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Old 2012-10-06, 00:30   Link #401
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hachiko View Post
Seriously, this could have been handled properly. If I am going to be involved in a prank, I'd better be informed beforehand by the company and be given an option to opt-out. If the said company are going to apologize for this, do it ASAP and make it genuine. Don't drag it out. They did. Now they're paying the price.
Do we really, really know that he and his staff weren't actually informed of the plan beforehand, as both they and the production committee have since claimed to be the case?

Work your way back from the fundamental premise of the whole thing (at least what is claimed): Mitsuhiro is guaranteed a role in the final, BD/DVD-only arc of Kokoro Connect from the get-go, and he will also be their PR guy over the course of the show.

So they create a story around this. A story of a voice actor down on his luck, who thinks he's going to get his big break and ends up being spurned by a nasty prank. Poor guy! But he's a hard worker, and people cheer for him as he works in the trenches to support the show as their PR spokesperson. And then at the end of the whole process, "surprise!" you've actually gotten a role after all. All his hard work paid off! Happy End.

So, in order to fit into this story, he had to claim certain things at certain points in time:

1. After the prank was pulled, before this became a big deal: "I had no idea, but we agreed to do the PR job, and I'm going to work hard!"

2. After the prank turned into a firestorm, but before the "secret" was revealed: "I didn't know, but I really wasn't being pranked......"

3. Then the secret is out: actually, we've all known all along but we had to keep it a secret because we had a whole event planned for the reveal...

The problem is the premise was too believable, the acting was too believable, and other people got involved who were not part of the script and believed it (precisely because it was too realistic -- to the point where it could be taken to be legitimately real if not for knowing about that very first point; the acting job was already in the bag). Then the producers made a stupid move to try to salvage the situation (trying to preserve the secret still), and only made it worse.


I realize this is assuming that the claims made by the production committee are fundamentally true. But although I believe this whole scenario was poorly-conceived on many levels (it's too realistic to find funny, and it's a "joke" about bullying), I find this theory much more plausible given the amount of people involved to pull this off.

The problem is, of course, that the theory can't be proven because, no matter what anyone says or claims now, people will believe they were told to lie now so that the higher-ups can save face. And that's why it's always going to remain something of an urban legend no matter what, and people will believe what they want. There's no way to prove it without actual physical evidence that Mitsuhiro's staff knew about the entire plan beforehand (and even if you had that, I'm sure some would question it to the bitter end). So, at this point, we'll never know...
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Old 2012-10-06, 01:20   Link #402
Hachiko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Do we really, really know that he and his staff weren't actually informed of the plan beforehand, as both they and the production committee have since claimed to be the case?

Work your way back from the fundamental premise of the whole thing (at least what is claimed): Mitsuhiro is guaranteed a role in the final, BD/DVD-only arc of Kokoro Connect from the get-go, and he will also be their PR guy over the course of the show.

So they create a story around this. A story of a voice actor down on his luck, who thinks he's going to get his big break and ends up being spurned by a nasty prank. Poor guy! But he's a hard worker, and people cheer for him as he works in the trenches to support the show as their PR spokesperson. And then at the end of the whole process, "surprise!" you've actually gotten a role after all. All his hard work paid off! Happy End.

So, in order to fit into this story, he had to claim certain things at certain points in time:

1. After the prank was pulled, before this became a big deal: "I had no idea, but we agreed to do the PR job, and I'm going to work hard!"

2. After the prank turned into a firestorm, but before the "secret" was revealed: "I didn't know, but I really wasn't being pranked......"

3. Then the secret is out: actually, we've all known all along but we had to keep it a secret because we had a whole event planned for the reveal...

The problem is the premise was too believable, the acting was too believable, and other people got involved who were not part of the script and believed it (precisely because it was too realistic -- to the point where it could be taken to be legitimately real if not for knowing about that very first point; the acting job was already in the bag). Then the producers made a stupid move to try to salvage the situation (trying to preserve the secret still), and only made it worse.


I realize this is assuming that the claims made by the production committee are fundamentally true. But although I believe this whole scenario was poorly-conceived on many levels (it's too realistic to find funny, and it's a "joke" about bullying), I find this theory much more plausible given the amount of people involved to pull this off.

