Actor and musician Pierre Taki, who voices yakuza Kyohei Hamura in Judgment, has been arrested for alleged illegal drug use.
Update #1 March 13 - 7:30 am: Asahi News is reporting that Disney is looking at replacing Taki as Olaf in the Japanese language version of Frozen 2. The movie is scheduled to open in Japan this November.
Update #2 March 14 - 11:30 am: Square Enix has decided to change the Japanese language voice actor of Olaf in Kingdom Hearts III in a future update. That means Taki will be replaced. Information about when the update will be released is TBA. Original story continues below.
Update #3 March 24 - 5:00 am: Update #3: Sega is also removing Pierre Taki from the Western release of Judgment. It’s also taking down all screenshots and trailers from the company’s official channels.
According to the Mainichi News, investigators searched Taki’s car and Tokyo home based on tips they had received. Nippon.com reports that no cocaine was found. However, Taki was arrested last night, and a urine test turned up positive results for cocaine.
Taki has admitted to violating the country’s drug laws and using a small amount of cocaine. Investigators are examining his mobile phone to discern more about his alleged drug use.
Sega has issued a statement, saying that as the truth was being confirmed it was going to stop selling Judgment’s retail and digital versions. Sega apologized for any trouble that this causes, adding that it was considering what steps to take next.
If that were not enough (it’s not apparently!), Sega is also deleting tweets about Judgment.
Last year, actor Hiroki Narimiya was replaced in Yakuza 4 due to his own cocaine allegations.
Japan has a draconian view of illegal drugs. In 2014, when popstar Aska of the wildly popular duo Chage & Aska was arrested for possessing MDMA, Universal Music Japan stopped selling the group’s music. Moreover, Walt Disney Japan removed one of the group’s songs from a Blu-ray box set of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, as Studio Ghibli had animated the music video for the Chage & Aska song “On Your Mark.”
Besides Judgment, Taki also voices Olaf in the Japanese version of Frozen as well as in the recently released Kingdom Hearts III. It will be interesting to see what Walt Disney Japan’s and Square Enix’s next moves are. Before becoming an actor, Taki was a musician, co-founding the popular synthpop group Denki Groove.