Otaku USA Magazine
Suzume Producer Kouichirou Itou Confesses to Paying Underage Girl for Sex

Suzume Surpasses Weathering, Sets Canadian Premiere, Wows China

New accusations have risen against anime producer Kouichirou Itou, who has produced multiple films with award-winning director Makoto Shinkai. Itou was originally arrested last month after allegations he paid an underage girl for nude photos. Now Wakayama Prefectural Police say he paid money to a different 15-year-old girl for sex. Itou has confessed this is true.

Reports say that Itou found the girl on social media in summer 2022. More than a year later, in November 2023, he allegedly gave her 20,000 yen (approximately $133) to have sex with him. Japan, which used to have the age of consent set at 13, raised it to 16 in 2023. He is accused of doing “obscene acts” with the 15-year-old girl.

The girl he allegedly tried to get nude photos from was also 15 at the time. Itou is currently 52 years old. When confronted about accusations of getting nude photos from an underage girl, Itou had replied he’d “done it with other people, so [I couldn’t] tell if it was this girl or not.” In that case, he allegedly offered 12,500 yen (approximately $83) to the girl. Police had been investigating other cases of prostitution when they stumbled across Itou’s alleged acts.

Itou was a producer for After School Midnighters, Ani × Para: Anata no Hero wa Dare Desu ka, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words, Hoshizora Kiseki, Kakurenbo – Hide & Seek, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Rokurō no Dai Bōken, Suzume, Weathering With You, and your name.

Shinkai recently responded through an official statement. He didn’t mention Itou specifically, but expressed concern for the victims, saying, “I was shocked to see the news about the arrest of a person involved in the production of my movies. First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the victims.”

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.