Animes Delayed Following Cyberattack on Toei Animation

Bad news descends on the anime fandom, specifically, One Piece and other Toei Animation fanatics. Based in Tokyo, Japan, Toei Animation Co., Ltd. specializes in creating anime shows and movies that have been adapted from manga (Japanese comics). Over a week ago on March 11th, 2022 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. announced its plan to shut down a part of its internal network for safety measures. A third party attack on its internal systems on March 6th left it suspended due to the foreign unwarranted hack corrupting several files. In a public statement released by the Studio, they wrote “Details are currently under investigation, but it has been revealed that it will affect the airing schedule of our TV animations ‘Dragon Quest Dai no Daibouken’, ‘Delicious Party ♡ PreCure’, ‘Digimon Ghost Game’, [Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero] and ‘ONE PIECE’.”            

With the hacking being so recent, no definite answer as to when the animes affected will be released, placing many in an indefinite hiatus. Many took to Twitter to express their outrage as @Tyus_josh said, “Toei got hacked. This really finna be my 13th reason.” The anger stays focused on the third party hackers @kristalynhazel saying “To the guys who hacked TOEI, I hope all your meals taste bad 4ever.” 

Channels like TV Aashi and Fuji TV that air these animes had to make a split decision to fill in the missing time slots for the now-delayed shows. Fuji TV turned to playing a rerun of a One Piece recap special called “Special Episode: Barto’s Secret Room” instead, on March 20. They also chose to re-air the first episode of “Digimon Ghost Game Selection,” followed by more reruns. 

Currently, at episode 1013, One Piece comes from the number one best selling manga globally, and one of the “Big Three” (refers to the animes Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach) is a long going anime that started back in 1999 and still continues to carry a huge fandom of avid watchers. For some fans, the cyberattack did not have as much of an effect as they are still catching up to the most recent releases, but for the committed watchers that have been following for several years waiting for each release, this news has frustrated them.

An Enloe student who has been watching One Piece since 2018 said, “[One Piece] was getting to the good part in the middle of a fight, so I’m really disappointed by that.” Left hanging at an intense moment, fans are stuck on the edge of their seats. Another fan who has been watching One Piece for about a year agreed with the previous sentiment, commenting, “I look forward to it every week, and now it’s not there so I’m kinda sad.” Like any other activity, watching anime serves as a place of comfort or escape from life. He continued saying, “It’s like a break that I can have just from doing work and everything. I guess it helps me have something to look forward to other than soccer.” 

Even after neutralizing the attack, its effects continue to impact many parties. Those out and within the studio are left in a rush to recover time lost while the committed fans wait indefinitely for news regarding the shows’ resumption.