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Kemono Friends’ TATSUKI: Irodori Team “Alive and Well”


It looks like the folks who charmed fans with Kemono Friends aren’t ready to give up hope.

Earlier today, Kemono Friends anime director TATSUKI took to Twitter to post an update on his current status. The tweet is his first correspondence since he announced that he was removed from the Kemono Friends anime two weeks ago.

Rough Translation: (Thank you, though I don’t have anything to report in particular, Irodori 3 people are alive, and I’m doing well. Thanks to those who cared, thank you for those who wrote various letters. I was encouraged. I don’t know what work I’ll be doing next, but I will make it as an anime shop without fail.)

Irodori is a three-person indie animation group who worked with Yaoyorozu to produce the Kemono Friends TV series.

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.

On October 3, Kadokawa president and CEO Shinichiro Inoue took to Twitter to discuss the situation. He offered an apology for the backlash, and confirmed that Kadokawa is talking with studio Yaoyorozu about how to approach future dealings.

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: Nijipoi

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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