A remembrance ceremony was held for voice actor Kaneta Kimotsuki, who passed away due to pneumonia on October 20, 2016. The ceremony was held at Shibuya Toubu Hotel on February 6, 2017. More than two hundred people who were close to him attended. They included the manga author Fujiko Fujio A, voice actress Masako Nozawa who co-starred with Kimotsuki in Galaxy Express 999, and Tomokazu Seki who took over voicing Suneo in Doraemon. They looked over his works and shared their memories with Kimotsuki.
Reiji Matsumoto, the writer of Galaxy Express 999 for which Kimotsuki voiced the conductor, started the ceremony with a simple greeting. ‘The conductor’s statue will be built in Kokura, Kita-Kyushu. Everyone will remember Kimotsuki’s voice when they see the statue. Since 999 is an endless journey, I am thinking of continuing 999. It’s very sad not to have him, but I will try to move the story of conductor while thinking of Kimotsuki and his voice.’
Fujiko Fujio A made a speech during the offering. Fujiko Fujio A is the writer of Kaibutsu-kun for which Kimotsuki voiced Dracula, and of Ninja Hattori-kun for which Kimotsuki voiced Kemumaki. ‘He was very skinny but was always energetic and smiling. So, I was very surprised to hear that he passed away. I miss him more than I feel sad.’ After the offering they played the VTR of Kazuto Tonoma from Dokaben and Iyami from Osomatsu-kun and the attendants were hit with feelings of nostalgia.
More people who were especially close to Kimotsuki went on the stage and shared their memories of him. Masako Nozawa who co-starred in various works with him said: ‘We talked about how we have co-starred together so many times. Although he was saying “My role is always your support” at that time, he was always reliable. I talked with Maetel (VA: Masako Ikeda) that we wanted him to ride on 999 but he had to ride another train.’ After that, Tomokazu Seki who took over voicing for Suneo said, ‘Kimotsuki was a teacher in my school. I was wondering how he voices Suneo because Kimotsuki as a teacher, was very different from Kimotsuki as Suneo. One time, I had a chance to see him doing his voice-acting. I was surprised to see him as if he were a real child when I saw him from the back. I hope that someday I can get old with that child-like feeling.’
It was evident that many people thought of Kimotsuki as their mentor. Then, Kappei Yamaguchi who is one of the organizers of the remembrance ceremony said: ‘I was listening to everyone’s greeting and I felt that my mentor has been loved by everyone. I fought and argued a lot with him, but he taught me many things and took care of me very much when I came to Tokyo to become an actor. I wouldn’t be here without Kimotsuki.’ He expressed his gratitude for Kimotsuki. Also, Kappei Yamaguchi was named by Kimotsuki. ‘I haven’t been able to return anything. So, I will try my best in this industry as a disciple of Kaneta Kimotsuki to return the favor,’ Yamaguchi said.
All attendants mentioned that Kimotsuki was very professional as an actor. He was always smiling and bright, never forgot to think of others, and has never compromised work. He loved the people around him, and was loved by them. We just hope that Kimotsuki receives all these warm messages and see once again how much people loved him.