Final Fantasy VII Rebirth pays tribute: Keiji Fujiwara's voice lives on as Reno!
Late voice actor Keiji Fujiwara will continue to voice Reno in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, confirms Square Enix.
Square Enix's creative director, Tetsuya Nomura, confirmed that the late Keiji Fujiwara will continue to voice the character Reno in the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Rebirth game. The revelation came during an interview with Dengeki Online, where Nomura explained the decision and expressed his gratitude to the fans.
Nomura stated, "Reno will still be voiced by Keiji Fujiwara. We learned of his death shortly before recording began for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and we couldn't immediately bring ourselves to find a replacement. So, I made a request to the scenario team that we use past recordings of Fujiwara so he could take on the role of Reno again, and they adjusted for me."
This heartfelt decision to honour Fujiwara's legacy comes with an acknowledgement of the impact it will have on the game's content. Nomura added, "I want to apologize to all the fans, however, especially the overseas fans, as this means Reno has a smaller appearance in this game. For the next game, there will be a new cast [for Reno], and Reno will play a bigger role."
In addition to this touching news, Nomura also revealed that the decision to recast Barrett's voice actor from Masahiro Kobayashi to Mahito Funaki was driven by Kobayashi's desire to step back from acting.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is set to launch worldwide on February 29, 2024, exclusively for PlayStation 5 and will be available on two discs.
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The game promises an exciting continuation of the story: "After escaping from the dystopian city of Midgar, Cloud and his friends set out on a journey across the planet. New adventures await in a vibrant and vast world – sprint across grassy plains on a Chocobo and explore expansive environments."
Square Enix also plans to offer a "twin pack" bundle that includes both Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Fans worldwide will undoubtedly appreciate Square Enix's dedication to preserving Keiji Fujiwara's contribution to the beloved character Reno in this highly anticipated title. Fujiwara, known for his iconic roles in Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, passed away in April 2020 at the age of 55 after battling cancer.