JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Self-Censors after Muslim Fundamentalists Seethe Over Quran Depiction

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Anime/Manga cartoon series produced by Shueisha & A.P.P.P. of Japan, and recently they made and inadvertent mistake. They pictured a villain vowing to kill the hero while reading pages from the Quran. The series is old, but seething is eternal, here’s the Fatwa Committee who’s raising the stink.

From Bloomberg:

The scene from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, adapted from a comic strip published from 1987 to 2003, generated angry responses on more than 300 Arab and Islamic Internet forums, with many accusing Japan of insulting the Koran, Kyodo said.

Anime is a powerful draw to adolescent males, and typically it depicts good winning over evil, and the Hero winning through persistence and strength of moral character. It’s an influence not wanted in the Islamic fundamentalist world. In the clip below you will see the evil character bested by the good character, note how the evil character is willing to use any means to win, and says so. Warning this is a spoiler, the conclusion of the movie, do not watch if you are a fan and haven’t seen it.

Are Muslim Fundamentalists seething again because the publishers made a mistake, or are they seething because the company inadvertently got something right? Are they going after anime because of the strong moral content that appeals to youths?

The Japanese publisher Shueisha and the anime production company A.P.P.P. have halted shipments of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime and manga after online Islamic protesters objected to imagery in the anime that they deemed offensive. In particular, a scene in the sixth anime episode (“The Mist of Vengeance”) depicts the main villain, Dio, vowing to kill the main character Jotaro Kujo while looking at pages of the Qur’an, the main religious text of Islam.

The original scene in the manga’s Part 3 (“Stardust Crusaders,” pictured at right) has unintelligible scrawls in the book. However, the animators put reproductions of pages from the Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder) chapter of the Qur’an in the corresponding scene in their version. The Kyodo News agency cited Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Atrash, chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, as saying, “The scene depicts Muslims as terrorists.”

Shueisha posted a Japanese statement about the issue and a English letter to the “Muslim audience of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on Thursday. In both documents, Shueisha and A.P.P.P. explained that the anime staffers added Arabic text to the book to indicate the scene’s apparent location in the Arabic world. However, the same staffers were illiterate in Arabic and did not realize that they chose pages from the Qur’an. The two companies acknowledged that they were also unaware of the issue until recently, and emphasized that manga author did not know that the anime staffers added pages from the Qur’an.

A short plot summary :

Kujo Jotaro is a normal, popular Japanese high-schooler, until he thinks that he is possesed by a spirit, and locks himself in prison. After seeing his grandfather, Joseph Joestar, and fighting Joseph’s friend Muhammad Abdul, Jotaro learns that the “Sprirt” is actually Star Platinum, his Stand, or fighting energy given a semi-solid form. Later, his mother gains a Stand, and becomes sick. Jotaro leanrs that it is because the vampire Dio Brando has been revived 100 years after his defeat to Jonathan Joestar, Jotaro’s great-great-grandfather. Jotaro decides to join Joseph and Abdul in a trip to Egypt to defeat Dio once and for all.

Here’s the full story, you decide.

More at Bloomberg

H/T to my son, the Anime fan.