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J-Cast: Minister's Office Denies Objecting to Gintama' Episode

posted on by Egan Loo
Episode 232's AT-X showings cancelled at TV Tokyo's request due to depiction of individual(s)

The J-Cast News website reported on Tuesday that the office of Upper House legislator Renhō Murata denied objecting to the Gintama' episode that was pulled from the anime television channel AT-X. According to J-Cast, a representative from the office said, "It is not true that we objected [to the episode]. The decision whether to broadcast or not was a decision of the station, so we have no comment."

AT-X announced on Friday that its showings of Gintama' episode 232 were cancelled at the request of the program's original broadcaster, TV Tokyo. The episode had already aired on TV Tokyo on October 31, and as of Tuesday, the episode is still streaming overseas on the Crunchyroll service.

Like Hideaki Sorachi's alternate-history comedy manga that inspired it, Sunrise's Gintama' television anime includes many parodies of real-world people and organizations. Among other items, episode 232 had parodies of the public service announcements from the Advertising Council Japan and an older female politician named "Renhō." Renhō Murata, the current Minister for Government Revitalisation, goes simply by her given name "Renhō" when campaigning.

Gintama' supervisor Shinji Takamatsu had posted on Twitter on October 26 that the episode was initially rejected and indicated that it was because of its jokes. He said that if the time came that the anime could not do material in the spirit of Gintama, then he thinks the television anime should stop — rather than airing "something that isn't Gintama." However, he added that he thinks that day has not come.

Takamatsu then revealed that the episode was resubmitted on the same day it aired. On November 14, he announced that he is taking a break from Twitter.

The TV Tokyo representative in charge of Gintama' had cited "various circumstances" for why the station requested AT-X to cancel its reruns of episode 232. The representative explained that the station made the request "because there were depictions reminiscent of specific individual(s)." When asked if the individual was Minister Renhō, the representative repeatedly responded, "We cannot answer that."

[Via 0takomu]

This article has a follow-up: TV Tokyo Decided to Pull Gintama' Episode on Its Own (2011-11-18 09:45)
follow-up of Gintama' #232 to Not Run on AT-X at TV Tokyo's Request
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