The problem is, of course, that the theory can't be proven because, no matter what anyone says or claims now, people will believe they were told to lie now so that the higher-ups can save face. And that's why it's always going to remain something of an urban legend no matter what, and people will believe what they want. There's no way to prove it without actual physical evidence that Mitsuhiro's staff knew about the entire plan beforehand (and even if you had that, I'm sure some would question it to the bitter end). So, at this point, we'll never know...
Those are good points you bring up but you can't dispute that the damage has already been done regarding what is, to be honest, a good series worth watching. Himeko, Iori and Yui are going to have it tough when the next Saimoe comes rolling along...especially with Madoka, the Moonfaced one, and the Little Busters on the rise.

Here's something from another forum that might shed some light:

Quote:
Here's the thing, chances are very good that the agency for Ichiki DID know it was all a stunt.

In Japan talent is almost always arranged through the appropriate windows, in this case the agency. The production committee cannot simply go directly to the talent for favors.

And like you said, it would seem very weird if the agency wouldn't come in to defend one of its talents unless they were in on it. However there's no reason that they would necessarily inform Ichiki of it, especially if it was designed to be one of those "punked" style pranks. It's up the agency to tell him what's going on, and if they felt he'd give a better performance by being genuinely shocked, that's their decision. They probably did not expect the harshness of it, but by then it would be too late to stop it, as that would essentially be cancelling their gig.

This happens a lot on the more garden variety "Variety" shows with their celebrity talent. Those guys are frequently humiliated on TV, sometimes on a daily basis. It's part of their job though and they play those "roles" willingly. Here we're intersecting with the high pressure "celeb"-style seiyuu world and this is the result when you cross the line with the hard-core fans.

I think this was an attempt at a style of promotion that was mishandled massively and done by people not familiar with the light-touch necessary. I'm not sure I believe anyone was being purposefully cruel, but rather that they were playing their roles too seriously.

In other words, Ichiki's reaction was most likely real, but I don't believe that the people doing the bullying were doing anything more than playing their assigned parts in too realistic a fashion.
More...

