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‘Frustrated & Saddened’: Makoto Shinkai On Arrest Of Your Name Producer Over Child Pornography Charges

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Makoto Shinkai, who had worked with producer Koichiro Itou on blockbuster hits Your Name and Suzume, took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his frustration and sadness at the arrest of the latter on charges of violating the Child Prostitution & Pornography Law.

Shinkai started off his post by saying that he was quite shocked at the arrest of Itou (though he did not name the producer), and expressed his sympathies for the victim of the case.

He also apologized to the victim and to fans of the work for the anxiety/concern that the incident has caused.

I am deeply shocked to see the news report of the arrest of the person involved in the production of the work. First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the victim. I am also truly sorry for causing anxiety to everyone who loves and supports the work.

The director continued his post, adding that he believed the value of the works in question, on which Itou had collaborated, will not diminish because of the incident. However, he accepted that people might become distrustful after this incident. Shinkai mentioned that he was saddened and frustrated by this.

Personally, I do not think that the value of the work will be diminished by this incident, but I think it is natural that people will have doubts. I am very frustrated and saddened by this.

Netizens reassured the director in the comments of his post that the movie was “burned into their hearts” and that it’s value will not diminish for them. However, they harshly criticized the producer for his actions.

Shinkai and Itou first met when the producer joined ComixWave Films at around 2003. Shinkai was developing The Place Promised in Our Early Days at that time. Their relationship was forged after success of Voices of a Distant Star.

The Wakayama Prefectural Police arrested 52-year-old Itou on Feb 21, 2024 for coercing a 15-year-old high school girl from Nagano who he met on an SNS platform to send her nude selfies, even though he was aware that she was a minor.

Itou has been a consistent collaborator on Shinkai works at Comix Wave, including Your NameWeathering with You & Suzume. He has worked on the director’s previous movie instalments.

Source: Shinkai’s official X account



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