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INTEREST: Yu-Gi-Oh Creator Kazuki Takahashi Apologizes for Political Statements


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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 821
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:50 am Reply with quote
ErikaD.D wrote:
rankothefiremage wrote:
Note the "Liberal Democratic Party" isn't liberal in the way Americans think of it, They're considered a "right wing" party.

Should be change name to "Conservative Republican Party".

They won’t. Established political parties basically never change their names. They might rebrand to some extent, but won’t go any further than changing their logo. Besides, parties that put “Liberal” in their names generally never were to begin with. It’s like “Democratic Republic” in a nation’s full name; there to give people the impression of it rather than reflecting the reality of it. This is why many people, Australians especially, avoid using “liberal” to describe a political position and use “left-wing” instead.
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Cave



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:30 am Reply with quote
Bravo to Takahashi-sensei for speaking his mind and especially for not removing the image after the backlash.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3841
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:30 am Reply with quote
NOGI48 wrote:
Hopefully Japan will vote for the people that will make Japan go back being Japan and not a US influence territory state.


Does that entail Japan doing things like invading other countries, which was a thing they did long before the U.S. became infamous for it?
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Puniyo



Joined: 08 Oct 2015
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:53 am Reply with quote
It's some sort of sad irony that a very anti-censorship artist's most famous work is mostly know worldwide by its heavily censored adaption.
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FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 587
Location: USA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:42 am Reply with quote
I think it was wise for him to apologize. When a creator starts to use his or her fictional characters as political mouthpieces, it comes off more as pushing an agenda than actual entertainment.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:28 pm Reply with quote
Uraraka wrote:
For the record, I read the original Japanese article as well as many of Japanese fans' comments. This is not political conflict between left and right, but the issue lies where some fans upset on the fact that Takahasi made a political comment through his characters' mouth, not by himself, and he respond on that. In fact, Takahashi's apology focuses on using the characters, " I want to deeply apologize to fans for using the characters to express political statements", and not on his political view.


I honestly don't see the problem here. What's the problem with him using his own characters to promote his views? It's not as if he is appropriating someone else's IP to suit his own ends, violating copyright or trademark law, etc; he created the characters so he can do what he likes with them.

Now someone might argue whether or not it's wise from a business perspective to politicize IP like that, but that's a question of business not of ethics.

FLCLGainax wrote:
I think it was wise for him to apologize. When a creator starts to use his or her fictional characters as political mouthpieces, it comes off more as pushing an agenda than actual entertainment.


Why does it have to be one or the other; why can it not be both? I can understand that someone might not agree with his political views; but what does that have to do with the entertainment aspect of his work? You could read the manga, play the game, watch the anime all without paying any attention whatsoever to his political views.
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Tenbyakugon



Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Posts: 688
Location: Michigan, United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:52 pm Reply with quote
AkumaChef wrote:
I honestly don't see the problem here. What's the problem with him using his own characters to promote his views? It's not as if he is appropriating someone else's IP to suit his own ends, violating copyright or trademark law, etc; he created the characters so he can do what he likes with them.

Now someone might argue whether or not it's wise from a business perspective to politicize IP like that, but that's a question of business not of ethics.


It is a question of ethics and this is exactly the problem that people with public profiles do not understand. At least in America, they do have the right to voice their opinions, but to use their profile to influence others with their opinions, regardless of the topic or intention, is unethical and perhaps closer to people like Adolf Hitler than they would ever think.

It is not the people’s job to influence the people, it is up to a person to be educated and make decisions for their self.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Tenbyakugon wrote:

It is not the people’s job to influence the people, it is up to a person to be educated and make decisions for their self.


I agree completely with the snip I posted above. I couldn't agree more, in fact.

But I also don't think it's wrong for anyone else to express an opinion. We all have them, and mine are not better than anyone else's, nor are theirs better than mine. We each have the right to our own opinions. A person who is in the public spotlight might be able to tell their opinions to more people than you or I would, but why does that matter when we are each making our own decisions? Just because an artist (or politician, or musician, etc,) with a big public following says something does not make that something correct, it's just their opinion.

I disagree that this is a question of ethics at all, because there is no harm done. They are his characters, he can do what he wants with them. If he was engaging in plagarism, or if he was using someone else's characters/copyright/etc then that's a different story, but he's not treading on anybody's rights or property other than his own.

I don't know anywhere near enough about Japanese politics to know whether I agree with him, disagree with him, or write him off entirely as a loon. But I don't see why people are upset about him using his characters to voice his opinion. Nobody is being forced to even read this guy's twitter feed, let alone agree with him or vote the way he say you should vote.
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Uraraka



Joined: 09 Apr 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:13 pm Reply with quote
AkumaChef wrote:
I honestly don't see the problem here. What's the problem with him using his own characters to promote his views? It's not as if he is appropriating someone else's IP to suit his own ends, violating copyright or trademark law, etc; he created the characters so he can do what he likes with them.

Now someone might argue whether or not it's wise from a business perspective to politicize IP like that, but that's a question of business not of ethics.

