The Apothecary Diaries mangaka accused of and indicted for tax evasion

On Monday, April 1, 2024, The Fukuoka Regional Taxation Bureau of Japan announced the formal charges against Nekokurage (real name Erika Ikeda), the mangaka behind The Apothecary Diaries, for suspected tax evasion. It is alleged that Nekokurage failed to report approximately 260 million yen (equivalent to $1.7 million) in income and avoided paying around 47 million yen (equivalent to $310,000) in taxes between 2019 and 2021.

The Apothecary Diaries author was officially charged with the aforementioned offenses on February 29. However, this information was not disclosed until Monday, April 1, 2024, according to various sources. The National Tax Bureau of Japan has stated that the money evaded in taxes, which includes income from manga sales, was utilized to purchase real estate.

Nekokurage is the creator of The Apothecary Diaries manga, which is based on the original light novel series of the same name by author Natsu Hyuga and illustrator Touko Shino. Hyuga first published the story as a web novel on the Shosetsuka ni Naro website, where it is still ongoing today.

Acknowledging Fault: The Apothecary Diaries Mangaka’s Confession Regarding Tax Return Neglect

After the allegations were made public, Nekokurage, the mangaka of The Apothecary Diaries, addressed them on X. Nekokurage stated that their failure to file tax returns was due to their own ignorance, but they rectified the situation by paying the taxes and fees in 2022 after being instructed by the tax office about their unreported income. They have also enlisted the help of a tax accountant to ensure proper filing of their taxes.

Nekokurage emphasized that the issue at hand is a personal one and does not involve the author and illustrator of the original light novel series or any other individuals involved in the creation of the manga adaptation. As of the time of writing this article, Nekokurage and their team have not made any additional statements and it remains uncertain if they will do so in the future.

The Apothecary Diaries manga was initially released in Square Enix’s Monthly Big Gangan magazine in May 2017 by its author. The 13th volume of the manga was recently published by Square Enix on March 25 of this year. Currently, the series has been translated and released in English, with 11 out of the 13 volumes available in English.

The television anime adaptation of the light novel series premiered on October 21, 2023, with its first three episodes airing simultaneously. The anime ran for two continuous cours, which were also streamed internationally by Crunchyroll as it aired in Japan. An English dub was also produced by Crunchyroll. While a second season is planned for 2025, there has been no substantial information released about it yet.

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