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UPDATE: Kiyoshi Kobayashi Announces Retirement as Jigen, Akio Otsuka to Assume Role

Kiyoshi Kobayashi retirement Jigen Lupin III

UPDATE: Famitsu (translation: DeepL) have confirmed that Akio Otsuka will be the new voice of Jigen.

Otsuka’s previous roles include Black Jack from Black Jack, Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series, Lieutenant Garuru in Sgt. Frog, Batou in Ghost in the Shell, Blackbeard in One Piece, All For One in My Hero Academia, Wammu in Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts, and more.

In the official statement Kobayashi stated that if he were selfish, he’d have loved to have continued voicing the character until he was 90. He remembers how Otsuka asked him why his own father (Shuo Otsuka) had quit voicing Goemon; and how he was at a loss for words at the time.

 

He stated to Otsuka (in the public statement) how Jingen was not a common criminal, but more akin to “iki” (a term roughly mean chic or stylish, used by merchants in the Edo period of Japan), and how Jingen was more akin to someone from the Edo period. While Otsuka’s new roll will be tough, Kobayashi compared it to jazz. “Lupin,” Kobayashi concluded, “I’m going to leave now. Goodbye.”

Otsuka stated that he would do his best to honor Kobayashi’s feelings, and how he looked up to him since fifth grade; and wanted to voice Jigen at that time.

He would not want to hear anyone but Kobayashi’s voice as Jigen, maybe more than anyone else. Nonetheless, he “selfishly decided to be the kind of Daisuke Jigen who can convince even me. […] I’ll take the baton with Edo’s style, Edokko, and JAZZ firmly etched in my heart!”

 

However, Kobayashi will have one last ride in “Episode 0 – The Age” of Lupin the Third Part 6. After this, Otsuka will voice Jigen. Other confirmed voice cast include Kanichi Kurita as Lupin III, Miyuki Sawashiro as Fujiko Mine, and Koichi Yamadera as Inspector Zenigata. They had begun voicing the characters with Lupin III: Blood Seal – Eternal Mermaid. 

Part 6 will see the gang on the path of The Ravens, a group said to be manipulating England from the shadows. While seeking their treasure, Lupin is accused of murder. The victim, Dr. Watson; and Sherlock Holmes is hot on Lupin’s trail. Lupin’s green suit could also be seen as honoring the series 50th anniversary; as he wore a green suit in the anime’s Part I.

You can find the new trailer below.

 

Original story below:

Kiyoshi Kobayashi has announced his retirement as Daisuke Jigen; and the last original cast member of Lupin III

Yahoo Japan report (translation: DeepL) ahead of an official announcement, Kobayashi is “putting down his gun” at the time of the series’ 50th anniversary. The reason is due to Kobayashi’s age, now 88. He had voiced the character even in the 1969 pilot film for the first anime.

An insider reportedly stated that he wished to continue for as long as possible; but it was physically difficult to do long post-recordings over and over. He had previously trained his abdominal muscles in order to continue to perform.

 

While another voice actor will take his place, the actor in question was not revealed. The new actor will be heard in Lupin the Third Part 6; premiering October 9th. An insider reportedly noted finding a new actor will be difficult, as so many had grown used to hearing Kobayashi. Banjo Ginga had also voiced Jingen in Japanese for The Fuma Conspiracy. 

Kobayashi’s other roles have included the narrator for The King of Braves GaoGaiGar, Watari in Death Note, Jack in Violence Jack, Adrian Rubinsky in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Aiguille Delaz in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Muhammad Avdol in Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure (1983), and more.

He also dubbed over many western actors for Japanese audiences, including Lee Marvin, Tommy Lee Jones, George Kennedy, Sam Elliott, Franco Nero, Jack Palance, Christopher Plummer, Gian Maria Volonté; and ironically Clint Eastwood. It is not entirely clear which role came first- Eastwood, or Jigen.

 

Jigen is Lupin’s best friend, right-hand man, and amazing sharp-shooter. Along with blistering quick-draw and accuracy, he also utilizes trick-shots to use the environment for non-lethal take-downs. The character’s name came from creator Monkey Punch‘s love of the word “dimension” (or “Jigen” in Japanese). In fact, his full name is a corruption of “I love dimensions.”

Short-tempered but loyal, his pragmatism and cynicism hide his love of adventures and capers with his friends. After Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine; other spin-off films based on Lupin characters were produced, treated as subsequent parts of the OVA.

After Fujiko was Jigen’s Gravestone. It told how Jigen may have met his match, as a faultless assassin leaves his calling card; his target’s own gravestone.

In English, Jigen has been voiced by Cliff Harrington, Steve Bulen, Sean P. O’Connell, Eric Meyers, John Snyder, Christopher Sabat, Richard Epcar, and Dan Woren. The most famous of these could be considered Richard Epcar (Part II and Part IV); who reprised his role for Lupin III: The First.

Additional Images: Wikipedia

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Ryan Pearson

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.