Isamu Tanonaka

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Isamu Tanonaka
IsamuTanonaka.jpg
Isamu Tanonaka
Born July 19, 1932
Taitō, Tokyo, Japan
Died January 13, 2010(2010-01-13) (aged 77)
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Voice actor
Years active 1952–2010
Agent Aoni Production

Isamu Tanonaka (田の中 勇, Tanonaka Isamu, July 19, 1932 – January 13, 2010[1]) was a Japanese voice actor from Taitō, Tokyo. He was best known for voicing Medama Oyaji in nearly every adaptation of Shigeru Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitarō made during his lifetime.[2]

Career[edit]

During his life he had been attached to Gekidan Tōgei and then Theatre Echo; he was attached to Aoni Production at the time of his death. He had a naturally deep voice but became famous for voicing characters with a high pitched voice. In addition to GeGeGe no Kitarō, he also had prominent roles in Tensai Bakabon (as the first voice of Honkan-san), Mazinger Z (as Mucha), Paul's Miraculous Adventure (as Doppe), Magical Princess Minky Momo (as Sindbook), Akuma-kun (as Youaltepuztli), Dr. Slump & Arale-chan (as Gara and Akira Toriyama), Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken (as Brass), and the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series (as Igor).[2]

Medama Oyaji[edit]

In 1968, he was cast in the first GeGeGe no Kitarō anime as the title character's father Medama Oyaji, an anthropomorphic eyeball. He reprised the role, alongside co-stars Masako Nozawa (Kitarō) and Chikao Ōtsuka (Nezumi-Otoko), in the 1971 follow up color series. When it came time for the 1980s series the producers decided to go with an all new voice cast, but auditions for Medama Oyaji came up short so Tanonaka was asked to reprise the role yet again. From there he continued to voice the character in practically every adaptation made during his lifetime, the sole exception being the PS2 games from the early 2000s, in which the role was given to Kazuo Kumakura, and a single episode of the '68 series where Hiroshi Ōtake filled in for him. Tanonaka even performed the voice of Medama Oyaji for the live action adaptations, and also appeared on many variety shows and in many commercials as the character. In 2008, he reunited with Nozawa and Ōtsuka to reprise their respective roles for the darker Kitarō adaptation Hakaba Kitarō. As Medama Oyaji is actually the reanimated form of Kitarō's deceased father, the character was voiced by Daisuke Gōri when he appeared alive in the first episode.

Death[edit]

On January 13, 2010, he suffered a heart attack in his Tokyo home and was found dead by family members.[1] He was 77 years old at the time of his death. His final performance was in Marie & Gali as the voice of Leonardo da Vinci.[3] Memorial services were held in Tokyo Memolead Hall on January 19, 2010. He is survived by his older brother Hiroshi.[2]

Successors[edit]

After Tanonaka's death, his roles were taken over by the following:

Roles[edit]

Television[edit]

1964
1965
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1975
1976
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1985
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō (third series) (Medama Oyaji)
1987
1989
1991
1992
1993
1995
  • Bonobono (Kuzuri-kun's Father)
  • Dragon Ball Z (Bibidi (episode 277))
1996
1999
2000
2002
2003
2007
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō (fifth series) (Medama Oyaji)
2008
2009
2011
2014

OVA[edit]

Theatrical animation[edit]

Video games[edit]

Tokusatsu[edit]

Dubbing roles[edit]

Live action[edit]

Animation[edit]

Film[edit]

Radio[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 田の中勇氏死去(声優) (in Japanese). Jiji Press. January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Yomiuri Shimbun. "Gegege no Kitarō Voice Actor Isamu Tanonaka Passes Away". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "「目玉おやじ」役41年、田の中勇さん死去 - 芸能ニュース". Nikkan Sports. January 16, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Persona 3 the Movie #1's Promo, Title, Date, Staff, Cast Revealed". Anime News Network. March 28, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 

External links[edit]