Today I stumbled upon the Kotaku post regarding Ai Takabe's arrest in regards to drugs.

Besides her being erased from the credits, Bandai also announced that it’s no longer streaming Kill Me Baby as well as the 2009 anime Sweet Blue Flowers and the 2011 anime Wandering Son. Which are both animes Takabe had a voice in.

Has something like this happened before? Or is it considered normal to erase peoples existences from created products in Japan like has happened here, when a member of it's team commits a crime?

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    You, can send a message to the man at AnimeNewsNetwork. Justin Sevakis's known for his "Answerman" Column, will probably fill you in. answerman@animenewsnetwork.com, Just make sure you watch if it's answered on the website. Oct 28, 2015 at 19:17
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    Like any company, they need to distance themselves for PR purposes and possible complaints (e.g., why are you showing an anime with a cocaine addict VA attached to it?). The industry is no stranger to scandals and abuses of power, which can cause backlash from audiences.
    – кяαzєя
    Oct 28, 2015 at 21:51
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    @Dimitri mx, I don't know if you saw but the answer to your question has been posted here by Answerman.
    – Ashishgup
    Oct 30, 2015 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


Kotaku says in its post here:

Increasingly, Japanese authorities have been cracking down on drugs and celebrities. Instead of letting these famous individuals off, like police seem to do in the U.S., the Japanese police and the country's media appear to make examples of them, stringing them out to dry. This might be a good thing! It also might be a bit much.

As Justin Sevakis puts it in his post here:

In Asia, it is expected that "talent" (singers/actors/show hosts/etc.) should be role models for society at large. When one gets in major criminal trouble (usually for drugs), what happens next is part of a very well-worn ritual.

Step 1: It's almost unheard of for the talent in question to fight the charge. Things will proceed as if they are completely guilty. If they're famous enough, there may be a press conference, in which they will apologize for letting down all of their fans, and cry a lot.

Step 2: The talent's management agency, record label(s), and any and all companies contracting that person to do work or appearances will immediately drop them from their rosters. Stores will remove their music, merchandise, and other media bearing their name from their shelves. Their listings will be removed from websites. I've never heard of whole anime series being pulled due to a voice actor getting in trouble, but it's fairly rare that a voice actor in prominent roles gets in trouble like this.

Step 3: Time passes, usually at least a year. The discs and merchandise that were pulled earlier quietly get put back on store shelves (and, presumably, streaming services). The talent works through the legal system, and once their debt to society is paid (any jail time, house arrest, or probation ends), the artist is free to try and restart their career, or go work at a convenience store. The artist is not re-instated at their old agencies, but is free to try again somewhere else and make a new start.

There are a few more such cases that have taken place in Japan such as the case with actor Shunta Nakamura, Manabu Oshio and others but the ones related to anime industry are as follows:

1. Noriko Sakai

Noriko Sakai, 44, was found guilty of possessing and using amphetamines in August 2009 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years. But unlike stars in much of the rest of the world, Sakai's conviction was marked as effectively the end of a career that made her popular across much of Asia. Her record label, Victor Entertainment, had cancelled her contract and withdrawn all her albums from sale, while Toyota Motor had scrapped a lucrative advertising deal. However, in 2012 she returned to the entertainment business, and began performing in a stage play. She's since released new albums, and both it and a few of her older releases are back up on iTunes.

2. Ryo Aska

Ryo Aska of Chage and Aska was arrested for drug posession in early 2014, which caused Walt Disney Japan to remove the music video for the song "On Your Mark." Walt Disney Japan also removed the video from Studio Ghibli collection of short films that was previously released on DVD. In a way, Disney erased the short film from Studio Ghibli's back catalogue. It's as if it never existed. All Chage and Aska websites and social media accounts have either been frozen since then, or taken down, and are not active as of this writing.

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    A little correction, not Asia. Maybe East Asia or Japan, but certainly not Asia as a whole. There was a case in Indonesia where the vocalist of a band was thrown to jail because his personal sex video was spread online by someone who either hacked his laptop or stole it (don't quite remember). After the time he spent in jail he just need to rename his band (all personnels are the same as the previous band). Certainly, the contract of his band are all terminated, but his songs wasn't withdrawn from shelves. Thus, to say Asia as a whole would be a bit incorrect. Dec 28, 2015 at 17:28

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