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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.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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.

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