“Sexy Tanaka-san” Creator Ashihara Hinako Found Dead

It has been reported that manga artist Ashihara Hinako has been found dead in an appearent suicide. She was reported missing on January 28, with her body being found the following day, along with a note.

This comes days after she wrote a blog post expressing discontent with Nippon TV’s recent live action drama adaption of her manga “Sexy Tanaka-san.” On January 26, Ashihara wrote that one of the requirements of the network adapting her work was that the drama would be faithful to the manga, something that NTV did not follow through on. Many scenes that Ashihara saw as central to the manga were not included or not depicted properly in the drama. In addition, a number of the characters’ qualities were altered. Ashihara said that NTV never gave her a suitable reason as to why these changes were made. After expressing concern to NTV, the first seven episode of “Sexy Tanaka-san” remained largely faithful to the manga. Throughout the drama’s entire production, Ashihara wrote that she never met with the show’s scriptwriter and she did not talk directly with the director.

When it came to the final two episodes of “Sexy Tanaka-san”, NTV significantly changed the original ending that was outlined by Ashihara, which resulted in her having to write the script for those final two episodes. She apologized for having to rush the script as an amateur scriptwriter, and that she couldn’t edit it better, given that she was also on deadline for her manga work. In her blog post, Ashihara explained that she and her staff agreed to the drama adaptation given that she would be allowed to write the final episodes’ scripts herself if she didn’t find them up to par. She clarified that this was a condition that NTV had agreed to. Ashihara ended her blog post by thanking the drama’s cast and staff for making the live action version.

The blog post was later deleted by Ashihara, who said that it was not her intention to upset anyone. She then further apologized.

On January 29, NTV released a statement expressing grief over Ashihara’s death. The network stated that when they proposed the live action adaptation, they consulted with Ashihara via her publisher Shogakukan. They added that Ashihara had approved the drama’s final script that went into production.


If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please seek help! Here is a list of international suicide prevention hotlines!


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