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Role Ending Misdemeanor / Anime & Manga

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In General

  • Japan has seen many actors, musicians and producers booted out of their works as a result of scandals. A large amount of them revolve around said creators being outed for drug possession and/or usage, which is treated as a much more serious crime in Japan than in the west, though it's not the only type of misdemeanor that's tanked celebrity careers in Japan.
    • The career of actress/idol Ai Takabe, best known for her work as Fumi Manjome from Sweet Blue Flowers, was destroyed when she was arrested in October 2015 on charges of cocaine possession. In response, she was terminated from her agency Oscar Promotion, had any references to her on the website for Kill Me Baby erased from existence, and though the charges were dropped, the damage was already done and she left the entertainment industry altogether. Her character in the show, Agiri, was recast with Minami Shinoda in Kirara Fantasia.
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    • Haruki Kadokawa's 18-year career as the second president of Kadokawa Shoten ended when he was accused of cocaine smuggling in 1993, ultimately leading him to resign and eventually establish his own namesake company in 1995. In the fallout, Rex: A Dinosaur Story, which was directed by Haruki, was quickly pulled from theaters. His younger brother, Tsuguhiko, would later take Haruki's spot as the company's third president. As for Haruki, he remains active as the chairman and president of his namesake company.
    • The Pikachu and Pichu short from Pokémon became a Missing Episode in Japan due to its narrator, the singer and actress Noriko Sakai, being convicted for drug possession in April 2009 and shortly thereafter, placed on probation until 2012. Her agency deleted all of her records as well. It doesn't help that they could've easily had a new narrator overdub Sakai's narration. What's worse is that this may have even contributed to OLM/Imagica withholding the international licenses for the other early Pikachu shorts as well, resulting in none of them getting an overseas Blu-ray release until a special edition of the first three movies was released on Blu-ray in Australia in 2017. Incidentally, Pikachu and Pichu made its HD debut on that special edition set on account of the scandal, taking a whopping eight years to return to circulation anywhere compared to everything else Sakai had done prior to the scandal. It's also probably no coincidence that Warner Bros. lost the international distribution rights for good shortly after Sakai's conviction, being relegated to distributing the properties on behalf of other companies in fewer territories years later—the last release they ever did themselves was a short-lived DVD set run in 2009, just after the drug conviction.
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    • A 13-disc box set of Hayao Miyazaki's works was recalled to remove the music video "On Your Mark" after Shigeaki Miyazaki (Aska of the musical group Chage and Aska and not related to Hayao himself) was arrested for drug possession. Even more, the group's former record label, Universal Music Japan (which also includes Miyazaki's regular collaborator Joe Hisaishi on their roster), is removing everything involving the group they had contracts towards.
    • Kenji Yamamoto, the composer for Dragon Ball Kai and many Dragon Ball Z video games (such as the popular Budokai series), was fired by Toei in 2011 after it was revealed he'd been plagiarising tracks going as far back as 1991. This resulted in Yamamoto's score for Kai being replaced by the original Shunsuke Kikuchi score from DBZ, both in later episodes and in DVD releases, as well as the Budokai HD Collection. Yamamoto's own agency, Office Two One, dropped him shortly thereafter.
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    • In September 2018, TBS producer Yo-Kyo lost his job on ethics grounds over a kidnapping scandal.
  • Three Studio Gainax staff members fell victim to this trope within a course of two decades:
    • The accounting fraud charges stemming from the success of Neon Genesis Evangelion was this trope to Takeshi Sawamura's career as the second president of the studio. Not long after Evangelion saved Gainax from bankruptcy, it was discovered that the studio kept 1.56 billion yen in profits, which allowed the company to avoid paying 560 million yen in corporate taxes. Sawamura was eventually arrested and convicted in 1999 along with tax accountant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki. He resigned from Gainax the following year and longtime co-founder Hiroyuki Yamaga took his spot as the company's third president.
    • Co-founder Takami Akai left his position during the airing of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in 2007. This occurred because during the show's run in Japan, one of the episodes received heavy criticism from fans over at 2ch due to the Off-Model animation choices made during the episode, and during a discussion on said episode made very negative comments towards the viewers and critics. Once this was revealed to the public, he resigned. While he still does work in the industry, he has little involvement in major problems, likely as a result of this.
    • In December 2019, representative director Tomohiro Maki was arrested after it was outed he was a serial sexual harasser of underage girls. The incident would lead to co-founder Hideaki Anno's production company Studio Khara publicly distancing themselves from Gainax, leaving what was one of the most famous studios in the industry practically dead in the water. In February 2020, Yasuhiro Kamimura was selected to replace Maki. Even Anno, no stranger to controversy himself, was publicly disappointed that the studio's current management ranks allowed the situation with Maki to happen in the first place.
  • The Western anime industry wasn't also left untouched by the "Weinstein effect", which saw quite a few actors and producers having their careers destroyed due to sexual misconduct allegations:
    • For nearly 20 years, Vic Mignogna was one of the most famous people in the voice-over industry, appearing in a wide variety of works for well over a decade as an actor, singer, and voice director. But his career was abruptly halted in February 2019 when a string of allegations spanning back at least a decade, if not longer, regarding Mignogna engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior towards fans and his fellow voice actors arose, led to the hashtag #KickVic. This not only led to Rooster Teeth dismissing Mignogna from his role as Qrow Branwen in RWBY, but also led to Funimation, Bang Zoom! Entertainment and Studiopolis dropping him from their ongoing projects. This ended up causing a major divide in the anime dubbing community due to the controversial behavior of some of the people involved. Mignogna sued Funimation and several individuals that April for defamation and tortious interference. The case was initially dismissed in October of that year, but has since moved to the Court of Appeals in late February of 2020.
    • AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf's Kopf rolled towards the end of June 2019 following an investigation into a sexual assault incident that allegedly took place at Anime Milwaukee 2018.
    • Eric Torgersen, a staffer at the AnimeNEXT convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was suspended from the event in May 2019 after allegations of sexual assault began to surface.

