Home MANGA NEWS Hinako Ashihara, Sand Chronicles Manga Creator, Dies in Probable Suicide

Hinako Ashihara, Sand Chronicles Manga Creator, Dies in Probable Suicide

Caution: The following article includes discussion of apparent suicide. Should you or anyone you know be struggling with suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to contact a suicide prevention initiative in your country. For example, in the US, you can dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In Japan, TELL Lifeline can be accessed at 03-5774-0992, with English counseling services at 03-4550-1146. Canadians can contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566.


The reputable news source NTV delivered the tragic news on Monday that Hinako Ashihara, a prominent manga artist, was discovered deceased on Monday, in what appears to have been a suicide.

A search for Ashihara had commenced on Sunday, and she was eventually found in Tochigi prefecture on the following day. A letter was discovered near the scene.

Just days before, on January 26, Ashihara had shared a blog post regarding the live-action adaption of her beloved manga, Sexy Tanaka-san. She expressed disappointment that despite her insistence on an authentic reproduction of her work, NTV did not fulfill their promise. She spoke of how cherished scenes that she viewed as pivotal to the story were either altered or cut entirely, and the portrayal of characters had significantly changed. The explanations given for these discrepancies were reportedly unsatisfactory.

In response, Ashihara took on the task of writing the scripts for the final two episodes after noticing significant changes to her original ending. Unfortunately, because of severe time constraints that coincided with the manga deadlines, Ashihara expressed regrets for having to rush the scripts without refining them further. Despite her dissatisfaction, she concluded her post expressing her gratitude to everyone involved in the live-action adaption.

However, Ashihara decided to retract the blog post later, maintaining that she didn’t intend to blame anyone and offered her apologies.

On Monday, NTV issued an official statement expressing their condolences over Ashihara’s untimely demise. They elaborated on their engagement with Ashihara through Shogakukan during the course of the live-action adaption, and stated that Ashihara had approved of the final script that went into production.

The live-action version of Sexy Tanaka-san debuted on NTV on October 22, with a total of ten episodes, the last of which aired on December 24. The series was very successful, securing a consistent viewer rating of between 5.4% and 6.5%.

Ashihara first released the manga in 2018 through Shogakukan‘s Anikei Petite Comic magazine. However, it remains unfinished.

Ashihara has been an active and influential contributor to manga art since her debut in 1994. Companies such as Viz Media and Tokyopop released a number of Ashihara’s works, including her 10-volume Manga ‘Sand Chronicles’, ‘SOS’, a one-volume short story collection, and ‘Forbidden Dance’, a four-volume manga.

Her portfolio also includes Bitter – Nakechau Koi Monogatari, Bitter II – Anata Dake ni Aisaretai, MiSS, Yubikiri, Homemade Home, Girls Lesson, Bread & Butter, Derby Queen, Tennen Bitter Chocolate amongst others.

Ashihara’s Piece – Kanojo no Kioku manga went on to inspire a television series in 2012.

Source References:NTV News, Oricon News

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