Crap hit the fan HARD in this episode. I honestly can’t believe that they essentially called out cancel culture and I’m glad that they did because it is a menace. It’s such a real problem and it needs to be addressed because just like Akane, those sorts of words and sentiments can ruin someone’s mental health and life. The old phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” has aged poorly because words DO hurt a person. It can absolutely wreck them from the inside out, especially by those who are hurt very easily. It’s honestly frustrating how people will take to social media to slander someone with no hesitation despite not knowing the full picture or just had a vendetta against them.
Things got pretty bad when Akane started feeling a lot of pressure from her company and the audience. Because she’s still trying to get advice on what to do, she isn’t standing out and ended up being mostly a wallflower. Which is something that people would find boring on a reality tv show and mostly gravitate towards the people who show initiative like Yuki. Because of this pressure, she ended up becoming more desperate to put her name out there and butting into the Yuki love triangle. However, it only garnered negative attention because people starting viewing her as the antagonist who is trying to snatch the love interest away from the protagonist. Which sucks because the producers wanted her to play the role of the antagonist to make it more dramatic. Not even caring that about how the audience would view her. Over the course of several years, the internet and social media had been growing exponentially in influence where it seems like a lot of people use it for validation. Which is probably the worst place to seek it especially when people don’t care about how their words could effect others.
I had a feeling things were about to spiral out of control when the TV studio decided to leave in Akane slapping Yuki. And because the cameras weren’t rolling when they hugged it out, no one saw that the two were actually okay with each other and started viewing Akane as the villain. So much hate came Akane’s way due to Yuki’s positive popularity on the show and it just sickened me how this could have been avoided if the TV studio cut that specific part out. But no, they wanted the drama. They just had to sacrifice Akane to get it. The irony of Aqua saying that there’s little fakeness in what they show on reality tv show, for the episode to quickly turn it around to show how manipulative it is and how it picks and chooses what people get to see. When Akane posted the apology on twitter, I knew that wasn’t going to go well. Being around Youtube enough has shown me that you can apologize all you want, but the vast majority either won’t believe them or just make fun of them because of how insincere they think it is. Even MEM-cho even brought up how apologies online end up being taken the wrong way and makes people believe they can dogpile on them. It sucks even more that the cast can’t even talk about what happens off screen and I’m sure the other cast members would try and defend her if they could.
The whole situation is just downright disgusting. I’m just baffled that people just do not care for how others feel and hate on people without a second thought. Hating on characters are one thing since they aren’t real, but hating on the people who either voice or act them is just insane. They’re just doing their job. Social media has slowly devolved into a place where people can just freely say whatever despite it being slander, hurtful or even downright untrue. I’m glad this series is calling it out because cancel culture has become such a big problem that it actually has been costing people their jobs and worse, even their lives at times. And while egosurfing can be nice at times, this episode takes care into demonstrating just how much of a double edged sword it can be and how it can cause someone’s emotional and mental well-being to take a nose dive. Especially those who are just glued to the screen like Akane was through out this entire debacle.
This episode was rough. Yet again, depicting reality so well with these fictional characters. Especially when this arc was essentially to pay tribute to what happened to Hana Kimura who was on the reality TV show, “Terrace House” and basically underwent exactly what Akane did in this episode. I heard even all of the comments from social media portrayed in this episode were literally taken straight from Twitter from the cyber bullies who were harassing Kimura. Which just begs the question as to just how real are these reality TV shows if they just end up resorting to staged events. It’s despicable how these industries have no problem painting a target on one of the cast members’ backs just to boost ratings and engagement and people online will follow suit.