Kokoro Connect – Episode 9 and Thoughts about the Biggest Public Relations Disaster in Anime History

After putting it off for several days, I wanted to let the drama settle before diving into the 9th episode. Since Dog Days aren’t out yet, I’m going to share brief thoughts for this episode and the bullying incident that everyone talked about in great lengths for the past week (Image Source).

Brief Thoughts about Episode 9

Compared to the last episode, it seems that Aoki and Taichi made up with each other for being nasty to each other. Given the punch Iori received, it was a good wake up call. Although Aoki improved himself and with the help of his friend, convinced Yui to come back to school, he is still a useless character in my books. He never does anything productive, except talk about his adult fantasies. Yep, that is what you expect for this show’s most useless male character ever.

On the other front, it seems that Heartseed is planning a move on Inaba to stir things up. While it’s not anything dangerous, it will jeopardize their friendship. With the class trip, it just makes things uneasy for what happens in the next episode. Even so, I’m quite fascinated how she managed to stay alone since middle school. I bet anyone would have gone crazy that point.

On the Bullying Incident or… “The Prank that gone totally wrong.”

With my thoughts about the episode out of the way, I want to focus on the bullying incident. If you have been living under a rock, apparently Ichiki got pranked when he auditioned for a job that didn’t exist. This happened as part of a pre-air talk show for Kokoro Connect which Takama and Hisako pulled.  After that, everything went south ranging with incidents of people bullying Kitamura Eri on Twitter whom doesn’t have any part in the show and people canceling their preorders for the Blu-rays in protest. Like you would expect, this has become one of the biggest public relations disasters ever seen in the Anime Industry.

I think both the fandom and the production are at fault for causing all this drama. Just take the worst parts of the Asian Idol fandom and blow it up by 100x. What you get is unwarranted attacks on people involved with the production (ex. Eufonius, who made the opening song) while production team gave an insincere apology full of excuses. If the studio wanted to be responsible, they should have either fired the two of them and recast those two characters or give a more sincere apology by promising not to pull these cruel-hearted stunts again. As of now, this hasn’t happened, thus the fire keeps spreading.

In the end, does this show deserve the flak because two voice actors decided to do something this stupid? I don’t think so as we shouldn’t start hating a show just because two voice actors decided to act dumb. I do admit that doing voice work takes a considerable amount of talent just like singers. The lack of action by not firing them just gives the message that “Hey, it’s okay to do pull these kind of stunts that is similar to bullying.” While I know some Japanese, I can’t say much since my knowledge on Japanese society is very limited. Still, don’t let this issue affect your opinion for the show since it has absolutely no baring to the production quality.

At the end of the day, this incident only shows that America is not the only ones with a rampant bullying problem. Every country faces these problems and their governments need to address these issues to prevent it from happening along with education to prevent these behaviors from happening. 

4 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. gendomike says:

    On the one hand, if we only patronized/supported art made by decent human beings, the list would be awfully thin! There’s no strong correlation between making good creative work and being a good person, sadly. On the other hand, the thought of even a small amount of money going to the bullies involved—in particular the King Records producer behind it all, and for whom this isn’t the first such prank—should make any conscientious fan uneasy at least. Many, if not most, otaku/nerds/geeks were the targets of bullying at one point or another, and it’s natural for them to feel empathy for bullying victims.

    Sad day, all around. I will still watch the show but I respect those who are boycotting it, and it seems that enough are doing so to send a message already.

    • chikorita157 says:

      Of course, the bullying is similar to a bad prank pulled by college students. The problem I see is that talented people are putting their reputation on the line over something stupid like this. It’s just like the girl who lent her computer to her friend that was used on spying on one room mate and getting in trouble. Lack of common sense can be one’s downfall. But still, I can sympathize with the unwarranted bullying of people who aren’t involved with the incident at all like Kitamura Eri for the fact that I was bullied in high school.

      Still, I think the damage is already done, which is kind of sad since Kokoro Connect is a good show, but the prank didn’t do any good things for it.

  2. feal87 says:

    The problem now is, will the remaining episodes to the 17 be delivered if the series tank horribly in the sales? That’s my primary concern as the show is actually pretty good…:P

    • chikorita157 says:

      With all the damage done, I highly doubt that there will be a second season with the threat of boycotting and such. Unless the production team punishes the two through something like firing them and recording the parts again with the recast is the only way I believe they will resolve some of the damage. It’s kind of same really since stupid incidents shouldn’t be reflected on the show’s quality. Still, making excuses is not the right way to resolve the situation as the damage is already done.

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