2D schoolgirl art deemed “inappropriate” for Utsunomiya City campaign

Yet more Twitter users are getting upset over harmless artwork – this time an illustration for Utsunomiya city has garnered rage due to it including characters in schoolgirl outfits.

The “controversy” began after the Twitter account of Haruka Aozora, the schoolgirl mascot for Utsunomiya city, uploaded an illustration advertising the city’s new “Light Rail Train” on August 21st:

The official Booth page for Haruka Aozora describes the five girls as “high school girls from Utsunomiya City”.

Much like the absurd Uzaki-chan poster issue, the matter with the Love Live! Sunshine!! mall artwork, and Onsen Musume, overly sensitive individuals on Twitter complained about the art and labeled it “inappropriate”.

Critics took issue with the fact that the fictional girls were underage and wearing “scantily clad” uniforms (despite these ones being fairly modest in comparison to some anime’s), even though anime girls have been wearing such outfits for decades.

An article translated a few of the negative criticisms that were commonly being shared, which claimed the advertisement was “catering to men” and is “outdated”:

“Unlike in the old days, using moe illustrations in serious advertisements doesn’t have the impact it used to. Using moe images even though it’s so outdated gives the impression that they have nothing else to offer. It’s like they’re just putting up hentai art for the sake of it. I believe it lacks taste as an advertisement.”

“Hey, seriously, cut it out with the whole miniskirts and erotic stuff to attract customers. It’s getting old. It’s like something a Showa-aged old dude would think of. Show us something more innovative, that will make both men and women want to get on board.”

“Moreover, today’s high school girls don’t even dress or style their hair like that. They just look plain tacky… I mean, the thigh-high socks with a school uniform, seriously?”

“It’s gross, seriously, so gross. Being forced to see suggestive artwork is like environmental sexual harassment.”

“Environmental sexual harassment” is a nonsensical phrase that was brought up even with the aforementioned Uzaki and Love Live! controversies from several years ago, but is merely an excuse to get others to get rid of something someone personally doesn’t like.

There were plenty of people supporting the art, of course, and even the man who married fictional diva Hatsune Miku provided a remark:

“It seems that this is sparking controversy now, but it’s important to remember that 2D high school girls are not the same as real high school girls (similar to how Hatsune Miku isn’t a real person). I know it might sound ironic coming from me, but let’s differentiate between reality and imagination.”

Apparently the negative criticism was of a significant enough degree that Utsunomiya City offered an official statement addressing the matter:

An English translation was also provided courtesy of a Twitter user:

Such negative sentiments about things seen quite frequently in anime for the last few decades seem to be growing in number in Japan, with such no-lifers perhaps gaining inspiration from similar deviants in the West.


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