Yukana has had to leave the cast of the upcoming anime Touka Gettan, apparently because her schedule had been double booked. Yukana is a controversial figure, having been accused of various misdeeds and having left more than one agency, so unfortunately this just adds to her reputation for being a dangerous person to cast. (mouseover photos for captions)
Her agency, Sigma Seven, made a statement taking full responsibility for their "ineptitude" and apologizing profusely. They only discovered the problem after episode one had been recorded, the statement said, and only made the move after full discussion with "all concerned."
The excellent Itou Miki (Sachiko in Maria-sama ga Miteru, Fuji-nee in Fate/Stay Night, Asa in Shuffle!) will take over her role of Yumiko, the hero (heroine?) Touka's beautiful young mother, a role which is billed third, after the two stars. Itou-san is not represented by Sigma Seven.
This coming season, Yukana is just finishing a major role as C.C. in Code Geass, and has new minor roles in Nanoha StrikerS, Toward the Terra, and Idolmaster Xenoglossia. It appears the conflict must just have to do with when recording sessions are scheduled, or may concern something coming up in the summer. Touka Gettan appears to be a 13-episode series, but perhaps it's longer and would affect work during the summer. Comments on 2channel suggest that the story is such that it may not be necessary to re-record episode one. The whole affair does seem odd, especially considering that Sigma Seven is a top agency, and could be presumed to be quite professional.
Controversy has swirled around Yukana for years. She is apparently not the easiest person to get along with, and has quit a couple of agencies when she thought they were not doing what she wanted. In 2000, she was accused of having ruined one sound director's marriage. From her photos one can see how this might happen. As a comment on 2channel put it, she has a strong erotic aura. Some people say that in fact the sound director in question was a bachelor, so who knows what actually happened. She took six months off to go and do English study in the US, then returned and changed her stage name from Nogami Yukana to just Yukana.
Then in 2004 she was chosen to play Four Murasame in the new Zeta Gundam movie, and the older seiyuu who had played the role in the '80s (Shimazu Saeko) went ballistic, covering her home page with closely-argued tirades against the sound director who had chosen Yukana.
The rumor was that Yukana had got the role because of a physical relationship with the sound director. Gundam fans sided with the previous seiyuu and although their ire was against the sound director, Yukana was tarnished. The "anti-" Yukana thread on 2channel still has the subheading "pillow work" which is a Japanese expression similar to "casting couch." (Most top seiyuus have "anti-" threads on 2channel.) There's a link in Yukana's entry in the Hashihime Seiyuu Gallery to a Japanese site about the controversy.
But Yukana remains in my opinion one of the outstanding female seiyuus. Her voice has rare intensity and flexibility, and she can fill it with seductive power. Directors appear to agree, since she keeps getting excellent roles. She was Mashiro in Mai-Otome, Tessa in Full Metal Panic, Dominura in Simoun, Lottie in Soukou no Strain, and is C.C. in Code Geass. Personally, I will watch some of any show she is in.