In an outrageous attack on freedom of speech, nationalistic Korean protests have forced the upcoming satirical WWII anime Hetalia Axis Powers off the air entirely; the issue was even taken up in the National Assembly, where the anime was denounced as being “equivalent to criminal conduct”, such was the hysteria against any possible affront to Korea’s dubious claims over Dokdo/Takeshima.
Craven broadcaster Kids Station apparently felt they had no option but to cave in to the Korean claims of “discrimination”, despite the anime apparently not even including the elements which upset the hypersensitive nationalists.
The official announcement of the broadcast’s cancellation is as follows:
Hetalia Axis Powers was scheduled to commence broadcasting on the 24th of January on Kids Station, but due to circumstances afflicting the broadcast station, the broadcast has been cancelled. To all those who have been looking forward to the broadcast as announced on the homepage and elsewhere, we apologise for this tremendous inconvenience.
We hope you will be understanding over this matter.
Of course, as with any such official announcement, no useful information as to why is included, but with it coming up in the Korean mass media the cause is clearly not in doubt; there are rumours of pressure being applied behind the scenes.
There is one glimmer of hope for fans wishing to avoid Korean censorship: inferior quality distribution by mobile and online streaming will go ahead as announced, likely because these are not handled by yellow broadcaster Kids Station.
The fact that online and mobile distribution has escaped Korea’s wrath will likely come as scant consolation to the makers, who were doubtless hoping for the web comic to finally enter the mainstream.
However, with the colossal negative publicity accruing to Korea over this debacle, we might well expect a very positive effect on sales of the DVD as people explore what all the fuss is about, or opt to support it against censorship. A publicity campaign money can’t buy, indeed.
As explained previously, it seems the locus of Korean outrage was the portrayal of Korea as a nation intent on claiming all and sundry as being either its invention or its territory; the breast grabbing scene where Korea seizes Japan’s chest (thought to represent Dokdo/Takeshima) is the main example of such. Of course, things could hardly be further from the truth?
Naturally, none of the other more reasonable nations lampooned in the series could care less about this wicked “discrimination”…
The reaction in Japan (excluding the typically supine mass media) is one of predictable consternation, though many are not entirely surprised, given the influence Korea exerts over Japan in many areas, and its constant state of nationalistic outrage.
There are many examples of Korean protests censoring Japanese domestic broadcasts (chiefly drama and the like which somehow manages to upset the influential hyper-nationalist lobby in Korea), though strangely no examples of the converse; in fact, outrageous anti-Japanese propaganda and protest seems to be the order of the day throughout Korea, reaching extremely disturbing levels, even in its schools.
Korean politicians seem ever eager to stoke the flames of hatred against Japan, and even China and America, though such reckless conduct seems unlikely to secure their long term good relations with the rest of the world.
Anything to distract from the plight of their 20 million starving and enslaved countrymen to the north?