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Image: Ministry of Defense

Anime-themed Japan Self-Defense Forces recruitment campaign makes odd poster boy choice

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It’s not an entirely new tactic for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to use anime imageryin their recruiting materials. Over the last few years the organization has used original anime-style mascots and special ita-helicopters to help drum up enthusiasm for enlisting.

The JSDF has even joined hands with established anime franchises for cross-promotional campaigns. From 2015 to 2016, the Ministry of Defense distributed posters featuring the cast of anime TV series "Gate."

"Gate" was a pretty appropriate choice. Despite its fantasy trappings, the series looks at political/military scenarios that could unfold if a gateway to another dimension (one filled with monsters and magic) were discovered on Japanese soil, and what the JSDF’s role would be in such a situation. The series of novels "Gate" is based on is also penned by a former JSDF member, Takumi Yanai.

For 2017, though, the ministry is teaming up with another franchise: "The Irregular at Magic High School." Series protagonist Tatsuya Shiba is seen striking a dramatic pose, flanked with text that reads “Protect the present. Protect the future. Self-Defense Forces now recruiting.”

But whereas "Gate" attempts to show the JSDF in its actual capacity and role (albeit applied to a fantastical environment), "The Irregular at Magic High School" has a much less grounded-in-reality setting. The story takes place following a third world war, from which a United States of North America, reborn Soviet Union, and East Asian Alliance emerge, with Japan maintaining a precarious independence thanks to the portion of its population that can wield powerful magic spells.

As the title implies, Takumi is a high school student at the story’s beginning, making him too young to enlist in the JSDF. He’s also established as having become a child soldier at the age of 13, and though that event is portrayed as something he did to protect his loved ones and homeland, it’s still a major violation of JSDF regulations, as well as internationally accepted standards of military conduct, for someone so young to be on the battlefield.

To top it off, Takumi is shown as emotionally distant and racks up a rather high body count, utilizing methods such as his innate ability to decompose matter. In light of all that, he really starts to feel like an odd decision for the JSDF’s literal poster boy.

Source: Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- New anime Gate entertains, tries to recruit you to the Japan Self-Defense Forces at the same time

-- Japan’s Ministry of Defense unleashes the power of “Moe Marketing”

-- Japan Self-Defense Forces get a fan club, for some reason

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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This will give young people, maybe especially young men, the impression that life in the military is like life in a manga.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've watched "Gate" as it coincided with the railroading of the "security bills" in the diet by LDP. A military propaganda like nothing I've never seen. It was disgusting to watch! How great the military of Japan is, how "peaceful" it is and how freaking supreme it is. It's like A1 Pictures actually want Japan to take on a militaristic path towards glory and dominance. But really, Gate was a terrible Anime which were heavily influenced on the ongoing debate of 2015 about "security bills". That an Anime company could influence the society's behaviour and decisions on the governments "proposal" is turning out to look a bit dangerous!

And like usual, it's filled with exaggerations and clichès. Like, how many in the japanese military loves and believes in fairies and girls with cat-ears?

As with "Joker Game" which depicted Japan during their occupation of China, I think it's unnecessary to emphasize Japan's pre military dominance while seeking to re-emerge as a military great-power. We've all had our golden times in history. It's like Japan is saying; "Well, we were great once in history, but look at us now! We're constrained by our "stupid" pacifist constitution!" Any person alive with knowledge knows that it's not only Japan who's suffering military constraints after WW2. Germany and Italy as well, "suffers" to a great extent the same constraints as Japan as abided to. You're not alone Japan.

The world proceeds with Japan as well. A "wet dream" of Shinzo Abe to gain greater influence in the world by military presence is hawkish and imperialistic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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