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Jujutsu Kaisen Animator Harassed By Fans For Cross-Dressing Popular Character, Todo

In case you are not aware, Jujutsu Kaisen, a popular dark fantasy anime series, released in October 2020, and praised for its animation quality, story, and characters, is one of the most popular anime series in 2023. It has won several awards, such as the Anime of the Year at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. Its plot and characters educate its audience on trauma and the value of life.


It is also one of the best-selling manga series, with over 50 million copies in circulation. The anime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Netflix, and the manga is available in English from Viz Media.


However, Jujutsu Kaisen has been facing some controversies lately, especially by Muslim fans. The anime studio Mappa, which is responsible for the adaptation of the manga by Gege Akutami, has been criticized for its poor working conditions.


Some fans have even gone to the lengths to start a petition to stop the anime production temporarily until the studio improves its situation. It has been created to appeal to Mappa’s founder, Masao Maruyama, asking him to provide better working conditions for Mappa’s animators.


For the past month, various animators have tweeted out about the insane and disappointing working conditions. Although none of these animators directly mentioned Jujutsu Kaisen or Mappa, it is evident from the posts that they have been working on the renowned anime for excruciatingly long hours.


In addition, Mappa has made them sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement), so they cannot openly talk about what anime series or studio they are currently working on in their tweets.


This petition includes:


·       A needed delay for the next few episodes of Jujutsu Kaisen. To allow the animators time to put out great work.


·       Better working conditions for the animators. So, they can always be at their best and bring their best to the series.


·       Realistic time frames for animating a series from here on out. To give the animators some breathing room and prevent burnout.


The petition for these workers has already garnered over 100 signatures and counting. This is not the first time that Mappa has faced criticism for its treatment of animators. Three weeks ago, another petition was launched with the title “Petition for MAPPA to Stop Violation of Basic Human Rights and Ethical Working Rights”.


While Mappa has unfortunately not officially responded to the petition, many hope that the studio will take notice and improve the working conditions of its staff. Jujutsu Kaisen is a phenomenal series that deserves the best animation possible, but not at the cost of the health and happiness of the animators, especially not by sacrificing basic human decencies.


However, the controversies did not end at just the petition and working conditions. Recently, one of the animators, who worked on episode 21 of Jujutsu Kaisen, received harassment from some fans online for animating a scene where one of the characters, Aoi Todo, cross-dresses as a schoolgirl.


The episode, which aired on December 14, 2023, featured a climactic battle between Todo and the main protagonist, Yuji Itadori, against the cursed spirit Mahito. In a desperate attempt to defeat him, Todo unleashed his full power by imagining himself performing on stage with his favourite fictional idol, Takada-chan and as a result, in his fantasy, Todo was dressed as a schoolgirl.


Unfortunately, he was met with backlash from some fans. They claimed that cross-dressing was a sin in their religion and that it was disrespectful to Todo’s character, as they could not envision him as someone who would do that.


The animator, who was shocked and surprised by the negative response, apologized for any discomfort that he might have caused to some viewers. He explained that he was not aware of the religious implications of cross-dressing. He also deleted his original tweet after a few hours.


However, his apology did not go unnoticed by other fans who supported him and his work. Many anime accounts on X, such as @jjk_mya, reshared his tweet and condemned the harassment that he received.


These supporters argued that cross-dressing was not a sin but a form of expression and art.


A fan quoted on X, “In the name of criticism, one of main animator of JJKS2 was attacked, harassed, discouraged & even received death threats, All cuz they animated that extra scene of Todo, especially him in cross dress,


Yet the animator apologies due to his beautiful soul. Shame on those JJK fans.”


The same fan also said, “If you can't praise a hard-working animator, at least have the basic decency to not bombard their posts with your hate comments. After working under pathetic conditions, the last thing an animator wants to see is disheartening msgs under their post.”


Despite fans criticising the working conditions of these animators, they hypocritically continue to garner criticisms towards them for an honest mistake they made, one that they did not even know will cause backlash and controversies.


 Editor: Vicky Muzio


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