Creators

  • Voice actor Scott Freeman was arrested and convicted for possession of child pornography in 2015. For this reason, all of his roles were recast, especially his most famous ones as Issei Hyoudou from High School Dx D (who was replaced by Josh Grelle), Ian Dietrich from Attack on Titan (who was then recast as Garret Storms in Attack on Titan: Junior High) and England from Axis Powers Hetalia (played by Taliesin Jaffe in the World Twinkle dub). Even though Freeman was eventually paroled in December 2016, Justin Cook has commented that he will likely never be invited to voice act ever again (and since Freeman moved to Nebraska a few years after his release and was registered as a sex offender there, it will be harder to get him back if they do decide to give him another chance).
  • After Illich Guardiola's arrest on charges of inappropriate sexual relations with a minor, he didn't receive many more voice-acting roles, and his other career as an acting teacher was dead as well. That didn't stop him from marrying the 16-year-old girl in question, however.
  • Aya Hirano was dropped by Lantis (her music agency) in August 2011 after they caught wind of her affairs with her male co-workers. She fell on her sword later that month, resigning from Space Craft (her voice acting agency). Hirano would get another chance after she joined her respective voice acting and music agencies, Grick and Universal Sigma.
  • Actor Norio Imamura, who was the inspiration and original voice of Emporio Ivankov in One Piece, was arrested in July 2010 for posting indecent body art of him on the internet. As a result, Imamura stepped down from voicing Ivankov, and Mitsuo Iwata took over his role in later episodes and in DVD releases.
  • After Jinkaku Radio vocalist Yuuki made disparaging remarks about Yui Horie, the band disassociated themselves from the animated adaptation of Daily Lives of High School Boys, which means the song "Hikizan", which was intended as the show's closing theme, was never used as such and was replaced. The song was supposed to have its own single releasing in February of that year to go along with the anime but got canceled. However, it was included in their album "Yui".
  • The serialization of Pro Wrestling Superstar Retsuden ended in 1983 after co-creator and writer Ikki Kajiwara was arrested for assaulting his editor. During the trial, Kajiwara's past history of violence resurfaced, destroying his reputation and causing many of his manga to go out of print. Kajiwara only had one other notable work after his arrest, an autobiography entitled Otoko no Seiza ("The Constellation of a Ban"), which was left unfinished after succumbing to cancer in 1987. It wasn't until the mid-1990s, several years after his death, that his works got critically reevaluated and his past manga started getting reprinted again.
  • In November 2014, animator Yumi Kuroiwa was dropped by Production I.G for posting explicit artwork on Haikyuu!! characters and complaining about her working atmosphere at the studio. Her Twitter account was also deleted as a result.
  • Blake Lewis, the runner-up on the sixth season of American Idol, confirmed on Twitter that he was reprising his role of Kasuka Heiwajima for season 2 of Durarara!! before the English dub was even confirmed. When the cast was announced, Vic Mignogna was instead listed as the character's voice. Many thought it was a mistake at first, but once the episodes began coming out, it was indeed Mignogna's voice heard as Kasuka. Some speculate the character was quietly recast because Lewis had broken NDA.
