‘The Rising of the Shield Hero’ English voice actor Billy Kametz wowed fans with his portrayal of the embattled protagonist Naofumi Iwatani during the anime’s first season. The show instantly became a fan favorite for its voice cast and for its adaption of the popular light novel series by Aneko Yusagi.
Tragically, Kametz will be departing the role of the Shield Hero and canceling all upcoming projects after he announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.
“Hey everyone. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what’s going on in my life. I’m gonna be just fine and we’ll get through this. Love you all,” he wrote on his Twitter.
Hey everyone. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what's going on in my life. I'm gonna be just fine and we'll get through this. Love you all❤️
— Billy Kametz (@BillyKametz) April 26, 2022
Crunchyroll, which currently holds the licensing dub for the isekai, said on their website, “We want to give a special thank you to Billy for his work on this series and other anime projects.”
Fans of the actor have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of expenses of travel, medication, and other necessities for the actor.
Aside from ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero,’ Kametz’s voice can be heard across the anime landscape with roles in ‘Cells At Work,’ ‘KonoSuba,’ ‘Beastars,’ ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,’ ‘Attack on Titan: The Final Season,’ ‘Godzilla: Singular Point,’ and within the Gundam franchise.
Here is a clip of Kametz with Erica Mendez, who voices Raphtalia, discussing their respective roles.
In May 2022, Crunchyroll announced that voice actor Stephen Fu would be taking over the role of Naofumi for ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero’ English dub.
Fu said on social media, “Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all the support. I’m honored to be subbing in for Billy as Naofumi this season. I’ll do my best to make you proud. Please continue to support Billy and send him positive vibes.”
Kametz shared his support for the casting saying, “We’re in good hands people! (Stephen Fu) is gonna kill it as Naofumi and I can’t wait to hear you and the rest of the amazing cast in season 2! Big congrats my friend!!”
— Billy Kametz (@BillyKametz) May 2, 2022