Kemono Friends director and scriptwriter TATSUKI announced that he is no longer working on Kemono Friends due to his sudden termination by Kadokawa. TATSUKI didn’t state why Kadokawa parted ways with him and he apologized to fans for this disappointing news in a now viral tweet.
— たつき／irodori (@irodori7) September 25, 2017
Kemono Friends became a huge hit despite its low budget and a 12-person staff. TATSUKI was credited as the series’ director but he also did much of the 3D modeling. While the anime’s success seems random, many Kemono Friends fans credit the series pure nature and lack of commercial elements as part of its appeal.
The Kemono Friends franchise, which was created by Sgt. Frog mangaka Mine Yoshizaki, was once on shaky ground. Shortly after the anime’s debut, fans and critics blasted it for having amateurish animation. Nexon’s Kemono Friends smartphone game was also canceled before the anime aired.
However, it gained a huge following on social media which lead to huge disc sales, a series of art books, a new smartphone game, a stage play production, and collaborations with Japanese zoos.
A second season was confirmed in July but Kadokawa mentioned that it would take some time to produce.
TATSUKI wore many hats during the production of Kemono Friends and shared genuine enthusiasm with fans, so his sudden termination has sent shock waves around Japanese Twitter. Fans are eagerly waiting to see how TATSUKI’s departure will affect the upcoming second season.