  • MINE, the author of the web novel [New Life+] Young Again in Another World, got in very hot water when it was discovered that he had a long history of racist tweets towards both the Chinese and South Koreans, a controversy further exasperated by the protagonist of his novel being a soldier who unapologetically murdered thousands of Chinese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In response to the backlash, MINE issued an apology and deactivated his Twitter account, and the majority of the staff for the anime adaptation resigned, resulting in the production committee deciding not to move forward with the adaptation. Additionally, shipments of the print version of the novel were halted effective immediately, with English distributor J-Novel doing the same just a week later.
  • Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro's original Shonen Jump manga Seikimatsu Leader den Takeshi! was cut after five years due to his conviction of soliciting an underage prostitute. However, his sentence was suspended, and two years later, he was working in the manga industry again. Shimabukuro later went on to create Toriko.
  • Christopher Corey Smith announced that he voiced Prince Demande in Sailor Moon R on Twitter before the cast was announced, but he quickly deleted it. When the final cast was officially announced a few weeks later, Matthew Mercer was instead listed as the character's voice. Fans assumed Smith was fired for breaking NDA before he confirmed that he was given clearance to announce the role, but was told that he was replaced after making the announcement.
  • Shojo mangaka Yuki Suegetsu had her career torpedoed temporarily in 2005 when it was discovered she had plagiarized Takehiko Inoue in multiple places, leading to her series Flower of Eden being cancelled and pulled from store shelves. Suegetsu would spend the next two years struggling to find work before she made a comeback with the publication of Chihayafuru in 2007.
  • Voice actor Chris Thurman, best known for his role as Daiki Kurosawa in the English dub of King's Game: The Animation, was dropped by Funimation in October 2020 after he admitted on his Twitter account that he sent nude photos to an underage fan.
  • Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin, was charged for possession of child pornography after the police discovered DVDs with nude footage of young girls in their early teens in his office in Tokyo back in October 2017. As a result, Shueisha put the then-ongoing Rurouni Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc on a hiatus. After Watsuki posted bail in April 2018 and expressed regret for his actions, Shueisha allowed him to continue working on the manga. However, his fandom remains divided whether they'll continue to support his work or not, and Viz has ceased publication of his manga in the English version of Shonen Jump.
  • After being accused of rape in the early 2010s, Tom Wayland, the longtime ADR director of the Pokémon series, was replaced by fellow voice actress and ADR director Lisa Ortiz.
  • Voice actress Amanda Winn-Lee's history of drunken antics at anime conventions in the late 90s led to her being banned from virtually every major con in America and also played a part in her roles drying up at the Turn of the Millennium. While Lee cleaned up her act later on, she's mostly only known for being the English voice actress for Yukiko Amagi and Ichiko Ohya in the Persona franchise.
  • Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, director of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, was dropped by producer Signal.MD following the discovery by fans in 2018 that he had been posting, retweeting, and liking antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, and pro-Hitler content since joining Twitter in 2011. His Twitter account was also suspended in the aftermath.
  • Infamously, anime director Yutaka "Yamakan" Yamamoto left the anime adaptation of Lucky Star after only four episodes. While no official statement was made as to why, most evidence suggests that Kyoto Animation fired him due to Yamakan's infamously harsh personality causing him to act abusive towards staff.

