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Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese Voice of Axel/Lea) Passes Away at the Age of 55

Keiji Fujiwara, the Japanese voice actor of Axel/Lea, passed away on April 12th after fighting cancer. He was 55 years old at the time of his passing.


Keiji Fujiwara was born on October 5th, 1964 in Tokyo Japan. He began his acting career in 1983 and continued until his passing. In addition of voicing in anime, he usually dubbed American shows and movies including being the Japanese voice for the Joker and Iron Man as well as dubbing the voice for Robert Downey Jr. 

In addition of voicing Axel/Lea, Fujiwara also voiced Reno in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake as well as Ardyn in Final Fantasy XV. 

Rest in peace Keiji Fujiwara and thank you for bringing the voice of everybody's favorite red-haired pyro to the Japanese audience.

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This is info that I feel should be shared because KH doesn't have Japanese audio outside of Asia (unlike every SE series that doesn't have Disney involved) so the news isn't hitting the KH community outside of Asia compared to Asia (unless you know Fujiwara from anime or another game series).

Fujiwara voiced Reno, designed by Tetsuya Nomura, since day 1. Axel's design is based on Reno, so Nomura specifically chose Fujiwara to voice Axel. Ardyn is given red hair because of Reno and Axel, which is why Fujiwara was once again chosen to voice Ardyn. The red hair streak has unfortunately ended.

Lastly, in 2017, Fujiwara was voted #3 best seiyuu out of 200 by fellow seiyuu on whom they most respected. Masako Nozawa (Goku) was #2 and Kouichi Yamadera (Spike in Cowboy Bebop; Beers in Dragon Ball Z movies/Super) was #1. He is officially one of the GOAT's.

*Axel voice* Kioku Shitaka? (Did you memorize it?)

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May he rest in peace.  He was the first Japanese voice actor I took notice of because of his work as Axel, and he eventually because my favorite Japanese voice actor after seeing a lot of the other work he's done.  His voice is very unique and he does a fantastic job.  This is very sad news.

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This is truly saddening. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Leamax!

I never really heard his work as I watch anime in dub most of the time and of course, I have KH in English. But I know he was a big part of the KH community and a respected voice actor. May he rest in peace! :(

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9 hours ago, 2 quid is good said:

This is really sad news... Definitely a definitive voice for so many characters. RIP

Indeed. It sucks when beloved voice actors we've heard for years die. It's like a part of us dies with them, ya know?

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