This is a follow-up to a prior piece, Are SJWs Taking Over Anime? I recommend checking that out, too.
Vic Mignogna has been cancelled, and a subset of anime fans aren?t happy about it.
The news that Vic Mignogna has been fired from Funimation comes fifteen years too late, to be honest. I personally have heard stories about the guy since 2006. It was an open secret. Everyone knew. Voice actors told stories about how much of a prick he was. Outside people who just didn?t know or his devoted fans, everyone knew he was the one guy you avoided at cons.
Sure there are others problematic figures in the Western Anime community, but no one in it (again, outside his devoted fans) is shocked by both Rooster Teeth and Funimation?s decisions to part ways with the voice actor.
Enter Ethan van Sciver and the movement he co-opted known as ComicsGate.
A Brief History of ComicsGate
I have written at length before about ComicsGate and its predecessors GamerGate and the Sad/Rabid Puppies. Needless to say, I need to summarize this man?s story yet again. ComicsGate (started initially by Richard C Meyer) is a self-proclaimed consumer revolt against the mainstream comics industry for ?bending? to pressure from social justice warriors.
In short, comics are trying to appeal to a broader audience, which is bad for entitled fans who think the world should exclusively cater to their wants and needs.
Cyberfrog, the only intellectual property Ethan van Scriver made that anyone cares about.
Ethan van Sciver is a small, petty artist known for never meeting deadlines and being fired from DC following several very public instances of bad behavior, including but not limited to telling a person online to kill themselves. To salvage his shrinking relevance in the geek subculture, Ethan latched onto the reactionaries in ComicsGate. He became their self-proclaimed Caeser, and, in the year since being fired from DC, made it his mission to pick fights with everyone.
The comic industry is comparatively small compared to other fandoms. While superhero cinema is huge, the comics themselves are less-often read. However, superheroes are far more mainstream in the west than anime.
In theory, ComicsGate was supposed to do three things: attack the ?crumbling? comics industry, create the comics mainstream entertainment refused to make, and attack minorities.
Well, they?ve pretty much failed at two of those three things. ComicsGate comics either miss their deadlines by month or are of questionable quality. Despite much doom and gloom, the mainstream comic industry has fairly consistent sales (though if any issue dips, EvS uses this as proof of mainstream comic media?s decline).
However, they have successfully led hate campaigns against numerous minority fans.
Which has led to most sensible people either blocking them or exposing their idiocy to the world. I am one of the latter.
The Inception of AnimeGate
Ethan van Scriver?s newest targets include a children?s charity offering free Captain Marvel tickets to underprivileged kids (this only managed to bolster the charity?s fund-raising efforts) and the Western anime community.
No, wait, I got that wrong. The ENTIRE anime community.
Because I don?t think EvS understands the difference.
Claiming that anime has subjected to SJW pressure by firing Mignogna, he plans on starting up a new AnimeGate, since his own success with ComicsGate offers dwindling returns.
Of course, this isn?t the first time EvS attempted to start AnimeGate. A few months prior, Zombieland Saga revealed that its adorable character Lily is actually trans. EvS tried to paint this as a translation error on the part of anime streaming service Crunchyroll. He claimed that mainstream anime media was subjecting to SJW peer pressure, perverting the ?artistic vision? of the original Japanese creators.
This lasted for a few days.
Then people who actually spoke Japanese watched the episode, and informed EvS that, no, she?s trans in the original. Crunchyroll hadn?t altered anything.
The Future SJWs Want
In fact, Crunchroll has a history of doing the opposite. During their initial run of the hit-anime Yuri on Ice, Crunchyroll changed gender-neutral Japanese pronouns to ?she? in reference to any partners the character Yuri might have had in the past.
This is, of course, besides the point. The real point is that EvS has realized that ComicsGate is dying, and he wants new life to flow into it so he can lure people to his YouTube streaming events. As he has yet to finish his several indie comic projects, this is currently his primary source of income.
From a business standpoint, I get it. You can?t deliver to your ComicsGate fans. On average, maybe 1/5 or 1/6 of EvS?s followers tune into his streams. He needs new blood or else his hate mongering business will die. In theory, anime seems like the perfect industry to leech off of.
?except, for anime fans, Vic Mignogna?s firing is a relatively small controversy.
