Welcome, everyone once again to This Week in Anime, the series where I highlight some of the more important stories to come out relating to anime in the past week. This week was certainly a lot less busy, but the stories that did break were well worth taking a look at. Without further ado, here are this week’s stories.
A Damning Indictment of the Idol Industry
An article published in Goboiano last Sunday, writer Simonzi documented some dark truths behind the idol industry at large. In it, they talk about the beginning of the industry and how it quickly turned from a nationwide talent search to a borderline sex ring, with middle age pimps often posing as promoters. It gets worse when she explains that often times the lives of Idols are controlled by these promoters and that moving up in rank in idol group might mean sleeping with powerful people, even when some of these idols are as young as twelve. You can read the full article here.
Ichita Yamamoto Apologizes for his Comments Around Recent Murders
Takahiro Shiraishi was recently arrested after it was discovered that he had been luring suicidal people into his apartment and killing and molesting them, after which he would chop up their body so they would be easier to contain and hide from neighbors. This news was deeply disturbing to many, but one politician was quick to exclaim there was a simple reason for his behavior. Ichita Yamamoto last week was quick to blame anime and video games as the reason for Shiraishi’s killing spree, saying that they corrode the distinction between real life and fantasy.
This week, Yamamoto walked back his statements after much public backlash, including many pointing out that it was an odd comment coming from him, considering he was a member of the Cool Japan Committee, a program meant to help people move to Japan while pursuing careers in things like anime and manga. Yamamoto has since apologized saying “To all the people involved with and who love anime, I am truly sorry! I will take proper care never to make such baseless comments again.”
Makoto Shinkai is Not Interested in the Your Name Live Action Film
Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name has become one of the most successful anime films of all time, surpassing the expectations of many, including Shinkai himself. Shinkai had said that he was “…excited with anticipation” for J.J. Abrams live-action adaptation of his Smash hit film. Recently, however, Shinkai sent a much different message. He was at an exhibition celebrating his career where he said: “I often think of the anime I’ve created as my children, but I’m not really that interested in what happens to those children afterward.” This came off as an odd response from someone who is known for his passion for every project he does. Ultimately, he compared his work to his children and said that “The Hollywood version was announced, and though I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out, at the same time, it’s like my son setting off on his personal journey. What kind of adult he grows into is something for him to deal with himself.”
How do some of these stories make you feel? What is your take on them? Let me know down in the comments. Bye for now, Friendos!