Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Anime Character Leads to Poster Controversy in Japan

Illustration for article titled Anime Character Leads to Poster Controversy in Japan
Kotaku EastEast 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.

The city of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, Japan thought it would be a good idea to try to boost tourism with anime posters. One in particular, however, will not be used.

Advertisement

The poster in question features a character named Kocho Yoshida (above) from the anime and manga No-Rin. Originally a light novel, No-Rin is a fan-sevice heavy comedy set in Gifu that centers around farming.

This isn’t a first. In the past, the city has featured characters from the show in posters to promote various events.

Advertisement

The city has been holding several No-Rin stamp rallies in which visitors go to different locations in the city and collect stamps. However, the latest event’s poster received complaints.

Illustration for article titled Anime Character Leads to Poster Controversy in Japan

According to Livedoor News, people called the prefectural office and complained online, calling the poster “unsightly,” “sexual harassment,” and even “a human rights violation.” It seems the issue wasn’t so much that an anime character was used, but rather, that the portrayal appeared gratuitous.

Because of the criticism, the city has decided to remove the poster. The incident has even made national news media.

Advertisement

The reaction on 2ch, Japan’s largest forum, ranged from people not seeing what the big deal was to people thinking the poster was a bit much and calling it embarrassing. One net user, however, pointed out that No-Rin characters appeared in this official Red Cross poster.

Illustration for article titled Anime Character Leads to Poster Controversy in Japan
Advertisement

Subtle, this ain’t.

The city cooperated with the anime production, even helping to scout locations. A few years back, some small towns that were depicted in anime began to experience more tourists, eager to see the real world locations featured in their favorite shows. This city isn’t exactly a hotbed of tourism and obviously, Minokamo is hoping to attract anime fans. Instead, it ended up attracting criticism.

Advertisement

According to Asahi News, one of Japan’s biggest papers, the poster that was up at one of the city’s main train stations (this might explain some of the negative reaction) has been removed. The poster will no longer be used for the stamp rally, and IT Media reports that currently, the city’s tourism office is looking at how to change the design.

Top image: 2ch | Silver Link | Funimation

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

Advertisement

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Good. I think there’s a big difference between censorship and being aware of how your community is presented to the public eye.

However embarrassing something like that might be, if an individual or a group of individuals wants to display that sort of stuff, they by all rights can and should express themselves.

But an official poster supported by the government? It’s objectionable content and while they shouldn’t censor that sort of thing, that doesn’t mean they really were in the right to put it on something that represents their whole town.