News Reporting

Rie Murakawa Leaves “Island” Anime Series

Well, it looks like Rie Murakawa was voted off the island.

Earlier today, the official Island anime website announced that actress Rie Murakawa has left the project. Her character, Sara Garandō, will be recast to Hibiku Yamamura.

The show’s production committee broke the news in a post on the site. According to the notice, the decision to change actresses was made after a dispute stemming from creative differences. The committee notes that Haikyo, Murakawa’s agency, requested that the staff change a portion of the script after recordings started.

While the staff initially supported the request, the agency also asked to alter a scene in the show.

The production committee pushed back, noting that the changes would impact several characters, as well as the overall production quality of the show itself. Despite efforts to negotiate, though, Haikyo remained firm. The agency stated that failing to make the changes would “make it difficult” to have Murakawa reprise her role in the show.

The committee, as well as the show’s staff, game developer Frontwing, and Prototype collectively went over their options. The show had already been in pre-production for a year, and the committee had signed off on the scripts. To make matters more complicated, the scene that Haikyo objected to had already animated.

Ultimately, the committee informed Haikyo that they would not be able to make the changes, to which Haikyo stated that Murakawa would not play the part.

Rie Murakawa had played Sara in the original visual novel. Requests to negotiate further were met with a list of potential replacements. The staff and production committee published an apology to the website, which included the above explanation.

The Island anime is based on Prototype and Frontwing’s visual novel of the same name. Studio feel. is producing the animation for the project, which will hit Japanese TV this year.

The confirmed voice cast includes:

  • Sara Garandō: Hibiku Yamamura
  • Karen Kurutsu: Kana Asumi
  • Rinne Ohara: Yukari Tamura

The original visual novel shipped to retailers in April 2016. A PlayStation Vita port was released in February 2017, which failed to break into the Media Create top-20 when it launched. An English version will be released in North America later this year.

Frontwing describes the game as:

Urashima, an island far from the mainland. The people who live there lead carefree lives. But five years ago, the island’s three great families suffered a series of misfortunes, and succumbed to suspicion. The people of the island cut off all contact with the mainland, and began a slow decline. The key to saving the island lies in three girls who belong to the three families. But they are bound by old traditions, and are conflicted. On that island, a lone man washes ashore. The man claims to be from the future, and he begins a solitary struggle to change the island’s fate.

Several other character visuals were released for the project, which you can check out below:

Sources: Otakomu, Ota-suke

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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