Recovery of an MMO Junkie was a breath of fresh air in the romantic comedy genre, and its central love story between two awkward adults helped launch it to the top of many fans' best of 2017 lists. But the series is now marred by its director's string of anti-Semitic tweets.
Director of the anime adaptation Kazuyoshi Yaginuma has been tweeting and sharing anti-Semitic content since 2011 but recently got more attention for his tweets in English sharing the same sentiments.
Yaginuma, who goes by the handle @yaginuma_san on Twitter, has shared and liked many Tweets that criticize the Jewish faith and sympathize with Nazis. As spotted by Twitter user @CanipaShow, these tweets have been going since 2011 in Japanese:
Just one of the recent tweets liked by Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, director of MMO Junkie and several episodes of Pokemon: Generations :/
And there's much more. pic.twitter.com/384ILL8fLJ— Canipa - 20 Days Until Japan Move 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧 (@CanipaShow) February 3, 2018
Recently his tweets in English have been getting attention from English speaking users, but fans were wondering if he completely understood what he was liking. According to Anime News Network, Yaginuma "...used Google Translate to assist him in posting at least some of his English tweets. However, Yaginuma's tweets in Japanese continue to mirror the anti-Semitic content of his English posts."
On February 5, Yaginuma shared a string of tweets questioning facts about the Holocaust as he intends to discredit the using of gas chambers during World War II with "no one has ever drawn what they look like":
ホロコースト問題は、この絵で議論終了なんだ。— 柳沼和良 (@yaginuma_san) February 5, 2018
The Holocaust problem ends with discussion on this picture.
"Please write a picture of the gas chamber" pic.twitter.com/yyjnmkJHlJ
Due to strings of tweets like the above example, he has received praise from many alt-right users on Twitter for his anti-Semitic views. Anime News Network reached out to the director in order to "to question him about whether his tweets reflect his personal views, to confirm that he holds an anti-Semitic bias, as well as to ask whether he really believes the Holocaust didn't exist, if these views affect his work in the industry, and how he thinks Jewish fans of Recovery of an MMO Junkie should feel about his comments."
ANN reported that the director responded to this string of questions by "simply direct[ing] staff to his tweets about the Holocaust where he reiterated that he questions the validity of the evidence-based, historical account of the event and believes the facts are fabricated."
ありがとうございます。俺の仕事はアニメなんだけど、日本のアニメ業界はトコトンダメね。ユダヤ化している。それでキレれちゃって・・。— 柳沼和良 (@yaginuma_san) February 5, 2018
Whether or not Yaginuma believes his tweets are discriminatory, they are in fact seen as offensive to the Jewish faith and to many who do not share his belief system. When a Twitter user, who apparently shared his conservative views, warned him to be cautious, Yaginuma responded with "Thank you very much. My job is anime, but the Japanese anime industry is thoroughly hopeless. It's being made Jewish."
If you are unfamiliar with Recovery of an MMO Junkie, the series was originally created by Rin Kokuyo. The series began life as a webtoon on the Japanese video app Comico in 2013, and follows the story of Morioka Moriko, a 30 year old woman who quits her job and begins living life as an MMO playing NEET. In the game, in which she plays as a boy, she meets a girl who she builds a relationship with. In real life, she has a chance encounter with a handsome companyman who may have closer ties to her online life than she thinks.
The series was adapted into a ten episode anime series by Signal.MD which aired from October to December 2017, and is currently available to stream in both Japanese and English on Crunchyroll and Funimation respectively.
Along with directing Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Yaginuma has provided key animation for Pokemon Generations, Rio - Rainbow Gate!, Bokurano, and much more.