crapping stop = stop crapping?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

anime anathema


SINGAPORE, Sept 7 - A protest action by a group of Singaporeans with Japanese anime figurines such as the 5-inch tall Ultramen, robots and monsters with placards met some real-life police in the city-state.

A handful of fans of Japanese anime had turned up at a Singapore public park on August 25 with armfuls of the toys to protest against a clampdown on Internet downloading of anime material by Singapore animation distributor Odex.

The incident was not reported in the local press, but pictures and accounts have started circulating on many blogs and political Web sites. .

"The police didn't stop us from what we wanted to do. But their being there was enough to intimidate," the event's organiser -- who only wanted to be known by his online moniker Zer0 -- told Reuters by telephone.

He added that police -- who had four anti-riot vans at the scene -- also took down the anime fans' particulars and that they were filmed by plainclothes policemen. A police spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment.

Public protests are rare in Singapore, where outdoor demonstrations are banned and any public gathering of more than four people requires a permit.



And there you have it - Singapore's first mass public protest in a long long while, by gentle anime otakus no less. While i don't have anything against the SPF's riot squad, i've got to say sending down 4 bright red buses to clamp down miniature Ultramen and Zakus totting equally miniature slogans is more than overkill. At least, they didn't gun them down with the vehicle-mounted water cannon or something since the gunner would most likely miss. D'oh.

I've got to say i'm pretty impressed with all the effort local anime fans are putting in to fight evil corporations and all. Harnessing the power of the internet, organising rallies, making death threats, oh my - it looks like the typically shy Singaporean may have some guts after all. It would be interesting to see how this whole saga eventually plays out. Personally, i'm siding with the otakus, and that's not because of the anime stored on my HDD which could get my ass hauled to court one day (if that's even possible), but seeing all those toys holding stuff like "SINGNET, Where Were Your Lawyers?" makes me feel kinda warm and fuzzy inside.

Yeah right.

More pictures and cd-destroying action can be found here.