Masahiko Tsugawa (1940-2018)

This Japanese actor was not only in “Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” with Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and was in “Ultraman Ginga”, but was the Japanese voice of…

….Sōshi, the very wise rabbit from the anime movie, “The Boy and the Beast”, directed by Mamoru Hosoda.

Masahiko Tsugawa was born on January 2nd, 1940 in Kyoto, Japan, as he never saw the final days of the Second World War in Japan. He was very too young at that time.

By the mid 50’s when he was almost 20 years old, he and his family got into the film industry for a while, until he became a popular actor in one of those Godzilla movies.

From that kaiju movie and some TV episodes on “Ultraman Ginga”, only aired and filmed in Japan, he was mostly in live action movies, TV shows, and maybe a few more Japanese monster movies. Most of these that I’ve mentioned were only filmed, and took place in Japan.

He only directed one 2009 movie as his first directional debut. That took place at the Asahiyama Zoo, until Mamoru Hosoda showed up.

His character as Sōshi in “The Boy and the Beast”, was truly remarkable. He was the lord of the Beast Kingdom, as he can be anywhere. Especially if he’s watching you, behind you back. For this was the only anime movie, that he was in.

He was impressed however that in 2016, “The Boy and the Beast” won the Japan Academy Prize for the Animation of the Year, as he thanked Mamoru Hosoda for hiring him.

By the time “The Boy and the Beast” came to North America, Steve Powell, an English voice actor portrayed his character in the English version. It was going for the nominations at the Oscar awards, but unfortunately, it never made it in, no thanks to the moviegoers and critics in LA, and how North America wouldn’t care on movies and TV shows.

Masahiko Tsugawa lived for two more years until on August 4th, 2018. He died of a heart failure at the age of 78.

He was terrifically remarkable as that wise rabbit, as his first anime movie. And I love that outfit on how he wears it, in the Beast Kingdom. He may have faced kaiju’s in Japanese monster movies and TV shows, but was terrifically remarkable in that anime movie.

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