The recent inclusion of Korean drama star Bae Yong-joon (or “Yon-sama” to Japanese) as a zombie in an episode of Highschool of the Dead has provoked indignant Korean accusations of racism against the show.
A character bearing the likeness of Yon-sama was depicted in both the fifth episode and the manga upon which it was based, as a ravening zombie whose brains were quickly blown out by a headshot:
He has been the subject of one of Japan’s vanishingly transient mass media booms, with a fan-base consisting largely of fickle housewives – it is this background which probably informs the mangaka’s original inclusion of the character.
This was all soon picked up upon by nationalistic Koreans with nothing better to do – aggrieved Koreans were soon complaining that the show “went too far” and was an “example of hatred of Korea.”
Japanese politicians and mass media are notoriously unwilling to resist even the most unreasonable of Korean demands – their most notable recent victim being WWII anime Hetalia, whose TV broadcast was cancelled after a Korean uproar.
Those unwilling to fold have not infrequently found themselves the victim of Korean “cyber-terrorism” and defamation – for these reasons censorship of the TV broadcast or even a complete pulling of the show from the air are far from improbable, no matter how baseless the accusations.
As usual, just what business it is of Koreans to complain about an anime not even aired in their country is not clear.