Moe Dictators Mook “Shames Japan”

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A recently published collection of illustrations turning some of history’s most odious dictators into cute and sexy moe bishoujo has been pre-emptively slammed by the Japanese themselves for its historical insensitivity…

The mook (“magazine/book”) in question is “Nyotaika!! Dictators of the World,” on sale in Akiba and elsewhere – a sampling of its contents:

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Chairman Mao, of the PRC, has understandably been arousing comment even in China:

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Kim Il-sung, of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea:

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Saddam Hussein, of Iraq:

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Adolf Hitler, of Germany (the palette and paintbrush alludes to Hitler’s failed career as an artist):

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Joseph Stalin, of the USSR:

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Benito Mussolini, of Italy:

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Pol Pot, of Cambodia:

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Josip Tito, of Yugoslavia:

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Fidel Castro, of Cuba:

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Rafael Trujillo, of the Dominican Republic:

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Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, of Libya:

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Omar al-Bashir, of Sudan:

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The rest:

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For now the mook seems to be in more danger of outraging the Japanese than the foreign hordes, if the sort of reaction visible online is anything to go by:

“This is in terrible taste – why do otaku have no sense when it comes to this?”

“This is poor taste. You shouldn’t make light of historical wounds like this. This shames all Japanese.”

“The trouble with these moe images is that they do not incorporate any of the historical circumstances of each personage, that’s why they aren’t really funny.”

“You might as well realise a book of moe serial killers. The level of bad taste is the same.”

“Definitely banned in Germany.”

“Kim, please join AKB48!”

“The one of Pol Pot is absolutely out there. Just embarrassing. You call yourselves famous illustrators! For shame! Actually none of them are famous so I guess that doesn’t matter.”

“Funny that we Japanese go nuts over anything ‘insensitive’ relating to 3/11, radiation, the atomic bombings, or his imperial majesty, and then we come out with this stuff. Is it OK just because these countries are far away?”

“This is definitely something I wouldn’t want my overseas friends to see!”

“Because all the sites are picking this up there is a danger people overseas might find out about this!”

“Once this is pirated and uploaded online there is no going back for the publisher! You can’t withdraw it then!”

“I’ve rarely been so uncomfortable about something like this. Die, illustrators and publisher! You shame Japan! This is taking things too far!”

“Is this how we repay the kind nations who helped us after 3/11! This is on the same level as China or Korea! I wish I could believe this is all a plot to make people think that!”

“Guys you are being way to serious. Save your mock outrage for FB and Twitter please.”

“Why so serious in here…”

“Quit whining about it you morons. It is for Japanese niche consumption. At worst 4chan and some Chinese boards will hear of it, CNN isn’t going to be all over it like they were with Rapelay. Get off the Internet, fools.”

“Idiotic books like this are the reason China and Korea constantly accuse us of having an incorrect understanding of history.”

“Who knows what reaction this stuff could provoke? Especially when dealing with the Islamic world, they going crazy over mockery there.”

“It isn’t going to sell much, but does risk provoking overseas wrath. Why release something like this?”

“Get over it. It’s on the same level as some of our weird porn videos. All this can be taken as evidence that Japan is genuinely a nation enjoying healthy freedom of expression, so pay it no mind.”

“There’s worse stuff out to there to get upset over. This country really is peaceful to get worked up over something like this.”

“Hitler is weak. Without being told so you’d never guess it was him. If you’re going to draw dictators, at least draw them with some of their demonic qualities shown through strongly.”

“The girls here are basically just wearing some of the dictator’s outfits.”

“Right, what are we looking at? They don’t even resemble their models properly. What’s the point of turning them into girls if they have none of the original’s characteristics?”

“Stalin is clearly tops here”

There is also the rather perplexing “I wish the Japanese would stop this stuff – Japan has never known the true horrors of dictatorship.”

Whatever the reaction it provokes, the tome should at least be free from accusations of political bias in Japan’s favour – Hideki Tojo is included (though not, of course, Japan’s wartime and postwar emperor, who by some accounts was just as culpable).


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