On January 11, famed actress Keiko Awaji passed away in a Tokyo hospital from esophageal cancer, reports Nikkan Sports. She was 80 years old. And she loved JRPGs.
Awaji has acted in over 160 feature films, including Akira Kurosawa's 1949 classic Stray Dog. Later in life, she became well-known online as a hardcore gamer — so much so that the Asahi News obituary is titled "Keiko Awaji, Film Star [and] Dragon Quest Fan, Dies at 80 Years Old."
Through her seventies, Awaji appeared on Japanese talk shows and radio programs, where she talked about her love of role-playing games like Final Fantasy, Earthbound, and Dragon Quest — especially Dragon Quest. Awaji would log impressive hours in her favourite games, levelling up her characters.
"I won't live forever. I'd like to play two or three more [Dragon Quest] games," Awaji said in 2009. "I really want them to put out a new game once every two years."
She got her chance to play Dragon Quest IX and Dragon Quest X, a game that truly disappointed her.
"I don't think there are many 80 year-old grannies who said 'shit' when Dragon Quest X became an online game," said Awaji in early 2013, adding, "I hate it so much. It's no good."
"Playing video games by yourself is fine!" Awaji said in an 2012 interview. "What do you need someone else for?"
May Awaji rest in peace — and we hope that wherever she is, Dragon Quest X is not an online game.
男はつらいよなど出演多数／淡路さん略歴 [Nikkan Sports]