Did Pikachu's Voice Actress Really Die?

The news that 44-year-old voice actress Ikue Otani - best known for voicing Pokémon character Pikachu - had died this morning has been spreading like wildfire online. But has she?

The rumour on various social networking sites is that Otani died suddenly this morning for no explicable reason. There is no news of her death on any major Japanese news outlet.

The loss of a voice actress of such an iconic character would be front page news in Japan. It's not. Why? Because it didn't happen.

Kotaku contacted Otani's agency, Mausu Promotion, and was told by a spokesperson that the news of Otani's death is false. Otani is "healthy" and "fine", the spokesperson added.

This rumour was a hoax - a modern day Paul-is-dead online urban legend. Paul isn't dead and neither is Ikue!

Besides Pokémon, Otani has also done voice work for One Piece, ToHeart, Shenmue II, Mega-Man Legends series and many, many more. In 2006, she did take time off from voice acting during a pregnancy leave.

Here is Otani, alive and well, on one of Sanma Akashiya's TV programs, voicing Pikachu.



    Does she do our english version pikachu voice though? Because that's all I know.

      Well, the video of her doing the voice sounded pretty much like the one we've got, So I'm going to say yes.

      Mind you, I dont watch the anime, I just recently saw one of the movies on Foxtel.

      Games are great though.

    Yes same VA.

    Ah, I got scared there for a second.

    Sort of.

    Well, it would have been tragic at only 44.

    At least it's pretty hard to forget your lines when you're voicing Pikachu.

    What're with these "such and such is dead" hoaxes nowadays. Getting kinda annoying.

    what if its a conspiracy? What if she is actually dead and the company is covering it up? Kinda like the whole wee man thing, where he supposudely died eating his weight in salt? But mtv says hes fine.

    but i thought paul DID die??? just like poor old stu

    In a tragic case of irony, she was struck by lightning.

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