The Japanese portal Yahoo! News Japan published an article offering more details on the recent controversy between feminists and the multimedia project of Onsen Musume. The article emphasizes that the project finally gave in to social pressure and made some changes in the descriptions of the characters, while at the same time reflecting on whether future projects will continue to bet on anime designs knowing that they are increasingly susceptible to being subject to controversy.
«There has been some criticism of “Onsen Musume,” a character project based on hot springs venues from various parts of Japan, claiming that its portrayals are degrading to women. With so many PR campaigns relying on cute anime-style characters, how far have they gone in fulfilling their role? In the end, the “Onsen Musume” Project announced on its website last week that “some renderings were inappropriate and have been added or modified”».
«The goal of this “regional revitalization project” is to create unique characters based on hot spring locations from all over Japan, and to promote local attractions both at home and abroad. In 2019, in recognition of its achievements, the project grew to be sponsored by the Japan Tourism Agency. However, the representations of the characters were criticized as degrading to women and sexually exploitative, and some changes were made.».
«For example, the ability to “lift skirts” of one of the characters has been removed. In addition, some texts have been removed from the presentations, such as one where it was said that one of the girls “could sneak into your bed at night.” Additionally, all references to alcohol consumption have been eliminated because the critics emphasize that they have the appearance of minors».
«On the Internet, the community debated: “It is not good that there is a sensual woman or a representation of a sexual nature“,”Some tourist places have been saved thanks to this project“,”Why don’t you stop using anime characters if you know that you are always going to be criticized? It’s not a good idea“. On the other hand, a local hot springs declared: “It is the establishment that must decide whether to use the characters or not. It’s wonderful that the young people like the hot spring venue and the local people and that they come back to Fukushima again and again. ” Thinking about it, many times in the past this type of performance has caused an uproar …»
Source: Yahoo! News Japan
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