Otaku Are Always Fighting
Yes, anime fans love Edward Elric. Yeah, it sucks his English voice actor is a jerk. But it is also undeniable that anime fans are always fighting. Only the biggest controversies continue for years without burning out. Here are conflicts far bigger in anime than Vic Mignogna being fired:
The Waifu Wars. More people are interested in comparing Rei and Asuka from Evangelion than they are talking about Vic Mignogna. With a new series every season, though, the Waifu Wars continue to revitalize themselves. There is always new content to get upset over.
Dubs vs Subs. This war raged on to this very day. The entire side of the anime fandom that likes subs over dubs wouldn?t care about Mignogna since, as far as they?re concerned, the entire anime dubbing industry should burn out. And they?re not particularly eager to fixate on Funimation?s business decisions because they don?t feel all that strongly for the actors involved.
The Best Anime of the Season. Anime, unlike comics, end. As such, there are numerous anime that come out every season that anime fans are going to be more interested in talking about.
And even then, flare-ups like this happen all the time in the anime community. They do not last very long. Consider the controversy surrounding Goblin Slayer when it came out. After the initial flare of outrage at the anime?s explicit portrayals of sexual assault, people?stopped talking about it because they were too busy watching Goblin Slayer.
Consider the controversy surrounding Zombieland Saga, the one EvS tried to use to launch his first AnimeGate campaign. It burned out fast because anime fans had already either moved onto the next thing or were too busy watching Zombieland Saga to care.
EvS seems to think that anime is like comics ? full of long-term fans who obsess over random issues. That it is a steady industry that keeps trucking along. The truth is anime is a turbulent medium. Things start and end so fast that, if you?re late on the train, you?re gonna miss out.
Anime Fans Don?t Care About what ComicsGate Has to Say
This image will make any YouTube vid you post trend
Anime YouTubers long ago realized that, if you tap into a controversy, you can earn money. Look at all the videos made about SwordArt Online for evidence of this. However, anime YouTubers are also a dime a dozen.
EvS hosts streams that are incredibly long, some lasting as much as six hours, featuring has-beens from the comic industry like Mike S Miller. The average anime fan do not know or care who these people are, nor would they have the patience to listen to this stream when they can be watching a 26-episode anime series instead.
The most successful anime material on YouTube lasts fifteen minutes or less. Maybe twenty, if YouTube?s algorithm supports that model. Inflammatory people are fun for a bit. But in order to stay relevant, you need to keep doing something new.
CG does not know how to do something new. It is stuck in the 90s.
The vast majority of the anime fandom is not invested in the controversies surrounding voice actors. The main issue around Vic Mignogna started as a concern specifically among anime con goers that flared up very quickly.
This isn?t even the first time a voice actor has fallen from grace like this. It?s happened before and will continue to happen.
And in a few weeks from now, no one will be talking about it.
That?s the thing about anime fandom: you can?t take anything as seriously in it as ComicsGate takes comics seriously. Because all things end, all anger is short-lived, and, unless something goes on for years and years and years (which amounts for a fraction of a fraction of anime out there), no one will care in a few months.
The reason people are shocked by the allegations surrounding Vic Mignogna isn?t because there?s a huge conspiracy around it. It?s because a lot of us thought it had already been dealt with when we first heard about it years ago. Or, sadly, other controversies pressed this one out of focus.
Controversies like that surrounding, say, the famous Spider-Man comic storyline ?One More Day? could never happen in the anime fandom. The fandoms are just too different.
And all this is ignoring the very obvious elephant in the room?
The Anime Fandom isn?t JUST American
EvS?s relevance in anime is too small to picture
What happens in the Texas anime dubbing community is irrelevant to people in Japan.
I?m sorry, but it?s true.
When you look at the international scale of anime, this is a pretty much irrelevant controversy. Ethan van Scriver can?t see that because he thinks he?s a big deal. In comics.
And maybe he was.
But if EvS occupied the same role in the anime industry? An artist who missed deadlines and tried to survive off anger alone? He?d be nothing. Manga chapters are pumped out so fast that many artists suffer excruciating pain as a result. Ethan van Scrier, as of now, is four months over-due with a comic book that?s about as long as two chapters of Akira Toriyama?s Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball chapters came out weekly. EvS started his fundraiser a year ago. He hasn?t finished inking the pages.
Anime fans could care less about what he has to say.
Oh, and if you get the chance, ask EvS to name his favorite Fullmetal Alchemist character. Let?s see if he even knows who Mignogna played in that show.