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 January 30, 2024

Popular Japanese manga author Hinako Ashihara found dead, reported suicide

Fans of a popular manga creator were saddened this week to learn of the artist's death by suicide.

According to multiple reports, "Sand Chronicles" manga author Hinako Ashihara was found dead as a result of suicide.

She was reportedly 50 at the time of her death.

Authorities reported that her body was found Monday in the Tochigi prefecture of Japan. A note was reportedly found alongside her, though the contents of the note was not made available to the public.

Otaku USA reported that Ashihara made the news several weeks ago regarding a controversy over "the way NTV adapted her manga Sexy Tanaka-san into a live-action series."

The outlet noted:

Two days before she went missing, she wrote a blog post that NTV broke its promise to keep the adaptation accurate to the manga. She expressed these things were not small changes, but were at the “core” of the story.

Notably, the blog post was later deleted and in its place, the author apologized and said she hadn't meant to hurt anyone as a result of expressing her concerns.

Curiously, it wasn't long after the apology post that the manga author went missing, though it's still unclear if it's coincidence or if her public blog post had anything to do with her death.

Anime News Network provided additional details regarding her response to the adaptation of her content, which she clearly wasn't happy with.

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.

Apparently, she wrote the script for the last two episodes, which was a condition that she claims NTV had agreed to if she wasn't satisfied with the final outcome.

Fans of the popular author took to social media to pay tribute.

"Sorry if I don't talk about Hinako Ashihara enough, I will be retweeting stuff about her and wishing her peace wherever she is now cuz it is what everyone deserves and I hope she is finally resting. news like this always breaks my heart," one X user wrote

Another fan wrote, "Hinako Ashihara sensei. one of the mangakas i adore and love the most. her works shows such profound amount of humanity and insight about the realities of being in complex relationships and the inner mind yet overflowing with love and warmth. may she rest in peace."

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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