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Kyoto Animation Extends Work Hiatus Due to COVID-19 Through May (Updated)

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda & Alex Mateo
Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld Part 2 still aims for July; Cannes Film Festival canceled

Kyoto Animation announced on Monday that it has extended its work hiatus due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation until the end of May. The studio originally announced on April 10 that work would only go on hiatus starting on April 13 for one month. During the hiatus, the company is only updating its website, responding to inquiries made through its website form, and shipping orders from its store.

The announcement cited Japan's nationwide state of emergency extended through May 31. The Japanese government announced on Thursday that it will lift the state of emergency early in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures. Kyoto, where Kyoto Animation is headquartered, remains in a state of emergency. The other prefectures still in a state of emergency are Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Hyogo, and Hokkaido.

Update: Kyoto announced on Friday that it is partially lifting its restrictions on businesses on Saturday. As of Saturday, Kyoto Animation's website still lists the hiatus as ending on May 31.

Aniplex producer Shōki Niwa confirmed during the live-streamed "SAO Gensaku/Anime/Game Matomete Shin Jōhō SP" (Sword Art Online Novel/Anime/Game News Roundup Special) program on Saturday that the Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld Part 2 anime's staff and cast are still aiming to premiere Part 2 in July. He acknowledged that even though Part 2 was already delayed from April, the anime staff and cast cannot currently handle dialogue voice recording. He added that some staff can do some work from home, such as writing the story scenarios. However, it is difficult to do a considerable amount of the anime production work outside of the studio.

Cannes Film Festival delegate general Thierry Frémaux announced on Sunday that this year's Cannes Film Festival has been canceled, though it still plans to announce the festival's Official Selection of movies in June (with films previously scheduled for summer 2020 to spring 2021 eligible). Some films have chosen instead to await selection for Cannes 2021. The festival will collaborate with a number of other festivals in Toronto, Deauville, Angoulême, San Sebastian, New York, Busan, Lyon, and other cities to screen the films at later dates, and it will also have its Marché du Film online screening event on June 22-26. The organizers had announced in March that the festival was postponed from its original dates of May 12-23,.

The organizers for this year's fall version of the Wonder Festival 2020 event announced on Monday that the event is canceled. The organizers are also investigating whether or not to hold the 2021 winter event, which would take place on February 7, 2021.

Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) announced on Monday that this year's Zenkoku Entame Matsuri (National Entertainment Festival) event is canceled. The organizers are tentatively planning to hold next year's event in the summer, but the date may change depending on the status of the COVID-19 situation. NIS holds the event annually on the first Saturday and Sunday in August.

The organizers of the Anirevo: Summer 2020 event announced on Sunday that the event is canceled. The event was scheduled for July 31-August 2 at Vancouver Convention Centre. Tickets already purchased will be valid for the 2021 event, but purchasers may request a refund by November 1. Similarly, confirmed artists and vendors will be automatically registered for next year, but they may also request a refund. The organizers are discussing 2021 dates with the venue, and they plan to announce the dates by Friday.

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Thursday that the Tales of Festival 2020 event is postponed to March 6-7, 2021 at Yokohama Arena. The event was originally scheduled for June 13-14.

The staff of the Touken Ranbu franchise's seventh stage musical Musical Touken Ranbu ~Shizuka no Umi no Paraiso~ announced on Monday that the remaining 24 performances scheduled for May 15-31 in Tokyo are canceled. The May 31 theatrical live screening of the musical, and the pre-sale events of the musical's Blu-ray Disc and DVD are also canceled. The musical had previously canceled part of its initial Tokyo run, which was scheduled for March 21-29, due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus situation. The musical still held performances up through March 26. The musical also canceled all performances from April 4-18 at AiiA 2.5 Theater Kobe in Hyogo.

The Tsukino Talent Production (TsukiPro) franchise has canceled all of its events slated for June and July, including its three stage plays previously scheduled for June 10-13, July 2-12, and July 15-20.

The official Twitter account for the Aikatsu! idol anime announced on Thursday that the announcement for the franchise's unspecified new project has been postponed. Information regarding the date, time, and method of the announcement will be revealed at a later date. AiTube, the official YouTube channel for the Aikatsu! idol franchise, previously announced in March that a project would launch this fall with an over-the-air television broadcast on TV Tokyo and its affiliates.

Sunrise's Gundam.info portal site announced on Thursday that the release of Hiroko Moriguchi's Gundam Song Covers 2, the sequel to the Gundam Song Covers cover album, has been delayed to September 16. The album was originally slated to ship on June 10.

Thanks to Kasra Sadrehashemi for the Anirevo news tip.

Sources: Kyoto Animation's website, Sword Art Online livestream, Variety (elsa Keslassy), Screen Daily (Melanie Goodfellow), IndieWire (Ryan Lattanzio), Cannes Film Festival, Wonder Festival's website, 4Gamer (maru; link 2, 御月亜希), Anirevo's website, Tales of Festival's website via My Game News Flash, Touken Ranbu musical's website via Nijimen, Tsukipro's Twitter account via Nijimen, Aikatsu! anime's Twitter account via Otakomu, Gundam.info

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