Public Prosecutors Office opts for leniency following incidents in October and November.

Celebrity drug use doesn’t come to light very often in Japan, so when it does, the erupting scandal can have huge repercussions. Ai Takabe knows this only too well, following her arrest for possession of cocaine last October, followed by a second arrest in November for suspected drug use.

Over the course of her career, the 27-year-old Takabe has been a swimsuit model, idol singer, actress, and media personality, roles which often overlap in Japan. She also dabbled in anime voice acting, with her most well-known performance being that of schoolgirl ninja Agiri in the 2012 comedy Kill Me Baby. Even though Agiri is a bit of a fan favorite, though, all mentions of Takabe’s name were removed from the series’ official website following her arrest, in a stark example of the always image-conscious Japanese entertainment industry’s penchant for distancing its projects from any sort of criminal activity.

Months later, though, there’s finally a bit of good news for Takabe, as the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has made the decision not to press charges against her. A statement from the organization, though, indicates that this was not due to a lack of evidence or condolence of Takabe’s actions. Rather, the explanation states that the decision was the result of “a comprehensive consideration of the very small amount of narcotics in her possession, as well as the social sanctions she has already received.”

But while the Public Prosecutors Office is feeling lenient, the handlers of Kill Me Baby don’t seem to be in as forgiving a mood. Takabe’s name (written in Japanese as 高部あい) is still missing from the spot it occupied, before the scandal broke, at the top of the series’ website character page for Agiri.

▼ Before Takabe’s arrest (left) and after (right)

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However, similar changes have been made to the pages for the rest of the cast. The pages for main character Yasuna and trained assassin Sonya also have no indications of who their voice actresses are.

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Still, it’s hard to notice that the website’s staff and cast section also doesn’t list Takabe or the character she voices, while the vocal talents for Yasuna and Sonya are represented. While Yasuna and Sonya have traditionally been given more prominent billing in the anime’s promotions than the tertiary Agiri, seeing as how Kill Me Baby really only has three named characters in its entire cast, the omission of Takabe’s contribution is pretty glaring.

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Meanwhile, Amazon Japan hasn’t reversed its decision to stop streaming episodes of Kill Me Baby in the wake of Takabe’s arrest, although it’s unclear whether this prohibition is coming from the online media giant itself or from the anime’s rights holders. In either case, though, it’s a sign that while Takabe’s legal troubles are now behind her, it may be some time until she recovers her former status and employability, if she ever does at all.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News via Jin
Insert images: Kill Me Baby official website (1, 2)