Controversies have long been a part of the anime and manga community, and 2022 was no exception. Twitter, in particular, was a hotbed for these controversies, as the popularity of these mediums ensures that even minor happenings within the community reach every corner of the world. Unfortunately, this widespread attention can lead to complaints about content that was never meant for a general audience.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the world of controversies and take a look at some of the most notable ones from this year.
1. NSFW Illustration of MHA’s Invisible Girl
- Manga Title: My Hero Academia
In My Hero Academia, Toru Hogakure, also known as the invisible girl hero, is a top student whose identity is finally revealed in chapter 337. However, the series’ creator, Kohei Horikoshi, shared an illustration of Hogakure in which she is barely covered by her hands, leading to complaints from fans who argued that this was inappropriate given her status as an underage girl.
Horikoshi faced a significant amount of criticism from fans who were surprised and disappointed by this move, given the popularity and reputation of the My Hero Academia franchise.
2. Blackface Marin Kitagawa
- Anime Title: My Dress-Up Darling
In episode 10 of My Dress-Up Darling, Marin Kitagawa asks Gojo to create an outfit for the character “Veronica,” who has sharp teeth and brown skin. Gojo makes the replica outfit for Marin, who is white, and Marin uses a cream to darken her skin tone in order to cosplay as Veronica. This led to accusations of racism, even though there was no intention of causing offence. Strangely, many people didn’t even notice this, but those who did create a thread and turned a small issue into a larger controversy.
The release of the episode led to accusations that Marin had worn Blackface, a type of makeup used by non-African descent actors to portray a degrading portrayal of black people. The episode made it clear that Marin had used full body makeup to change her skin tone rather than tanning, and that the makeup washed off when she took a bath. Blackface is considered a form of racism.
3. Isayama Apologizing to Fanbase
- Anime Title: Attack on Titan
At Anime NYC, Hajima Isayama, the creator of the wildly popular manga Attack on Titan, apologized to fans for the controversy surrounding the ending of the series and the negative feedback he received. He was visibly emotional during the apology, demonstrating the impact the controversy had on his mental well-being.
Many believe that Isayama did not deserve the hate he received, as the ending of Attack on Titan was unique and not flawed. Some fans were unhappy with the ending and took out their frustration on the author, rather than showing appreciation for the many chapters of enjoyment the series provided. This controversy was one of the most significant of the year.
4. Inappropriate Fanart of Anya Forger
- Anime Title: Spy x Family
Anya Forger has been a prominent figure in the anime community this year, and @sakimichanart, a Twitter user, decided to draw a mature version of her for entertainment purposes. However, when they uploaded a teaser of the fanart, people tried to prevent them from sharing the full sketch due to the inappropriate and potentially harmful nature of the art.
As 6-year-old Anya is depicted in the fanart, is not only highly inappropriate but can also have negative consequences. Some fans believe that drawing underage anime characters like that should be discouraged and that such content is dangerous. It is important to respect the boundaries and ages of fictional characters and to create and consume content that is appropriate and respectful.
5. Black English Voice Actress of Nagatoro Gets Backlash
- Anime Title: Don’t Toy with me, Nagatoro
“Don’t Toy with me, Nagatoro” faced criticism from the outset due to its title, which some believed promoted bullying by portraying the teasing of a socially awkward boy. However, things took a turn for the worse when Crunchyroll cast Kimberley Anne Campbell, a black actress, as the English voice of Nagatoro.
This led to accusations that Crunchyroll was promoting racism, as some felt that choosing voice actors based on their race was inappropriate for such a large company, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. This controversy sparked a larger conversation about representation and diversity in the media industry.
6. Crunchyroll on Unionization of Voice Actors
- Anime Title: Mob Psycho 100 III
Just before the production of Mob Psycho 100 Season 3, Kyle McCarley, the English voice actor of Shigeo, announced on his Youtube channel that he would no longer be voicing the character due to Crunchyroll’s refusal to support his request for a SAG-AFTRA union contract. This contract helps freelance voice actors secure better pay and retirement insurance through their work, which is not always possible without union representation.
This decision by Crunchyroll was seen as unfair to small businesses and freelancers who just want a fair and secure package for their work, rather than simply being paid without additional benefits. In response, many people cancelled their Crunchyroll memberships to show support for freelance voice actors and the importance of fair treatment in the industry. This controversy highlighted the need for better protection and support for freelance workers in the anime voice-acting industry.
7. Crunchyroll Paying Low Wages To Dub Voice Actors
The topic of inadequate pay for voice actors at Crunchyroll was brought to the forefront of the internet’s attention when the voice actor for Mob Psycho spoke out. This sparked a wave of other voice actors voicing their own experiences and frustrations with low pay at Crunchyroll, including Anairis Quiñones, who voiced Rika Orimoto in Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Quiñones shared that she was only paid a mere $150 for her work on the show, inciting discussions about fair compensation and working conditions within the industry.
The tweet about Crunchyroll’s treatment of voice actors quickly gained traction on social media and anime fans flooded the official Twitter account with messages calling out the company on the unfair treatment.
8. Summertime Render Cosplayer Arrested
- Anime Title: SummerTime Rendering
“Summer Time Rendering” was a relatively unknown anime that gained popularity due to its intriguing plot and well-developed characters. One of the main characters, Ushio, gained a significant fan base and was cosplayed by a Chinese girl. However, when she was seen wearing the cosplay outfit in public, she was arrested by the police and subjected to a thorough investigation.
The wearing of kimonos in public has recently caused controversy in China due to the rise in patriotism and anti-Japanese sentiment. Japanese culture, which was once widely enjoyed by young Chinese people, has faced increasing criticism. The strained relationship between Japan and China is well-known, but the arrest of someone for simply wearing a kimono is considered by many to be excessive. The incident received a lot of attention online and sparked discussions about the appropriateness of expressing cultural appreciation in public.
We would love to hear your thoughts on these controversies. Have we missed any of the anime controversies from this year? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.