The iconic anime One Piece is currently commemorating its 24th Anniversary. The consistency in its voice cast from the outset has deeply ingrained specific voices to the show’s characters in fans’ minds. Succeeding any of the current stars would undeniably carry significant weight.
As time moves on and the original cast grows older, Mayumi Tanaka, who voices Luffy, brought this matter into discussion.
During an appearance on a Japanese talk show, as sourced from Narinari, Tanaka commented on her potential successor. She referenced a humorous remark by series creator Eiichiro Oda, stating,
“I might not even be alive by the time it ends. When the time comes, I hope that One Piece fans can accept the person I choose as my successor.”
While in the company of her son and acclaimed voice actress, Masako Nozawa, her son light-heartedly suggested Nozawa as the replacement. He said,
“The only person I can think of who could possibly replace you is Masako Nozawa.” Tanaka responded humorously, “What’s the point if it’s someone older than me?”
One Piece Voice Actors Who Have Passed Away
|Voice Actor||One Piece Characters|
|Ginzo Matsuo (1951 – 2001)||Captain Smoker|
|Kazuyuki Sogabe (1948 – 2006)||“Dark King” Silvers Rayleigh, Benn Beckman|
|Isamu Tanonaka (1932 – 2010)||“Sonar King” Shoujou, Boo Jack|
|Daisuke Gori (1952 – 2010)||Dorry, Rockstar, Jinbe|
|Takeshi Aono (1936 -2012)||“Hawk Eye” Mihawk, Woop Slap|
|Takeshi Taniguchi (1947 – 2012)||Montblanc Cricket|
|Goro Naya (1929 – 2013)||Crocus|
|Takkou Ishimori (1932 – 2013)||Fleet Admiral Sengoku the Buddha, Skid|
|Rokuro Naya (1932 – 2014)||Haredas|
|Koji Yada (1933 – 2014)||Zeff, Raoul|
|Chikao Ohtsuka (1929 – 2015)||Gol D. Roger|
|Yuko Mizutani (1964 – 2016)||Nightin|
|Kazunari Tanaka (1967 -2016)||Brownbeard, Puppu, “Corrupt King” Avalo Pizarro, Yomo, Manboshi|
|Hiromi Tsuru (1960 – 2017)||Shakuyaku|
|Nobuo Tanaka (1935 – 2018)||Marine Vice Admiral Jonathan|
|Tetsuo Goto (1950 -2018)||Hannyabal, Saint Mjosgard, Lao G|
|Toshiko Fujita (1950 – 2018)||Big Mom|
|Unshou Ishizuka (1951 – 2018)||Admiral Kizaru, Shimotsuki Koushirou, Kong|
|Kinryu Arimoto (1940 – 2019)||Edward Newgate (Whitebeard)|
|Keiji Fujiwara (1964 – 2020)||Admiral Ryokugyu|
For context, Tanaka is 62, whereas Nozawa is 82. However, Nozawa, undeterred by age, claimed she could pursue acting until 100 or even 128.
Anime enthusiasts will recognize Nozawa as the voice behind Dragon Ball’s Goku. She’s also credited as Doctor Kureha in One Piece.
If the day comes when Tanaka decides to hand over Luffy’s role, many fans might be open to Nozawa stepping in. Nevertheless, the gravity of such a decision cannot be understated.
From Tanaka’s statement, it’s evident she is open to passing on Luffy’s legacy if required. However, the main question is: will fans be accommodating? It’s speculative currently, but it might become a focal point by One Piece’s 40th anniversary.