1. Sure, Takahashi legally has a right and freedom to use his characters to express whatever political agenda he has with them. Neither I, people here, nor Japanese fans complain about that Rolling Eyes

2. However, some of the fans who supported Yu-Gi-Oh are actually disappointed by the fact that Takahashi used their favorite characters as a tool to express his political view. I think it is understandable since these characters are meant to entertain people, not pushing his political agenda, and Takahashi specifically apologized for that matter.

3. For the sake of conversation, say Disney legally owns Toy Stories' IP, for example, and what if they make Woody to say "Vote for Democrats (or Republicans)"? Yes, technically they have a right and freedom to do so, but I think it will make many of Toy Stories fans being disappointed, not because of the political view itself but using their beloved character to push thier particulate political agenda. I think IP holders should respect and think twice about why people love and support their IPs and characters before using them as a tool for their personal politics, and it is for both business and ethical matters. Cool
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ShadowAssailantX



Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Tenbyakugon wrote:
...to use their profile to influence others with their opinions, regardless of the topic or intention, is unethical and perhaps closer to people like Adolf Hitler than they would ever think.


Yes folks, he just compared Takahashi to Hitler. For using his own art and characters to express his political opinion on his Twitter.
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Commander Cluck



Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 70
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:13 pm Reply with quote
You got to admit Atem telling people to vote when he's a monarch who rules by birthright is a bit silly.
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Tenbyakugon



Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Posts: 688
Location: Michigan, United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:08 pm Reply with quote
ShadowAssailantX wrote:
Tenbyakugon wrote:
...to use their profile to influence others with their opinions, regardless of the topic or intention, is unethical and perhaps closer to people like Adolf Hitler than they would ever think.


Yes folks, he just compared Takahashi to Hitler. For using his own art and characters to express his political opinion on his Twitter.


“Yes folks”, they just missed my point entirely.

Girl bye.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3841
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:48 am Reply with quote
FLCLGainax wrote:
I think it was wise for him to apologize. When a creator starts to use his or her fictional characters as political mouthpieces, it comes off more as pushing an agenda than actual entertainment.


Encouraging people who ordinary don't vote to vote isn't really a problematic agenda secondly the original Yu-Gi-Oh series ended years ago there's no entertainment to be gotten here.

Tenbyakugon wrote:
It is not the people’s job to influence the people, it is up to a person to be educated and make decisions for their self.


Which within the discussion of politics leads to the wrong people being put into positions of power because those people aren't actually educated on the politicians or issues and tend to vote on the basis of making decisions less for themselves and instead make them for other people who lives can be negatively affected by bad policies created by those bad politicians they voted for.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:04 am Reply with quote
Uraraka wrote:

2. However, some of the fans who supported Yu-Gi-Oh are actually disappointed by the fact that Takahashi used their favorite characters as a tool to express his political view. I think it is understandable since these characters are meant to entertain people, not pushing his political agenda, and Takahashi specifically apologized for that matter.


Absolutely. I understand that some fans were upset about it. But I think it is a big stretch to say that is somehow "morally wrong". Just because someone doesn't like something doesn't mean that it suddenly becomes an issue of morality.

I agree completely with your #3 point as well. It would certainly bother me if someone (even the original creator) used my favorite characters to make a political point--even if it was a political point I happened to agree with. It would also make me think less of the person who did that. But I would not consider it morally wrong. I'd just write it off as a decision that I don't happen to agree with.

I think we agree 99.9%, I'm just hung up on semantics of the term "moral" here.
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Amibite



Joined: 01 Jul 2004
Posts: 194
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Puniyo wrote:
It's some sort of sad irony that a very anti-censorship artist's most famous work is mostly know worldwide by its heavily censored adaption.


Despite Takahashi being very anti-censorship he did censor his art one time. Back when Yu-Gi-Oh was being serialized he drew the main antagonist, Zorc Necrophades as a large monster with a huge dragon head coming out of its crotch, so it looked like he had a dragon headed penis. In the later bunkoban versions he censored it and redrew it differently and apologized, stating he wasn't thinking clearly at the time because he was both frustrated at the series being cancelled as well as being delirious from hospital medication as he was seriously ill at the time.

BadNewsBlues wrote:
Encouraging people who ordinary don't vote to vote isn't really a problematic agenda secondly the original Yu-Gi-Oh series ended years ago there's no entertainment to be gotten here.


He's pretty hands off the franchise at this point but he did create the original foundation for it as well as the card game and I'm sure he still receives residuals from Konami. He does do a few character designs for the later series.

I can appreciate Takahashi apologizing to the fans. While telling people to vote may seem innocuous, he also did throw in his feelings on the current Japanese administration so he went beyond that. Even without that though, usually when people start telling people to vote it's done as a dog whistle and you can read between the lines and tell just who they want you to vote for.

And people will always be worried about the slippery slope. First it's just telling people to vote, then its telling people who to vote for, then what policies are good, then telling people if you disagree with them you're evil and you don't belong in the fandom and they don't want your money and maybe even ban you if it gets that extreme. Magic the Gathering went through just that over the past 15 years or so and it caused a huge rift in the fanbase which was sad to see as someone who played a bit of Magic back in high school during lunch before I got into Yu-Gi-Oh. I'm glad Takahashi seems to want to avoid that here. He's always been respectful and considerate, even when Shueisha cancelled his series he went out with grace and harbored no ill will towards them
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