Even the mighty dragons wept today…

In November, fans across the world were devastated, when news broke that actress Hiromi Tsuru passed away suddenly. The actress was found unconscious in her car, which was discovered in Tokyo’s Chuo ward. She was later pronounced dead on the way to the hospital, with the final diagnosis being an aortic dissection.

Tsuru’s family held a small private ceremony for her shortly after her passing. Not long ago, though, an owakare-kai (“farewell gathering”), a public memorial service, was held for fans and colleagues alike. Roughly four hundred mourners gathered to pay their respects to the actress, who had voiced countless iconic roles through her life.

Numerous colleagues from Dragon Ball, Anpanman, and other shows also visited the memorial to pay their respects, including:

  • Masako Nozawa (Goku, Dragon Ball)
  • Keiko Toda (Anpanman, Soreike! Anpanman)
  • Mayumi Tanaka (Krillin, Dragon Ball)
  • Miina Tominaga (Rollpanna, Soreike! Anpanman)
  • Ryusei Nakao (Baikinman & Freeza, Dragon Ball)
  • Tohru Furuya (Yamcha, Dragon Ball)
  • Ryo Horikawa (Vegeta, Dragon Ball)
  • Kouichi Yamadera (Beerus, Dragon Ball)
  • Naoko Watanabe (Chichi, Dragon Ball)
  • TARAKO (Nosshi, Soreike! Anpanman)
  • Yoko Oginome (Miyuki Wakamatsu, Miyuki)

During the event, Nozawa gave a stirring speech. She summed up the feeling of the crowd aptly, when she stated “There seven Dragon Balls here, and they’re said to be able to do anything, right? But it’s useless this time… I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

Ryusei Nakao also spoke, noting that his work on Anpanman will be difficult without Dokin-chan there. He added “It’ll be hard, but I’ll keep trying my best. Please keep watching from now on.” He gave one last farewell, in character as Baikinman as he called out “Dokin-chan! Bye Bye King!”

As he delivered the line, he started to choke up, his voice cracking in his delivery.

Tsuru was born on March 29, 1960, in Hokkaido. Through her career, she voiced numerous iconic characters, including:

  • Bulma (Dragon Ball franchise)
  • Ukyo Kuonji (Ranma ½)
  • Dokin-chan (Soreike! Anpanman)
  • Madoka Ayukawa (Kimagure Orange Road)
  • Reiko Mikami (Ghost Sweeper Mikami)
  • Meryl Strife (Trigun)
  • Naomi Hunter (Metal Gear Solid series)

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun, Sports Hochi