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NTV Apologizes After Sexy Tanaka-san Creator Hinako Ashihara’s Death – News


Warning: this article contains statements about a possible suicide. If you or anyone you know is suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a suicide prevention organization in your country. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by calling 988. In Japan, the TELL LifeLine service is available at 03-5774-0992, and an English counseling service is available at 03-4550-1146. In Canada, Crisis Services Canada is available at 1-833-456-4566.


NTV issued an apology on Thursday following the recent death of manga creator Hinako Ashihara. The company apologized to all involved and expressed condolences to Ashihara’s family. The network stated that it is taking this situation seriously and is conducting its own investigation with an internal team. NTV is cooperating with publisher Shogakukan and an outside investigation team.

NTV News reported on January 29 that manga creator Hinako Ashihara was found dead on Monday in an apparent suicide. She was 50. Ashihara was reported missing on January 28, and was found in Tochigi prefecture on January 29. A note was also found.

On January 26, Ashihara had made a blog post regarding the live-action adaptation of her Sexy Tanaka-san manga. In the blog post, she stated she made it a condition that the live-action adaptation would be faithful to the manga, and said NTV did not uphold that condition. She said many scenes she held dear as the “core” of the manga were cut or not depicted properly, and characterizations were changed, and she was not given a satisfactory reason why. She said she did voice her complaints, and the first seven episodes eventually remained largely faithful to the manga. Ashihara had said that throughout the entire production, she never met with the show’s scriptwriter and she did not talk directly with the director.

She added she ended up writing the scripts for the final two episodes of the series after the original scenario she outlined for the ending was “significantly” changed, but apologized that she had to rush the script as an amateur scriptwriter, and could not refine it further, as she was also working on deadlines for the manga. Ashihara explained that she and her staff had made it a condition from the outset that she could be allowed to write the scripts herself for the final episodes if she was not satisfied with them, adding NTV had agreed to this condition.

She ended the post by thanking all the cast and staff for making the live-action adaptation.

Ashihara later deleted the blog post, stating it was not her intention to attack anyone, and she apologized.

NTV released a statement on January 29 expressing its sympathy at Ashihara’s death, adding that when the company proposed the live-action adaptation, it consulted with Ashihara on her opinions through Shogakukan, and that Ashihara approved on the final script that went into production.

Shogakukan announced on January 30 that Sexy Tanaka-san will remain unfinished, and the chapter that was published on December 5 will be the last chapter.

The live-action series adaptation of Sexy Tanaka-san premiered on NTV on October 22, and aired for 10 episodes, ending on December 24. The episodes consistently received high ratings, earning between 5.4% and 6.5%.

Ashihara launched the manga in Shogakukan‘s Anikei Petite Comic magazine in 2018, and it is unfinished.

Ashihara debuted as a manga creator in 1994. Viz Media released Ashihara’s 10-volume Sand Chronicles manga in English. The company also released Ashihara’s SOS manga, which is a one-volume collection of short stories. Tokyopop released Ashihara’s four-volume Forbidden Dance manga in English.

Her other manga include Bitter – Nakechau Koi Monogatari, Bitter II – Anata Dake ni Aisaretai, MiSS, Yubikiri, Homemade Home, Girls Lesson, Bread & Butter, Derby Queen, Tennen Bitter Chocolate, and more.

Ashihara’s Piece – Kanojo no Kioku manga inspired a live-action television series in 2012.

Source: NTV via Hachima Kikō



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