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The anime world is getting hit hard by the coronavirus. Everything from production and premieres and gaming events is being shut down to prevent the spread of the dangerous virus and because of travel bans, fears, or just a lack of participants. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes, here’s a rundown of the latest anime news update on schedule changes and delays.
One of the biggest changes to the anime world following the coronavirus outbreak is organizers canceling AnimeJapan 2020, one of the most significant events of the year. It was scheduled for March 21 to the 24th in Tokyo at the Big Sight exhibition center. This is the first time it’s been canceled since the first was held in 2014. The cancellations come after the Japanese government proposed the country cancel all large-scale gatherings.
Family Anime Festa 2020
The second-largest cancellation is the Family Anime Festa 2020, which was scheduled for the first two days of the AnimeJapan conference, from March 21 to March 22 for the younger crowd in the West Exhibition Hall 1. All tickets from both AnimeJapan and the Family Anime Festa will be refunded beginning on March 6. The executive team for the events cited concerns over the further spread of COVID-19 for the cancellation of the highly popular functions.
Japan’s Osaka’s Nipponbashi Street Festa is canceled
Similarly, the popular anime cosplay event originally slated for March 15 will not take place in 20202 because of ongoing concerns involving COVID-19. The large event held in Osaka’s Denden Town electronics district is one of the biggest gatherings in the area and draws a crowd of 200,000 to 250,000 each year.
The Misfits of Demon King Academy TV is delayed
The popular anime show will not be premiering as scheduled in April 2020. Studio officials made the announcement following filming delays due to the outbreak. A new premiere date will be announced in July.
Other studios and filmmakers have made similar statements, including the producers of Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Kyoryū (Nobita’s New Dinosaur), a 2020 release by Doraemon and Shimajiro and Shimajirō to Sora Tobu Fune (Shimajiro and the Flying Ship).
Sakura Wars (2019) stage performances are canceled for March
The 2019 cross-genre video game’s stage performances were scheduled to run at Akasaka’s Sogetsu Hall between March 5 and March 8th. All eight shows will not go on as planned to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Information about refunds will be forthcoming.
Anime Video game maker Bandai Namco is delaying live events until mid-March
The video game and entertainment company is canceling all live events through March 14th to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. This includes Idolmaster and the Mobile Suit Gundam EXTREME Vs. Maxi Boost ON 5th GPG Strategy Conference. The Tekken Pro Championship Japan - Korea Competition 2020 hasn’t been discontinued. But it will only be available to watch through online streaming, and all other public events surrounding the match have been canceled.
Ghibli Museum closed until March 17, 2020
The museum is known for its large collection of anime studio work, with items from popular films, such as Totoro and Spirited Away. It's located in Mitaka, west of Tokyo. Refunds are available for pre-purchased tickets.
Although it’s not an anime cancellation, a scene from the 1988 movie Akira, provides a near-apocalyptic prediction for the 2020 Olympics. The part of the film, set in 2019, shows a sign that reads in Japanese, “147 Days Until the Games,” with graffiti scrawled below it, saying, “Just Cancel it!” The irony, of course, is that Friday, February 28th was exactly 147 days until the opening ceremony for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Fears of the coronavirus spreading are prompting residents of Japan and the international community to seriously consider canceling the games. The last time an Olympics wasn’t held since its beginning in modern times, was in 1944 during World War II.
With the infection spreading quickly and Japan going as far as to order schools closed for at least 30 days, anime production delays and event cancellations are going to grow with it. Additionally, temporary border closing, rerouting shipping routes, and flight cancellations throughout the world will also have serious effects on distribution schedules, pushing some productions, premieres, and releases out a year or more depending on how long the coronavirus outbreak lasts.