Anime Directors Tsutomu Mizushima, Seiji Mizushima Profess Support for Hong Kong Democracy
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Anime directors Tsutomu Mizushima (Girls und Panzer, Shirobako) and Seiji Mizushima (Fullmetal Alchemist, Mobile Suit Gundam 00) took to their personal Twitter accounts last weekend to profess their support for democracy in Hong Kong.
On Saturday, Tsutomu Mizushima tweeted: "I feel like I've been getting more Hong Kong followers lately. I support democracy in Hong Kong. I'm rooting for you."
On Sunday, Seiji Mizushima tweeted: "Hong Kong is a wonderful place. I love it. I support democracy and the passing of the five demands in Hong Kong so that my Hong Kong friends and Chinese friends can live without any further pain in their hearts."
Tsutomu Mizushima's tweet came after recent remarks on the difficulties of speaking about politics as an anime creator. After receiving backlash for tweeting his opposition to the revision of the public prosecutor's office law, he remarked on Thursday that "In the anime industry, people may not say it outright, but there's a silent pressure not to make political statements. To hell with that."
On Saturday, he began to tweet about China, saying, "It finally clicked for me why, when I tweeted about the revision to the public prosecutor's office law, so many people asked me about China, which has nothing to do with it. A lot of Chinese money is currently flowing into the anime industry, so even if we're able to protest about things in our own country, people are curious to know whether we're allowed to badmouth our sponsor China. Well, it's true enough that China's got a lot of capital." He then cheekily tweeted: "I want to make a Winnie the Pooh anime with Chinese money."
The Chinese name for Winnie the Pooh is blocked on Chinese social media sites due to netizens who used the names of the characters as stand-ins for political leaders in order to ridicule them.
Hong Kong has been in a turbulent state since June last year, as hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters have mobilized in protest against an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. Protesters laid out five demands: a withdrawal of the extradition bill, a retraction of the classification of the protests as "riots," the release of arrested protesters, an independent commission into police brutality, and universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections. Only the first of those demands have been met; Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally announced the retraction of the extradition bill on September 4.