Series

  • After the writer of Act-age, Tatsuya Matsuki, was arrested in August of 2020 on suspicion of groping two middle school students (which he admitted to), Shueisha announced the immediate cancellation of the manga after discussing the matter with the artist Shiro Usazaki. This was when the manga's popularity was rapidly rising and a stageplay adaptation (as well as, purportedly, an anime) was already in the works.
  • Light novel author Nozomi Ginkyoku saw his series and planned manga adaptation of I Chose to Leave Because I Was Threatened with Expulsion from the Party Unless I Became the Sex Slave of the Female Hero canceled in February 2019 after posting a series of volatile and abusive tweets directed at series illustrator Monety.note 
  • In perhaps the most infamous example in the history of the medium, Kemono Friends director (and widely agreed true father of the franchise) TATSUKI was fired by Kadokawa in September 2017 over a special episode he made for fans without Kadokawa's permission, despite using his own money for the production and having permission of character designer Mine Yoshizaki. This combined with Kadokawa's perceived cowardly moves in response to the incident (including getting the voice actors to apologize for "hindering" Kadokawa) led to a furious backlash, with the hashtag NoTatsukiNoTanoshi trending on Japanese twitter for days, and has likely led to the eventual death of the franchise itself, making this a Franchise Ending Misdemeanor.
  • The character of Yuuichi Tate in Mai Hime was supposedly not recycled into Mai-Otome because his voice actor, Tomokazu Seki, spoiled the ending of the former series. In Japan, keeping spoilers of such caliber under wraps is extreme Serious Business: some people have gotten in huge legal trouble for breaking that law.
  • This trope happened to two voice actors involved in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise:
    • According to rumors, demands of a higher salary from Judai Yuki's voice actor, Kenichiro "KENN" Ohashi, halfway through the production of season 4 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX forced him to be axed and the entire season being Cut Short. It's less surprising when you figure that Judai was becoming way too over-focused in the anime, enough so that a raise demand wasn't out of the question.
    • During the production of the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Carly's season one voice actress, Li-Mei Chiang, was rumored to be a member of the Roma Sophie Association, a real-life dangerous cult that was at the time under investigation by Japanese authorities. This led to her being fired (and replaced by Aki Kanada), and the production staff panicking to cover up anything that might make the series seem pro-occult, like Aki's powers or the existence of Psychic Duelists on a whole, and several parts of the story were quickly hit with retcon's to remove the occult nature of the backstory. However, the show's Genre Shift from sci-fi/fantasy to sci-fi outright was already underway before the discoveries were brought to light, so it only reinforced the choice. Unfortunately, this meant that both Aki and Carly had to be Demoted to Extra to get around these aspects, with the latter's entire development with Jack having to be hit with amnesia to justify her downplayed importance.

Others

  • Anime Punch, a convention organization based in Columbus, Ohio, was shut down in September 2017 after its organizer, Michael Beuerlein, was convicted of sexual battery and registered as a sex offender.
    "The unacceptable behavior from the top of the organization has lead [sic] to this decision from the staff. There is no excusing what has happened."

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