Joji Yanami, narrator of Dragon Ball Z, passes away


Aoni Production, the Japanese talent agency representing Joji Yanami, announced this morning that the voice actor passed away on Dec. 3 at the age of 90. The announcement follows a funeral held for the family.

Born Aug. 31, 1931, Yanami’s filmography as an anime voice actor stretches back to the ‘60s. His first major role was as Dr. Isaac Gilmore in the 1966 film adaptation of Cyborg 009. Yanami would go on to partake in some parts in many foundational anime series of the last century. He voiced Dr. Yumi in Mazinger Z (1972), Gennai in Digimon Adventure (1999), and Boodle in One Piece’s Orange Town arc. 

Yanami is best known in the U.S. for his many roles across Dragon Ball. In the original 1986 anime, Yanami was the voice of the show’s narrator as well as Dr. Briefs, King, Dr. Frappe, and Mousee. He reprised the role of Narrator and King Kai in the sequel series Dragonball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Kai

Yanami would again take up the roles in Dragon Ball Super in 2015, but was replaced by Naoki Tatsuta after recording the first 12 episodes due to an ongoing medical treatment. 

After a lifetime spent working alongside the growing anime industry, Super is perhaps fittingly Yanami’s last voice acting credit.