The Lupin III anime franchise has been around since the late ‘60s, and all the main characters have been played by multiple actors, with the originals having passed away or passed the torch.
All except one: Kiyoshi Kobayashi, the voice of Jigen. Aside from a single production which featured an entirely different cast, Kobayashi has voiced Jigen in every Lupin anime since 1969. NINETEEN SIXTY NINE.
But now Kobayashi is cashing in on his well-deserved retirement. The final appearance of Kobayashi as Jigen will be in the upcoming Lupin the 3rd Part 6’s “Episode 0” on October 6.
Man, it’s truly the end of an era. The sad news that Kobayashi’s irreplaceable gravely voice will longer emerge from Jigen is made slightly less sad by the news that the new voice of Jigen will be provided by Akio Otsuka. That’s the voice actor who plays Batou in Ghost in the Shell. Not a bad choice indeed.
You can actually hear Otsuka as Jigen in the below clip. Yeah, that’ll do.
Here’s wishing Kobayashi-san a long and restful retirement.