The official website of the upcoming original anime Ayaka, announced on Feb 15, 2023 that voice actor Takahiro Sakurai has been replaced.
Sakurai was set to voice Haruaki Kurama in the anime, however, according to the official website, he was replaced due to “various circumstances”.
“We would like to inform you that Takahiro Sakurai, who was scheduled to appear as Haruaki Kurama in the completely new original animation ‘AYAKA’, which will start an animation project in 2023, will be changed due to various circumstances. We sincerely apologize for causing trouble and worry to everyone who is looking forward to this work and to everyone involved. In addition, we will announce the new casting again,” the production committee wrote on the website.
The voice actor was recently involved in a controversy as his 10-year-long extramarital affair with a radio scriptwriter, who was working on his travel radio show P.S Genki Desu. Takahiro, came out in the public domain.
The affair was first reported by Japanese magazine Bunshun on Oct 27, 2022. The staff of the tabloid approached Sakurai to verify what they had found, and during the exchange the voice actor acknowledged the report of his affair.
Sakurai’s replacement in Ayaka anime has not been named yet.
The original anime by GoRA and King Records is being animated by Studio Blanc, with Nobuyoshi Nagayama helming it.
No updates have been given on whether Sakurai will be taking a break from voice acting. He is still in line to voice Geto Suguru, but fans have been calling for a change of cast ever since the affair came out. Mamoru Miyano and other actors have been pitched to replace Sakurai in his roles, especially that of Suguru.
His has ongoing roles in Demon Slayer, Bleach: TYBW, Urusei Yatsura, Blue Lock and others.
Source: Official website of Ayaka