The Japanese bus company Mie Kotsu has become a target of criticism from feminists after unveiling two new official characters to commemorate the company’s 80th anniversary.
Feminine Character Sparks Complaints for her Feminine design
To mark their 80th anniversary, Mie Kotsu created two anime-style characters – one male and one female. Check out their designs below:
Did you notice any issue with the female character? Well, Twitter, the supposedly healthiest social platform, became the avenue for feminists to channel a significant amount of hate towards the bus company. Some of the comments made when the characters were revealed include:
- ‘This is the worst; I’m going to vomit. I didn’t know Mie Kotsu was full of misogynistic old men from the Showa Era.’
- ‘This is pornography. Mie Kotsu is doing this on purpose. They are the worst.’
- ‘Only the girl has a waist like that for no reason, and she’s smiling so forcefully; I’m tired. And, of course, they would make the woman younger. This sickens me. We’re not in the Showa Era anymore.’
- ‘You could call her the girl who shows the inside of her legs, if you ask me.’
Some individuals took it upon themselves to ‘fix’ the character by removing most of her feminine features, leaving her with fewer curves:
Complaint emails regarding the ‘sexist’ design of the character were sent directly to Mie Kotsu. The company released a statement saying, ‘Regarding the female character in question, she was created to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Mie Kotsu Group. We did not intend to demean women, and we hope for your understanding.’
An unsatisfied user stated on their profile: ‘I inquired with Mie Kotsu about the problem with the design of the female character (including other aspects), and the response I received showed a complete lack of understanding of the problem. Mie Kotsu, the intentions of the creator and whether they are derogatory or not are irrelevant. This response is also a major issue.’
The topic went viral to the extent that some profiles that complained about the overly feminine character design decided to lock their accounts. Apparently, Mie Kotsu has not altered the appearance of their character.
- ‘When I saw that the company was having serious issues with feminists, I felt sad because they usually win these disputes. However, I also don’t understand why a bus company uses anime characters for promotion.’
- ‘It must be sad to live such a pathetic life where even an anime character, who isn’t real, triggers your insecurities as a woman.’
- ‘Seriously, I can’t understand the origin of the problem…’
- ‘For now, it seems Mie Kotsu is taking a firm stance, which is a relief.’
- ‘On the contrary, I became interested in the company due to this controversy. I might plan a trip soon.’
- ‘I wish these people could be prosecuted for obstructing business.’
- ‘No matter how far they go, these people don’t realize the power they have. I wish they would use it for the right things and not to cancel harmless anime characters.’
Mie Kotsu has stated that they do not fully understand the ‘problem’ at the moment. Considering the pressure and the need to maintain a positive image, they may take a step back.
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