Hidekazu Tanaka, an anime and video game composer who has worked on Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, Pokémon Journeys: The Series, The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls and more, has been found guilty by the Tokyo District Court for various counts related to preying on women and girls.
He was originally arrested after attempting to assault an underage girl last year. He confessed to this crime in March. The court also went after him for taking pictures up women’s skirts without their permission 11 times during a two-month period in 2022. On top of that, he’s in legal trouble for exposing himself in public.
Tanaka has not denied his guilt, and in fact says he’s acted voyeuristically toward women dozens of times in the past decade. He said he did things like this to “relieve anger and work stress” and also got a thrill out of the thought he could be caught (which he eventually was).
The court told him that the high school girl he victimized is now frightened of interactions with men, has missed school, and can’t stand being on trains with lots of people or having people behind her. The court said the case won’t end for the victim and Tanaka must keep her in mind and must never repeat anything like this again.
For punishment, Tanaka has received a suspended 18-month sentence. This means he will not spend any time behind bars if he shows he can behave for three years. This is a form of sentencing that sometimes happens in Japan.
Tatsuya Matsuki, the writer behind the short-lived act-age manga, similarly received a suspended sentence after he tried to molest a middle school student.
Some anime, like Pokémon Journeys: The Series and Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, have been doing what they can to distance themselves from Tanaka.
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.