Anime Director Yamakan Apologizes for 'Disabled' Otaku Comment
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Outspoken anime director Yutaka Yamamoto (Wake Up, Girls!, Kannagi), also known as "Yamakan," issued a rare apology about one of his controversial anime-related comments on Wednesday. He posted the apology on his blog after receiving criticism for a Tweet he sent on Saturday. Yamamoto said in the Tweet, "Yep, people who watch anime past an appropriate age are disabled."
Yamamoto said in his apology that he was wrong to compare otaku to people with disabilities. He noted that people might criticize otaku by calling them "bird-brained," "Pavlov's dogs," "pigs," or "worms" when they exhibit certain stereotypical behaviors. Essentially, Yamamoto had wanted to imply in his Tweet that people who watch anime past a certain age are not like normal human beings.
He emphasized in his apology that it was "thoughtless" of him to draw a comparison to people with disabilities. Yamamoto said he will "deeply reflect" on his actions.
Twitter users' responses to Yamamoto's original Tweet included "Until about what age is OK?" and "It's better to not watch at all after being born." Online commenters pointed out that if otaku disappeared, the audience for Yamamoto's own anime would also be gone. While some people appreciated Yamamoto's apology, they called into question whether the apology was genuine. Some net users believe that Yamamoto's explanation did not go far enough and referencing animals is also inappropriate.
Fellow anime creators and the anime industry itself have previously become targets of Yamamoto's criticism. He created a stir online in June when he reacted to his separation from the new Wake Up, Girls! television anime on apparently bad terms.