Petition Gets 17,000 Signatures to Support Love Live! Sunshine's Chika as Oranges Ambassador
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The LaLaport Numazu shopping center removed a panel depicting the Love Live! Sunshine!! character Chika Takami on Sunday due to "various circumstances" after the character was appointed the ambassador of Nishiura oranges, a specialty food item of the Numazu region where the story of Love Live! Sunshine!! is set.
The Twitter account posted an original illustration of Chika holding an orange. A number of replies to the tweet have criticized the drawing for revealing the outline of Chika's crotch. While the reason for removing the panel wasn't explicitly stated, many have assumed it was due to complaints about the artwork. Fan "Shoto To" was disappointed in the decision and filed a petition on Change.org to illustrate support for the character and the campaign. The petition firmly outlines that its purpose is not necessarily to reinstall the panel itself or voice disagreement with criticism of the image, but to gather supporters in one place and present the petition to show that the support exists.
"There is always something that people will think is socially unpleasant, and they have the freedom to state that it makes them uncomfortable if that's how they feel, but isn't it wrong to try to use that ability to remove it?" The petition reads, "If it's something where not speaking out might threaten your life or the life of others, then you should raise your voice immediately. But this is a case where 'the illustration is inappropriate' and it doesn't cause harm to someone's life or livelihood so isn't pushing to remove it overkill?" The petition writer goes on to say that commenting on the internet to express displeasure is one thing, but going as far as filing complaints over this issue was a problem.
The petition states that JA Nansun, an agricultural cooperative based in Numazu, made the decision to remove the exhibition because the LaLaport Numazu shopping center was flooded with complaints.
As of this writing, the petition has garnered over 17,000 signatures.
The controversy didn't stop financial support for Nishiura oranges. The produce, which came in Chika shipping boxes with a mini paper craft of the character and the tie-in lemonade featuring Chika are both sold out. Fans can still buy 5kg boxes of the oranges (sans Chika box) and Kinkan kumquats (also sans Chika branding).
The debate has sparked comparisons to Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!'s first collaboration poster with Red Cross Japan in October last year, which drew criticism on social media due to Uzaki's busty character design. In 2015, a 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.
The Love Live! Sunshine!! project was first announced in February 2015. The project's three key phrases are "Reader Participation," "Inspired by μ's," and "Seaside Town Setting." Fans chose the group's name Aqours by popular vote. The first Love Live! Sunshine!! television anime premiered in July 2016. The second season ran from October to December 2017. The Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie Over the Rainbow opened on January 4, 2019.