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.
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 service heavy comedy set in Gifu that centres around farming.
This isn't a first. In the past, the city has featured characters from the show in posters to promote various events.
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.
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.
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.
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 favourite 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.
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]