The anime fandom is abuzz about a potential scandal, openly questioning if Japanese Bakugo voice actor Nobuhiko Okamoto cheated on his wife after he released a public statement apologizing for unknown actions.
Just finding out that the 33-year-old Okamoto is married to Asuka Ogame was a surprise in itself, but his public comments also caused the cheating rumors to go viral.
The story starts with Weekly Bunshun Digital, which has earned the nickname “Bunshun Cannon” for its tendency to uncover Japanese celebrity scandals.
The site claimed that Okamoto was spotted in the crowds near the Shinjuku Toho Building, which features a large Godzilla head statue leering over the cityscape.
The popular anime voice actor had appeared at an event earlier in the day, and he allegedly used a taxi to head to the Kabukicho district of Tokyo.
It was January 26, 2020, and the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus had just been confirmed to have spread to Japan in the weeks prior. Okamoto was reportedly wearing a black face mask and was using a smartphone while apparently looking for someone.
The news site claims Okamoto was soon approached by a “small woman in a mask,” who was described as a “partner.” The identity of the woman was never stated nor was a photo shown so she could be identified.
The two allegedly met together briefly and then maintained a small distance as they walked through the downtown area. Then they were “sucked in” to a popular luxury hotel in the love hotel area of Kabukicho.
The paparazzi story did not publish until March 21, 2020.
Rumors began to fly, so the voice actor released a statement on his personal LINE blog that only clarified some aspects of the story, including the fact that he was already married.
In response to the statement, anime fans began to speculate about Nobuhiko Okamoto cheating on his wife. Some claimed that the unknown woman in Tokyo must be a prostitute who had sex with him in a Tokyo love hotel.
But Okamoto’s actual statement is ambiguous and doesn’t directly state the wrongdoing for which he was apologizing.
The statement which critics claim proves that Nobuhiko Okamoto cheated on Asuka Ogame
The two translations have been merged in an attempt to provide a sense of the nuance of the blog statement.
To everyone who supported me,
I apologize for the things that happened in my personal life, but I have something I would like to announce. I hereby confirm that I am, indeed, married to Ogame Asuka.
I deeply apologize for not publicizing this fact, as well as my actions which lacked self-awareness as a married man [alternatively: I am sorry that I acted irrationally despite being a married man.].
Of course, my wife is very disappointed [alternatively: very disgusted or feeling hatred toward] in me.
If I can receive forgiveness over this, I will work hard to become a faithful person that can be trusted by my wife. [alternatively: If I can be forgiven, I want to become a man who can support my wife whole-heartedly.]
My deepest apologies to those involved and for causing so much trouble for these people.
Moreover, I know that a lot of fans probably hate me and feel betrayed right now. [alternatively: There are many of my fans who may feel hatred towards me, or feel that they have been betrayed.]
I am very, genuinely sorry. I give my sincere apology. [alternatively: I apologize from the bottom of my heart.]
As both a person and as an actor, I am still lacking in many aspects. However, I want to continue facing my work as an actor to the best of my ability. [alternatively: As a human and as a voice actor, there [is] still a lot of room for improvement, I will work hard.]
Nobuhiko Okamoto’s wife also released a statement on her Twitter account. She wanted to leave a message to all her supporters, and she confirmed that “Asuka Ogame is married to Nobuhiko Okamoto.”
She also provided additional details about why her marriage to Nobuhiko had not been previously announced.
“Because my work and my private life are separate I didn’t tell everyone on social media,” she explained. “We will be more restrained [hikishime/引き締め literally means “tightening”) even further in both public and private from now on. Thank you for your continued support.”
— 大亀 あすか (@asu_kame) March 21, 2020
A translator questions whether Nobuhiko Okamoto cheated or not
In response to the voice actor’s statement, some fans on Twitter have been very upset. Not only is Nobuhiko Okamoto Bakugo a voice actor in My Hero Academia, but he’s also been featured in older popular anime:
- Rin Okumura in Blue Exorcist
- Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index and also A Certain Scientific Accelerator
- Yuu Nishinoya in Haikyuu!!
- Shinjiro Nagita in Kill la Kill
- Karma Akabene in Assassination Classroom
- Jun Arashiyama in World Trigger
- Karashin in Log Horizon Season 2
- Bete Loga in DanMachi: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?
- Harunobu Nikaido in March Comes In Like A Lion
- Dendritic Cell in Cells At Work!
- Ghiaccio in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
- Genya Shinazugawa in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
More recently, Okamoto has been Ryou Kurokiba in Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Kai the mongoose in the BEASTARS anime, Swain in Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, and Khun Aguero Agnes in Crunchyroll’s Tower of God anime.
In the future, he’s very likely to return for voice actor roles in My Hero Academia Season 5, Demon Slayer Season 2, BEASTARS Season 2, Haikyuu!! Season 5, Log Horizon Season 3: Destruction of the Round Table, World Trigger Season 2, DanMachi Season 3, and Tower Of God Season 2.
Needless to say, fans can’t help but think about the Nobuhiko Okamoto scandal when they see these characters and it sours their perception of the anime. But one of the translators believes the cheating rumors may not be accurate.
Writing on Twitter, daisukillua notes that Nobuhiko’s “words are ambiguous” since they “did not confirm that he had an affair. He only confirmed his marriage with Ogame Asuka.”
“You could interpret ‘my wife is very disappointed in me’ as his wife being disappointed at him being caught by the paparazzi and therefore having to publicize their marriage even though they wanted to keep it private,” daisukillua wrote.
“But you could also interpret it as that he did something to be sorry to his wife for. Again, he made his statements ambiguous. So please don’t spread that he is a cheater because at least right now, there is no official confirmation of whether the cheating scandal is real.”
In the end, the statement translator asks that “no matter how you decide to interpret his words, please do not hate on his characters or the works he’s involved in.”
It’s pointed out that, “regardless of his personal life, he is an incredible voice actor,” so anime fans should continue to be passionate about his work.