Several Anime on Hiatus Due to COVID-19
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Several Anime on Hiatus Due to COVID-19

By Elizabeth Gibson for The J-Pop Exchange

Some jobs, even ones like animating and voice acting, are difficult to do while responsibly practicing social distancing in times of a global pandemic. Many who are part of anime production processes are doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve and, in the process, the series they'd normally be working on are getting delayed.

The Japanese government announced May 14 that it is lifting a state of emergency for 39 prefectures. Urban regions such as Tokyo and Osaka, however, will remain under the state of emergency and people will be asked to stay at home to make sure newly reported cases continue to decline and the burden on hospitals lessens.

“With the lifting of the state of emergency in many regions, today marks the real beginning of our efforts toward a new normal in the era of the coronavirus,” President Shinzo Abe said at a press conference. “We are embarking on an extremely difficult challenge, which is to keep preventing the spread of infection and moving toward fully resuming social and economic activity.”

Here are some of the more popular animes that have been postponed due to the pandemic:

One Piece and Digimon Adventure: The official Twitter account for Toei Animation announced that new episodes for both One Piece and Digimon Adventure have been delayed. The One Piece official Twitter account revealed that old episodes of the series would be re-airing beginning April 26. The tweet also mentioned that Digimon Adventure will have further episodes "suspended" due to the "COVID-19 pandemic." The announcement came just as the third episode aired last month.

Sazae-san: The world’s longest-running anime, the “Sazae-san” show, is also on hiatus due to the pandemic. A spokeswoman for Fuji TV said re-runs will begin next week for the first time since February 1975, when the global economy was massively disrupted by an oil price crisis. The Sazae-san show, which was adapted from four-frame comic strips by late author Machiko Hasegawa, had been airing every Sunday since 1969 until now.

Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS: The anime's official website stated, "In order to produce a program that takes into consideration the spread of the new coronavirus infection, we decided to temporarily suspend animation production." The seventh series in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise premiered in Japan on April 4, 2020.

Pokémon: Twilight Wings: The official Pokémon Twitter account announced the next episode of web anime from director Shingo Yamashita at Studio Colorido, Pokémon: Twilight Wings, will have its Japanese language premiere June 5. It was previously announced that the 5th episode would debut in May.

The Irregular at Magic High School: The official website for the anime announced in April that the upcoming second season, which was previously scheduled for July, has been postponed to October 2020 due "to the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19)."

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: TV Tokyo announced that Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 155 and beyond are delayed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, on May 15, voice actor Kijima Ryuuichi -- who voices Mitsuki in the anime series -- tweeted about his recent voice recording sessions, although he did not explicitly mention if his sessions included any Mitsuki recordings.

With so many current anime delayed and airing re-runs, now is the perfect time to responsibly stay home and check out an old series. Here are some of my favorites.

More by Elizabeth Gibson:

Japan Hotels Housing Sick, Homeless During Pandemic

Student Suffering from Coronavirus Finds Comfort in Anime