That goes back to my previous comment about the need to be informed that this is going on beforehand..
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-10-06 at 02:02. Reason: merged double-post
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Old 2012-10-06, 02:13   Link #403
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hachiko View Post
Those are good points you bring up but you can't dispute that the damage has already been done regarding what is, to be honest, a good series worth watching. Himeko, Iori and Yui are going to have it tough when the next Saimoe comes rolling along...especially with Madoka, the Moonfaced one, and the Little Busters on the rise.
Well... actually I can dispute the damage to some degree. Yes, this caused a lot of Internet outrage at the time, and there was a noted drop in sales when the controversy hit, but after the controversy blew over, there was a sustained increase that may have offset the drop. Kokoro Connect, good series or not, was never actually that popular among anime fan circles, whether before or after this incident. It's not like it was destined to be a hit and then it tanked. And, in truth, feelings on this issue notwithstanding, I'm not sure how many people really stopped watching the series as a result either. Although the Internet is a powerful force, there are no doubt a good number of viewers who never paid much attention to this controversy in the first place. So... yes, there was damage... but I'm not sure how much of it was actually sustained to the franchise. I think the bigger impact is probably the lesson learned (and perhaps, though only tangentially related, whatever ends up happening to euphonius).
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Old 2012-10-06, 02:26   Link #404
Marcus H.
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Another lesson learned: Never mess with the Internet.
If not for the Internet, the phalluses wouldn't have reached KitaEri's Twitter, the assholes with Twitter accounts could not have made those controversial remarks, and the entire fiasco wouldn't have been immortalized for all of eternity..
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Old 2012-10-06, 03:03   Link #405
frivolity
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^To be precise, they weren't messing with the internet per se. Their announcement said that the prank show was never intended to be uploaded on to Nico Douga, and even after footage of it had been uploaded, the incident only blew up after the Internet-CSI Brigade dug up the Eufonius member's tweets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
I'm aware of that, so I should rephrase myself: there is no way you can have good intentions in general with the context at hand: toying with someone who is part of such kind of industry is really no laughing matter. At the very most, do it so the involved party won't have hope up too much and/or don't make them waste their time and money by bringing them for a public event.
I lean more towards relentlessflame's interpretation of the events, but we'll never know for sure. It's looking quite similar to the existence of UFOs - nobody can prove they exist even with photo evidence, but nobody can prove that they don't exist either.
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Old 2012-10-06, 12:03   Link #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
^ Posts like these show the wide gap between cultures, both between Japan and the west and also between industries.
absolutely, no one in the US would in their right mind would try something like this. Too many lawyers and guns available.
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Old 2012-10-06, 12:24   Link #407
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Also, industry-wise, such pranks are sort of expected in the Japanese entertainment industry, which probably only the Koreans and possibily the Taiwanese have any particular understanding of. It's not something you're likely to see happening in Hollywood, for example.
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Old 2012-10-06, 15:07   Link #408
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Ah, Americans are too sensitive on this kind of thing. I like America a lot, but you have to admit there's a lot of people with thin skins, quick to take offence and even quicker to file a lawsuit. When you get to Hollywood, those skins are as thin as you can get.
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:45   Link #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Ah, Americans are too sensitive on this kind of thing. I like America a lot, but you have to admit there's a lot of people with thin skins, quick to take offence and even quicker to file a lawsuit. When you get to Hollywood, those skins are as thin as you can get.
besides the lawyer there is also the guns. you never know who is arm and who isn't.
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Old 2012-10-06, 20:33   Link #410
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If its just Americans who are too sensitive then why were so many of the Japanese fans upset by this too?
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Old 2012-10-06, 20:37   Link #411
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Because from what was shown, the prank was never revealed to the pranked one afterwards.
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Old 2012-10-10, 17:55   Link #412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
If its just Americans who are too sensitive then why were so many of the Japanese fans upset by this too?
Well clearly, this entire firestorm was 100% driven by Japanese fans because they know how sensitive Americans are, and knew they'd be upset when they heard about it - so they caused the controversy in sympathy for their American friends. Plus, the whole thing was perfectly normal. Only something perfectly normal would cause such a violent reaction.

I mean - it's only common sense, right?
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Old 2012-10-10, 18:56   Link #413
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Well clearly, this entire firestorm was 100% driven by Japanese fans because they know how sensitive Americans are, and knew they'd be upset when they heard about it - so they caused the controversy in sympathy for their American friends. Plus, the whole thing was perfectly normal. Only something perfectly normal would cause such a violent reaction.

I mean - it's only common sense, right?
You're being absurd, but in truth there is little apparent rhyme or reason to why certain things become controversial and others don't, whether in Japan or overseas. In this case, we can just assume that it was the perfect alignment of events - a controversy involving a less-known voice actor that had slipped under the radar that was resurfaced in passing by a popular voice actor, and caused the sleuths at 2ch to start digging for dirt and believing they uncovered a goldmine, resulting in a whole group of people choosing this as the incident where they'll take their stand about bullying in the seiyuu industry.

If the whole thing were so very abnormal to start with, it wouldn't have slipped under the radar in the first place. As Sumeragi said, everyone would have assumed that he was in on the prank. It wasn't until the insinuation was made that he may not have known that triggered the sleuthing that triggered the blow-up. In truth, I think the reason many Western fans were upset by the event was a bit subtly different than why the Japanese fans were upset, but again the conglomeration of circumstances resulted in the controversy quickly being spread overseas.

In any case, I think there are elements of truth in many perspectives, but this issue is too polarizing. Maybe the day will come, some day down the road, when more information will surface and we can get a clearer view of what really went on. But until then, I think I'll lock this thread to help put the issue behind us. If there's a good reason to revive it (i.e. some new developments or news come out), please feel free to PM me or any other member of the staff.


Edit: In my original post I original said "You're being stupid", which in my part of the world has the same effect as saying "You're being silly/absurd" or "You're over-exaggerating way too much". But this sort of saying may not translate well across cultures, so I've changed it now to be more clear. I apologize if any offence was caused by my use of this "slang".
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