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NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

Everyone knows about the tragedy that befell the author of the manga Sexy Tanaka-san, right? Hinako Ashihara was the author of the manga that was adapted into a live-action series.

However, things did not go as the author wanted. Before the production of the live-action, Hinako Ashihara requested that the Sexy Tanaka-san series be faithful to the manga as a condition for allowing the production, which did not happen.

In January of this year, Hinako Ashihara was found dead in an apparent suicide motivated by dissatisfaction with the live-action series. In a blog post on January 26, Hinako Ashihara stated that NTV had not fulfilled the agreement to follow the manga.

She claimed that many scenes she considered “essential” from the manga were cut or presented inadequately in the live-action version. The series’ screenwriter received negative criticism for her post, so the author took the publication down.

On the same day Ashihara’s death was announced, NTV stated that before proposing a live-action adaptation, they consulted Ashihara along with her publisher, Shogakukan. Ashihara said she approved the final script for the production. NTV’s statement was criticized on social media afterward.

NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

After Ashihara’s death, many manga creators took to social media to share their difficult experiences of having their works adapted into different media. The situation also led to a broad debate on the moral rights of authors, which include the “right to preserve the integrity” of the work, which are exclusive to the author and cannot be granted to third parties.

In February, NTV apologized to all involved and expressed condolences to Ashihara’s family. At the time, the network stated that it took the situation seriously and would conduct an independent investigation with an internal team. NTV collaborated with Shogakukan and a group of external investigators.

Investigation Results: NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

The investigation revealed that after NTV consulted Shogakukan about the live-action adaptation in February 2023, the NTV team thought the adaptation could have an original ending since the manga was not finished. However, the Shogakukan team said it was acceptable to have an original ending as long as it followed a story suggested by Ashihara to avoid affecting the future of the original manga. The research showed that the two production sides diverged from the start.

During the investigation, a Shogakukan source also said it would be difficult to make the live-action adaptation unless the team hired a screenwriter who remained faithful to the original work. The NTV production team said they never heard this.

Regarding Ashihara’s blog post, she told NTV through Shogakukan that there were three requirements for the adaptation:

  1. The adaptation must be faithful to the manga.
  2. Ashihara could work on everything from plot summaries to dialogues (including for the original ending) so that the future of the manga would not be affected.
  3. In general, none of the plot summaries and dialogues Ashihara provided to the team should be altered, and Ashihara could, if necessary, write the scripts herself for the original parts of the live-action adaptation.

NTV says Shogakukan Failed in Communication in the Case of Sexy Tanaka-san

The investigation revealed that Shogakukan never communicated these conditions verbally or in writing to the NTV team during two meetings in March 2023. The NTV team said they did not know that Shogakukan had mentioned these conditions and had never informed the show’s screenwriter about them. Ashihara had a negative impression of the screenwriter and a general distrust of the NTV team, which the production side failed to dispel as the conversations and production developed.

Additionally, the report indicated that the production schedule might have been too limited, allowing about six months of actual production (the show premiered in October 2023). The report suggested that a plan for future productions should be completed between twelve and sixteen months before broadcasting begins. The research also indicated that the production team should meet directly with the original authors.

NTV President’s Statement

The report showed that NTV needs to work more to resolve these issues, such as confusion and communication failures between the production side and the original creator/publisher side, said Akira Ishizawa, president of NTV. Ishizawa also said that NTV must address problems with structure and production schedules, as well as the timing of contract signing. Ishizawa said that NTV would be responsible for addressing the issues in the report so that teams on all sides could work more smoothly on future productions.

Source: Mainichi

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