The Efficacy of Anime Companies’ Response to BLM

I don’t actually need a preamble to this article. If you don’t know what’s going on in the United States, and even around the world, I encourage you to look it up. Regardless, if you’re on any social media platform, I’m sure you’ve seen many people voice their support for the BLM movement. It’s not limited to individuals raising awareness and voicing their support either. Companies have done so as well.  Four of which I follow are Sekai Project, Anime NYC, Funimation, and Aniplex of America. For the most part, people are receptive to their support. Not all though, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today. 

An argument I’ve seen is that what’s going on in the real world, politically or otherwise, shouldn’t affect games/anime. They don’t want to see publishers discuss it since players go to those mediums for an escape from the real world. True, escapism is a reason for consumption, but what does anime, at large, teach? Does it promote isolation from the world? No. In fact, anime is closer to rehabilitation to circumstances and learning how to move forward more than anything else. We can’t avoid the real world. Problems will always follow us until they are dealt with. Always, we’ve been shown that if we leave it be, it’ll come back to bite us. That’s why I want to see companies take a stand. The issues that plague the world, have plagued the world for a long time and will continue to unless real action is taken. Escape to anime when it gets tough, there’s no shame in that- But you need to return to the real world eventually. 

I know some people think it’s pointless for companies to show their favor towards the BLM movement. They either don’t see it as a controversial opinion to favor the movement or an easy PR move. If the latter, they may be right. Rather, I’m certain that some companies may be showing their support only because of PR. They may only just say something while taking no action. It’s certainly irresponsible, but it’s far from pointless. Even if they only express support, they’re recognizing the movement and therefore the injustices that occur. Those that support BLM are thankful to know that people are on their side. Furthermore, companies that do support the movement don’t go off scott free. While some people are of the opinion that all PR is good PR, companies will lose customers that don’t support the movement. Look at the replies to Sekai Project’s tweet to see that. There are those that state they won’t buy Clannad because of Sekai’s Project’s decision. Tweets even put forth ridiculous claims that developers will change the publishers they go to over this matter. 

What’s my opinion on the matter at large? Do I support the BLM movement? Do I support the protests? Do I support the police? Do I believe all lives matter? 

Yes. Yes to all of it and please pay careful attention to what I capitalize. 

I support the protests, the meaning that they carry. They’re the culmination of a resistance to the racism that underlies law and policies. They happen now because previous attempts to stop racism have failed. My support of that is separate from the violence that occurs during it. I don’t support looting or the damage of property. No person should be harmed, regardless of opinion. Those in the protests that do cause harm, in any way, are not adhering to the core message of BLM. 

I support the police. They put their lives on the line to maintain order and carry out justice. That’s worthy of praise. Yes, officers have stumbled and should be held accountable. There’s no arguing that, but the police aren’t the enemy. Instead, the police and protesters are being thrown against each other repeatedly because the system that underlies the lives of those in the United States is broken. It always has been. That’s the difficult part though, isn’t it? There’s no physical enemy to fight against and those with the power to change things don’t feel a need to take action. More blood will be needlessly shed by both sides. 

I support the BLM movement and believe that all lives matter, not in the way that ALM is used as a retort against BLM.

Please, don’t belittle the money that companies donate. Don’t reply with the [Brand] template. Silence on the part of companies doesn’t mean being complicit with racism, but their approval of BLM is undeniable support against racism. Why shame them for that? Issues have remained pertinent precisely because there hasn’t been enough noise.

We’ve lost the loose connection between the protests and anime and I went on a bit of a tirade. Apologies. I’m not sure other anime bloggers are talking about this and here I am with a wall of text. If I ruined your day and invaded your anime bubble- Oh well. Here’s four anime. Tell me what they have in common. It’s relevant to the discussion at hand.

Code Geass
Maoyuu

Alderamin on the Sky
Arslan Senki

I’m sure you don’t need a hint, but here’s one:

2 thoughts on “The Efficacy of Anime Companies’ Response to BLM

  1. I’m actually glad there’s actually someone willing to talk about this issue. In general, so many fandoms need to do better when it comes to being more conscious about racial issues in media and real life. Of course, it’s so tragic that it took multiple police brutality cases to wake the world up for that to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

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