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Busty Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Blood Donation Drive Poster Sparks Online Debate

posted on by Kim Morrissy

A collaboration poster between Red Cross Japan and Take's Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! (Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!) manga has drawn criticism on social media. Lawyer and feminist advocate Keiko Ōta posted a tweet regarding the poster on Monday, which has accumulated over 2,000 retweets as of the publication of this article.

Ōta wrote: "Red Cross Japan has put up this Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! poster to promote its blood donation campaign. I think it's really insensitive. Why did they have to go with this kind of illustration? I'm densensitized to it, but in a public space it's like background sexual harassment."

In a follow-up tweet, Ōta mentioned that she had sent an inquiry to Red Cross Japan regarding the poster. She also wrote: "Every time this theme comes up, I get a lot of replies from people who don't get it. 1) I'm not saying that it's always wrong to emphasize breasts or sexual parts in a drawing. It's a question of what kind of purpose that depiction serves within a particular subject and place. It infuriates me when people show no understanding of why that kind of thing should be addressed."

Ōta's original tweet prompted over 1,800 replies, many of them disagreeing with her. Common arguments were that Uzaki's clothing was not revealing, and that just the existence of large breasts does not equal sexualization. Others argued that the collaboration is intended to draw young people to donating blood, so if the drawing serves its intended purpose, then there should be no problem. Some comments argued for the importance of freedom of artistic expression. It was also pointed out that the drawing used for the poster is identical to the cover illustration of the manga's third tankobon volume.

However, Ōta also has her supporters. One comment that she retweeted reads: "I want everyone who is in a position to make advertisements to re-evaluate who exists within public spaces other than cishet men. It's a space where everyone exists, from children to the elderly."

The debate has also sparked comparisons to a similar incident from 2015, when the sightseeing association in Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture changed a promotional poster depicting a No-Rin character in a sensual pose after receiving complaints that it was inappropriate.

Take launched the Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! manga on Niconico in December 2017 as part of the Dra Dra Sharp brand. The series is licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment, and they released the first volume on September 17. The first phase of the manga's collaboration with Red Cross Japan will run from October 1 to 31, and the second phase will run from February 1 to 29, 2020. Uzaki's lines in the collaboration poster read: "Senpai, have you not donated blood yet? Are you perhaps... scared of needles?"

[Via Nijipoi]


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