The Dark Sides Of The Anime Industry That Can't Be Ignored
Avatar of Theo J Ellis

7+ Dark Sides Of The Anime Industry (And Fandom) That Can’t Be Ignored

Every industry has a dark side, and the anime industry is no different in this way.

It’s not just the fans, it’s:

  • the companies
  • what goes on
  • racism
  • dirt that happens behind the scenes
  • and more.

Let’s talk about it all and more.


1. The weebs/stans


Yes, the weebs or “stans” if you wanna use that term can be considered one dark side of the anime industry. Some of the fans are so bad that the anime industry is associated with:

  • Weirdos.
  • Losers.
  • Incels.

And every bad term you can think of about anime from the outside looking in. Even if they’re overused terms taken out of context.

Of course, like many stereotypes, a lot of them fall flat on their face in the real world. But then there is the fact the fans themselves engage in some nefarious shit.


sailormoonredrawchallenge |

Source: link

Take the #sailormoonredrawchallenge back during the pandemic which was mentioned here on Anime Motivation.

The moment that challenge started, which had the best intentions, all of a sudden these “weebs” started harassing and attacking black artists and anime fans for their redraw of Sailor Moon (which was the point of the challenge).

This even extended to some East Asian creators who were disrespected and attacked for redrawing Sailor Moon to be more “Japanese” we’ll say, which is ironic since that’s where Sailor Moon comes from.

And yet Westerners showed the world how racist they can get once again.


vic mignogna deposition

Let’s not forget about the Vic Mignogna situation which started in 2019, not by “weebs” or fans of sorts, but by the industry itself.

It was then the fans who escalated and dragged on the situation until it popped like a cherry.

To this day there has never been any police footage, evidence, police reports, or anything of the sort despite the way the industry attacked this man (anime news network included) even though they were quiet about Daman Mills when “actual” evidence and screenshots came about.

This, of course, is another example of Western fans and the industry being toxic outside of Japan.

Related: The Anime Industry Who Cancelled Vic Mignogna Is Now Protecting Daman Mills


Racist Quote Tweets Nagatoro Racism

This also happened again during the time when Crunchyroll hired a new dubbed voice actor for Nagatoro.

The moment it was announced, there was racism left right and centre of people not just getting mad, but also spewing racism in quote tweets and a lot more not worth mentioning.


akira toriyama meme fake black people |

Sometime around maybe 2023 there was a “weeb”, a random guy it seems, who went out of his way to create a fake meme which included Akira Toriyama.

This “meme” rewrote his words in an article he was mentioned in, twisted his words, and made it out to look like he was talking directly to black people and disrespecting them because of people’s thoughts on how some black characters in DBZ were racist or suspect.

This meme went on to go viral, only for it to be a “meme”, which was obvious from the beginning, but the fact black people were the target for some likes, clicks, retweets, and some attention is another example of anime’s “dark side” as far as f*cking weeb culture goes.

Relevant: 29+ Of The Best Akira Toriyama Quotes for DBZ Fans


Shield Hero Controversy Cbr Sjw

And there are also the controversies over the years which have revealed just what kind of people are in this industry, and what their whole narrative and agenda is.

Shield Hero brought out a wave of women and white knight men who downplayed false accusation culture (which the anime accurately highlighted) and decided to attack anyone who rightfully highlighted the double standards.


Blacksaged Anime Gatekeeping TweetReddit Anime Gatekeepers Animemotivation Blacksaged

This also extends to the piracy controversy on Twitter after the Tweet above in the first image.

This led to YouTubers like Anime Man and platforms like Comicbook doing so much grandstanding during the “piracy” controversy with BlackSageD, that it was absolute comedy when you ignore the toxic groupthink.

The weebs/stans/fans, or whatever you wanna call them – they play a role in anime’s “Low key” dark side, and just the overall foolishness or shady shit that happens in the industry.


2. So called “journalists”

pokemon whitewashing kotaku fake outrage

This is an extension of the last points.

When the whole piracy controversy shared trending on Twitter, with BlackSageD at the forefront (I was dragged into it as well), these so-called journalists started dogpiling and grandstanding as if their lives depended on it.

