Voice actress Diana Perez has passed away, leaving Pokemon fans everywhere in mourning. Her death was confirmed by two other stars of the franchise on Twitter — Eduardo Garza and Sarah Natochenny. So far, the circumstances of her death have not been made public.
Perez has provided the voice of Team Rocket's Jessie in the Spanish-language dub of the Pokemon anime since 1997. On Wednesday, Garza tweeted about her passing in Spanish. His tweet roughly translates to: "Rest in peace, Diana Perez, a woman of strength, cultures, intelligence, and much talent. You're okay now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip." Natochenny provides the English-language voice of Ash Ketchum, and she tweeted: "RIP Diana Pérez, the Mexican voice actor behind Team Rocket's Jessie on the Spanish dub of Pokémon, since the very beginning. Sending all my love to her family, friends, and fans."
Send you love pic.twitter.com/cCAsFOBQZ7— Meg (@megbarinka) April 30, 2021
Perez was one of the most well-known voice actors in the world of Spanish-language anime dubs today. She provided the voice of Luffy in One Piece, Kagura in Inuyasha Mitzy Nohara in Shin-chan, among others. She also worked in the video game industry, providing voices like that of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and Julia Anderson in Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure.
Perez was 51 years old at the time of her passing. She had recently branched out into directing and other aspects of the entertainment industry. Fans everywhere are mourning her and her lost potential.
En paz descanse Diana Pérez, una mujer fuerte, culta, inteligente y muy talentosa. Ya estás bien, amiga... ya no te duele nada. Buen viaje.— Lalo Garza (@LaloGarx) April 28, 2021
"Awww I guess she's blasting off for good. Also sending love to her family," one fan tweeted. Another added: "That's one type of devastation Jessie can't even protect the world from. To my fellow Pokemon fans South of the border, this is a sad sad day." A third wrote: "Rest in peace to her! She will always be everyone's favorite Spanish voice actress of Jessie."
The Pokemon anime adaptation first premiered in 1997, following the massive success of the original video games Pokemon: Red Version and Pokemon: Green Version. It went international almost immediately, and today is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. The anime is no small part of that success, especially in the age of streaming when shows can be broadcast across the world more easily than ever, and binge-watchers can scoop up whole seasons at a time.
The first season of Pokemon is streaming now on Netflix in the U.S. The rest of the series is most easily accessible through Amazon Prime Video's "Pokemon Channel," which is available for $3 per month with a Prime subscription.