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Fans Say Trigger's Anime Beer Ad Should Not Have Been Pulled

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Kirin Beer's animated commercial by Trigger's Fukuoka studio was pulled from YouTube earlier this month. The move was likely a response to ASK, a Japanese non-profit specializing in the prevention of alcohol or drug related issues, encouraging Kirin Beer and Trigger to remove the ad. However, some people are still questioning whether the ad really should have been pulled.

Concerned Japanese people who viewed the commercial said that because young people were the target audience, the ad's content was encouraging underage drinking. Another commenter said, "Kids will mistake it for a soft drink."

On the other hand, many fans of the Trigger commercial were angry about its removal. Internet users voiced their opinions that the removal is an example of too much censorship. A male anime industry insider in his 50s who is using the pseudonym "Komadori" (Japanese robin) expressed his outrage. He said:

As a person in the same industry, I shook with anger when I found out about the pulling of the commercial. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say don't mess around! Why is that one bad? Even if you read the written requests that drove removal of the commercial, it seems like only false accusations to me. Even though anime commercials where kappa drink naked are OK, why is a refreshing scene where adult men and women drink alcohol not allowed!

Komadori's remark about an anime commercial with the Japanese mythological creatures known as kappa is a reference to older anime ads for Kizakura sake. Those commercials feature a male and female pair of humanoid kappa who drink sake completely nude.

The industry insider also said, "Listen, it's not that complaints are bad. They're important as opinions. But I just want you to make complaints after considering everything properly!"

The commercial for Kirin Beer's fruity Hyoketsu (freezing) alcoholic beverage line premiered on August 2. Its story follows a 25-year-old game illustrator named Anna, her 21-year-old voice actress sister Saki, and two 21-year-old male college students Chihiro and Tatsuya. In ASK's August 10 statement, the group expresses disapproval of the ad's portrayal of youth culture — anime, games, SNS, and idols — in scenes with drinking.

The commercial received negative comments on YouTube, so Kirin's Alcohol-Related Problems (ARP) division argued that the commercial was appropriate. However, ASK claimed there was no effective age gate on the video, especially not on Facebook and news sites where it was posted and visual to minors. ASK took the standpoint that web commercials should have the same standard as television, and requested in the statement that Kirin Beer remove the commercial. The group went on to request other web commercial developers show the same considerations.

Fans launched a change.org petition earlier this month to bring the commercial back. It will be delivered to Trigger, Kirin, and ASK, among other entities, but ASK was adamant that Japan's standards on the issue are relatively lax.

[Via Yaraon!]

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