The manga and anime worlds were hit hard yesterday with the news of Lupin III creator Monkey Punch’s passing. Many have shared their favorite stories and memories since, including the voice of Lupin himself, Kanichi Kurita.
When original Lupin voice actor Yasuo Yamada fell ill in 1995, Kurita stepped in as a substitute in the voice recording for the Farewell to Nostradamus anime film. He would go on to take the role over fully after Yamada’s passing the following year, and he has been voicing everyone’s favorite thief ever since.
Here’s what he had to say about Monkey Punch:
“It has been over 20 years since I, who had no voice acting experience back then, was given the important ‘Lupin The Third’ from Sensei. Since the first time we met, you had been always with a smile, gentle, calm, and warm. In the days of endless anxiety and pressure, I was saved by Sensei, who treated me with a smile. I felt protected with your word, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’ I will keep the memory of several visits to your home town Hamanaka-cho (in Hokkaido) with you as a precious treasure only for myself. I am really thankful to you. May you rest in peace.”