Producer Hiroe Tsukamoto was a major force in getting anime to America. Now Bang Zoom! Studios has shared the sad news that she has passed away.
Bang Zoom! Studios wrote:
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of one of the greats of the anime industry, Hiroe Tsukamoto. She was a brilliant and influential producer who helped bring anime to the world, starting with AKIRA all the way through DEMON SLAYER. It has been an honor to work alongside her for the past nearly 25 years and to consider her a friend. We will miss you, Hiroe-san, but you’ll always be present in the studios.”
Tsukamoto started out at Geneon (back when it was Pioneer LDC) and was there between 1994 and 2007, working on dubs and bringing anime to Americans. Some of the Geneon titles she was involved with include Akira, Chobits, Samurai Champloo, Trigun, Heat Guy J, Kyo Kara Maoh! and many more.
After Geneon, she worked at Aniplex, where she was the Vice President of Production. Some of the anime she worked on there include Kill la Kill, Durarara!!, Blue Exorcist, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and the Sword Art Online franchise.
Online, many people who knew Tsukamoto shared their condolences and memories.
Voice actor Erica Mendez wrote: “I’ve been so incredibly sad about this since I found out. She was such a huge part of my journey as a voice actor and I will miss her so so much. I’ll cherish all the memories I have of working with her on so many great projects.”
Likewise, voice actor Lauren Landa wrote, “I am incredibly saddened to hear this. So many fun, and dear memories working with her from over 13 years. We love you Hiroe”
And voice actor Zach Aguliar wrote, “Wow, so sad to hear this news. She gave so many great opportunities and was one of the first producers I ever met when I started. I’ll never forget how kind and welcoming she was to me and my family. Rest in peace, Hiroe”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.