Anime Maker Seeks Arrest of Hyakko Critics


The maker of nondescript school anime Hyakko may very well be planning to pursue criminal slander charges against persistent online detractors who have been brazen enough to call the not universally well received anime “rubbish”.

Slander is a criminal as well as civil offence in Japan, with substantial prison terms possible.

We see the following exchange in a Hyakko thread:

“Hyakko is a crap anime.”

The response:

“In the Hyakko thread, some guy who called Hyakko crap looks to be getting hit for slander. It’s not surprising, as calling an anime ‘crap’ or ‘rubbish’ is completely slanderous, so if the police come knocking at your door, it’s your own doing.

Don’t blame the guy who reports you, ok?

The poster quotes this mail posted in another thread:

“Thank you for your report.

We think this one is the same person from the last case. They’ve been reported occasionally since around the time the anime started airing.

I get the feeling this malign commenter is operating on the principle of ‘if we call white black enough, eventually the world will think it is grey’. We’ve been in talks with the publisher since they started in December, and discussions with a lawyer specialising in these matters are ongoing. We’re requesting his details with a view to assembling a slander case against him if possible.

I’ve been extremely busy, so unfortunately I’ve not a chance to gather information myself – as a result I’m very grateful for your reports.

If you see any further posts which look like they may be from this person (it doesn’t matter if you’re not sure) or are otherwise similar, please do report them to us. If they’re from the past, that’s ok too.

Thank you very much.”

This mail’s from the makers. You’d better get ready. It’s a real shame, but you went too far, as expected!”

This exchange took place in a Hyakko thread on 2ch. Plenty of astonished responses follow, along with a number praying for the arrest of more wicked Hyakko haters.

Hyakko itself has been the subject of substantial criticism for its mediocre production values, and has not been a substantial success, so the actual criticism of the show is unsurprising.

It looks as though determining the veracity of this apparent suit will be difficult at this stage. The company planning it (presumably Nippon Animation, the makers of Hyakko, or perhaps the production committee) clearly will not let slip that it has such action underway for a variety of reasons.

The actionability of the statements seems plausible enough, although it’s not clear whether calling a title “rubbish” is truly likely to sustain criminal charges – the posters certainly seem to think so. If it is, the 2ch anime boards are likely to become much quieter…

There are any number of incidents where comments on 2ch have led to charges of slander, with prison sentences of over a year reported, though it seems this would be the first case in which a publisher has attempted to silence criticism in the various fan communities present on 2ch.

Certainly, many thin-skinned anime producers would likely want to remove the frequently vitriolic criticism they receive in such venues, which seems often to be inappropriately interpreted, by those perhaps not familiar with the workings of online “debate”, as being akin to traditional calumny.

However, 2ch is not designed or managed with the interests of would be censors in mind, though it certainly does cooperate with law enforcement to an extent.

These kinds of issues are precisely why the management goes to great lengths to shield the boards from legal assault; 2ch founder Hiroyuki has justified this by saying “there is no free speech in Japan”, a reasonable assessment if we consider the effects anti-libel laws have on those not well equipped to defend themselves from such.

Even should this be a fabrication, it is perhaps just as interesting as it represents something of an escalation in anime otaku efforts to defend a favoured series – the battle between pro and anti taken to the level of spreading legal terror in order to quieten detractors of a series; not a positive development by most estimations, although Hyakko fans have been quick to shortsightedly urge the arrest of the anti contingent.

The latest high drama from 2ch, or a chilling effort by a publisher to stifle criticism?

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    Comment by BZou
    14:52 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that is just weird, its an opinion for christ sakes. I can say I dont like something and think its crap...

    Although I really liked Hyakko though....

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    14:23 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, stating your opinnion about things now is a crime?
    What is this? Though-crime? Big Brother is watching us?

    I really don't agree with the guy... seriously, up 'till the episode I watched, had lots of fun with Hyakko.

    It's not like a masterpiece, but still had fun with it.

    But doesn't mean that others can't consider it crap.
    This sounds more like fanboys or the author's BAAAAWWWWWLLLINGGG

    Comment by Hangmen
    14:53 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    While I like Hyakko, this is just taking it too far.

    Comment by C.C.
    20:37 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I couldn't even finish the last episode. I tried to watch it again...and...still couldn't finish it. xD My only reason for trying was Aya

    Comment by Veggies
    19:28 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I laughed.

    This shit won't fly anywhere. Basic common sense applies, even if the court had some reason to grant this insane idea, it would absolutely overload and obliterate the court system as companies (And eventually individuals) race to silence every single critic, detractor and general annoyance to ever rally against them. Even if it somehow made it to the point of judgment, the company would need to prove damages and that they lost or inferred the loss of some relevant amount of money due to the damage caused to their name from the comment/s.

