Anime & Manga News

Kodansha Suspends 'Himo Zairu' Manga Following Criticism of Depiction of Men

by arsonal
Oct 26, 2015 12:17 AM | 67 Comments
Editors of Kodansha's Morning Two magazine announced on Wednesday that they have suspended the serialization of Akiko Higashimura's manga Himo Zairu due to online criticism surrounding its premise.

Kodansha had published two chapters of the manga in the October and November issues of the magazine before suspending it in the December issue at Higashimura's request. The publisher had urged her to continue the series despite the criticism.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, Himo Zairu depicts men in training who are searching for girlfriends with good jobs. These men have big dreams but little money and few skills, so they try to make themselves more attractive to working women by becoming adept at things such as housework.

Higashimura created the series with her male assistant based on actual experiences of these men, but critics accused her of looking down on her assistant and models. Higashimura intends to continue the series and will re-examine the plot until she feels it is ready for publication once again.

Akiko Higashimura was awarded the Manga Taisho in March 2015 for Kakukaku Shikajika. She was previously nominated four times for the award, including for Kuragehime, which was adapted into a TV anime in 2010.

Source: Asahi Shimbun Asia & Japan Watch

20 of 67 Comments Recent Comments

I don't like this manga. Maybe I should stop reading? Oh wait, I'll keep reading and send critizism about everything I don't like. #sarcasm

Nov 19, 2015 11:37 AM by Bozzzz

You mean feminazis actually get called out for their shit in Japan? Here in America, we'd be giving this woman awards and calling her "strong and courageous". Fucking lol.

Nov 11, 2015 7:05 PM by ex_necross

I'm kinda reeling from how I completely failed to consider the Japanese housewives' perspective on this. I was having fun comparing this to the SJW/anti-SJW mess we have in the west and then that happened. And it makes total sense now, but whatever I thought I learned about the gender situation in Japan also seemed to make sense. I guess I should unlearn it. I might have gotten too caught up in a really limited perspective lately.

Nov 6, 2015 7:48 AM by Nyuu3

Takuan_Soho said:
Ukatoid said:
American SJW bullshit is spreading. Why not just let authors create whatever they want and leave them alone.


That is what I first thought, but the editors supported the author, so it seems like the author herself thought there was some validity to the criticism. Without our reading the story, for all we know the criticism could actually have merit. I found the line "insulting to her assistants and models" interesting. Neither two are categories that SJW would be out defending, so I wonder if the problem isn't with sexism, but with being a little too honest about the industry?


More context has been provided elsewhere. Basically, the criticism is that the manga is condescending toward "failed" men who choose to fall back on housework to impress a woman. The message is along the lines of "Think you can take the easy way out by leeching off career women? Well, think again. This is what actually happens to such losers; they get precisely nowhere".

The trouble is that awareness of these concerns spread to the target audience and was covered by women's magazines, who further criticized the work. Columnists were troubled by how the story seemed to put down housework in general (portrayed as a parasitic lifestyle, using words that clearly spell it out as such; while aspiring "househusbands" are directly addressed, it wouldn't be a stretch for housewives to feel as if their own activities are being mocked too), and also suggested that it could be indirectly insulting to unmarried women, some of whom are also struggling to get started in their adult lives.

Nov 3, 2015 5:10 PM by Yerld

Ukatoid said:
American SJW bullshit is spreading. Why not just let authors create whatever they want and leave them alone.


That is what I first thought, but the editors supported the author, so it seems like the author herself thought there was some validity to the criticism. Without our reading the story, for all we know the criticism could actually have merit. I found the line "insulting to her assistants and models" interesting. Neither two are categories that SJW would be out defending, so I wonder if the problem isn't with sexism, but with being a little too honest about the industry?

Nov 3, 2015 4:05 PM by Takuan_Soho

American SJW bullshit is spreading. Why not just let authors create whatever they want and leave them alone.

Nov 3, 2015 1:54 PM by Ukatoid

beaunaratau said:
Sounds like people were getting upset about the fact that these men were trying to make themselves attractive by doing housework, whilst the women went off working. If this is what the complaints were about, I will kick some serious ass right now.


no you are seriously misunderstanding it.it is very opposite of what you saing.

People(especially housewifes and househusbands)got mad because the author who is very rich woman insulted househusbands as himo(parasite NEET) implying doing housework as worth nothing

Of course proud housewives got super mad which was happenly one of the most powerful forces on Internet

Oct 30, 2015 8:30 AM by umashikaneko

beaunaratau said:
Sounds like people were getting upset about the fact that these men were trying to make themselves attractive by doing housework, whilst the women went off working. If this is what the complaints were about, I will kick some serious ass right now.
Same here. Like a couple have said, I don't know the mangaka's work or this series but the synopsis, alone, sounds valid. Just look at all the manga/anime male lead characters that some some form of fear of women or those that don't get a post-secondary education. They pretty much set themselves up for failure. As I see it, this is almost a followup on these kids now as adults.
If I'm not mistaken there has been reports about the lack of "quality" males in Japan because of the women being more involved in the workforce. I, again, see this story as a natural extension.

09122013 said:
Western "freedom of speech" is going to your town?
Red_Keys said:
Without the specifics this is useless.

True. This is lacking details, especially real citaions. My guess is Japanese NEET outrage.
This is hardly a "freedom of speech" issue, even from a Western POV. If this was to ever happen, that would stretching it pretty thin.

