ANN references ‘First they came for the lolis’

Readers might recall my Anime Diet article on FUNImation censoring Dance in the Vampire Bund. Because censorship was being likened by fans to all sorts of atrocities, the column concluded by suggesting that if Niemoller lived as an otaku today, he would have made a poem about the slippery slope of censorship rather than the crimes of the Nazis.

Perhaps if Martin Niemöller were an anime otaku, he might write thus:

First they came for the lolis, and I said nothing, because I was not a lolicon;
Then they came for the panty shots, and I did not speak out—I was not a pantsu fetishist;
Then they came for the political references, and I did not speak out—their politics did not interest me anyhow;
Then they came for originality—and there was no reason left to watch.

Immediately after it was published, Tim Maughan expressed his disgust that the poem was used.

BECAUSE EDITING CRAP ANIME IS JUST LIKE THE HOLOCAUST: RT @animediet: AD post: First they came for the lolis

Fuck this, I’m going to bed. FOR TOMORROW, WE PICK KITCHEN TILES.


He continued to explain:

@8C I WAS SHOUTING WITH LATE NIGHT DESPAIR. I’d read the post. He makes some good points, but prob fails to recognise weight of poem.

@8C the more people bastardise stuff like that, the less impact it has. They’ll be using it to sell fucking Mountain Dew next week.

After some consideration, he relented:

@moritheil @8C so it was meta-rhetoric? (Metaric?). Um, ok. I can see that on a morning re-read. Just. Apologies.

Presumably his coworker Robin Sevakis also thought it good to make the point, in graphical form.  The April 6 ANN comic seems to have taken the same tack:

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 5:29 AM  Comments (16)  
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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Can you say no sense of humor? Honestly, I get that some stuff is serious business– I mean, like god forbid we talk about the Holocaust without a moment of silence; yes, it sucked, and I mean no disrespect, but you gotta be able to -discuss- things, and this politically correct stuff is just making it harder for people to cut the shit and engage in real conversation about stuff that matters. But people have made far more offensive jokes than that. I thought it was kinda clever.

    Also that comic, what the hell. I don’t even want to read it. All I see are WALLS OF TEXT. (then again, after writing such a long reply, I suppose I shouldn’t talk)

  2. Editing crap anime IS just like the holocaust.

  3. You know the Holocaust? Picture the opposite of that.

  4. As someone with Holocaust survivors in her family, I have to say, no it isn’t very cool at all. Sure I’ve seen worse, but I am still a little miffed at the poem’s use, although not to the point Tim Maughan was. I can see it was just done in jest. Still…

    Anime is entertainment, no matter how crappy it is, censoring it is not going to end lives, it’ll just make a lot of self-centered anime folk whine all day long on the internet. As it is, all the internet denizens do all day long is whine about their favorite anime being ruined in some fashion or another.

    Whereas the Holocaust was the death of roughly nine million people. Not speaking up about the deaths of people? Pretty serious business no matter how casually you put it.

    Holocaust aside, I think it’s dumb this to be compared to such an event when you know a bunch assholes are still shooting their mouths off about it anyway. The internet anime community is so damn vocal it could make someone deaf and there is little stopping anyone from saying something.

    • My great-grandparents were Jews who fled Russia to escape from the German persecution.

      I am not offended by the joke because I am not a humorless fucking twat.

      Meanwhile, people dying. not a big deal. Happens about 20 times every single second. Anime getting censored actually impacts my life at this very moment. Taken to it’s logical extreme, a world full of censored anime would be a hell not unlike the holocaust for myself.

      Therefor, I think the comparison is just bloody fine, and everyone getting offended can kindly pull the stick out of their ass.

      • Congrats! You’re a lot more removed from actually being persecuted than I am! There’s nothing to prove there, I was just giving some perspective from someone who has seen the grief of Holocaust survivors first hand.

        Now I’m not for censorship of any kind, I do think being denied lolis and fanservice is quite a bit less serious than people being killed. A lot less serious.

        So congrats. You’re that insensitive dude who thinks his boner is more important than other problems.

        You know what I think? There was a day before lolis and there will be a day after lolis. I think fandom will move on and whiny stick-up-their-ass otaku will remain stagnant while the rest of us live real lives and care about other people too.

      • There will a be a day after and was a day before the holocaust too. The comparison is fine.

        I’m not sure what you think a ‘real life’ is. I’m pretty sure I’m alive, and existing. Hell, I’m even doing a pretty good job of it, since I seems to be much happier a person than most of the people I meet. I don’t think the way I feel about lolis has much do do with whether or not my existence is verified.

        Have fun with your caring about people. There are about 7 billion of them, so you’re going to have to spread the care pretty thin, but you seem like you’ll manage 🙂 I think it’s a lot better for people to worry about themselves first, since your happiness will have a lot more to do with your life than other people, but hey – if you need to get offended by death in order to sleep at night, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

  5. I was never really offended by the comparison in the first place. I just thought it was a shitty one. 😛 If I’m going to get offended about stuff, it has to be a lot worse than that.

    Also, this may be wrong, but I do believe in every little bit helping. If I care about what happens to other people that I may not even know, then hopefully my feelings and actions are able to help someone for a little bit. If all the rest of us stopped worrying about ourselves long enough to help someone every once in awhile, then maybe this world would be a little more GAR.

    Also- your lolis are still not as important as a human being’s life. Go out and volunteer or something and stop wanking off in mom’s basement.

    • Sure is utilitarian Nazi in here.

      Wait, did I just–OH YES I DID. Use Preparation H, I heard it’s a good palliative for the butthurt.

      • Oh gosh, I got called a Nazi. Boohoo I think I’ll go slit my wrists now.


        Do you honestly think that’s the most offensive thing you can say? Weak.

    • For the record, I’m wanking off in my mom’s attic.

      • Actually that’s kind of cool. You can be even creepier now and scare off the neighborhood children just by looking out your window! 😀

  6. For Daniella:

    And yes, censorship is a pretty big fucking deal.

  7. The use of the quote and ensuing weeny fracas is a non issue. It doesn’t matter. This is really more a case of cultures clashing than anything else. Japan does not have the same sensibilities westerners do about these subjects and that’s what makes them and their unique subcultural gift to us so much better. Trying to change them to fit our ‘standards’ is beyond pathetic.

    And if they censor it will go underground then be so much more desirable.

  8. I’m still LOLing at Robin being called my ‘co-worker’. Yeah, I do write for ANN on occasion – purely as a freelancer. I’ve never met, or even spoken electronically, to Robin.

    I do stand by my stance that this poem is over-used. You only have to look at the tea-party use of it recently – campaigning against perceived socialism/communism. Clearly they never read the first line.

    “Meanwhile, people dying. not a big deal. Happens about 20 times every single second. Anime getting censored actually impacts my life at this very moment. Taken to it’s logical extreme, a world full of censored anime would be a hell not unlike the holocaust for myself.”

    You sir, are a fool.

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