Ryō Horikawa on voicing Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta, first trip to UAE, favorite roles|Arab News Japan

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Manar Elbaz

DUBAI: Japanese voice actor Ryō Horikawa hosted his first meet and greet in the UAE and, sat down with Arab News Japan to discuss voicing Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta, its impact on the Arab world, and more. 

Born in 1958, Horikawa is a Japanese voice actor from Oaska. He started his career in voice acting in the 1984 anime Dream Soldier Wing-Man. 

Besides voicing Vegeta, he also voiced Detective Conan’s Heiji Hattori and Super Smash Bros.’s Captain Falcon. 

Ryō Horikawa during his first meet and greet in Dubai. (ANJ)

On his first visit to the UAE, Horikawa said he feels relaxed as he described Dubai as “fashionable” and “beautiful.” He shared that he feels there are so many similarities between Japan and the GCC, such as the bond they have with their families. 

When asked about his most memorable role, Horikawa said he loved each one of them. “If I don’t love a character I play, I don’t think I can play the role. To be honest, I love them all.” 

Horikawa is best known for his role in the anime Dargon Ball Z, which had a huge impact on the Arab world. According to an Arab News Japan survey, 59% of people between 16-24 watched the iconic anime growing up. 

Vegeta funko pops displayed at SpeedyComics in Dubai. (ANJ)

The Vegeta voice actor believes the anime resonates so much with the Arab world because people see themselves in the characters. “It’s the romance of the man who must fight,” he said. “At the end, I (the character) treat others with compassion.” 

Horikawa said he was surprised when he got the role since he got it directly, not through an audition. “I thought the role I played would die soon,” he said. 

Besides voice acting, Horikawa has also delved into music. The voice actor released his single BELOVED BLUE last April to celebrate his 60th anniversary in the entertainment industry.

“I think there are so many things in common between voice acting and singing,” he said. “I use it as a way to express my feelings.” 

Horikawa sent a message to his fans, saying, “Look forward to the next role…I want you to see the next one.”

The voice actor hosted his meet and greet at SpeedyComics to celebrate the opening of the new branch in Times Square Center.

Many esteemed guests attended Horikawa’s first meet and greet in Dubai, such as the UAE’s Consulate General of Japan.

“As the Japanese Consulate, we would like to promote Japanese culture, like manga and anime. So it’s an honor to participate in this event,” said KIMURA Taro, Chief of Economic Section at the Consulate General of Japan, told Arab News Japan as he expressed his excitement for the event. 

Ryō Horikawa (L) with Dr Rashed Al Farooq, SpeedyComics’ CEO, and KIMURA Taro, Chief of Economic Section at the Consulate General of Japan (R) (timessquaredxb on Instagram)

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