On Saturday, Japanese actress Sayaka Kanda was discovered dead after at around 1 p.m. in Sapporo, Japan. That day, Kanda had been scheduled to perform the role of Eliza Doolittle in a matinée performance of My Fair Lady, but citing an illness, her stand-in assumed the role.
Warning: This article contains a mention of possible suicide.
Kanda fell from the 14th floor of her hotel. NHK reports that local police are now investigating the possibility that she died by suicide. However, authorities have not dismissed the idea of foul play.
Kanda was the daughter of popular actor Masaki Kanda and superstar performer Seiko Matsuda. In a varied career, she recorded music and appeared in films, TV, and stage productions, but also found success with voice acting. She provided Anna’s Japanese language voice for Frozen, winning the Best Lead Actress award at the 2015 Seiyu Awards, which honors Japan’s best voice actors. Kanda also voiced Anna in the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts III.
Over the years, she did voice work for a handful of anime, including recently voicing Yuna in Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld. Kanda also voiced Kaede Akamatsu in Danganronpa V3, and even performed the role of Junko Enoshima in the theatrical adaptations Danganronpa The Stage and Super Danganronpa 2 The Stage.
Her last anime role was Mana Nagase in 2021's Idoly Pride.
According to Asahi News, Kanda’s office issued an official statement regarding her passing, which stated, “It is with extreme sadness that we announce her death to her fans and those who have supported her. We still are unable to accept her passing and trying to cope with it.”
Kanda was set to play Maetel next April in a musical version of the classic anime Galaxy Express 999.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or suffering from depression, you are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help.