Otaku USA Magazine
Sand Chronicles Manga Author Hinako Ashihara Found Dead After Being Reported Missing

There is sad news coming out of Japan as we learn about the passing of manga creator Hinako Ashihara. In America she might be best-known for her Sand Chronicles manga, which is published by VIZ Media. Her works SOS and Forbidden Dance are also available in English.

Yesterday, January 28, Ashihara was reported missing. Her body was found today, January 29, along with a note. The contents of the note do not appear to have been made public, nor the exact cause of death. However, police have said they believe it was suicide. They are still investigating the situation to know for certain.

Ashihara was in the news not long ago to express her disappointment over the way NTV adapted her manga Sexy Tanaka-san into a live-action series. Two days before she went missing, she wrote a blog post that NTV broke its promise to keep the adaptation accurate to the manga. She expressed these things were not small changes, but were at the “core” of the story.

The blog post wasn’t up for long before she took it down and said she was sorry, saying she hadn’t wanted to attack anyone. It was after this that she went missing. It is not known if these events have any connections. According to Nippon.com, Ashihara was 50 at the time of her death. She worked as a professional mangaka for 30 years and is a winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award.

VIZ Media gave this description for the first volume of Sand Chronicles:

After her parents get divorced, Ann Uekusa and her mother move from Tokyo to rural Shimane. Accustomed to the anonymity of city living, Ann can’t get used to the almost overbearing kindness of the people in her mother’s hometown. But when personal tragedy strikes, Ann discovers how much she needs that kindness.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please know that there is help available. In America, you can call 1-800-273-8255. In Canada, you can call 1-833-456-4566. In Japan, you can call 03-5774-0992. For other countries, numbers and resources are available on this site.

Source: ANN


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.