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North Korean abductee anime “Megumi” released

Via Moon Phase Diary: Today an animated version of the story of Megumi Yokota was released for free download by the Japanese Government Abduction Issue Countermeasure Headquarters (政府拉致問題対策本部), an agency that works to resolve the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens (an official explanation can be found here). It’s a 25 minute short “documentary anime” that covers Megumi’s life from birth through abduction and the subsequent unresolved quest to determine her fate, and seems to have received some budget as the film was simultaneously released dubbed in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean). I downloaded the English version first expecting subtitles, and was greeted by a truly awful dub – I shut it down as soon as Megumi’s mom went into labor and decided to watch the Japanese version instead.

Heisei Democracy anime news: North Korean abductee anime documentary

This is a fascinating piece from several angles, both as a look at the rare intersection of documentary and anime narrative forms, and in light of its overtly political / propagandistic nature. It’s something I’m sure a visual anthropologist would have a field day dissecting – Moeyo’s initial response is “for this topic, is it really alright to give Megumi such a moe design?” An interesting question, in light of the film’s purpose. (no more)

Protoculture News: “moe” propaganda book goes on sale

Akiba Blog yesterday reported the release of Moyuru Kami no Kuni!, a 270-page moe-clad manifesto from Ikaros Publishing (not to be confused with Icarus Publishing) of what appears to be softcore Japanese nationalist propaganda. Art is from miko legend Tanaka Shoutarou, with text by Suzuki Doitsu, author of Gundam and the Second World War, among others; the book’s content includes such themes as “the reason Japan hasn’t been invaded until now is the presence of the JSDF and the US military”, “there are other righteous wars that should be fought beyond wars of self-protection”, “in order to be accepted as a trusted, normal member of the international community, we must amend the constitution”, “rational countries such as Japan should possess nuclear weapons”, “are there any other countries beyond China, North Korea and South Korea who object to devotional shrine visits honoring our war dead?”, and “sexy miko in lingerie”. If this book becomes a best-seller, one of the above themes in particular seems to stand out as why… (no more)