Anime streaming service Funimation has stated through a post via Twitter that it would be working to fix issues that online users have taken with one of the main characters of the currently airing series Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!. Based on the manga of the same name, the series centers around a college student and his underclassman, Uzaki, who likes to constantly butt into her senpai’s daily life and tease him.
“We are currently looking into the series Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! and are working to edit existing episodes to remove any potentially offending material,” Funimation stated in their social media post. “Bullying is a very serious issue which has no place being promoted on our platform.”
The decision is the first time that Funimation has taken such a stance against the subject of bullying. The streaming service has been more reluctant to host shows portraying certain topics since it was acquired by parent company Sony. Earlier in the year, Funimation backed out of streaming the anime Interspecies Reviewers after only releasing a few episodes.
“The way bullying is portrayed is concerning,” a Funimation representative told Anime Maru. “Viewers might get the wrong idea that a cute well-endowed underclassman might actually care about them enough to tease them when in reality that is very unlikely to ever happen, especially if you are someone watching Funimation.”
Funimation has stated that it will be going through all past and upcoming episodes to remove any instances of bullying. The process will likely involve the structure of scenes being altered to remove any instances of Uzaki mocking or teasing her senpai. Any segments of Uzaki hysterically laughing at her senpai’s pathetic lonely self would also likely be replaced.
It is unknown how the decision will affect Funimation’s handling of future series. Some users pointed out that is was confusing that Uzaki-chan was being targeted when examples of far more extreme content such as Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, which involves much younger characters engaging in bullying, still remains on the platform.