Campaign Uses Anime Girls to Promote New Train Line and Sparks Controversy! In Japan, being the birthplace of anime and manga, it’s quite common to see anime waifus used in various ways, like promoting blood donation or even appearing on ‘under construction’ signs.
In today’s case, a campaign using anime girls to promote a new train line has sparked controversy in Japan. This has caught the attention of many online users.
Campaign uses Anime Girls to Promote New Train Line and Sparks Controversy
On August 21, the official Twitter account of the city of Utsunomiya posted a promotional announcement about the opening of the newly constructed train line in the city.
The campaign post features anime girls in school uniforms posing in front of the train line, with short skirts and exposed midriffs. They describe them as ”a group of five high school girls from Utsunomiya city”.
— 蒼空はるか 栃木県宇都宮市ご当地PRキャラクター(非公式) (@aozoraharuka920) August 27, 2023
The post garnered mixed reactions about the teenage girls in their revealing outfits, which could be sending the wrong message and even contributing to the sexualization of high school students.
Users expressed their dissatisfaction with the illustration and questioned how effective it would be as promotional material.
One user said the following: ”Unlike in the past, using more illustrations in serious ads doesn’t have the impact it used to. Using moe images, even if they are outdated, gives the impression that they have nothing more to offer. It’s like they are just putting out H-art for the sake of it. I believe it lacks taste as advertising.”
Another one said: ‘‘Hey, seriously, stop with these miniskirts and erotic stuff to attract customers. It’s getting old. It’s like something an old person from the Showa era would think of. Show us something more innovative that will make both men and women want to hop on.”
Some users also found the aesthetics of the illustration itself not very original, with many thinking that using the moe high school trope made the promotion seem outdated.
Another user said: ”Also, high school girls nowadays don’t dress or style their hair like that. They just look tacky… I mean, thigh-high socks with a school uniform, seriously?”
Others were uncomfortable with five scantily clad anime girls promoting the train line, saying: ”It’s disgusting, seriously, so disgusting. Being subjected to suggestive artwork is like environmental sexual harassment.”
”Using illustrations portraying minors in a sexual manner for the Utsunomiya city public relations campaign is absolutely outrageous… Having characters wear sailor uniforms over school swimsuits with double-tied tails and similar setups that look exactly like the guys who excessively consume erotic games, it’s just ridiculous.”
Despite the criticism, many liked the girls, finding them cute and not seeing anything wrong with their designs. One user defended the illustration, saying: ”To be frank, I’d call it a character. Same as Mickey Mouse and Chiikawa.”
Even the guy married to Hatsune Miku said: ”It seems like this is causing controversy now, but it’s important to remember that 2D high school girls are not the same as real high school girls. I know it might sound ironic coming from me, but let’s differentiate between reality and fiction.”
In the end, as you can see, the reactions were mixed. That said, we continue to see waifus being used in various ways in Japan, enjoying the process along the way.
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