Pierre Taki (born Masanori Taki), a prominent Japanese voice actor, has recently been arrested on suspicion of cocaine use, according to Japanese news source The Mainichi. Taki is credited with a large body of work, most notably in Japanese film, but is also a voice actor and member of Denki Groove, a Japanese synthpop duo. For American audiences unfamiliar with Taki’s work, he is the Japanese voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen as well as in Kingdom Hearts III and the voice Kyohei Hamura in the Yakuza spinoff, Judgment. The game, which has already been released in Japan in December of 2018, has received positive reviews and is set for release worldwide in June of this year on PS4.
After reports of his arrest began to surface, Sega, the publisher and developer of the game, halted sales of both retail and digital versions, according to a report by Kotaku. Sega has released a statement confirming the halt of sales, as well as acknowledgment of Taki’s arrest and charges, stating that they have received the arrest report. According to the statement, they say the arrest of Taki is “highly regrettable,” and would be releasing more information on their next steps as they are determined.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Sega has had to deal with their Yakuza voice actors using cocaine. Hiroki Narimiya was replaced in Yakuza 4 for similar charges for the remastered edition, which was released in Japan this past January. It would seem that Sega has a very low tolerance for their actors using drugs, and a recast of Kyohei Hamura could be imminent. With the game set for worldwide release on June 25, 2019, it is uncertain how much of a setback a recast of Taki would be at this point, should Sega choose that route. Disney is reportedly already looking to replace the actor as the voice of Olaf after the drug use charges.