25 April 1970
9 June 2011 (aged 41)
Tomoko Kawakami (April 25, 1970 - June 9, 2011) was a Japanese voice actress. Born 川上倫子 (Kawakami Tomoko) but more often spelled 川上とも子 (same reading); also known by a pen-name Tomozou (とも蔵); her Christian name is Cecilia (セシリア).
Kawakami had her major role debut in 1995 as Chiriko in Fushigi Yuugi. Two years later, she landed her first starring role as Utena Tenjou in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Some of her other famous roles include Misuzu Kamio in AIR, Soifon in Bleach, Rosette in Crono Crusade, Hikaru in Hikaru no Go, Kris Christopher in Battle Athletes, and Fuyuki Hinata in Sgt. Frog.
Since 1997 she ran a radio show named “Kawakami Tomoko no MesaCAN Network”; in 1998 it had been shut down and then restarted under a new name “Kawakami Tomoko no Usagi no Mimitabu” (translated as “Kawakami Tomoko's Rabbit's Earlobe”). The show first ran on AM KOBE radio station, later it moved to internet broadcasting (first on anista.tv, then onsen.ag). Kawakami's first CD release (“人生なに色?”) was a “MesaCAN Network memorial album”, later she's also released 2 albums (“Marble” and “うさぎのみみたぶ”) and a double single (“Sometime / ここにいるから”) containing talks and music from “UsaMimi”. The program continued till August 2008, when it has been suspended due to Kawakami's illness (the last issue was #510). Several issues are available for download on the Nicosound web site.
In 1999, Kawakami recorded a full-length song album “ADOLESCENCE DOLL”, supervised by the “Revolutionary Girl Utena” director Kunihiko Ikuhara. According to Kawakami herself, “maybe its message was too strong for people to accept in a voice actor's album”, and it remained her only full-length release. Also, in 1998 she participated in a voice actor band ZMAP, which has released one single (“Forever Love”); and in 2000, she released a CD in the “Time Capsule” voice actor CD series (vol. 8).
She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, and succumbed to her illness in 2011 at the age of 41.
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