Production committee: "Tatsuhisa Suzuki [is] important for this work."
After the report of Tatsuhisa Suzuki suspending public activities due to "physical and mental fatigue," his role in the upcoming two-part Free!-the Final Stroke- anime films were in flux, especially when the production committee decided to cancel the release of today's trailer due to the use of OLDCODEX's theme song, of which Suzuki is the singer. But today the production committee announced that Suzuki will continue to voice Makoto Tachibana.
In an excerpt from the news article on the Free! website, the production committee explained why they're keeping Suzuki as the voice of Makoto Tachibana:
"Tatsuhisa Suzuki, who plays the role of Makoto Tachibana, has been an important character in the series since it began 9 years ago, and we believe that Suzuki's fine performance, the relationships he has built with other cast members, and staff members are important for this work. Because of this, the production committee has decided to continue to have Suzuki play the role of Makoto Tachibana."
Suzuki suspended all public activities on August 4 because of "physical and mental fatigue." His wife LiSA did the same but confirmed today that she will be returning to the spotlight later this month. The news of the break came days after rumors appeared online that Suzuki was cheating on LiSA with a staffer from a studio he was working out of. Suzuki also offered to step down from his upcoming role in the second season of the Ultraman anime series.
Free!–the Final Stroke– is being advertised as the “final chapter” of the franchise with the first part scheduled to be released on September 17, 2021, and the second part scheduled to be released on April 22, 2022. Catch up with the splash on Crunchyroll with all the TV anime seasons of Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club streaming now.
Source: Free! on Twitter
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.