Tue, August 16, 2022

in-focus

Famous voice actor Kaiwan succumbs to liver failure at 71


Kaiwan Wattanakrai, a well-known Thai voice actor who lent his voice to many Japanese cartoon characters, such as Master Roshi and Vegeta in "Dragon Ball Z", and Roronoa Zoro in "One Piece", died at 71 due to acute liver failure on Tuesday.

"Kaiwan died peacefully at 71 years old at Samchuk Hospital in Suphan Buri," the actor's grandson Wattanapol Wattanakrai said on his Facebook page.

He thanked the voice actor's fanclub for their love and concern for his grandfather.

Meanwhile, Nirun Boonyarattaphan, another well-known voice actor, who is also known as "Natoi Senbei", said on his Facebook page that he was sad at losing the voice actor behind Vegeta, while he was using his voice as "Dragon Ball Z" protagonist Son Goku.

Nirun got his nickname as a voice artist from the character Norimaki Senbei from “Dr Slump”, which made him famous amongst young cartoon fans.

Kaiwan was suffering from an underlying illness for a long time, but he didn't have the intention to stop his work for Japanese cartoons he loved, his grandson said.

“He was very happy when he attended many Japanese cartoon-related events and received a warm welcome from his fans,” he said.

"Kaiwan always humbly said he is just an ordinary cartoon voice actor who nobody remembers, but I believe no one thinks like that," he said. "For us, he is one of the legendary voice actors."

Nirun's Facebook post has received more than 55,000 likes, 3,000 comments and 25,000 shares from Japanese cartoon fans in Thailand as of Wednesday.

Kaiwan, also known as "Na Kai" (Uncle Kai), was born on April 8, 1951, in Samchuk district of Suphan Buri province. His more than 40 years of experience in voice acting enabled him to become one of the most talented voice actors in Thailand.

Apart from "Dragon Ball Z" and "One Piece", his memorable voice acting includes Duo Maxwell in "New Mobile Report", Gundam Wing, Cygnus Hyoga and Phoenix Ikki in "Saint Seiya", Megure Juzo and Hattori Heiji in "Detective Conan".

He also lent his voice to characters in Japanese live action films, such as Shin Hayata in "Ultraman" and Takeshi Hongo in "Kamen Rider".

By Jarupong Krisanaraj

Published : June 29, 2022

By : THE NATION