Remember guys - any further efforts by Korean nationalist groups (or nationalist groups from any other country) only fall on the ground of criminal acts, if this will be the measure of their deeds. If you think carefully, though cyber-terrifying as cyber-terror is, how exactly do you think it will prevent further distribution of DVDs, CDs, manga and other related merchandise?
LET'S SHOW OUR UNITED EFFORT TO THE EXTREME!!!
Axis Powers Hetalia is a satirical webcomic and anime series created by Hidekaz Himaruya, focusing primarily on the events in World War II (though dealing with other history periods as well, from the medieval days to the present), with the countries represented as anthropomorphic characters. Such characters display exaggerated national characteristics of their respective countries, such as USA being energetic while holding a hamburger and soda, Germany being stern and extremely rule-abiding, and UK having thick eyebrows.
The anime adaptation of the series by Studio Deen was originally scheduled to launch on Kids Station on 24th January 2009. In response to this, nationalistic groups in Korea protested against its launch by making an online petition, based on the allegations that their country was portrayed in an offensive manner, despite the fact that the anime did not even include Korea. The matter was taken up in the National Assembly in Korea, where the series was denounced as “equivalent to criminal conduct”. These allegations were supported, bizarrely enough, using a mixture of manipulated comic strips and, even more preoccupying, using fanart (that is, illustrations and drawings made by fans, as opposed to official artwork.)
On 16th January 2009, it was announced on the Hetalia official website that “due to circumstances afflicting the broadcast station, the broadcast has been cancelled”. Instead, it would be available via online and mobile phone distribution.
Information of a new petition by overly nationalistic Koreans has started to circulate, where, supposedly, they advocate for the attack of Japanese websites connected with the series so that the series will cease its distribution.
We, as individuals, and as a group, urge Studio Deen reverse its decision to cancel its broadcast of Axis Powers Hetalia, and to stop yielding to any further efforts done by any group to demand such decisions through violent and coercive means. We also urge Gentosha to stop potential plans, if any, to cease, discontinue distribution of this series.
We believe this is an instance of over-reaction on the part of nationalistic Koreans. Axis Powers Hetalia is a satire of the events of World War II, and other countries were accorded similar treatment (by being represented as anthropomorphic characters displaying exaggerated national characteristics of their respective countries). As such, although they may have their own reasons for disliking the portrayal of Korea, their allegations of criminal conduct are completely unfounded. In any event, the broadcasting of the anime ought not to have concerned Korea due to the fact that it was not even portrayed in the anime (plot-wise). (See Japanese source of this at: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20090120-00000002-jct-ent where it says: "Kid's Station originally had planned on broadcasting the five-minute anime until February, however, their PR had said "In all of the episodes we have planned to air, the character called 'Korea' is not scheduled to show up even once."")
To continue accepting threats would not only be humoring censorship, but would empower any group who feels offended by any creative production to follow this example and continue to lampoon any material they disagree with, in a world where freedom of expression is an undeniable right, as is the freedom to ignore that which we do not agree with. This is furthermore grave considering that the manifestations of dissent have grown from mere opinions to encouraging actual, criminal acts (cyber-terrorism): to submit to them would be as good as saying that criminal behavior is a valid way to make demands in this world, and would fuel future repetitions of this conduct.
In conclusion, the below signing would like to encourage Studio Deen and Gentosha to continue the regular distribution of Axis Powers Hetalia.
Edit: There are concerns by some community members over whether Livejournal is the best means to set up a petition. This was discussed amongst the moderators beforehand, and it was decided that given the controversial nature of this issue, Livejournal would be sufficient (although by no means perfect) enough for the following reasons:
1. Using a petition-hosting site is not necessarily a better or even more credible method of ascertaining the authenticity of the signatures. Anyone can sign under multiple different names with different email addresses.
2. In comparison, LJ accounts are better in identifying genuine signatures, given the procedures one goes through to sign up for an LJ account in the first place. Further, one can see how long someone has had an LJ for, and its degree of activeness.
3. The moderators are logging IP addresses in this post. Although by no means the most perfect way, it is no less inferior than petition-hosting sites.
4. The moderators have more control over the comments in this post in the event that wank erupts.
5. Non-LJ users can comment on this post, but it will be better for them to leave a name and email address instead of simply signing it.
Any enquiries/complaints should be sent via PM to the moderators. Please also note that any racist/anti-Korea comments will be deleted without warning. There's no need for hate. We're all mature adults, right?
[As of 31.1.09] Due to an influx of anonymous commenters posting anti-Japan comments for the past hour, I've changed comment settings for anonymous commenters only. This means all anonymous comments will have to automatically go through me before they get posted. Thank you for your understanding and attention.