When I first saw Digimon, at first I dismissed it as another Pokémon me-too. But I gave it a chance, and discovered that it was respectable in its own right. Digimon Tamers was the high point of the series, a sentiment that’s shared by the general Digimon community.
On August 1, at Yokosuka Arts Theater, Digimon Tamers celebrated its 20th anniversary with an event where voice actors read from a script written by Digimon’s writers, which added a new antagonist to the story.
The villain is named Political Correctness. His attack is called Cancel Culture. The names were in English. And no, I’m not kidding.
The Japanese seem to want to make it abundantly clear that they see what’s wrong with western culture and it’s entertainment industry, and they are absolutely not on board with it. What better way to do it than with one of the Tumblr crowd’s favorite Japanese IPs, and in a manner so devoid of subtlety that even a knuckle-dragging, horse-toothed, dim-witted ignoramus wouldn’t need what’s intended to be explained to him.
It’s true that Japan has an advanced society that favors intellect. It’s based on this perception that the PC crowd has touted the Japanese, as though they are at all sympathetic toward their various causes. What they don’t seem to realize is that the Japanese definitely do not have their values. The Japanese have a heavily meritocratic society, and heavily esteem traditional values, including those which protect the traditional family. The same could be said of much of the Asian world.
In Digimon, the bad guys are usually classified as viruses. In biology, a virus is an organism that injects instructions into a host cell in order to change the cell’s instructions, and therefore, its behavior (usually to the end of making more viruses). Computer viruses are so named because they hijack a program’s instructions in a similar way.
Cancel culture and political correctness are like viruses, but in a memetic sense. They are an instruction set that overrides a host’s better judgement, and subverts their capacity for rational thought to the end of perpetuating the memetic itself, which continually seeks out new targets towards the end of its own self-perpetuation.
While a virus eventually causes its host cell to burst, killing it, political correctness would eventually turn a person into a neurotic shell of their former selves.
With this development, the Digimon creative team is taking a shot directly at the PC crowd, sending the message that “No, we are not your allies.” It might even be what it takes for them to figure out that the Japanese entertainment industry in general is against political correctness, and interpret it as an attack on their creative endeavors and their culture as a whole.
But it’s hard to tell just how clearly you have to spell it out.
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