Red Cross Responds to Controversy Over New Anime Mascot
It goes without saying, but the Red Cross organization is a lifesaver. The blood drive is one of the leading teams collecting and donating blood to those in need. With decades under its belt, the Red Cross is hard to shake, but it seems the company stirred conversation overseas recently thanks to a certain busty anime girl.
Over in Japan, the Red Cross organization began a new blood-drive promotion. The event, which runs through October 31, will offer any person who donates blood at the Japanese Red Cross a folder featuring a popular character. Uzaki Hana from the series Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is featured, but her artwork has gained some flack.
As Sora News 24 reports, social media was up in arms over Hana’s image. The plastic file sees the heroine fully dressed in a waitress outfit with a hungry expression. Holding a plate of treats, Hana has a very prominent bust in this picture which some fans criticized. Yes, the event was created to promote blood donations, but some asked whether Hana’s suggestive pose was appropriate for the Red Cross to use given its reputation.
— 丈(たけ)■単行本１～３巻発売中 (@syokumutaiman) October 28, 2019
Not long ago, the Japanese Red Cross finally commented on the issue. The branch said it did not constitute this artwork as sexual harassment.
“This promotional campaign is merely providing a novelty gift to people who are kind enough to cooperate with our blood drive, and we do not recognize it as a form of sexual harassment,” the statement reads.
“We have previously received support from numerous anime series in promoting blood drives, and these partnerships have been well-received and increased the amount of blood that was donated. In regards to opinions about the current promotion, we are listening to them sincerely, and will take them into consideration for future activities.”
The artwork, which was taken from the manga’s latest volume, certainly aligns with Hana’s usual look. As the promotion is nearing its end, conversation around the artwork has fizzled, but it resurfaced thanks to one donation as of late. Not long ago, the artist who created Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out donated blood to show his support for the Red Cross.
What do you make of this ongoing controversy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!