Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: March 16th, 2018
Continuing on the heels of last week’s article, let us talk about what will happen once anime is fully integrated into mainstream. The next phase will be a long and difficult one. It will require interference from the political establishment as well as social pressure applied through use of the media.
Phase 3: Social and Political Pressure
Image Source: Kotaku
The foremost mean of changing a medium is to use the media to divide the fanbase, create the impression that a large group of people within that fanbase desire drastic changes and, of course, once this fabrication has been accepted as reality, they can move to the next phase and implement changes suited to their agenda.
Even though the attack on anime is still in phase 1, the fact remains that our hobby has been in the establishment’s crosshair for long time now. So while we have yet to see the full extent of the media onslaught against our fanbase, the truth is the groundwork has already been done and the media has already begun to push their agenda in preparation for this phase. This is apparent in the recent incident concerning CoroCoro Comic and Genghis Khan where a magazine was forced to apologize for a comical depiction of the ancient murderous tyrant, which eventually escalated with the manga being pulled from major bookstores in protest; thus laying the precedent for political correctness with the Japanese industry by demonstrating a willingness to give in to the demands of the various groups who are always happy to use the offended card.
Image Source: The Daily Beast
Of course, the #Metoo movement has already made its way to Japan and in spite of resistance to this wave of Dark Age-styled repression and mob justice, the establishment is continuing to press on. Undoubtedly, this movement will also be used as a tool to attack the Japanese geek community when the time is right. From creators of manga, to anime directors and writers, to voice actors, to CEOs… Many will be targeted and disgraced. Then, #Metoo will be used as further justification of the need to alter the way the various geek mediums portray various topics so as to control its content. Just as it is unfolding in America.
Image Source: After the Rain screenshot from Anime Feminist
In the more traditional forms of media pressure, we have Anime Feminist and its recent article talking about how inappropriate the relationship between characters of various series are. The article itself is interesting in how it shows us what to expect in the future when it mentions the need to “write responsibly”; putting forward the implication that writers have an inherent moral responsibility to create art in a certain way. Expect more of that. In a truly authoritarian fashion, we are explained how relationships should be portrayed in fictional stories. Even brazenly telling us which perspective a story should be told from.
Another article from the same website also tears into Darling and the Franxx, pushing the agenda that we simply cannot discuss sexuality differently in different series but that all series that deal with sex should do so “appropriately” based on modern feminist standards; calling anything that fails to meet that standard “Old fashioned” and “Outdated” (Referring to heterosexuality of course). The article builds on the Western feminist belief of how society should function sexually and chastises the show for failing to meet that mythical standard. The article also does an impressive bit of reinterpretation of the series’ symbolic meaning to suit its premise.
Image Source: CNN footage
Back in America, we are now treated to articles telling us how disrespectful and inappropriate a character like Tony Stark is. Specifically highlighting that it is movements like #Metoo that are responsible for this new stance and this new standard which they are trying to establish and cement. Following this is a recent attempt to paint video-games in a negative light by framing them as a possible cause of mental disorder through misrepresentations and misquoting in what is a poor, if not highly unethical, rendition of “journalism”. All the while Republicans are pushing on their side with their attempt to censor violence in video-games through taxes and ratings, for now. It should be expected that in due time similar attacks will be mounted in Japan as well; not to mention how Japanese games will be affected in the West as things already stand.
Those of us who are fans of video-games and comics already known what this phase entails as we have already passed this point in our respective hobbies and still have to suffer continuous attacks of this kind and others. Just as it was for those two mediums, the attack on anime will also gain steam and eventually reach the same unbearable levels.
Image Source: Screenrant
As for politics, this is not going to happen soon but after the media onslaught usually follows calls for censorship. We have already seen a willingness from the Japanese government to censor with incidents such as Bill 156 and the recent change in Japanese law concerning possession of child pornography, which was initially designed to target fiction but was altered to exclude it after backlash over the ridiculousness of such a move. If history is to be trusted, sooner or later, more such political attacks will also be mounted; likely to coincide and be in concert with the media attacks.
Image Source: Scene from the series Shimoneta
The incoming attack on anime is itself part of a greater war on geek culture in general; from video-games, to comics, to anime… and is occurring across all levels of the media. Make no mistake, this is not a random result of progressive political ideology gone awry, it is calculated and intentional. If you noticed, this movement is being pushed by journalists of the entertainment mainstream media, of the regular establishment news media, by actors and actresses, by professional feminists, by professional activists, by political pressure groups, by figures of authority and influence… The average Joe has no say in this movement one way or the other and the ones spearheading this movement have the support of the United States government (And Japanese in this case) and the United Nations; who are supporting and vindicating their efforts. This is a massive attempt at censorship that is intended to affect and destroy all geek sub-cultures. It is an internal and smaller scale version of cultural imperialism (And in Japan’s case, a pretty literal case of it) hidden under the veil of social justice. Imperialism works in a pretty simple way (This modern brand of it anyway): First infiltrate the targeted culture, then portray it as barbaric and finally, implement changes under the guise of righteousness and morality to destroy said culture by suppression and integration into your own culture. That this is a sub-culture, that of geek culture, does not change the fact that the same tactics are being employed. The design and goals are simple: As countries become more and more authoritarian, they must eliminate all aspects of culture which do not conform to state doctrine. Individuality is poison to the state.
This is not a partisan issue, the political left is attempting censorship of sexuality and free speech while the political right is attempting censorship of violence and unpatriotic behavior; it is a cooperative effort and both groups complement each other. As a fanbase, we must not rely on a political faction to protect us as they only serve their interests and agenda. We must in fact take politics out of our hobbies. To do that we must come together as a fanbase and, through collective efforts, resist all attempts to destroy our communities, hobbies and sub-cultures.
We must not look at this issue through the lens of partisan politics, which offers a limited and predetermined paradigm designed to direct our thinking. We must look at this situation from the perspective of fans, of artists, of individuals and of a community. And we must not forget that women are part of this community as well. The political factions have pitted us against each other and attempted to make us enemies, to divide us, but women have been an integral part of this geek community for a long time now and almost represent 50% of said community. Up until now, men have had no problems with entertainment aimed at women and similarly, women couldn’t have cared less about entertainment aimed at men. The real problems are those who tried to divide us and make us believe we have a problem with varied entertainment. Let’s not forget that women were fighting right alongside men during gamergate and comicgate, for they too have a community to defend and know full well that their entertainment is equally at stake; for feminists have a very different view of what is appropriate for women then the women who actually consume this entertainment.
In the next article, I will be dealing with the topic of corporate manipulations.
Source: Article Image: Cover picture of YouTube video Anime & Video Games Don’t Need Feminism