~Kazuyuki Sogabe - 1948-2006~
Kazuyuki Sogabe (born April 16, 1948) , who played Kunzite (Malachite) in the Japanese version, passed away at 8 PM on September 17th after battling Esophageal Cancer. His funeral was held on the 20th. He was 58 years old. From what we have learned from other Japanese sites, his cancer was detected only two months ago, as he had suddenly and surprisingly become emaciated. Sadly, by then it was too late for any treatment that could save him, and doctors predicted he would not last past the end of this year. Toru Furyua (Tuxedo Kamen/Mamoru Chiba) , another Japanese VA who had known Kazuyuki for many years was one of the first to break this sad news in a posting on his official website ( The Official Webpage of Toru Furuya ).
In 1977 along with some other Japanese VA's (Toshio Furukawa, Toru Furuya, Akio Nojima and Akira Kamiya), he had formed a band called Slapstick (pictured above). He played the guitar and he also composed some songs for them. They were very popular in Japan and had released 12 albums from 1977-1986. Their label Pony Canyon ,
had recently released a limited edition boxset of all of their albums plus a DVD of one of their concerts . He was also a theatre star in Chiba Perfecture.
Kazuyuki had been voicing characters for nearly 3 decades , only retiring at the end of 2000 when he felt his voice was becoming weak (and also for other professional reasons). His most famous roles included the Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid, various characters in the Dragonball Z and GT series, Largo in Bubblegum Crisis, Gemini Saga in Saint Seiya, Benn Beckman in One Piece, and Commander Wakkein and Jean in Mobile Suit Gundam. One of his first voice roles was Tonio (Marco's brother) in Studio Ghibli's early epic, 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother. Our sincere condolences to his wife Keiko, his friends and his family.
Cache of an archived BBS post