Tokyo Babylon 2021 - Why The New Clamp Anime Was Canceled?

The official Twitter account for the Tokyo Babylon 2021 anime announced on March 29 the TV anime project was canceled, following several issues revealed months prior, most notably a plagiarism case. What happened?

Tokyo Babylon 2021 was first announced back in October 26, 2020, with a key visual and a short trailer, with animation by studio GoHands. However, soon after, the project was delayed due to a plagiarism case.

Tokyo Babylon 2021 plagiarism incident

Initially supposed to start in April 2021, the Tokyo Babylon 2021 anime announced a delay in December 2020 after the costumes and poses for the character design in the anime were revealed to be plagiarized.

The costume used by Hokuto Sumeragi was plagiarized from Korean girls band Red Velvet. Meanwhile, the costume of protagonist Subaru Sumeragi, was plagiarized from a Volks doll outfit.

  • CLAMPTokyo Babylon 2021 initial reveal announcement

Following this, the anime’s staff apologized, and all materials, trailers included, revealed so far, were deleted.

Tokyo Babylon 2021 cancellation announcement

And now, the official twitter account for Tokyo Babylon 2021 announced the anime’s cancellation on March 29, citing the lack of trust in the anime production companies: After reviewing the materials produced so far, several other instances of plagiarism besides the costumes were discovered.

It’s important to note that while everything seems to point towards GoHands being at fault, no studio was officially named. GoHands being the main problem would definitely not come as a surprise though seeing the studio’s low quality in the past (See Handshakers).

The announcement also states that following discussions with Clamp and the anime production committee, it’s possible another Tokyo Babylon anime project with a brand new production system will be started in the future.

The official site and all social media linked to Tokyo Babylon 2021 will also be shut down on April 30, 2021.

Following the cancellation, Young Ace magazine stated that as per the wishes of Clamp trying to give fans something for consolation, a new manga edition of the original Tokyo Babylon will be released soon:

Tokyo Babylon 2021 Canceled – Fan reception and the Clamp factor

It’s also important to note how initial reception from fans of the manga was quite negative when the first Tokyo Babylon 2021 trailer was released. The name Tokyo Babylon 2021, different than how the original manga is simply titled “Tokyo Babylon“, hinted towards a re imagination of the series, in our current era, rather than a simple anime adaptation.

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Multiple fans disliked how different the anime felt compared to the manga. Moreover, many fans noted the fact Clamp was seemingly barely involved in the Tokyo Babylon 2021 anime project.

Following the cancellation, several Japanese fans on Twitter pointed out that the plagiarism would probably have not have happened if the anime production committee had a stronger collaboration with Clamp.

Personally speaking, I’d say I’m quite disappointed as the anime was supposed to feature both Shouta Aoi and Nana Mizuki. It’s not often you see two of the most popular seiyuu of all time, in the same series, both voicing main characters. I hope the same cast will be kept if a new anime project is restarted.

What do you think about the Tokyo Babylon 2021 cancellation? Were you looking forward to the anime? You can always hit me up on Twitter to chat about it.

Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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