During an Ask Me Anything with Kadokawa business producer, Junichiro Tamura, over on the Anime sub-reddit, which took place on February 9th, 2019, Tamura talked about a variety of topics related to the anime The Rising of the Shield Hero. One of the people in the thread asked Tamura about the media-led controversy surrounding The Rising of the Shield Hero. However, Tamura responded by saying that in Japan there was no controversy because the people over there didn’t try to create outrage over a story involving fake rape allegations.
The exact question was posed in a matter-of-fact way, with the user stating that “Shield Hero has quite a few controversial views” and they asked how the production team dealt with the “resulting response”. Tamura responded by stating that in Japan this wasn’t an issue at all because there was literally nothing controversial about the show in Japan…
“There have not been any controversies regarding the series in Japan, so it is difficult to say.
“In the case there were any controversy domestically, we will try to address all issues with the staff and people involved to bring our customers a better product the next time. […]”
The user who asked the question originally was taking it from the point of view of agenda-driven media outlets in the West who made The Rising of the Shield Hero controversial. So anime viewers in the West assume that the show is controversial, when in reality anyone who doesn’t pay attention to media outlets would never find the show controversial. But for added context, what they’re referring to is some of the largest Western anime outlets writing negatively about The Rising of the Shield Hero because in the first episode the main character is falsely accused of rape, as outlined in a video by Chibi Reviews.
Some of the staff from places like Anime News Network gave the show a bad rating because they claimed that false rape accusations were feeding into “toxic masculine traits” and that false rape accusations were an “imaginary boogeyman”.
Other sites like Anime Feminist also joined in on attacking the show for the first episode, where it used the plot device to build the character arc for the main protagonist. Instead of discussing the show, they became so incensed at the topic matter in the first episode they refused to even review The Rising of the Shield Hero.
In a karmic twist of irony, just two weeks later the founder of Anime News Network was falsely accused of being a sex offender.
Nevertheless, when asked if the production team ever takes into consideration the outrage machine generated in the West when making content (something that Sword Art Online creator Reki Kawahara did when he decided to make the content more “politically correct”), Tamura noted that even with Western media outlets drumming up needless controversy over the shows, they will continue to make shows that appeal to the endemic audience, saying…
“We in Japan do not see these anime as controversial, so we will continue to produce more content like Shield Hero.
“Thank you for your support, buying merchandise helps as well as preventing any of your friends from pirating the content.
“We would like to animate all of Shield Hero, but it all depends on the support we get from our fans.”
So basically, money talks.
If you want to see more shows like The Rising of the Shield Hero then support it. Unlike the many corporations in the West who decide to abandon their core audience, chase the phantom audience, and then end up on the Get Woke; Go Broke Master List.
(Thanks for the news tip Michelle Catlin)