Furano City, Hokkaido Controversial Late-night Anime ‘Jinshin-chan X’ Collaboration Anime’s ‘Organ Trading’ Is Unscrupulous?

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Collaboration Controversy with “Yakami-chan” Ichi

It was also advertised on the city’s website, but… (C) Yukiwo, COMIC Meteor/Jashin-chan Dropkick X Production Committee

The collaboration between anime and local governments caused another controversy. The hot topic this time was the collaboration between Hokkaido Furano City and the TV anime “Drop Kick on My Devil X” (hereafter “Yamagami X”). Regarding the 9th episode (aired in August), which was produced with the funds collected from the hometown tax donation, the special committee for the settlement of accounts of the local Furano City Council objected that the content of the animation was inappropriate, and the city’s general history The settlement of accounts was disapproved.

Even if the committee disapproves the settlement of accounts, it will not affect the payment to the animation production company. However, this news was reported by the Hokkaido Shimbun and became known throughout the country.

“The point of contention was the animation production commission fee of 33 million yen. During the discussion, Hideyasu Sato said, “There are many acts that are not permitted by social conventions, such as proposing the sale of organs because Jajin-chan is in debt and Furano’s image. ,” he argued. On the other hand, a committee member who stood up to show his approval said, “It’s just a story in the animation. So it’s not good to cut out only a part and discuss it.”

Mayor Taketoshi Kita told reporters, “It’s disappointing not to be approved. It’s a pity to intervene and point out the freedom of expression. I’d like to refer to the various opinions that came out of the committee in the future.” answered. (“
Hokkaido Shimbun” November 16, 2022 electronic version)

Collaboration between anime and local governments is progressing all over the country because people who want to contribute to regional development and those who wish to reduce anime production costs agree. However, not all cases are smooth sailing… I tried to find out what happened in Furano. (Interview and text: Hiru Takashi)

What is the background to begin with?

Furano City is known as the “navel of Hokkaido.” It is a tourist destination that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from Japan and abroad every year to enjoy the majestic nature of the lavender fields.

On the other hand, “Yamagami-chan X” is based on a popular manga series that has been running for more than ten years on Flex Comics. As you can guess from the title, it is characterized by black jokes, and it is so popular that the anime has continued for three seasons, but it is aired late at night. Therefore, the main target is middle and high school students to adults who are core anime fans.

So what would happen if the two collaborated? This is the theme of this time, but first, about the disturbing word “organ trafficking.”

In the first place, the main character of this work is “Jajin-chan,” whose lower body is a snake. The word about her is a black joke that comes out with the feeling that she has a large amount of debt that she can’t pay back and that she has no choice but to sell her organs to return them. In the first place, the characters aren’t even human, and it’s obvious to fans of absurd anime that it’s a small joke that goes, “Ah, yes, yes.” I can’t say for sure.

When I talked to Mr. Hideyasu Sato, a member of the Furano City Council, who appeared in the Hokkaido Shimbun earlier by phone, he said that he had a wrong impression of seeing the work.

“In the anime, the famous places of Furano are certainly introduced, but for the characters to come to Furano, they have borrowed money and will pay it back by selling their organs. It’s not, but I have no choice but to wonder if the content will have the effect of attracting visitors and what Furano City and its citizens will think when they see it.”

Indeed, people who don’t usually watch late-night anime for otaku may be taken aback if they suddenly encounter it.

In response to this incident, here are the results of a survey conducted on Twitter by the production side of Jashin-chan X. More than 90% of respondents answered that the image of Furano City had improved a lot. The ones who take the trouble to look at the work and answer the questionnaire are probably the core anime fans who naturally accept this work without any discomfort. It’s hard to imagine the reception of the general public.

Congress has disapproved the budget.

Mr. Sato continued.

“This collaboration project was brought to the city by Hokkaido Bunka Broadcasting (UHB) and materialized. Using the funds collected from the hometown tax donation, the city placed an order with a production company as the ordering party.

The production was made according to the city’s specifications. We knew that “organ trading” would come up during meetings with production companies, the city’s department in charge, the Planning and Promotion Section of the General Affairs Department, and the mayor thought about the intentions and how the citizens would feel about it. Wasn’t there?”

Putting aside the fact that an animation production company made it without permission, it was an unacceptable point that the content was like this after the city hall officially ordered it.

However, what Mr. Sato sees more as the problem is that he cannot feel the “guest attraction effect” expected in this animation production.

“In Obihiro City (with whom we collaborated on the same work), we had detailed discussions about the contents of the work. By holding the event, sales are trending at a pace that surpasses last year’s record high. On the other hand, there is nothing in Furano City besides being broadcast. It takes half a year from placing an order to broadcasting, the mayor, and What was City Hall doing?

What was the reaction of other lawmakers during the discussion on the settlement of accounts?

“There were many lawmakers who were hesitant about , but some decided not to approve it in an exchange of opinions with the mayor before the vote. During the exchange of opinions, the mayor < also said that this is raising a problem.”

It is a mystery what “problem raising” is.

Counterarguments from the city side

Now, I would like to hear the opposite side of the story. When I applied for an interview with Furano City, the person in charge of the planning and promotion section of the general affairs department told me about it.

The city thinks the expression “organ trafficking” is not a problem.

“We have them produce according to the specifications created by the city. At the storyboard stage, multiple people in charge confirmed it, and I knew that there was an expression of at this time, but there was a problem. I didn’t think of it as an expression.

I see. The city also understood the work style and was working on a collaboration.

The city government seemed to have severe doubts about the opinion that “the citizens of Furano feel uncomfortable.”

“Since the broadcast in August, the city hall has yet to receive a single opinion from the citizens regarding the work. I have received it, but it’s also from outside the city. I don’t think it’s difficult to measure the effect because I don’t take questionnaires about attracting citizens or customers…”

By the way, regarding the indication that there need to be more events to attract customers.

“It’s not that I didn’t do anything at all. In addition to holding a panel exhibition, I also conducted PR at the 10th-anniversary event of the series held in Tokyo. We certainly had an image that people who saw the scenery of Furano would be interested in coming. Therefore, it is necessary to consider that there are a few related events in the future.

And the person in charge. Regarding the future policy, we will discuss it based on the report at the city council plenary session.

When I asked about the mayor mentioned above’s “problem raising” remarks, the person in charge who was listening in the next room mumbled, “Well, it’s true that such remarks …” suddenly changed the subject and said, “By the way. , Sato-san, how are you?” I didn’t dare to go further, but there must be various people at the city hall.

By the way, the number of people who have seen the Furano edition of Jashin-chan X has probably increased because it has become a hot topic this time. So how many anime fans visit Furano? And what impact will an increase in the number of anime fan tourists have on Furano in the long run?

I’m looking forward to seeing the results that will come out soon.

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