Over the weekend, a small group of protestors appeared in Tokyo’s Koganei. As My Game News Flash reports, they held posters and passed out fliers, expressing their distaste for the anime Dropout Idol Fruit Tart.
Originally a manga, it was adapted into a TV anime last spring.
An event for the anime was held this weekend in front of the station, with several protestors gathering. The event itself had cardboard cutouts of the anime characters for people for photos. There was even a local politician on hand to show his support for the anime, which is set in Tokyo’s Koganei.
The protesters held signs reading things like “People of Koganei, this is an anime not to show your children,” “Junior high school girls appear in school bathing suits in this anime,” and “This anime has scenes with junior high girls in their underwear getting dressed.”
The flier that was handed out goes into detail about the relationship between the city of Koganei and the show, pointing out that have been official campaigns with the city’s sightseeing commission, in an effort to draw Dropout Idol Fruit Tart fans. Merchandise is now available in the city.
The flier also detailed issues with the show it found problematic, including screenshots from such episodes showing changing scenes, and it wondered if shops participating in the promotion were aware of the anime’s content. It also noted that the show was an embarrassment nationally — and internationally — for Koganei.
The protesters, who are part of a local women’s rights organisation, apparently contacted the city, expressing their displeasure. However, the city replied that it’s not thinking of cutting ties with the anime.
For years, anime shows have been used to promote local areas. When a small town or city is used as a setting, the show might be used in tourism promotions, with the aim of enticing fans to visit and, of course, spend money. While this wasn’t exactly a massive protest, it is, I believe, the first time I’ve ever seen any sort of pushback on those campaigns.