The adage “your past never leaves you” warns us to be mindful of our actions, as they can have long-lasting consequences. However, even when we are careful, unforeseen circumstances can arise, such as our words or actions being taken out of context or becoming subject to another issue.
A recent example of this occurred with the Chainsaw Man author, who faced backlash on Twitter after his old tweets were brought to light. Similarly, Eiichiro Oda’s comment about a prominent mangaka who had confessed to being a paedophile resurfaced online, sparking outrage among fans and prompting a wider discussion about how we should react when learning about a public figure’s unsavory past.
In 2021, Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, gave an interview in which he praised fellow mangaka Nobuhiro Watsuki. However, this interview has now come under scrutiny, as a Twitter account posted about Oda’s remarks, causing some fans to question his judgment. Watsuki, it turns out, was convicted in 2017 of possessing child pornography, a fact that has caused many to condemn Oda for his seemingly sympathetic comments.
Eiichiro Oda interviewed the author of Rurouni Kenshin, Nobuhiro Watsuki. The interview was on the exhibition of the release of the “Official Artbook of Rurouni Kenshin”. Oda and Watsuki have been acquaintances since the 1990s, when Oda worked as an assistant for Nobuhiro. During the interview, these mangakas talked about nostalgia and praised each other’s work. And one of the comments made during this interview started a stir on Twitter:
Eiichiro Oda’s comment about Nobuhiro Watsuki
During the interview, Eiichiro Oda spoke highly of Nobuhiro Watsuki, describing him as a “fantastic person.” Oda explained that despite having a master-apprentice relationship, they were more like comrades who had known each other for a long time. In fact, Oda went as far as to say that his time working as Watsuki’s assistant was the best time of his life.
Why is Oda’s praise for Nobuhiro Watsuki making fans furious?
For those who don’t know, Nobuhiro Watsuki’s house was inspected in 2017, and child p*rnography was found in his profession. Later, he confessed to being a p*dophile and was under police custody. He was fined a measly 200,000 yen (1780 dollars) and faced house arrest for half a year. During his house arrest, his publishing company stated:
The author spends his days reflecting and with remorse, and think as though it’s our obligation as a publisher as well as his as an author make a way for us to reply through the work to the various opinions we’ve been gettingJump Square on the arrest of Nobuhiro Watsuki
This is not surprising at all because in Japan, mangakas are considered exceptional, and they receive special treatment. The most notorious case regarding this is the “cannibal mangaka case.”
Is Eiichiro Oda’s praise that much of a problem?
Eiichiro Oda’s recent comments about Nobuhiro Watsuki have generated significant backlash among fans, with some expressing strong criticism of Oda’s remarks. For instance, one fan argued that while it’s understandable to maintain ties with someone who has helped you achieve success, there should be a line drawn when it comes to condoning harmful behavior. Another fan expressed their discomfort, stating that there’s no excuse for Watsuki’s actions.
However, not all fans have shared the same perspective, with some pointing out that Watsuki’s actions were not illegal in Japan until relatively recently. For example, one fan suggested that while they were not defending Watsuki, it’s worth noting that his particular offence of possession did not become illegal until 2014.
While it’s understandable that many people are angry about Watsuki’s history of pedophilia and his lenient punishment, it’s worth noting that Oda’s comments were focused solely on their professional relationship. Oda praised Watsuki’s company and described their time working together as the best time of his life, but he did not endorse or excuse Watsuki’s disturbing behavior.
Ruruoni Kenshin is set to receive a new animation this year, as announced a year ago. The animation studio LIDEN FILMS will animate the anime, and a group of talented people will work on it.
What on your thoughts on this? Do you think Oda should receive hate for giving such comments? Let us know in the comments down below.