After 26 years of voicing Shinnosuke Nohara, the protagonist of CRAYON SHIN-CHAN, voice actress Akiko Yajima (BLOOD+, INUYASHA) will step down from the role. On May 31st, the anime’s official website announced the sad news, mentioning that her last episode will air in Japan on June 29th.

A promotional shot of the CRAYON SHIN-CHAN cast
Red shirt-wearing Shin and his family | Image: Geek Insider

The Adventures of Shin

CRAYON SHIN-CHAN began as a manga written and illustrated by Yoshito Usui and published by Futabasha in 1990. Unfortunately, Usui passed in 2009 and the original manga came to an end. However, in August 2010, Usui’s team continued the series. The manga, now called NEW CRAYON SHIN-CHAN, is still ongoing and published by Futabasha. The anime adaptation, produced by Shin-Ei Animation, first premiered in 1992 and continues to air today on TV Asahi.

The series follows the antics of its five-year-old protagonist, Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara, and his family, friends, and neighbors. CRAYON SHIN-CHAN is a comedic, slice-of-life anime and does not follow any structured plot. Instead, we watch as Shin tries to live his best life and annoy everyone around him.

The 5-year-old rascal is anything but innocent, however. Considered the “Japanese Bart Simpson” by some, Shin is often making churlish jokes and pulling naughty gags. Whether it’s addressing his mom by her first name or exposing his bottom, Shin is definitely not your ordinary kid. The comedic nature of this eccentric series may be why it’s so popular to this day.

Why Do We Still Call Shinji Ikari Whiny?

The International Spread of CRAYON SHIN-CHAN

Initially, Vitello Productions dubbed CRAYON SHIN-CHAN into English in 2002. However, they made many changes to make the series more family-friendly. As a result, a lot of the adult content found in the original Japanese anime was edited out. In 2003, Phuuz Entertainment Inc. continued a new dub, which featured a different cast of voice actors. The dub was pitched to Adult Swim in the U.S., but was turned down and deemed more appropriate for younger audiences. However, by 2006, Funimation licensed CRAYON SHIN-CHAN in North America and went on to create a highly Americanized, more adult-appropriate dub. In this version, the series maintains a lot of innuendos and vulgarity, similar to the original, but is more aligned with American pop culture.

Japan in ‘Crisis’ Over Manga and Anime Piracy

Considered one of the most watched anime series in Japan, CRAYON SHIN-CHAN has also been dubbed to air in several other countries. This includes Italy, Greece, Israel, Philippines, India, Mexico, and more. Unsurprisingly, the series has not always been well-received because of its crude humor. But, with some dubbing adjustments and censorship, the anime continues to air in many areas.

Akiko Yajima Says Goodbye

One of Shin’s defining characteristics is his abnormally deep voice and we have voice actress Akiko Yajima to thank for that. Outside of CRAYON SHIN-CHAN, Yajima has done voice work for other anime, such as MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM WING and NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. She has even dubbed for live-action films, including HOME ALONE and STAR WARS: EPISODE I.

Nevertheless, for the past 26 years, Yajima has voiced mischievous Shin since the start of the series. Unfortunately, more than 900 episodes later, it seems like that is about to change. Recently, the voice actress expressed that the role has become increasingly difficult for her to take on vocally. The official announcement of her departure includes a message from Yajima herself. There, she also expresses gratitude to her fans.

CRAYON SHIN-CHAN's protagonist feigning innocence.
Shin (far right) is not so innocent | Image: Funimation

As of now, there is no word yet on who will replace Yajima in the role of Shin. Nevertheless, TV Asahi is reportedly working on making adjustments. We can expect more news from them in July.

Are you a fan of CRAYON SHIN-CHAN? How do you feel about Yajima’s departure from the series? Do you think the series can ever be the same? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of Star2.

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!