Anime Biography: Taichirou Hirokawa

Taichirou Hirokawa is probably best known in the anime field, as well as to anime fans, as the voice of Mamoru Kodai (the older brother of lead character Susumu Kodai) in the Space Battleship Yamato series and films. Hirokawa also provided some narration for a couple of the Space Battleship Yamato projects, as well as providing the narration for all of the theatrical trailers for the Yamato franchise.

Taichirou Hirokawa is actually a stage name; he was born as Shinjirou Hirokawa on February 15, 1940 in Tokyo. Hirokawa began his freelance acting career after graduating from Nihon University’s College of Arts. Taichirou’s first anime credits appear in 1969, where he provided the voice of Lupin III in the 1969 Cinemascope pilot film version of the Lupin III property. That same year, Taichirou Hirokawa also provided the voice of Snork in an anime titled Moomin.

Taichirou Hirokawa’s other anime credits include: 1975’s La Seine no Hoshi (where he provided the voice for a character named Robert), 1978’s Captain Future (where he provided the voice for the series’ title character), 1984’s Sherlock Hound (where he provided the voice of Sherlock Hound), 1986’s Saint Seiya (where he provided the voice of Abel), 1988’s Jinzo ningen Kyasshan (where he provided the voice of Cashan, a robot hunter and savior), and 1998’s Mezzo (where he provided the voice of Kenichi Kurokawa). Hirokawa also appears in 1965’s Yoru no nettaigyo and 1969’s Otoko wa tsurai yo.

Around the mid-1990s, Taichirou Hirokawa started to focus more of his career on narrating anime properties. In recent years, he could be heard as the narrator on 2002’s Pokemon Heroes – Latias & Latios and on 2005’s OVAL X OVER. Taichirou Hirokawa’s voice can also be heard narrating on Uchu senkan Yamato: Harukanaru hoshi Isukandaru, a 1999 video game based on the plot of the first Space Battleship Yamato series.

Taichirou Hirokawa has also provided the Japanese dub voice for Roger Moore for the Japanese release of the James Bond films (1973’s Live and Let Die through 1985’s A View to a Kill). Taichirou Hirokawa’s voice was also used to provide Japanese dubs for such famous actors as Tony Curtis, Robert Redford, and Michael Hui for overseas films being dubbed for release in Japan.

On March 9, 2008, it was announced by Anime News Network that Taichirou Hirokawa passed away on March 3, 2008. Hirokawa succumbed to cancer in a Tokyo hospital.

Anime associated with Taichirou Hirokawa:

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