Anime News

Makoto Shinkai Responds to Arrest of His Long-Time Producer

Suzume’s US Release Date, English Cast Announced

Anime producer Kouichirou Itou, whose credits include your name., Weathering With You and Suzume, was recently arrested after being accused of trying to get a 15-year-old girl to give him nude photos. Director Makoto Shinkai, who has worked with Itou for years, put out a statement that didn’t outright mention Itou, but almost certainly refers to him. Shinkai wanted to share his sympathies and apologize for any anxiety this might have caused.

I was shocked to see the news about the arrest of a person involved in the production of my movies. First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the victims. Also, I am truly sorry for causing anxiety to everyone who loves and supports my work.
I personally believe the value of the work will not be harmed by the recent incident, but I think it is natural for it to be viewed with disbelief. That is very frustrating and sad.

Almost four million people have seen the tweet since Shinkai posted it.

Police were investigating prostitution when they inadvertently discovered Itou’s alleged crime. Itou has been accused of giving an underage girl 12,500 yen (approximately $83) for nude photos. Furthermore, it’s reported that he was aware she was a minor when it happened.

This all reportedly happened in 2021. Police are checking out videos and pictures on Itou’s computer as well, to see what they might find. As of now, the report did not mention them finding anything illegal on his computer.

Questioned by police, Itou confessed to the act, though apparently he didn’t remember the girl involved. He remarked he has “done it with other people, so [I couldn’t] tell if it was this girl or not.”

Not surprisingly given Itou’s answers, police are looking into the possibility of other victims.

Source: ANN


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at