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Remembering Japanese Spongebob voice actor Taiki Matsuno, dead at 56

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Anime fans this week are mourning the death of voice actor Taiki Matsuno. He took on a long list of iconic characters. Perhaps his most notable for our American listeners...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS THEME SONG")

UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTIST #1: (Singing in Japanese).

UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTIST #2: (Singing in Japanese).

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Or as we know him, SpongeBob SquarePants - Matsuno voiced the beloved fry cook in the Japanese dub of the show for nearly 20 years - from the first movie to Season 13 - and was known for how well his performance matched the American original.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS")

TAIKI MATSUNO: (As SpongeBob, speaking Japanese).

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Speaking Japanese).

SUMMERS: The Tokyo native started his voice-acting career at the age of 10 and had roles in shows like "One Piece," "Inuyasha," "Sailor Moon SuperS" and "Kindaichi Case Files."

DETROW: Taiki Matsuno was 56.

(SOUNDBITE OF KAPONO BEAMER'S "STACK OF LEIS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Megan Lim
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.