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Top 10 Anime Industry Controversies

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Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean It ain’t all Daijoubu after all. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten anime industry controversies. For this list, we’ll be looking at the scandals that have blown up around various anime series, as well as some rather awkward behind the scenes antics of the industry itself. Prepare for cringe, prepare for rage, and prepare for some weird shit. Special thanks to our users tosspot86 and Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Anime Industry Controversies



It ain’t all Daijoubu after all. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten anime industry controversies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the scandals that have blown up around various anime series, as well as some rather awkward behind the scenes antics of the industry itself. Prepare for cringe, prepare for rage, and prepare for some weird shit.

#10: The Seiyuu Prank


Workplace hijinks are commonplace, and the anime industry is obviously no different. But many are in agreement that this little “stunt” went too far. A newcomer to the voice acting game, Mitsuhiro Ichiki thought he was auditioning for a role in the anime Kokoro Connect. Except there was one problem, the whole thing was staged. He was made to say embarrassing dialogue, all the while being unknowingly recorded. The real kicker was that he was called in at a later date thinking his character was about to be revealed...only for them to show the hidden footage, humiliating him on stage as a result…

#9: Dio and the Qu’ran


Seems like Dio Brando wasn’t satisfied with just making an enemy out of the Joestar family, he also wanted to piss off an entire religion while he was at it. Did he succeed? Of course he did! During a scene out of the manga and 90s OVA series, there was a scene of the Stand user reading excerpts of what appeared to be the Qu’ran. As you might have guessed, with Dio being the vampiric amalgamation of all that is evil, Muslim groups found this to be rather offensive since it painted the holy book in a bad light. Needless to say, some rapid-fire edits were required.

#8: Endless Eight


As anime fans, there are a lot of tropes, clichés and overall weirdness that we can put up with. Especially when it comes to Ms Suzumiya. Can destroy the universe with just a thought? Sounds good. Time travellers? No problem. However, we draw the line at you giving us eight episodes of pretty much the exact same thing. We don’t care that they’re trapped in a time-loop, you could have done the exact same thing with three or four episodes in order to get the message across. But eight episodes? Come on! Needless to say, the studio had to make a public apology for this stunt.

#7: Child Pornography Scandal


Scott Freeman was quite a notable voice actor in the world of anime, providing the dubs for fan favourite characters like England in Hetalia: Axis Powers, Pierce Aogami in A Certain Magical Index as well as Issei in High School DxD. However, in a shocking revelation, Freeman ended up being charged with eight counts of possession of child pornography, leading to a three-year sentence as of 2015. As expected, his contract with Funimation was terminated, all his characters were swiftly replaced, and his entire career in the world of anime was tarnished.

#6: The Evangelion TV Finale


As fans of the anime can attest, the ending to the original Neon Genesis Evangelion wasn’t to everyone’s taste. By all means give Shinji a satisfying ending, but did it have to all take place in his head? Well, some Japanese fans got a little...heated. Creator Hideaki Anno was on the receiving end of some otaku anger, despite the fault being in a lack of budget rather than a lack of ideas. It got so bad that some fans sent death threats to Anno. What was his response? Show them off in a montage in the movie sequel, End of Evangelion – duh.

#5: Sex Scandal


Yup, we’re are once again talking about Haruhi Suzumiya, only this one is much more petty. Her Japanese voice actress, Aya Hirano, was also a rising pop star…who was also pretty vocal that she had no love for her fans and otaku culture in general. Things only got worse for her fanbase after photos were leaked suggesting that she had been sleeping around with band mates. As you can imagine the Haruhi Suzumiya fan club weren’t too pleased.

#4: Political Dubbing


Most of the time, fans have no issues when an English dub changes some of the dialogue around, just as long it faithfully portrays the intended meaning of the source material. However, when people caught wind that the Funimation English dubs of Prison School, My First Girlfriend is a Gal and Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid made reference to western political events and social crazes, they didn’t take it too well. Outrage stemmed from the idea that the meaning behind these scenes was essentially flipped, and real world political agendas were incorporated instead.

#3: Tatsuki Gets the Pink Slip


So, there’s this anime called Kemono Friends. It’s about anthropomorphic animal girls at a zoo. It’s animated with some pretty subpar CGI …and the Japan loves it. Like, fanatically. For whatever reason, the series hasn’t resonated with fans as well in the west, but the Japanese fanbase more than makes up for that. So, when season two was announced, people were elated – Until they noticed the original director, Tatsuki, had been removed. What followed next was a series of protests by the community, until the production company Kadokawa announced they were ‘in talks’ with Mr. Tatsuki once more.

#2: Nice Boat


How can something be so tragic become a meme? This one revolves around the anime School Days. Spoiler alert; it’s an abomination. It centres on a guy called Makoto who cheats on his high school girlfriend with his best friend…before he goes to cheat on her with a million other girls, all of which leads the show’s finale where said best friend stabs Makoto to death. However, the airing of this final episode was delayed following the actual killing of a Japanese citizen, who was murdered in a similar fashion. Afraid that the finale would be compared to the event, the studio delayed the episode and instead aired replacement footage…of a boat.

#1: Electric Soldier Porygon


Before Pokemon Go, this was the deadliest phenomenon that the franchise had ever produced. There’s nothing wrong with this episode per say in terms of its content…it’s more the fact that due to its dependency on strobe light effects, it managed to injure around seven hundred Japanese citizens. While the effects varied, many of the victims (who ranged from children to the elderly) suffered mass epileptic fits. In the horrific aftermath, the episode was taken off the air and never re-broadcasted. It also got itself a Guinness World Record in the process, “Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures Caused by a Television Show.” Way to go, Porygon.
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