Japanese Politician Condemns ‘Saki-National Edition’ x ‘Mahjong Soul!’ Public Ad Campaign For Being Too “Sexual”
A Japanese politician has taken issue with the "sexual" art featured in the ad campaign for 'Mahjong Souls!' upcoming 'Saki' collab event.
Continuing the trend started with the Japanese Communist Party’s attacking of the Dragon Quest series for its long-time inclusion of the outfit, a politician with the country’s Constitutional Democratic party has taken issue with the use of bunny suits in a popular mobile game’s new public ad campaign.
On November 26th, Japanese legislator and party member Kanako Otsuji – perhaps best known as the country’s first LGBT politician to publicly come out of the closet – took to social media to voice her personal disgust at set of “sexual” ads displayed in the national rail system’s Osaka Station.
“Midosuji Exit of JR Osaka Station. An ad like this,” the legislator complained. “In Japan in 2022, will sexual illustrations of women be proudly advertised at station exits?”
Produced in honor of the upcoming “Bunny Ears Party” collaboration between Chinese developer Cat Food Studio’s competitive mobile game Mahjong Soul! and the mahjong-centric manga Saki-National Edition, the ads in question feature characters from each series dressed in a number of appealing outfits, ranging from casual beachwear to full-on bunny suits.
Met with backlash from fans who felt she was reaching to be offended, Otsuji returned to Twitter the next day to offer up a political word salad in defense of her controversial take.
“The ticket way of Midosuji gate in Osaka station is one of the entrances to Osaka and is a public space a lot of people pass through,” she opened, as translated by for Bounding Into Comics by Twitter user @Romly.
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“I think this indicates that the ad for the public space is ignorant of the commercialization of women’s sexuality,” Otsuji continued. “For example, this time the characters are wearing a bunny suit, and the clothes are about to be taken off, and also explicit exposure of breasts, thighs and crotches. This would be typical environmental harassment.”
“I was also surprised that they passed the guidelines for ad placement,” she further decried. “The ad placement and the company that placed the ad are being called to account for social responsibility for gender equality. FYI, the characters in the manga Saki are high school students and there is a panel of them not wearing any underwear.”
Disingenuously attempting to claim an objective outlook on the matter, the politican then asserted, “Whether to read the manga or not, to watch anime or not are personal choices.”
“Playing the collaborated game is also a personal choice,” she explained. “I have no objection to the existence of those titles or people loving or enjoying them. I expressed that I was surprised by those ads because their commercialization of women’s conspicuous, but I’ve never said anything about censorship. I think that censorship of ads by laws and ordinances is repressive and must be deliberate.”
Otsuji then recalled, “I thought this kind of ad expression is one of the scenes that shows that shows Japanese gender equality has not been achieved. The expression of that surprise was the reason for Saturday’s tweet.”
“I thought the tweet would create the opportunity for a discussion about ads in a public space, such as the asymmetry of men and women, women’s human rights such as the commercialization of women’s sexuality, but the responses to me coincidentally showed the Japanese current situation,” lamented the politician.
In conclusion to her statement, Otsuji declared that “additionally, I will take legal action against those sending intimidation or death threats beyond argument.”
Providing proof of the alleged death threats, the politician shared three separate DMs she had received in response to her initial post.
In the first, as per a translation personally provided by @ser3mia, the sender threatens to kill the “crazy feminist” politician.
“LGBT is indeed shit,” the second message states. “If you’re gonna complain to the people living normally, please have modesty and die. Because you are gross.”
Finally, the third message invites Otsuji to “Shut up you geronto-trouble making shit old hag. Hang yourself and die.”
Notably, among the many who pushed back against Otsuji’s outrage was Ota Ward Assembly Member Minoru Ogino, who some may recognize as the pro-artistic expression politician who appeared in Vice News’ recent hitpiece against loli manga.
Expressing his disagreement with Otsuji, Ogino questioned, “Is it particularly sexual compared to the expression used in live-action, or for women or for sexual minorities who have previously had their expressions modified?”
“Without indicating what is sexual or the difference in the degree of exposure between male-oriented and female-oriented illustrations,” an unrelenting Ogino further pressed the legislator. “You make the mistake of calling sexuality on an illustration by a foreign company in collaboration with a private company, which is not for adults.
“That’s short-sightedness!” He added. “It already speaks volumes about your poor sensibilities.”
Concluding his criticism, Ogino asserted, “I am not criticizing this work. There is freedom for everyone to enjoy. However, I will not allow [such disingenuous criticism] to exist where I can see it”