Nogizaka46's Song Continues Wonder Woman Film's Marketing Controversy in Japan
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Warner Bros. Japan's marketing decisions surrounding the American film Wonder Woman are again causing controversy. Female idol group Nogizaka46 is performing the image song "Onna wa Hitori ja Nemurenai" (A Woman Can't Sleep Alone) for the film's release in Japan. Some net users have taken issue with the song's title and lyrics in comparison to the film's message.
The film stars Gal Gadot as the powerful Amazon princess and warrior Diana. The character's physical prowess exceeds that of Steve Trevor, the male lead played by Chris Pine. Far from needing help from her male companions, Diana's trademark in the film is showing defiance in the face of what men tell her she cannot do. She often goes against men's wishes in the film in her insistence on doing what she believes is morally right. Although Diana maintains relationships with men throughout the film and her feelings for Steve develop into romance, she never relies on men to accomplish what she knows she can do herself.
On the other hand, the title of Nogizaka46's song implies that Diana can't rest without fretting over men. The song's lyrics describe a woman unable to sleep because of the awakening of romantic feelings inside her.
One Twitter user (whose username and profile picture references Star Wars character Leia Organa) asked, "Can Wonder Woman not sleep alone??" Another Twitter user said, "I can't wake up alone." The form of "I" used in the Tweet is masculine.
The details of the song's lyrics were revealed when Warner Bros. Japan and Nogizaka46 began streaming the song's music video on July 25. However, film critic Tomohiro Machiyama began criticizing the song when its title was revealed in mid-July. Commenting on the title, Machiyama said, "Isn't that the exact opposite message?" He said that the song seems like something that men wrote and made women sing. He believes the song's implication that Diana is a woman who can't stand being without men is mistaken. He added that the "To be human is to love" message of Sia's original theme song for the film is more in line with the work's values.
Machiyama also posted images referencing the inspiration DC Comic's original comics drew from the women's suffrage and reproductive rights movements.
絶対に日本で書く奴いると思う。「『ワンダーウーマン』にフェミニズムを持ち込むな」原作は婦人参政権運動に影響されて書かれ、モデルは避妊の権利運動家の娘なんだが。 pic.twitter.com/PjNdfWHp6p— 町山智浩 (@TomoMachi) July 24, 2017
The original Wonder Woman comics have already come under controversy about whether or not they are good examples of feminist values. However, many people laud the film's heroine as a strong feminist role model. Although not explicitly stated in the film, the comic series' current writer Greg Rucka confirmed last September that Diana is bisexual. Some fans believe Diana serves to break stereotypes and challenge traditional portrayals of female characters.
Warner Bros. Japan's release of a teaser trailer for the film narrated by Sailor Moon voice actor Kotono Mitsuishi created controversy in March. Warner Bros. Japan said of Diana, "She is supposed to be the strongest superhero, but in reality she's a naive and innocent girl who doesn't know about men or love." Some people believe that description patronizes Diana and misplaces emphasis on certain aspects of her character.
The film opens in Japan on August 25. The film opened in North America on June 2.
Anime character designers provided illustrations for a collaboration with an art exhibit that debuted on Friday. Shiori Teshirogi released the Justice League Origin: Wonder Woman manga in the September issue of Akita Shoten's Champion RED magazine on July 19. Metal Gear Solid character and mechanical designer Yoji Shinkawa also contributed to the Japanese release of the Wonder Woman Anthology book, which shipped on June 23.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history