Masahiro Anzai, who played Rhett Butler in Sailor Moon, has died due to heart failure

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler

I am saddened to share that veteran anime voice actor Masahiro Anzai died of heart failure last Monday, March 15th. He was only 66. Though he had many major roles in popular anime series his role on Sailor Moon was only heard in one episode. That was Rhett Butler, the cat who fell in love with Luna, and the monster Bakeen who he turned into. That role didn’t actually include any dialog as Rhett Butler, a cat, communicated primarily through meows and other animal sounds.

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler rescues Luna

I always had a particular fondness for the character of Rhett Butler. Masahiro Anzai no doubt contributed to the character’s charm. That episode is one of my favourites and certainly the one I find the most humourous. It’s a funny but also heartwarming story as this cat who takes on the role of a feline Tuxedo Mask protects Luna from Zoisite. As a Rainbow Crystal carrier Rhett Butler is the only one with a strong enough will to keep his own personality once he transforms into the monster Bakene. He rescues and protects Luna. Sadly this romance wouldn’t last. Artemis shows up only two episodes later and so Rhett Butler must contend with the affection of his owner An.

Rhett Butler the cat as Youma Bakene

Rhett Butler appeared later in the series when he was kidnapped along with a few other Rainbow Crystal carriers but he had no voice work in that episodes. Bakene was also meant to appear in the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series however little is known about the voice cast in that show.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Werewolf - Rhett Butler as Youma Bakene (Saban Moon)

Aside from Sailor Moon Masahiro Anzai was also the voice of Ryunosuke’s Father from Urusei Yatsura, Cherenkov from the Starship Troopers Anime, Majaho from Wings of Honneamise, Seisuke Tsuruta from Gorillaman and Philionel El Di Saillune from Slayers.

Masahiro Anzai, the voice of Rhett Butler

Masahiro Anzai’s memory will live on through his many fans for years to come.

Source: Anime News Network

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Rhett Butler

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33 thoughts on “Masahiro Anzai, who played Rhett Butler in Sailor Moon, has died due to heart failure

  1. That episode is also one of my personal favorites. I remember being so amused but charmed when I first watched it. It’s gotten to the point where I think of that silly, obese cat whenever I hear “Rhett Butler,” and NOT the actual Rhett Butler!

    RIP, Mr. Anzai.

    • I didn’t even understand the reference at first! It just seemed like a very odd name for a cat. This is probably an anomaly but right now if you search Rhett Butler on Twitter the first post which shows up is mine about the cat.

    • Well, what do you expect? I know some of you care about anything but the 99s show, but it is long long long gone and done with. There will never be anything bew about it, not even an actual HD remaster. CRYSTAL/ETERNAL is the new thing and it is normal news to be about it.

    • Was going to make a “Moon Spiral Heart Attack” joke, but it would have been inappropriate since it’s from a different season.

        • Remember that the DiC English dub turned “Venus Love Me Chain” into “Venus Love Chain Encircle”.

          There are some wrongs that can never be righted.

          • Still a million leagues better than almost every other language that butchered the names, though.
            Serbian: Vatrena srca, letite (Fiery hearts fly)

          • Speaking of glaring mistakes, I’ve got a date with my cousin. We’re going to meet up and talk about a recent mistake about the family calendar.

          • Though I dont speak a single Word of Servian, I think it’s a beautiful language so I’ll go with “Vatrena srca, l’entité” :) .

          • Holy **** I hate my T9 keyboard when I have to write in another language. So as you can see above, my dear Saint, I butchered even more the name of Venus’ attack by involuntarily mixing Serbian and French. So now it is about “the entity” with fiery hearts… This is a whole new concept!

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