March 31st, 2020
Kōichi Hagiuda, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology today followed up his Monday March 30th statement about societal hikkikomori emulation with a pronouncement about which groups count as “essential workers”.
“It has come to my attention that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anime production in Japan has ground to a halt and multiple shows have been delayed, some indefinitely. In view of official government advice for the population to Hikikomoritise immediately, it has become a priority for new anime to be produced at a vastly increased rate to anaesthetise the masses. The second season of Re:Zero may be all that is between our current peace and an eruption of civil unrest. The show’s delay until the summer 2020 season is completely unacceptable.”
“Therefore it has been decreed that animators are to be classed as essential workers and will be obligated to return to their work isolation cubicles immediately, whether they show signs of COVID-19 infection or not. It seems they interact with others rarely anyway and almost never stop working even when sick. This pandemic should be viewed as no different, in fact they should view their situation as “work as normal”. Except now they will have no choice in leaving their workplaces to sleep in their tiny rented hovels as they will be shot on sight by police if they attempt to abscond. I hear that a mattress under a desk is quite cozy anyway, and they should all be used to this by now.”
When asked to provide some encouraging words to these dedicated professionals, Hagiuda responded with: “We do not calculate the death rate amongst young, unhealthy, sun-deprived animators will be any higher than usual during this pandemic. Remember that waiting in the wings are hundreds of thousands more gullible young artists with dreams of drawing anime sparkling in their eyes. They will replace you if you fall in your weakness. Get back to work, you lazy bastards and make more anime. The structure of society depends on your sacrifice.”
Hagiuda refused to countenance discussion about terrible workplace conditions, derisory pay rates or low rates of unionisation in the industry, stating merely that “I must return to grinding. Once I reach level 40, Haruta’s going to hit me up with some sweet DarkNet hentai sites.”
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