Dragon Ball fans are mourning as the death of actor Shozo Iizuka, who provided the voice and personality of Nappa in the anime, has come to light. The actor’s agency confirmed that Iizuka passed away on February 15 at the age of 89 due to heart failure. The announcement caught fans of Dragon Ball, a series that also featured the actor in other roles, by surprise.
Shozo Iizuka was born in Tokyo on May 23, 1933, although he moved as a child to the city of Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture near his mother’s family. After graduating from the art department of Nihon University, he got his first job dubbing a foreign film into Japanese. However, it was in the anime that the actor found his true home, as his performance as Kin Sankaku in Astro Boy was followed by important roles in series such as Urusei Yatsura, Hajime no Ippo, Mobile Suit Gundam and many others.
The seiyuu originally started working on Dragon Ball as the voice of Android 8, although it was his portrayal of Nappa that left its mark on the hearts of viewers. Vegeta’s partner and ruthless warrior, Nappa is undoubtedly one of the best villains in Dragon Ball Z, even if the world isn’t ready to accept it.
The actor’s best roles weren’t limited to Dragon Ball, as he also made his mark on the video game world by playing the Japanese voice of Dr. Neo Cortex in the Crash Bandicoot saga. In recent years, the actor has gradually retired from work, although his trace is unlikely to be erased from our memory.