It was especially funny considering these journalists are from sites like CBR, Cmoicbook, and basically anything that has nothing to do with anime (they promote anime because it’s trendy now).


ann vic mignogna

This extends to the Vic Mignogna situation where this was seen at the highest levels. Anime News Network, the “most trusted news source” as they say, had zero rationality when it came to Vig Mignogna’s situation.

Even when their nonsense was proven to be false like an image shared by a woman with Vic for example, it was ignored outright in favour of their political correctness and grandstanding foolishness.

This went on for over a year. Similar to the level of journalism we’re used to seeing from the likes of gaming sites, Fox News, IGN, Kotaku, and so on, ANN (anime news network) played the exact same game.

This extends to the Mary Sue’s and whoever else that covers anime and has an extremely toxic history in some way, shape, or form in relation to anime in the West.

YouTube isn’t part of the conversation because that’s too funny to even mention since it’s purely clickbait and outrage driven.

Related: If Anime Were Named Like Clickbait YouTube Videos, This Is How They Would Sound


3. The toxic shippers

Deku X Ochako Uraraka Shipping

Shipping culture in the anime industry is absolutely disgusting. Just like the meme.

I never even knew of half of this shit until it was pointed out to me on Quora of all places.

Starting with My Hero Academia, one of the worst culprits of this shit, we have people shipping characters like Eri and Overhaul, Deku and All Might, Bakugo and All Might, and all types of fucking weird shit that no one would dare do in the real world.

Not out loud.

This group of toxic MHA shippers will then get mad at anyone who rightfully appreciates the “straight” couple potential like Deku and Ochako (which is the standard).

Surprisingly it’s not just MHA, it’s DBZ, Bleach, and various anime shows in different genres that are plagued with disgraceful fan art that is nothing short of what they’d claim is “pedo” if it were in real life.


4. The massively underpaid


I talked about this before when it comes to animators and how they’re treated in the anime industry from the perspective of JAPAN, which is a rare mention on this list.

Still, it does apply outside Japan as well.

Story after story has shown time and time again that animators are getting f*cked without any Vaseline and outright disrespected.

This extends to artists and designers, like how the author of Demon Slayer was paid $19K for a movie that went on to sell over $500 million.

YouTube video

Toshio Okada, former Gainax representative, discusses problems in anime production, including financial struggles despite increased anime output.

And then there’s the fact that anime’s growth isn’t scaling to the workers, meaning all that popularity doesn’t mean shit.

Explained in this video which focuses on animators in the anime industry, tells you why this is happening and why anime workers still suffer despite anime blowing up to the degree that it has.


5. Worked sick til near death

YouTube video

There’s a term called “Karoshi” in Japan which translates to death by overwork. You work so hard that it kills you. A term many wouldn’t be able to comprehend.

As Wikipedia explains:

“The most common medical causes of karoshi deaths are heart attacks and strokes due to stress and malnourishment or fasting. Mental stress from the workplace can also cause workers to commit suicide in a phenomenon known as karōjisatsu.”

And unsurprisingly, this culture spreads and infects the anime industry in Japan, since it is a part of Japanese work culture after all.

As pointed out by Eastern Standard Times:

“Animators in Japan are overworked and underpaid, earning as little as $200 a month. It’s been so bad that in 2010, an animator working at A-1 Pictures, makers of Sword Art Online and Fairy Tail, committed suicide. He was overworked to death – claiming that he was working 600 hours a month. Japanese work culture is famous for overworking their employees to the point of death that that there is a word ‘かろうし’ (Karoshi).”

This A-1Pictures incident isn’t a fluke either.

In 2017, there was an artist for NARUTO who also died from overwork.

Kazunori Mizuno is their name.

As pointed out by Koreaboo:

“News of the animator’s death. however, did not reach the public until his colleagues took to Twitter and posted news about his passing. While the official cause of death still remains a mystery, many believe that Mizuno died after karoushi,” or overworking in Japan.”

These incidents are common enough in the anime industry that it’s a recognized problem. It’s not just Japan in general where this “overwork” culture which results in death is happening.

