Wednesday, May 22, 2024

One Piece, Dragon Ball Star Apologizes for Fan Affair: "It Was the Worst Thing a Human Could Do"

Anime voice actor Toru Furuya, well-known for his role as Sabo in the ongoing One Piece series, as well as for his work in the likes of Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon and Mobile Suit Gundam, has publicly apologized for an extramarital affair with a fan.

Per Oricon News, Weekly Bunshun, a Tokyo-based weekly tabloid, reported that it had interviewed the 70-year-old Furuya, who issued a response on his X (formerly Twitter) account apologizing for a four-and-a-half affair with a woman in her 30s that lasted until September 2023. Furuya also apologized for his actions during the affair, including assaulting the unnamed fan during an argument and forcing her to have an abortion when she became pregnant.

"I was attracted to her sincere support, so I contacted her and started a relationship with her. During our relationship, we once had an argument and I ended up raising my hand. As an adult, it was the worst thing a human could do," Furuya stated. "I also made the unforgivable mistake of causing her to have an abortion. I am truly, truly sorry for having deeply hurt her both physically and mentally. I cannot apologize enough for betraying the trust of my fans, disappointing them, hurting them, and tarnishing my character…I will spend the rest of my life making amends with all my heart. I am prepared to accept any punishment. I am truly sorry," Furuya continued.

Furuya's talent agency, Aoni Production, has also issued a public statement on its official website regarding the news. "Thank you very much for your continued support. Regarding some of the reports regarding Toru Furuya, an actor affiliated with our company, we would like to express our gratitude to all the fans who support us on a daily basis and to all the people involved who support us. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern…Furuya deeply regrets his actions toward the other party and the inconvenience he has caused everyone, and this is the result of our company's insufficient guidance and supervision of Furuya. We take this very seriously. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience caused," the statement reads.

Furuya has been involved in professional voice acting since the 1960s, with one of his breakthrough roles occurring in 1979 when he voiced Amuro Ray, the main protagonist of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. Since then, he has gone on to voice numerous well-known characters in mainstream franchises, including Dragon Ball (Yamcha), Sailor Moon (Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask), Saint Seiya (Pegasus Seiya) and One Piece (Sabo). His most recent role is in the currently airing anime-original series Highspeed Etoile (Narrator).

Furuya's future involvement in the anime industry is currently uncertain. However, many Japanese fans believe he will likely formally retire, with his current roles being replaced by alternative voice actors.

Source: Oricon News, Aoni Production