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Obituary: Judgement actor Akira Nakao passed away at age 81

Nakao played the mentor figure Genda in the Judgement series, and previously appeared in Godzilla movies throughout the '90s and early 2000s.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 22, 2024

1 Min Read
Voice actor Akira Nakao at a promotional event for Sega's Judgement.
Image via Sega.

Akira Nakao, a film and TV actor who appeared in Sega's Judgment series, died on May 16. He was 81.

Spotted by Game.Watch, he reportedly passed from heart failure. Family and friends have already held a service for him.

Born August 11, 1942, Nakao had just two video games to his resume. In the Judgement series (a spinoff of the Like a Dragon games), he played Ryuzo Genda, the mentor of series lead Takayuki Yagami.

Outside of games, he was best known for his roles in Japanese period and contemporary dramas. His first movie appearance was in 1964's Getsuyōbi no Yuka.

In film, he was a recurring player in the Godzilla films, first appearing in 1993's Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II and through 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. His final film role was the 2023 TV series Sanctuary.

At the time of writing, neither Sega nor Judgment developer Ryo Ga Gatoku has commented on Nakao's passing.

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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