The idea of a "househuband" is not a new idea. I have a female friend friend from high school who's husband stays home and raises the kids while she works. He has no ego problems with it (I met him) and everyone is happy.

Oct 30, 2015 4:54 AM by Dodecahedron-O24

umashikaneko said:
MeinKaiser said:
Good... a manga that degrade Men...
Men is the superior gender, we all should band together to prevent this kind of insult
To assert our DOMINANCE !!!!

skudoops said:
Probably struck a nerve with a bunch of guys like this. Oh noes, men are depicted doing things that women have been depicted doing countless times in manga.

daAmazinFatB0y said:
This news just sounds......pathetic lol Men are offended haha!!

yjgsw said:
men are offended............ Good


It is really opposite.
It is women (housewives) that got angry because that manga depicting
househusbands(more like men who are poor but do housechores and aiming for getting married with rich women and becoming househusband) as nothing more than lazy NEET with lower value by calling "himo" which is very negative word.Many housewives got angry because by that logic, housevifes who do housechores =lazy NEET with lower value
Househusbands are likely also offended too,but those are rather minority compared with housefives thus small force on online.


If thats the case then there clearly reading to much into this shit.

Oct 30, 2015 4:17 AM by daAmazinFatB0y

ecoraid said:
Reading just the little blurb in the first post, my initial question is: Is there some other context that I'm missing or is this just further evidence that Japan still has a ways to go in terms of addressing sexism in their society?


The subject of useless, directionless men has gotten mainstream attention, so it's probably a sore point for some of these folks. The trouble is that the depiction of men performing "feminine" activities tends to be viewed negatively (these are the guys that women should never give the time of day to, etc. It's not like in the west where the stay-at-home dad has become somewhat acceptable, at least during the early years of child rearing) by everyone since men are still expected to take on the role of primary breadwinner.

I think it boils down to the intent of the manga. If it's an ironic twist on unfair treatment toward women (by turning it around), then the subject makes sense. However, the newspaper articles tend to ridicule these types of men (who have no confidence, useful skills, or money, hence they spend their time making desserts for friends instead of going on dates), sort of like a call for them to either wake up and shape up, or remain a loser for life. It's possibly the latter that people are afraid of, hence the author's decision to review the plot.

Oct 29, 2015 11:54 PM by Yerld

r0ykun said:
Otaku men of Japan just can't face the stone cold truth. But really, don't get how this is degrading to men in any shape or form. Definitely a feminist work that [strike]weak[/strike] some men can't handle.


Yeah,it is more like War between Women who looking down on housewives vs Women who proud of being housewife

Formar indirectly attacking latter by putting down on househusband because media are very generous when it comes to putting down on men but it was too obvious this time.

Oct 29, 2015 7:46 PM by umashikaneko

Otaku men of Japan just can't face the stone cold truth. But really, don't get how this is degrading to men in any shape or form. Definitely a feminist work that [strike]weak[/strike] some men can't handle.

Oct 29, 2015 7:28 PM by F0RMATION

MeinKaiser said:
Good... a manga that degrade Men...
Men is the superior gender, we all should band together to prevent this kind of insult
To assert our DOMINANCE !!!!

skudoops said:
Probably struck a nerve with a bunch of guys like this. Oh noes, men are depicted doing things that women have been depicted doing countless times in manga.

daAmazinFatB0y said:
This news just sounds......pathetic lol Men are offended haha!!

yjgsw said:
men are offended............ Good


It is really opposite.
It is women (housewives) that got angry because that manga depicting
househusbands(more like men who are poor but do housechores and aiming for getting married with rich women and becoming househusband) as nothing more than lazy NEET with lower value by calling "himo" which is very negative word.Many housewives got angry because by that logic, housevifes who do housechores =lazy NEET with lower value
Househusbands are likely also offended too,but those are rather minority compared with housefives thus small force on online.

Oct 29, 2015 7:09 PM by umashikaneko

men are offended............ Good

Oct 28, 2015 8:36 AM by yjgsw

This news just sounds......pathetic lol Men are offended haha!!

Oct 28, 2015 8:32 AM by daAmazinFatB0y

Veronin said:
It would be nice if (ignorant) westerners would stop applying their own country's standards and culture onto Japan

B-but stop liking what we don't like b-b-because we're ultimately right.

Oct 28, 2015 8:16 AM by 09122013

Probably struck a nerve with a bunch of guys like this. Oh noes, men are depicted doing things that women have been depicted doing countless times in manga.

Oct 27, 2015 2:51 AM by GD1551

So in the west it's feminism, in japan that was the contrary this time?
Also, the author herself choose to listen to the online complaints, so it's not like the editor refused to continue or that it was a scandal in the mass media or something.
If authors were to stop writing manga everytime someone complai nabout the way women are sexualized in that work, lots of manga would stop at the end of the first chapter.

Oct 27, 2015 12:23 AM by Zefyris

This is just weird. I have no idea about this manga or her other works but Prison School is plenty worth of this kind of treatment as per content of it as shown in the anime.

Oct 26, 2015 7:31 PM by mlcdl

ZetaZaku said:
Japan as pathetic as ever. If this was offending, better ban all shoujo (where girls want to be abused) and light novels (where girls' brains are only capable of lusting for dicks). Japanese men are so beta, no wonder the birth rates are dying. Gaijins better move to Japan to show these poor women how actual men look like.

at lest wrre not prudes

Oct 26, 2015 7:20 PM by DateYutaka

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