Incident at Japanese pub shows that manga and anime can make for dangerous conversation fodder, depending on who’s in earshot.
In the West, there’s an old adage that you should never talk about sex, politics, or religion. Personal preferences and policies can vary wildly from person to person, and a carelessly indelicate remark can be taken as deeply offensive if it’s less-than-supportive of the listener’s position.
Japanese society has a similar, though slightly more specific, set of conversational common sense guidelines. In Japan, it’s said that if you’re drinking, you shouldn’t discuss politics, religion, or baseball. Again, the logic is that tempers can flare easily when talking about such weighty matters as how to run the country, if man answers to a higher power, or whether the Hiroshima Carp or the Yokohama Baystars are more deserving of winning the Japan Series, so adding alcohol to the mix is an especially bad idea.
However, Japanese Twitter Shimazu, who’s also a contributor to RocketNews24’s Japanese-language sister site Pouch, seems to have found another taboo tippling topic.
シマヅ＠CHEERZやりません (@Shimazqe) July 17, 2016
“I was at a pub, and some guy at another table was saying, “I totally don’t get what’s so great about [hit manga] One Piece.” After he’d gone on for about five minutes, someone from another group in the pub got pissed off and suddenly shouted out, “You’re a heartless ass!”
Having seen that, I’m adding “One Piece” to politics, religion, and baseball on the list of things you shouldn’t talk about at a bar.”
Shimazu’s tweet quickly brought nods of agreement from others online.
“I think One Piece counts as a religion.”
“You should probably add Gundam too.”
“And Slam Dunk.”
Really, it looks like anime and manga can be tricky talking points in Japan, especially in the heightened atmosphere that comes after a couple of rounds of drinks. On the bright side, though, at least the subbed vs. dubbed anime debate isn’t likely to come up in the medium’s home country.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s actually more than happy to discuss anime while drinking.