Yet another dark side of the anime industry that many overlook or aren’t thinking about which I’ll get into later.


6. Loli culture


This one has to be mentioned too because it’s weird as fuck.

In general, “Loli” translates to little girl. And in the context of anime, there is nothing inherently wrong with Loli’s. It just means the character is a little girl which nothing is meant by it.


kodaka Hasegawas younger sister |

As an example, in the anime Haganai Kodaka Hasegawa’s younger sister is a Loli. She’s cute, innocent, and nothing weird goes on as far as that concept goes.


Hachiman Hikigayas younger sister |

The same is true for the anime series Oregairu, with Hachiman Hikigaya’s younger sister.

She’s playful, fun, more extroverted than he is, and that’s pretty much it.


ayumi otosaka sister |

We again see this “standard” Loli behaviour from Yu Otosaka’s little sister who likes using Ketchup and kaing designs with it on the food she makes at home.

They both have a wholesome relationship and it’s one that many siblings can relate to.

This is in spite of Ayumi Otosaki being a “Loli” by definition.


Kinue Hayase anime loli

There are also “Loli’s” who are older than they are. But looks so much younger that it’s plain silly.

This can either be a fantasy element or a normal human element like Masamune’s mother for comedic effect (above picture).


The dark side comes with fanart online and the mental gymnastics overall


I won’t be posting the worst of these images, but you have westerners who make fanart of various characters, Loli’s in particular, who will then make those Loli’s sexualized.

When I say “sexualized” I mean erotic drawings of these kids essentially who were intended to be wholesome. They’ll defend these drawings, images, fanart, and designs, by saying “It’s just fiction bro, it’s not that deep” or something of the equivalent.

When confronted about it, they are dismissive, weird, and will FIGHT anyone who attacks, rightfully, their nasty ideas of it being ok to thirst over Loli’s who are inherently innocent (but then ruined with fanart) as if that doesn’t translate to the real world.

The mental gymnastics is out of this world, and this goes far beyond “fiction isn’t reality” given the implications of what they sod desperately defend and justify.

They’re the same people who ship anime kids with adult characters, sexually, defend it like their life depends on it and dogpile anyone who mentions it.

Related: 12+ Types Of Anime Loli’s


7. Entitled mainstream audience (Western especially)


Westerners are some of the most entitled people on this planet. It shows. Yes, not at all of them, but let’s not play those stupid games.

It happens so often in the anime industry that everyone knows about it.

It’s a low key “dark side” when you consider how these entitled little sh*ts behave.

One example is the amount of death threats they send to animators, artists, and the like over the prettiest thing in one of their favourite anime shows.

death threats tweet anime entitled westerners |

death threats example anime tweet |

As pointed out about Attack On Titan fans:

  • Attack on Titan creator receives 1,000 death threats
  • Ayane Sakura Recieves Death Threats For Attack On Titan Episode
  • MAPPA Studio Staff Get Death Threats Over CGI in Attack On Titan.
  • the voice actress for Mikasa Ackerman, Yui Ishikawa, revealed that she had received death threats over her portrayal of the character in the anime.

There was also a situation with NARUTO in the 2010s where fans of Sakura who shipped her with Naruto sent death threats to its creator across Twitter.

They even made accounts on Facebook to attack Kishimoto (the creator).

All this because they didn’t like the ending of Naruto after seeing Naruto and Hinata get married instead of Sakura marrying Naruto.

This in spite of how everything came about before that fact.


There is also the example of BLEACH fans burning their manga just because the author seemingly criticized the female characters of Jujutsu Kaisen

So they made recordings of themselves burning the BLEACH manga to cinders like they were little babies throwing their bottles out of their cots.

This is the entitlement I speak of when talking about Western fans, and some fans outside the West (lesser degree) who do shit like this for nothing in the grand scheme of things.

In the end, the anime industry has a lot of dark sides to it.

Some of it is because of Japan, some of it is Western-related, and some of it has to do with the fanbase, the creators, YouTubers and their nonsense, culture vultures, and everything in between.



The Rise Of Anime Culture Vultures Infiltrating The Industry (In The Last Decade)