Japanese voice actress Yūko Mizutani has died. The 51-year-old actress passed away due to breast cancer on May 17.
Mizutani made her voice acting debut in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam in 1985. She is best known in Japan for her voice work Sakiko Sakura in Chibi Maruko Chan, Mihoshi Kuramitsu in Tenchi Muyo!, Soten in InuYasha, Pinoko in Black Jack, Sora Takenouchi in Digimon Adventures, and Ikuko Tsukino in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal.
Mizunati also had roles in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX, Detective Conan, Excel Saga, Martian Successor Nadeisico, the Ranma ½ OVA’s, Puyo Puyo, and Project X Zone. Her video game work includes providing the voice of Iris in Mega Man X4, and the Japanese voice of Minnie Mouse in Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series.
Mizutani has also dubbed over several stars from the United States for the Japanese releases of western live action television shows and movies. Most notably, she provided the voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy Summers in the Japanese release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Tributes to the veteran voice actress are flooding Twitter and forums as fans say goodbye to a much-loved part of their cartoon-viewing lives.