Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts voiceover artist Ayumi Ito has reportedly received death threats.
As reported in The Sankei News and shared by Kotaku, Ito has been subject to two separate harassment campaigns in recent months, with one woman in her 20s writing to Ito’s talent agency to say she “hate[s] her [Ito] so much [she] wants to kill her” and “[she’s] going to stab her in the back of her hand with all [her] might”.
In a separate incident, a man in his 30s demanded that an unconfirmed company with producer credits for Final Fantasy recast the character Ito was voicing, reportedly saying: “[she] makes me want to stab [her] in the eyes and gouge them out with a knife”.
According to Kyodo News, the man and the woman were not known to each other and charges have been filed in both cases.
Ito is no stranger to video games. First voicing the Japanese voice of Tifa Lockhart back in 2005’s Kingdom Hearts II, she has reprised her role in a number of Final Fantasy games, including Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Explorers, World of Final Fantasy, Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary, and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. She is also reprising Tifa in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is expected to release next year.
In other Final Fantasy news, a live-action series based upon Square Enix’s MMO RPG Final Fantasy XIV is in development by Sony Pictures Television and Hivemind, the company also bringing The Witcher to Netflix. The live-action television series will reportedly tell an original story set in the fantastic world of Eorzea.
“Inspired directly by the world and characters of the title’s fourteenth installment”, the project “will embrace the bold and genre-bending sensibilities of the revered and long-running Final Fantasy series as it explores the struggle between magic and technology in a quest to bring peace to a land in conflict”. The show will reportedly be “filled with iconic hallmarks of the title’s revered mythology” including magitek, beastmen, airships, and chocobos, plus characters like Cid, “one of the games’ central and most beloved characters who has appeared in almost every instalment of the franchise to date”.