The arrest of Act-Age author Tatsuya Matsuki on Saturday for sexually harassing multiple middle school girls was naturally going to have a knock-on effect. Already, the series was canceled in Weekly Shonen Jump and any future volume releases put into question, but the cancellation of the Act-Age stage play surely spells the end of any and all projects associated with the series going forward. That’s a shame, but is undoubtedly the best course of action.
HoriPro, who is organizing the Act-Age stage play, put out a statement on its official blog detailing the reasons why the project is being canceled. After “seriously considering” the matter of Matsuki’s arrest and consulting with each of the “various parties,” it was decided that both the stage play and the auditions for the lead role of Yonagi would be canceled. They expressed their “disappointment” that the project had to end in this way and apologized to all of the fans who were looking forward to it “with a heavy heart.”
I, for one, was one of those fans who was very much looking forward to the Act-Age stage play. The potential that the project had was immense, especially considering how brilliant the Night on the Galactic Railroad arc was in the original manga. But cancelling the project was undoubtedly the right thing to do, even if it wastes that potential.
HoriPro’s decision is no doubt one that is also being taken in many boardrooms and meetings right now, as Act-Age has had a considerable number of partners over the years. In fact, a Yahoo! Japan article published this year pointed out that this is what made the series so unique. Furthermore, it is reasonable to expect that an Act-Age anime was in the works considering the series’ commercial and critical success, but if the stage play is being canceled, then we can expect this project to have also been scrapped. What a shame.
All of this shows just how irresponsible Tatsuya Matsuki’s actions truly were. Not only has he put series artist Shiro Usazaki’s career in danger, he has also effectively blacklisted the series from the public eye. At least Shueisha and other partners are taking a firmer stance on this, however, given that they have been soft on sexual offenders such as Nobuhiro Watsuki and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro in the past.