Sad news today from Japan. Voice actor Kiyoshi Kobayashi, best known for playing Lupin III sidekick Daisuke Jigen for decades, has died at the age of 89. The cause was pneumonia.
Kobayashi, who got his start as an anime voice actor in the 1960s, had played Jigen, Lupin’s pistol-toting pal, since the very first Lupin pilot film in 1969. He continued to play the character in every Lupin production (with one exception, in which none of the original cast appeared) until last year, when he announced his retirement.
The final appearance of Kobayashi as Jigen was Lupin the 3rd Part 6’s “Episode 0.”
While Jigen was Kobayashi’s most famous character, it certainly wasn’t his only role. He was also known for playing Bem in Humanoid Monster Bem, Watari in Death Note, Crystal Bowie in Space Adventure Cobra and more.
Kobayashi was born in 1933 in Nezu, Tokyo. He began acting while in college, and had his first voice acting role in Tetsuwan Atom. He and his iconic voice will be very missed.