Maes Hughes Voice Actor Keiji Fujiwara Passes Away at 55

Fujiwara voiced roles in Attack on Titan, Dr. STONE, Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter x Hunter

Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist

 

Voice acting agency, AIR AGENCY, announced on April 16 that the representative director and founder, Keiji Fujiwara, passed away on April 12 due to cancer. Fujiwara was a celebrated and much-loved voice actor, with a career spanning 30 years and voicing iconic roles such as Maes Hughes in both Fullmetal Alchemist anime series and films, Captain Hannes in Attack on Titan, Hiroshi Nohara in Crayon Shin-chan, and the voice of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Japanese dub of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

Keiji Fujiwara

 

In 2016, AIR AGENCY, which was founded by Keiji Fujiwara in 2006, announced that Fujiwara was going on hiatus due to an illness, without specifying what the illness was. The agency announced today that Fujiwara was "fighting off cancer," of which he succumbed to. He was 55 years old. 

 

His family held a private and small funeral for Fujiwara, and the voice agency has asked for fans to not send any flowers to the studio at this time.

 

Hiroshi Nohara (Crayon Shin-chan)

Hiroshi Nohara (Crayon Shin-chan)

 

Keiji Fujiwara started in the anime industry in the '90s, when he joined Ken Production, a voice acting agency, which landed him his breakout role as Hiroshi Nohara in Crayon Shin-chan. Before that in the 1980s, he trained at an acting school in Tokyo and performed with many theater troupes around the city. During the decade, Fujiwara went on to voice characters in Mobile Suit Victory GundamRurouni KenshinThe Vision of Escaflowne, and many more.

 

In the 2000s, Fujiwara voiced many classic characters that have become part of anime history, in series such as Hikaru no Go, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Death Note, Baccano!Eureka Seven, NarutoGintamaNodame CantabileFairy Tail, and many more. Fujiwara left Ken Production in 2006 and opened his own voice acting agency, AIR AGENCY, which helped him land the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in all the Marvel productions, including the video games, anime series, and dubbing over Robert Downey Jr. for a Japanese audience, including in Avengers: Endgame.

 

In 2016, Fujiwara stepped back from a full-time voice acting load in his fight against cancer, retiring the voice of Hiroshi Nohara in Crayon Shin-chan. From then on he mainly voiced bit parts in series such as Dr. STONE, One Piece, and Final Fantasy video games. He continued to voice the roles he had done in the past in sequels and spin-offs.

 

Reno (Final Fantasy VII Remake)

Reno (Final Fantasy VII Remake)

 

Fujiwara's final credited role before passing was reprising the role of Reno in Final Fantasy VII Remake after playing the character since Final Fantasy VII Advent Children.

 

Source: AIR AGENCY website via Oricon

 

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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.

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