'Gurren Lagann,' 'D. Gray Man' Actor Kiyoshi Kawakubo Dies

The manga and anime world have been hit with another major loss as the talent agency 81 Produce confirmed that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and D. Gray Man star Kiyoshi Kawakubo has passed away on April 16. He was 89 years old. 81 Produce confirmed that Kakakubo's family have held services for the actor in private, and did not state a cause of death. Kawakubo has played a role in many anime productions that have surely got the attention of fans.

Kawakubo has starred as Guame in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kevin Yeegar in D.Gray-man, Grospoliner in Silent Mobius, Lord Haizen in Slayers Great, and various other notable anime roles.

Along with performing in Japanese dubs for Disney films such as portraying Edgar the Butler in Disney's The Aristocats and Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood, Kawakubo had lent his talents to other productions such as Golgo 13, Cyborg 009, Kimba the White Lion, Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars, Trigun, Bubblebum Crisis, Iruka to Shonen, Sinbad the Sailor, Paranoia Agent, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and Salaryman Kintar.

Kawakubo's passing comes as an especially major loss as the anime and manga world recently mourned the passing of two notable manga creators: Lupid the III's Monkey Punch and Lone Wolf and Cub's Kazuo Koike. Our thoughts are with Kawakubo's family at this time.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an original a mecha anime series produced by Gainax, Konami, and Aniplex. The series takes place in a future where mankind has been forced underground thanks to the menace of the Beastmen and the Spiral King. One day, a digger named Simon and his friend Kamina find a mecha buried deep underground. Using this, the two break through to the surface and start fighting against the Beastmen and the other human rebels. The series ran for 27 episodes on TV Tokyo from April to September 2007. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, the series was licensed for an English language release by ADV Films, Bandai Entertainment and Aniplex of America. Two feature-length films were produced that re-told the events of the original series and released in 2008 and 2009.

81 Produce via ANN


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