The beloved anime series, Isekai Ojisan, was set to air its final episode this season, but unfortunately, the official website recently announced that the airing of the episode has been indefinitely delayed due to the sudden outbreak of Covid in China. This is certainly a disappointing turn of events for fans of the series, but the impact of the virus doesn’t stop there. It’s possible that other upcoming anime series may also be delayed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Freelance animator Kyoko Kotani, known for his work on popular anime series such as Spy x Family and Blue Lock, reported on the situation via Twitter, stating that workers at a Chinese animation company had been unable to work due to Covid-19 infections and that the amount of work they were able to complete had decreased as a result.
In his first Tweet on the outbreak, Kyoko Kotani assured anime fans that there is nothing to worry about the anime releasing in January 2023 because the production system takes into account the holidays of Chinese New Year and the animation was likely all done.
The tweet roughly translates to:
The workers at a Chinese animation company have been down due to the corona infection for a few days, and it seems that the amount of work they can do is decreasing. Recently, there are many works where the production of all episodes is finished before broadcasting, and especially the new program in January has a production system that takes into account the Chinese New Year, so I don’t think it will have an immediate effect, but what do you think? rightKyoko Kotani on his Twitter (@koni_ko222)
However, a few days ago, Kyoko Kotani updated fans on the situation that outbreak has gotten even worse and the effects have reached other countries like South Korea.
The text roughly translates to:
Not only Chinese animation companies, but also South Korean companies have become more difficult to ask for work due to the coronavirus, and even though it’s not a TV series, the work I’m working on now won’t be able to turn the film into full colour within the year. Ta~. Regardless of that, if he doesn’t finish his work properly, please take care of him.Kyoko Kotani on his Twitter (@koni_ko222)
This is an alarming signal, especially for the anime industry, as Covid seems to be returning. This might mess up the schedule of many series, as one series has already fallen prey to this.
The relation of China and Korea to Japanese Anime
So, why is the situation in China and South Korea affecting anime that is released in Japan? The answer is simple: animation is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process that requires the contributions of animators from around the world.
In recent years, a significant amount of animation work has been outsourced to countries like China and South Korea, where there is a large pool of skilled freelance animators. These animators play a vital role in the Japanese animation industry, and if they are unable to work due to Covid-19, it will inevitably affect the production of anime.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that many anime series are produced on tight schedules, with little room for delays. This means that any disruptions in the production process can have a cascading effect, potentially leading to delays in the release of multiple anime series. This is particularly true for newer studios like AtelierPontdarc, who are working on Isekai Ojisan. as it is animated by a relatively new studio, AtelierPontdarc, which mainly consists of freelance animators primarily from China and South Korea. So, this Anime is the first to fall victim to the current outbreak.
Isekai Ojisan on Hiatus
As we told you before, the last episode of Isekai Ojisan, Episode 13, has been postponed till further announcement because of the sudden Covid outbreak in China and Korea. Even before this, this series has been under the influence of Covid since it started airing in the Summer season of 2022. It went on a hiatus before the airing of episode 5 because of Covid, and now again, it is facing the same situation.
Overall, the Covid-19 outbreak in China is a major concern for the anime industry, and it is important for studios and animators to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus. While the impact on the industry may not be immediately apparent, it is likely that the effects of the outbreak will be felt for some time to come.