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.