Bizarre anime adaptation

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Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) recently posted a strange "anime" video on Twitter. The tweet has since been deleted after widespread criticism of the violence it depicts (including attacks on President Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), but the video is still available on YouTube.

Gosar's altered video is based on the acclaimed Japanese anime series "Attack on Titan", which is in turn based on the popular manga of the same name in 34 volumes by Hajime Isayama.

The post-apocalyptic series revolves around a small civilization that lives in a bordered-off city to protect itself from giant human-like creatures called Titans.


The title of Gosar's video is "Imin no kōgeki 移民の攻撃" ("Attack of the immigrants").  I will focus only on the Japanese terms that flash across the screen so that readers can get an idea of what he's emphasizing:

mayaku 麻薬 ("drugs; [narcotics; dope]")

tsumi 罪 ("crime")

binbō 貧乏 ("poverty")

kinsen 金銭 ("money; [cash]")

satsu 殺 ("murder")

bōryokudan 暴力団 ("gangs; [gangster organization; crime syndicate]")

gōdatsu 強奪 ("violence; [robbery; pillage; seizure; hijacking; plunder; extortion​]")

jinshin baibai 人身売買 ("[human] trafficking")

Some of these are not the most idiomatic usages for the matter at hand.  For example, 殺 would not normally be used for "murder", which would more likely be satsujin 殺人, koroshi 殺し, hitogoroshi人殺し, satsugai 殺害, etc.

Selected readings


  1. rpsms said,

    November 11, 2021 @ 2:05 pm

    Minor background to highlight this as not a random choice on Gosar's part: the anime has been (convincingly) called out as fascist or crypto-fascist, and true or not, it has been identified as "alt-right's favorite anime," and has been meme-ified as such.

  2. AntC said,

    November 11, 2021 @ 7:33 pm

    I wonder how many of the people Gosar is trying to appeal to would recognise any of the Japanese characters? Does he recognise them himself?

    I would have thought there's a danger for any politician in choosing material they don't understand: what if it includes language contra to their message. Is he sure it doesn't say 'Death to America!', for instance?

    "giant human-like creatures called …" Republicans ?

  3. rpsms said,

    November 12, 2021 @ 4:54 pm

    "how many of the people Gosar is trying to appeal to would recognise any of the Japanese characters"

    Probably more than you think. "Sub or dub" is a serious point of discussion for anime fans, and this particular anime has a very large alt-right following. I think it is a mistake to assume anything about his target audience's grasp of other languages.

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