Top Tokyo anime station TV Tokyo is under fire for daring to break off its back-to-back earthquake coverage after a mere 33 hours, “inappropriately” broadcasting starting to broadcast anime whilst other Tokyo channels were still lovingly showing endless scenes of ruined reactors, wrecked cities and huddled refugees.
TV Tokyo ran 33 hours of continuous quake coverage from 2:54PM on the 11th of March to 11:55PM on the 12th, at which point it finally relented and broadcast the scheduled episode of Tegami Bachi.
The station subsequently fell victim to a barrage of criticism for “inappropriate programming,” with some 600 complaints received.
TV companies are apparently alone in Japanese corporate culture in being largely impervious to minority complaints and utterly unself-effacing when responding to them, and TV Tokyo’s CEO is no exception:
“We did receive 90 messages of support for broadcasting it, but most were critical. I’d like to bear their valued opinions in mind.”
Just why every station in the Tokyo region was expected to offer days of continuous quake coverage is not exactly clear; nor is it clear what purpose half a dozen channels endlessly regurgitating the same information actually serves.
Anime fans for their part are already feeling put upon thanks to the tendency of stations to splash maps all over the screen every time there is a 1m tsunami anticipated on beaches 2000km away.
2ch is highly sceptical of the excessive wave of “self-restraint” cancellations, as well as the increasingly transparent efforts to hijack the disaster hysteria for political ends and backdoor censorship:
“What are they whining about? It’s practically an anime station.”
“Just what did they expect?”
“So now TV Tokyo is going to have to exercise ‘self-restraint’? What about Madoka…”
“If you don’t like it, change the channel!”
“On the contrary, they should be grateful. The other stations all run quake coverage, but they have anime to take solace in – I think that is good.”
“If you want to complain, do it to the government or Tepco… the ones who blame anime are nuts.”
“Just shut up and watch NHK!”
“People who don’t even watch that channel shouldn’t be lodging complaints about it!”
“The self-restraint obsessed crowd are seriously irritating.”
“It’s better than the creepy variety news shows on the other channels.”
“TV Tokyo should exercise self-restraint – from showing quake coverage.”
“What the hell is the problem supposed to be anyway? We don’t need more than one channel running quake news all the time…”
“Do the self-restraint maniacs actually derive pleasure from watching quake reports or something?”
“TV Tokyo is in the right. Endless quake images are only going to traumatise children.”
“I thought Japan was finished when I tuned in to TV Tokyo to see earthquake reporting, but I saw a ray of hope when the anime returned!”
“The people who make these complaints are mentally ill… what is the point of having every single channel run the same reports and not forgiving anything else, it’s crazy.”
“NHK runs nothing but earthquake coverage, the others run quake coverage/variety programmes, and TV Tokyo runs anime. Take your pick.”
“The quake was in Tohoku and the Tokyo channels don’t even broadcast there, so who cares if they broadcast anime in Tokyo?”
“Did they complain properly to ATX and Animax as well?”
“I was surprised TV Tokyo even broadcast quake news.”
“The people complaining are the ones who need to show some self-restraint…”