Never mind that Studio Ghibli's newest anime Kaze Tachinu was dubbed "too liberal" by some in Japan and its creator Hayao Miyazaki was called a "traitor." In South Korea, the movie is also being criticized, but for the opposite reasons. Hayao Miyazaki really can't win, can he?
Online in Japan, the movie was blasted and Miyazaki was mocked for his conciliatory comments regarding Japan's war crimes against Korea. The film, however, has turned out to be a smash hit in Japan, so maybe Miyzaki has won? Well, at home at least.
In neighboring South Korea, the movie, however, is being called "right wing."
This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise: Kaze Tachinu follows the life of Jiro Horikoshi, who created the iconic World War II fighter plane, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. That plane wrecked havoc all throughout Asia, destroying villages and killing people. That being said, Miyazaki doesn't exactly seem to be the chest thumping, war mongering Japanese imperialist? He's anything but.
The anger over the war, however, runs deep, and J-Cast reports that online in South Korea, the movie is being attacked. Some are apparently saying the movie glorifies Japanese imperialism. The plane itself is seen as problematic: Besides those it killed, there's anger saying that Mitsubishi used forced Korean and Chinese labor to manufacture it.
"Depicting oneself as the victim and portraying the calamity of war, but failing to point out the cause: Japan's typical masturbatory cinema," wrote one Korean net user, according to J-Cast. Another commenter said if there's a movie about Jiro Horikoshi, then why not premiere an anime about Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb?
Keep in mind that the movie is set before the plane goes into battle. Also, it's not out in South Korea yet.
Then, there were the calls in South Korea to have the movie banned when it is released. Currently, the movie is slated for a September opening in South Korea. Perhaps attitudes will change if more people see the film and give it a chance. Then again, maybe they don't want to.
In case you missed it, be sure to read Kotaku's review of the film.
ジブリ「風立ちぬ」韓国公開が危機 ゼロ戦題材に「右翼映画」批判止まず [J-Cast]
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.