In a recent interview with Japanese tabloid and investigative newspaper Weekly Bunshun, Toru Furuya, a 70-year-old voice actor who has had roles in many of Japan’s top anime series, admitted that he had been involved in an affair with a fan for the past four and a half years. 

In the interview, and in a subsequent apology posted to X, he confessed to the affair and said he once “raised his hand” during an argument to strike the woman, whose identity has not been revealed. He also said he made the woman have an abortion in the course of their relationship. In his X post, he apologized for having “deeply hurt” her “both physically and mentally.”  

An Affair With a Dark Turn

According to Weekly Bunshun, the woman became a huge fan of Furuya after hearing his performance as Toru Amuro in the 2016 Detective Conan movie, Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare. She went on to see the 2018 movie Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer 45 times in the cinema and was moved to tears by Furuya’s acting. As a fan, she sent fan letters and presents to his agency, but it wasn’t until 2019, when she received a text message from Furuya himself on New Year’s Day, that the affair started. The fan in question has remained anonymous, but is said to be a woman in her 30s.

Relationships with fans are generally frowned upon in Japan, and in most parts of the world, as the power imbalance between a celebrity and his fan can result in the latter being taken advantage of. The two incidents Furuya referenced on X and in the interview certainly paint a troubling picture.

Furuya’s Attempt To Apologize

In his public statements, Furuya has taken an apologetic stance. In his X post, in addition to saying he regrets hurting the woman mentally and physically, he also apologized to his fans for disappointing them and tarnishing their impression of the characters he has voiced. He ends his note by saying that he will spend the rest of his life making amends for these mistakes.

Furuya has had a prolific voice acting career, voicing the likes of Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon, Yamcha in Dragon Ball, Sabo in One Piece and more. However, it’s important to note that voice actors are not their characters, and crimes committed by them have real-life victims who should be heard from and protected. 

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