Crunchyroll’s The Rising of the Shield Hero anime faced significant backlash after the first episode of the series featured a false rape allegation used against the main character. However, that backlash was non-existent in Japan according to Kadokawa producer Junichiro Tamura who addressed the controversy in an Ask Me Anything on the Anime sub-reddit on February 9th. Kadokawa is the production company behind Rising of the Shield Hero.
As you’d expect, many of the questions were very anime and hobby-centric. However, there were two questions that alluded to the recent controversy surrounding Rising of the Shield Hero.
The first came from user Catacageddon. They asked:
“Hi, thank you for doing this. I love Shield hero and I love your work.
I want to know how influenced anime studios/producers are by Western views and thoughts. Do you think studios will continue to produce quality anime product even if it might be viewed as different or controversial in the West? This is what I love about Japanese anime and I am afraid it might change
My second question is, what would be the best way to support anime? I watch Shield Hero on Crunchyroll, but I feel like I could do more to support the anime and the industry. Does buying merchandise help?
Do you foresee animating all of Shield Hero if it gets the continued support it is getting?
My fourth question is, how do anime studios/producers decide to make remakes of old shows and new seasons? Do you forsee more anime remakes of old shows?
Bonus question: Have you ever met any western fans? Do you think more people working on anime in Japan will go to anime cons in the U.S?
I really thank you for doing this and I hope you answer my questions. I love Shield Hero”
Junichiro Tamura responded stating that the Japanese “do not see these anime as controversial.”
“We in Japan do not see these anime as controversial, so we will continue to produce more content like Shield Hero.
Thank you for your support, buying merchandise helps as well as preventing any of your friends from pirating the content.
We would like to animate all of Shield Hero, but it all depends on the support we get from our fans.
There are many reasons for why a producer will make a remake or make new seasons of an old show, but I have not personally had the chance, so I cannot give you a good answer.”
The next question was a bit more pointed and asked on how he deals with controversy and whether or not it discourages staff or affects the decision making process.
User Theleux asked:
“How do you deal with controversy that certain series end up generating? Does it discourage staff, impact decisions, or does it end up being uses a lot for marketing/ expanding the viewer range of the series?
Q: Shield Hero has quite a few controversial views. How is this production dealing with the resulting response?
In addition to this:
Q: Are you able to delve into the issues regarding the Re:Zero US Blu-ray release?”
Tamura responded by stating, “There have not been any controversies regarding the series in Japan, so it is difficult to say.” He would add, “In the case there were any controversy domestically, we will try to address all issues with the staff and people involved to bring our customers a better product the next time.”
In regards to the Re:Zero Blu-ray release, Tamura noted that he was not involed with it, “I’m sorry to say I am not involved in Re:Zero and cannot answer for the US Blu-ray release, sorry!”
Tamura’s responses are quite refreshing especially after Sword Art Online author Reki Kawahara recently intimated he would be making changes to his series due to pressure from the West.
What do you make of Junichiro Tamura’s responses? Are you watching The Rising of the Shield Hero? What do you think about the series?