Manga artist Hinako Ashihara was found dead at her home on January 29, reportedly with a suicide note.
Her death comes just days after she publicly criticized Nippon TV’s adaptation of her work Sexy Tanaka-san, a story about an office lady with a night-time hobby of belly dancing. Ashihara was reportedly protective of her work and sought assurances from Nippon TV and others who would work on the show.
Nippon TV originally appeared to agree with her conditions, namely that any changes from the manga be run by her, and that she be allowed to create the ending since the manga itself isn’t finished.
– Yes, she is aware that these demands may be disrespectful to the scriptwriter and production staff, but NTV confirmed several times that they were fine with them, so everyone agreed to go ahead with the adaptation.
— HPriestは、取り扱い注意 (@hpriestsubs) January 26, 2024
Ashihara’s displeasure with how her work was being handled led to her writing the last two episodes of the Sexy Tanaka-san TV drama herself. Between this and her comments, there appeared to be bad feelings between Ashihara, Nippon TV, and the scriptwriter for episodes 1-8: Tomoko Aizawa.
Eventually, Ashihara would make a blog post (since deleted) expressing her frustration about the process of working with Nippon TV. She would later apologize for this post after allegedly being accused of insulting the production staff at Nippon TV with her comments. This was the last anyone heard from her until she was reported missing on January 28 and found a day later.
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away. If you are in the United States you can:
- Call 911 for emergency services.
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline . The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.