Hello ladies and gentlemen as much as I wanted my next release to be a review I find myself appalled by the actions of what I am sure is a minority among the larger anime community. I fear keeping silent on the issue of toxicity in the anime fandom will only lead a greater disconnect between fans and creators as well as the fans themselves. Overall the lack of discourse and the propensity for rash actions among this minority could very well destroy the good will and positive influence true members of the fandom engender. So I’ve decided to write a brief public service announcement to ask readers to help curb this disturbing trend.
What Caused This:
For those who are unaware, the fandom has recently com under fire for the scandal surrounding Studio Trigger’ s smash hit Mech series Darling in the Franxx and its fandom sending death threats to the anime’s staff. Unfortunately, this includes series creator Hiroyasu Kobayashi and Producer Nishigori Atsushi as well as th seiyus Haruka Tomatsu (Zero Two) and Kana Ichinose (Ichigo). To my knowledge, the controversy began with the airing of episode 15 wherein the main character Hiro chooses between Ichigo and Zero Two as a love interest. Unhappy with the show’s “forced” decision and the release of a sketch depicting female characters in beach-wear a few fans felt it apprpriate to threaten the cast openly. I was in the middle of a review when tis hit and I was so put off by it I had to scrap a post about the series in order to recover my composure due to how violated I felt knowing that fans could be so uncouth.
It breaks my heart to have to pen this as I am reminded of the Haruhi Suzumya saiyu wherein fans were rabid over rumors regarding seiyu Aya Hirano’s supposed promiscuity believing that they were owed her love in some fashion. While the situation is different in the present fans still feel they are owed something for engaging in fandom. In the case of Darling in the Franxx it happens to be the acknowledgment of certain ships or pairings (Hiro X Zero Two and Hiro X Ichigo. ) When the latter was not cannonized the fanbase was divided and the traditional flame wars began. While the acts of shipping characters and engaging in impassioned flame wars are as old as modern fandom itself some have apparently lost the civility needed to properly discuss things without devolving into into hatful jabs and death threats.
The main issue here is this minority went beyond the posturing and empty threats and decided to heartlessly attack the staff behind the anime. Very few people know the struggle of creation especially with big budget project like anime. The people mentioned above are highly skilled artists and businessmen who work hard to put out quality products. By threatening these people the minority of enraged fans are only weakening the link between fans and creators and such rash action only serves to scar the fandoms reputation.
I conclude this message by asking readers to help restore civil discourse in our community. We cannor allow a few rabid fans to earn us disdain. The anime fandom is a multicultured and tight-knit community capable of doing great things. Lets call to those people who found such harshness right and help them assess the damage they caused. Together we can reforge the links of communication between fans and creators and serve as a beacon to other fandoms.