerds interview with Shenmue voice actors". YouTube. 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  5. ^ "The Voices of Iron Chef (1998, Live Action Series) - Voice Cast Listing at Voice Chasers". Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  6. ^ "プロフィール". Eric Kelso. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Voice Of Woody Woodpecker - Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  9. ^ "Voice Of Paul Phoenix - Tekken 4". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  10. ^ "Voice Of Paul Phoenix - Tekken 5". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  11. ^ "Voice Of Jacky Bryant - Virtua Fighter 5". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  12. ^ "Voice Of Jacky Bryant - Sega Superstars". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  13. ^ "Virtua Quest voice cast". Album on Imgur. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  14. ^ "Voice Of Jacky Bryant - Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  15. ^ "Voice Of Jacky Bryant - Dead or Alive 5". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2016-10-21.

External links[edit]