the star online: "Cute but dangerous?"

Malaysia's the star online reports about the cancellation of an anime adaptation of a Japanese manga, Hetalia.

"As soon as the adaptation of the manga into an animation was announced, a number of South Korean Internet users strongly called for the cancellation of the broadcast, as they felt the South Korean character insults their country. South Korea is depicted as a man who 'is weak before the United States, calls China his elder brother, and hates Japan'."
I actually wouldn't mind S. Korea being portrayed negatively as long as it's accurate. When did S. Korea ever call China an elder brother? Shouldn't that be North Korea? Also, I think "hates Japan" is other way around. Koreans may dislike Japan as a country for trying to conceal its holocaust past, but they don't have to waste their time "hating Japan." If the argument goes, "hey Japan, you used to be criminal," and the reply is "no" or "yes, but let's forget about it," still those war crimes and oppressive acts committed by the Japanese government during colonial rule are Japanese' problem, not Koreans'.


I found a good discussion at a blog called Anime Might:

"Please excuse me a little bit for leaving you a comment like this.
(Also, my English is not perfect, but I will try my best.)

Actually…I was keeping on watching its progress so far.
How the anime was cancled, and how the Hetalia fans are reacting…kind of thing.

In order to understand the actions taken by (around ten thousands of) Koreans,
people should understand what their real complains are.
They simply have two major points.
1. No more WWII glorification
2. No more distorted Korean character
and there are a lot of ‘detailed’ complains related to it.

For example, many Koreans were offended when Korea in Hetalia was obsessed with Japanese flags.
Maybe this article can help you understand how Koreans would feel if Korean in Hetalia acts like that.

Koreans were already offended by several “anti-Korean” mangas like this.
No Koreans signed up to protest about it at this point.
(I saw several Koreans saying “the art style looks too much like Yu yu Hakushou!”, though.)

In addition,
the glorification of WWII in Anime, game, and manga is never, not the first time Koreans are experiencing.
I can think of many examples…
I saw a Korean character in SRWOG (a Japanese GBA game) saying “Tora tora tora”
before the final battle operation. That quote was from Japanese soldiers in WWII.
Most Koreans were used to ignore these kind of things and just enjoy.

Plus, several people were worrying about its “shounen-ai” expression
broadcasted by “kids” station in Japan.

Actually, Korean people did not (could not) stop Hetalia Anime broadcast.
Koreans have no such rights. They can only persuade and protest about the anime.
The Japanese TV station decides it. They said that they had “various circumstances”.
The real reason might be more complicated than people are thinking.

The Japanese TV station did not broadcast the show and Koreans got cooled down a lot for now.
So far, Koreans are OK with Hetalia’s DVD and mobile phone premise, I think.

“The show is still available online for those who still want to watch it but the Koreans are also trying to stop that”
->I think you are talking about Youtube broadcast or something.
Online broadcast is illegal. Completely illegal.
In order to watch this anime, you should buy the DVD.
(Japanese people can afford it through mobile phone service, too.)
I think the Japanese anime company is stopping the online broadcast.
They would not be able to make money if everyone watches the anime online.

“How the hell this show insults Korea if they don’t even appear on it. ”
->On the official Hetalia anime website, there definitely was Korea on the list.
You could see the official character design and profile of Korea.
Maybe the animation did not have Korea “yet” at the beginning of the season.
They were going to have Korea at some point.
(Koreans stopped it, so it is hardly going to happen in the furture.)

“…several young Korean’s sliced their finger in protest…”
-> Please, believe me, not much Koreans go THAT far.
That issue (led by some Korean nationalists) and this Hetalia issue (led by Koreans
who are interested in anime a lot….I would say….Korean Otaku?) are completely different.
They have different reasons, different point of view, different reaction, etc.


Still, in my opinion, I also think that the way Koreans approached the anti-Hetalia movement was not the best.
They could take time and think of more…smarter and cooler ways.

I just hope that there will be a peaceful resolution…."


Anonymous said...

i dont understand korean LANGUAGE
do you can help for this QUESTION

숫자 13자리 중간에 - 없이 입력하세요

dokebi said...

Hey, I think it goes

"Please enter the 13 digits without '-'."



Will Staples said...

I haven't read any of the Hetalia strips with S. Korea - he doesn't appear very often as the comic is focused more on Europe. But the impression I've gotten from supplemental materials is that the character doesn't hate Japan so much as he enjoys teasing him. Which is still a weird stereotype that plays to the belief that Koreans think about Japan too much.

Personally, I like Hetalia (mostly because the author's ideas about America amuse me), but I understand why folks in Korea are up in arms. I don't have the right to tell anyone not to take offense at anything. I'm also bothered by the anti-Korean backlash in Hetalia fandom, including American fans, which I think is totally uncalled for.

dokebi said...

That is surprisingly true. Koreans can't stop caring about Japan.

I remember one of the anime characters saying something like..

"The closest thing to hate is love" etc.

Although it's inaccurate to say Koreans hate the Japanese, the theory evidently applies here.

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