Major anime broadcaster Tokyo MX has been forced to make a grovelling apology after one of its bosses called the company’s involvement in the creation of an AKB anime “shameful.”
The incident was prompted by a Tokyo MX manager tweeting thus:
“Doing an AKB anime is shaming the company, but there were certain reasons…”
This outrageously unguarded expression of an honest opinion, and one critical of Japan’s greatest cultural institution at that, was simply intolerable and soon Tokyo MX issued an official corporate apology:
We recently became aware that one of our management employees made critical comments about an upcoming anime show on his personal Twitter account.
We apologise deeply to all our valued viewers – we intend to immediately deal most severely with this employee. Additionally, we will ensure he is thoroughly trained in proper compliance so as to prevent any future incidents.
[They go on to describe the details of their corporate policy on social media, likely only of interest to the likes of Syria and China]
Tokyo MX is notable for being Tokyo’s only “independent” regional channel, the rest being associated with national broadcasters, and has long enjoyed a certain amount of notoriety for its relatively heavy anime involvement (although nothing compared to that of TBS and AT-X), and the amount of time it devotes to niche otaku shows.
Despite this relatively good reputation, aside from anime most of its programming seems to consist of looped shopping channel broadcasts interspersed with 30-year-old “classics” and occasional grovelling interviews with Tokyo fuhrer Ishihara.
Online there is not a great deal of sympathy for either him or the notoriously pure and blameless little schoolgirls of AKB48:
“But he’s right…”
“We live in a world where you cannot just say what you want to say.”
“What kind of soviets are in charge there? They want to control what he says in private as well?”
“He’s an anime otaku apparently. Naturally he couldn’t stand AKB48.”
“He’s creepy. He apparently started tweeting about how he was asked to select the tunes for his daughter’s school event, selected a bunch of anisong, only to end up with it all being AKB stuff – hence his dislike of them.”
“When I heard about this I agreed with him, but knowing that I’m a bit shocked…”
“He was a bit naive to have said all this under his real name…”
“I think he would have been warned about that sort of thing even if it weren’t AKB. It’s unprofessional.”
“It’s not an industry where the honest have much future.”
“What do you expect of a Twitter user.”
“That anime was really bad though!”
“AKB is shaming Japan. We don’t need those worthless mass-produced idols.”
“I don’t see what there was to apologise about.”