TOKYO — Following international sanctions on its whaling activities earlier this week, the Japanese government has enlisted Kyoto Animation to create an anime that portrays the nation’s whaling program in a favorable light.
Hogei-bu! is a slice of life comedy about four girls in a high school whaling club set to air in Fall 2014. Sawashiro Miyuki and Hanazawa Kana have been confirmed as part of the voice acting cast.
“We believe that Hogei-bu! will will lead to better international understanding of our whaling efforts. Whaling has long been a part of Japanese culture, and nothing communicates as well across cultures as moe,” said Karasawa Touma of the Japanese Fishers Agency.
Anime fans have varying expectations on Kyoto Animation’s newly announced project. “I hope it’s actually about killing whales instead of girls sitting around and drinking tea,” a 2ch comment reads.
The anime has attracted attention from an unexpected audience: Japanese whalers themselves. “I’ll probably watch it, even though I’m not really into anime,” said now unemployed whaler Fujimaya Kenji. “It’s the only way I can cope with not being able to hunt and butcher whales.