Kanon Nanaki to Replace Ami Maeshima as Ibuki in D4DJ Anime and Game Project

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Bushiroad’s official website for the D4DJ anime and game project confirmed on December 11 that Kanon Nanaki would be taking over the role of the character of Ibuki Niijima. Nanaki’s voice lines and songs within the currently-running D4DJ Groovy Mix mobile game are scheduled to be added in, with Bushiroad to notify players of the exact date and time for their implementation through in-game announcements.

The news follows up on the previous announcement on November 30 that Ami Maeshima would be stepping down from the role of Ibuki, as well as performing in general, due to concerns about her physical health. Maeshima also left the role of Aya Maruyama in BanG Dream, another Bushiroad anime and game franchise, which she had performed since 2017. At the time of this writing, that role has not yet had a new actor announced, though Bushiroad did confirm that all of Maeshima’s previous voice lines and song performances as Aya would be preserved within the BanG Dream: Girls Band Party mobile game.


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Kanon Nanaki, the new voice for Ibuki in D4DJ, was already affiliated with Bushiroad, playing the character Koharu Yanagi in the Revue Starlight: Re LIVE mobile game and the series’ accompanying stage shows. A founding member of idol unit Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku, a sister unit of Momoiro Clover, Nanaki was also previously known for playing the role of Rei Hino/Sailor Mars in several Sailor Moon stage shows.

The D4DJ franchise launched in October 2020 as an anime and game multimedia project centered around disc-jockey units and their performances and competitions. The next season of the anime, titled D4DJ All Mix, is planned for release in January 2023. The announcement for that season had previously indicated that all previous cast members would be returning, though now the status of Ibuki Niijima’s role, whether Maeshima had completed recording for the character in the season, and if Nanaki’s voice will replace hers before the anime airs, is currently unknown.

This is not the first time the D4DJ franchise has had to affect this sort of recast. Only a few months earlier, Kanon Shizaki left the role of Rei Togetsu and was replaced in October by Maiko Irie. In Shizaki’s case, she has continued on with her other role as Rinko Shirokane in BanG Dream, which she herself was a replacement performer for, after Akesaka Satomi stepped down in 2018. It all serves as a demonstration that the real-world performing industry behind these franchises can be significantly more demanding and unforgiving than the more idealistic stories they portray.

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