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The Toei Animation Studio Hack, Explained

Is nothing sacred in this cruel world?

Screenshot of Luffy being sad

Hacks have sadly started to become a more regular occurrence. Every few months, it seems like a major company enters the headlines—in 2021 alone, everything from a major gas pipeline to Twitch fell victim to hackers. And because our world is mean, hackers have now decided to come even for the hallowed grounds of anime. On March 6, 2022, Toei Animation Studio was hacked. Worse still, the hack will affect the broadcast schedules of four shows: One Piece, Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai, Digimon Ghost Game, and Delicious Party Precure.

According to Siliconera, on March 6, an unauthorized third party “attempted to hack Toei Animation’s internal systems.” Toei then decided to shut down their online store and internal system as a safety measure. Who exactly is behind the Toei Animation hack remains unknown. Toei is currently working with a security firm to conduct an investigation, and the investigation is partly to determine whether or not user data has been breached.

Toei did not announce the attack until March 11, when multiple affected shows also made statements. As it turns out, shutting down the internal system has severely hindered the ability of these shows to continue production as normal, and so, we have delays.

I am personally very concerned about One Piece, as last week’s episode detailing the history of Yamato and Ace’s friendship made my heart grow ten sizes. According to an official statement on their website, One Piece’s schedule will be affected starting with the episode on March 20. More details about the new schedule will be announced on their website and social media accounts.

Digimon Ghost Game‘s schedule will also be affected starting March 20. In an official statement, the team said simply and ominously that “there may be some changes in the future broadcast schedule.”

Neither One Piece nor Digimon Ghost Game was slated to air a new episode this week, because their Japanese channel will be covering the Nagoya Women’s Marathon. You’re telling me that’s more important than the heartwarming legacy of Ace upon the lives of those he touched as they move to defeat two of the Four Emperors?!

As for Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, the next episode, episode 73, will not be airing on March 12 as planned. The show has yet to announce whether it will be possible for episode 73 to premiere on March 19, or whether there will be further delays. Similarly, a new episode of Delicious Party Precure will no longer air on March 13. That show also has yet to announce whether or not it will be possible for episode 6 to air the following week.

From the severity of these delays and the uncertainly inherent in all four of these statements, it seems like Toei Animation’s internal system may still be shut down. Whenever he’s done with Kaido, I hope Luffy will make these hackers pay for what they’ve done.

(Image credit: Toei Animation)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a musician, audio person, writer, and nerd. When not talking about One Piece or Zelda (among other anime and games), she's finding surprising ways to play the guitar.