    Good Luck.

    Avatar of kebrus
    Comment by kebrus
    13:58 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    question: isn't 2ch anonymous?

    Avatar of Shuu
    Comment by Shuu
    22:25 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Theoretically yes, technically no.

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by iapfah
    13:01 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    tl;dr: If you don't have something nice to say, you get arrested.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:08 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hyakko is Loev

    Comment by Gosun
    13:30 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Swell, bring the defamation countermeasures to kindergardeners/highschooler levels. With enough luck, the parent of the unpopular kid could sue his whole class for defaming the kid.

    Comment by Sorrow-kun
    21:50 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But whether Hyakko is crap or not is completely beside the point. The point is that if this counts as libel in Japan, then something is seriously wrong with their anti-defamation laws. Someone jumping on 2ch and making up rumours about so-and-so taking money from prostitution rings or being involved in a murder is libel, because it's slanderous to that person's reputation. Someone jumping on 2ch and saying "Hyakko is crap" isn't libel, it's some jerk posting crap on 2ch and should be treated as such. If anime producers can't hack anonymous bitching from an internet message board, then they're seriously soft, and I'd hope that the Japanese legal system knows that their time is better spent not responding to their every whim and entertaining them just because they got a bit butthurt.

    Comment by roast-beefy
    16:28 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So they can't say "Hyakko is crap"?

    What about "Hyakko is so bad, I crapped myself out of sheer boredom"?

    I actually love Hyakko. First episode was weak, but it picks up after that. It's a pretty niche title.

    Comment by Leo
    00:33 13/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol he want try become gintama
    hit the manga director because sux anime it air on

    Comment by TakeAGuess
    12:43 24/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That thick-skinned MF is thick-skinned.

    I knew the Japanese have things backwards. But to create horrible animu and not be called out for it? These circus clowns who make that crap can't take the responsibility when everybody believes that it IS bad?

    I seen some of the first episode of this garbage. That's way more than enough for me. Plus; I wondered why so many hacks get to be responsible for animu. Now I know.

    Comment by PN04
    14:13 04/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the point here is that if enough people begin to listen to a random person it starts to spread to other people and in time everyone agrees just because it's a cool meme to jump in on. So it IS true the more you say black is white the morelikely everyone will assume it's gray, it's a dangerous thing to let go without trying to fight.

    Avatar of Djisas
    Comment by Djisas
    07:09 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Definitely a great comedy i dare to say!!
    And dont say i should watch more anime because 650 is by no means a small number...
    If u like comedy, there is no way you can hate such an anime, unless u are a comedy hatter and then u might have a problem...
    In my opinion all mighty popular kanaggi was no better that hyakko, i had second thought about keeping watching kanaggi in early eps and with hyakko it was pure fun right on the first ep...
    I miss Suzu...

    But then again tastes differ from individual to individual...

    Comment by Blackstar
    03:16 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the anime maker could only take good comments for goodness they only wanna hear the nice stuff for Jesus sake even when their anime are so bad it still *good* makes no senses.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:17 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    seems a lot of people liked hyakko still
    not being the greatest but still amusing

    Comment by Akatsuki Suou
    22:14 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution does indeed grant the individual right to freedom of speech.

    Avatar of DmonHiro
    Comment by DmonHiro
    01:21 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Code Geass is CRAP

    Hyakko is shit

    Bleach is....piss.


    Seriously.....this is retarded

    Avatar of Ipsod
    Comment by Ipsod
    12:38 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I may as well be an echo, but I'd just like to know why Hyakko and ONLY Hyakko has been getting a horrible rap for sub-standard production.. and not every other shitty anime that, once in a while, would have more viewers than Hyakko. Everyone seems to have forgotten about them if they didn't like it, but people are going out of their way just to simply say "HYAKKO SUX!". I'd want to nail and/or weld these idiots hands to their keyboards just so I stop seeing this spam, and I personally don't even particularly like Hyakko.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Kev
    13:19 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hyakko is shit. Do your worst.

    I went out of my way to say that because everyone seems to get so butthurt over it; and I didn't even watch/read Hyakko.

    Seriously suing people for something like that will only bring more negative attention.

    Comment by pus2meong
    12:26 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    YOu could get sued when saying "blablabla is crap anime?"

    Woah, I need to go get my lawyer when go to japan. XD

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    07:56 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Man, if they were able to do that in the USA, 4chan would be eliminated from existence in a week.

    Comment by Airman
    09:06 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    4chan being gone would be great.

    Comment by moot
    10:07 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    butthurt gaiafag

    Comment by retsnom
    10:15 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fucking lol'd

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by ToastCrust
    07:43 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can't wait until the Hyakko DVD's are out. Maaaan, one of my top series for Fall 08'.

