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‘Evangelion’ Singer Cancels Performance at Anime Orchestra Concert Due to Use of AI-Generated Artwork

The Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic is an upcoming concert series focused on orchestral renditions of iconic anime themes. The first performance is scheduled for July 10 at Shibuya Sakura Hall in central Tokyo, and the plan was to start with a bang with Yoko Takahashi, singer of ‘Evangelion’s’ unforgettable opening theme ‘A Cruel Angel’s Thesis’.

However, Takahashi announced via a post on her official Twitter account that she is withdrawing from the program due to the organizers’ use of AI-generated artwork in the promotional materials for the event’s flyers, posters and website.

Takahashi’s statement says her beliefs differ from the operational stance of the Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic concert where she was scheduled to appear on July 10. As an artist, she cannot come to terms with the organizers, and after many difficult considerations, she refuses to participate in the event. She deeply apologizes to everyone who was looking forward to seeing her, and would like to place the highest value on the feelings of anime lovers.

Although not specifically mentioned in Takahashi’s statement, prior to her withdrawal, rumors began to circulate that portions of the Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic’s promotional artwork had been produced by generative AI. The Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic confirmed this in a statement issued at the exact same time as Takahashi’s, in which it apologized for the situation, although the organization denies that it knowingly used AI-generated artwork.

“Despite calling ourselves an anime-loving music organization, we are ashamed of our lack of awareness surrounding the recent issues regarding generative AI,” said the Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic, adding that the organization’s executive committee deeply regrets and that it would take the place of the promotional artwork with new illustrations by commissioned human artists.

▼ The new promotional image. Previously, the background consisted of a composite image of three illustrated musicians, within which the AI-generated assets were located

Screenshot-2024-06-21-at-10.32.35.png

The day before the above statements were made, Yo Matsushita, a saxophonist and one of the organizers of Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic, posted a video on the organization’s official YouTube channel discussing the series of events leading to Takahashi’s departure. According to Matsushita, the original intention was not to use AI-generated artwork in the concert’s promotional materials. However, they were unable to secure an artist for the project, and with promotional material deadlines quickly approaching, they looked for pre-existing images offered for commercial use, only to find the images of instrument-playing anime-style characters . which were used in the concert’s first poster. Unfortunately, Matsushita says the Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic failed to notice that among the images they selected to use were images tagged as “AI-generated.”

Currently, the July 10 event is still planned, featuring pieces from anime such as ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘One Piece, Oshi no Ko’, ‘Ranma 1/2’ and ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’. . However, the Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic says it will offer refunds to ticket holders who, like Takahashi, are no longer interested in attending.

Source: Twitter/@yoko_t_official via Nikkkan Sports via Livedoor News via Jin, Twitter/@ikeaniphil, IT Media, Ikebukuro Anime Philharmonic

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© SoraNews24

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