Political Kimetsu no Yaiba poster shown in viral tweet, designs used are similar to the popular series
Politicians Keisuke Mitsumoto and Osaka Prefecture Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura of the Nippon Ishi no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) have used designs similar to the popular Weekly Shonen Jump series Kimetsu no Yaiba to promote themselves.
The Kimetsu no Yaiba poster in display has been posted on Twitter, much to the disappointment of the fans. Some of whom are asking if this violates copyright rules.
In a tweet posted a few days later, Weekly Shonen Jump and its publisher Shueisha has denied connection to the said poster.
“We have seen a politician’s posters use Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba imagery, however neither Shueisha nor the Weekly Shonen Jump Editorial Department were in any way connected to it.”Weekly Shonen Jump statement
The Japanese General Election for 2021 will take place on or before October 22 as required by the Japanese Constitution.
Usage of Anime in Politics
Politicians using anime to promote themselves is not a new thing. Musician Teruki Gotō cosplayed as Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass) in his latest campaign poster for the Tokyo governor election set for July 5.
This prompted studio Sunrise to release a statement disclaiming any connection to the said politician. He has apologized on Twitter for causing trouble. Posters of him cosplaying as Lelouch have been removed from election billboard spaces.
In Hong Kong, its Police Force posted its mascot “The Little Grape” donning the same costume as Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Tanjiro which also drew criticism. Pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow tweeted, “[…] It’s sad to see that Kimetsu no Yaiba has become a propaganda tool for the Hong Kong police.”
Despite these, a Taiwanese politician who is also a cosplayer has secured her slot in the Legislative Yuan (parliament) by cosplaying during some of her campaign rallies. Read more about this in our feature story.