Hideo Kojima writes that Japanese voice actor Takeshi Aono has died, aged 75. Aono-san contributed to a number of TV anime series since the 60s, but was best known among gamers for his work as the voice of Colonel Roy Campbell, in the Metal Gear series.
Aono also played Dr. Wily in the Mega Man series, Gen Fu in Dead or Alive, Muramasa in Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden 2, Jinpachi Mishima in Tekken 5 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and an assortment of other roles in Final Fantasy IV and Mega Man X6.
Aono retired as a voice actor in May 2010 after a stroke following heart surgery. Kojima explains that many in the industry – including those at Kojima Productions, of course – had been hoping for a recovery, but on the afternoon of April 9th, 2012, fellow voice actress Eiko Hisamura (Natasha Romanenko from Metal Gear Solid) confirmed his death.
Kojima – director of the Metal Gear series – writes in a translated tweet that Aono’s passing will directly impact any future games in the franchise:
As 80% of movie depends on the sound, the character’s characteristic depends on their voice, I think. I’ve always created based on that theory. Similar to the Frank Jeager, Ninja character ended when my favorite Mr. Shiozawa passed away, I cannot think of anyone for Campbell except Mr. Aono. Sorry guys.