Kadokawa’s boss man is stepping up to describe his side of the story.

Earlier today, Kadokawa President and CEO Shinichiro Inoue took to Twitter to discuss director TATSUKI’s announcement that he was removed from the Kemono Friends anime project.

We’ve translated his Tweets below. As always, apologies for the rough translation.

In regards to the “Kemono Friends” situation, Kadokawa has declined to comment on the matter as it is just one of many investors in the Production Committee. I do recognize TATSUKI’s achievements in directing the anime project.

It is our mistake that we didn’t accurately grasp the situation up to the point of this backlash. I was able to hold two meetings with the team at Yaoyorozu last week. At the time, I understood that there was such a large rift in the opinions of Yaoyorozu and the overall Production committee [regarding TATSUKI’s departure].

Specifically, I learned that the history of the “supervision” of the copyright, as well as differences in perception about the use of the copyright, and the fact that such a thing built up to the real intentions of the Director’s Twitter remarks. In fact, I have been consulting with Yaoyorozu about how we should approach future dealings.

To all fans of “Kemono Friends,” thank you for understanding.

Yaoyorozu president Keiyo Fukuhara also commented on the situation today:

I’m very sorry to fans who had to wait so long on this. Given the magnitude of the situation, we wanted to discuss how we would announce this. We appreciate the announcement from President Inoue, who came to use beforehand.

Thank you for your concerns and I apologize to all of you. I will start talking sooner with all of you. Thank you.

This is the latest chapter in an ongoing situation which began last week, when Kemono Friends anime director TATSUKI announced that he was no longer attached to the project. Kadokawa Dwango President Nobuo Kawakami reported that he was concerned about the incident and that discussions were going on between Dwango and Kadokawa.

On September 27, the Kemono Friends website posted a notice, which stated that Yaoyorozu “made use of the franchise without sharing information, or reaching out to all relevant parties” through the proper channels and that Yaoyorozu left production due to being unable to comply with these terms in advance.

The entire incident prompted outrage among the fan and creator communities, alike.

Kemono Friends began life as a smartphone game from publisher Nexon, which launched in March 2015. The game ended service on December 14, 2017, ahead of the anime’s January 10 première. In February, Nexon announced that, despite the anime’s popularity, the game wouldn’t return. A spokesperson softened the message later, stating that it’s “possible” for a revival of the game.

The Kemono Friends anime is based on said smartphone game. TATSUKI directed the show at Yaoyorozu, with Shigenori Tanabe (Danchi Tomoo) writing and overseeing the show’s scripts. Sgt. Frog creator Mine Yoshizaki is credited with the original character concept designs.

Crunchyroll streamed Kemono Friends as it aired in Japan. They describe the show as:

About The story takes place in Japari Park, an enormous integrated zoo built somewhere in this world. A mysterious substance found there, called “Sand Star,” causes the animals to turn into humanoid beings called “Animal Girls”! These new creatures spend every day peacefully with the zoo’s visitors… but after some time, a lost child turns up in the park. The child’s attempt to find the way home turns into a great adventure with the Animal Girls!

A Kemono Friends stage play is in the works, along with an unspecified “new screen project” that’s separate from the previously-released “Episode 12.1” special. A second season of the series was unveiled in July with the release of the show’s of
ficial guidebook.

Source: Hachima Kikou