    Avatar of Keigami
    Comment by Keigami
    08:06 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly the first ep didn't capture my attention or make me laugh what-so-ever. The poor production quality was also another huge fail in my book.
    To each their own though.

    Comment by Garland
    08:10 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why can't they just settle it outside the forums? Bare-fisted knucklefight? Mudwrestling? Pin the breasts on the dfc?

    Comment by Ichigo69
    01:38 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ok... I lol'd at this....

    Avatar of tingle
    Comment by tingle
    08:16 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still say CODE GAESS IS RUBBISH!

    Avatar of rargy
    Comment by rargy
    08:13 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The animation wasn't that great but it was still funny, especially episode 11.

    Avatar of Kageryu
    Comment by Kageryu
    06:55 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Someone got butthurt...

    Avatar of jinstevens
    Comment by Jin Stevens
    07:27 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:03 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wait, so you can seriously be sued in Japan for saying something sucks?

    Then again, I guess I'm not being fair, America has had its fair share of attempted lawsuits over someone bagging on a product.

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    05:57 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh, FFS! ><

    Honest criticism of an anime is equal to slander? What a fat load of camel shit.

    Now, if the person who made the original assertation of the anime was doing it because he anted to damage the company making Hyakko in some way (ie; a disgruntled ex-employee), *that* I can understand being libel. But targeting legitimate commentors about the anime's quality is just.... too much.

    Comment by namae
    08:12 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Hyakko lacks in terms of story, the jokes are cold, and animation looks cheap." in my opinion would be a critic. As it stated fields that it critisizes, while "Hyakko is a crap anime.” is just defaming someone without pointing relevant points.

    Comment by kareal
    09:37 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know why my previous comment is gone, I'll just repeat it in a simpler way:

    You can't sue people for the effect their opinions on your product have on it.

    Comment by kareal
    09:30 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    look, ignoring your speech rights, "Hyakko is a crap anime" is still NOT defaming it because it's an opinion, people don't just put "I think" everytime they write because it's already implied. If someone's going to bring in the face that it affects the anime sales or anything, then they'd have to also be prepared to counter arguments that say every fucking thing anyone says might or might not have an effect. It's a really, really weak case to bring a lawsuit for. It's not impossible, but it really is....quite pointless, I think.

    Comment by anon
    21:47 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    use to live in Taiwan where some dude got sued for saying "F ur mom" in public along with some other nasty words/hand signs, and paid a fine of 1 million dollars, which is equal to around 33 thousand USD so yeah... In some country, it is a crime.

    Comment by anon
    21:50 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And btw I do agree with you that it's a weak case. I was just trying to point out that it's your "opinion" does not mean you get to say whatever the hell you want.. : )

    Comment by kareal
    09:41 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whether it's illegal or not is up to the court, that's what I JUST SAID (in that it's a weak case). Which nation are you residing in anyways? Because to be honest, offensive comments aren't slander, at least not where I live.

    Comment by Anon
    09:37 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "You're an idiot and I think you should burn in hell because you're a piece of shit"

    Oh these are all opinions alright, but are they offensive? Yes, and are they illegal? Yes as well. Making something "YOUR OPINION" does not protect you from the law.

    p.s.the quote was not directed to you as I was just trying to make a point. : )

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    While I agree with you, I don't think that I would considering saying "HYAKKO IS SHIT" to be honest criticism.

    Avatar of Djisas
    Comment by Djisas
    05:57 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really liked the anime thought...

    Avatar of theandysan
    Comment by TheAndySan
    15:19 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Me too. Sure it's not the best anime ever, but it's okay.

    You'd think that with the recession and all, the internet wouldn't be serious business anymore. *cue rim shot*

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 04/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like the anime too,

    but one has to say that calling hyakko a "good" anime shows how much the standards have fallen doesn't it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:23 27/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I liked Hyakko. That jump scene in the beginning brought me to tears lol

    Still, if you don't like something you can express yourself the way you want, including calling something crap. Thumbs down for the publishers for not being able to accept that not everybody will love your stuff...

    Avatar of stewie
    Comment by stewie
    06:11 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I personally thought Hyakko was an excellent comedy, probably #2 of the last anime season (behind Kannagi)

    Comment by Oni-kun
    11:37 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you are seriously lacking some good anime...

    Avatar of stewie
    Comment by stewie
    13:44 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What other comedies were there besides
    Kyo no go no ni
    Akane iro ni somaru saka (?)

    I don't count toradora, skip beat since those are still going.

    Avatar of Solarknight
    Comment by Jarmel
    14:21 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wouldn't say it's excellent but it was pretty decent. The animation did get better in later episodes and some of the characters such as Nene were pretty funny.

    Comment by Oni-kun
    11:31 09/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you're seriously lacking some good anime Stewie

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