Dangerous Reality of Social Media and Cyberbullying in Oshi no Ko: The Chimera’s Ant King is both intelligent and skilled in warfare. His ability to expand and adapt to ever-changing surroundings makes him the most powerful villain in anime history.
Oshi no Ko is a drama series that delves into the sinister underbelly of the entertainment industry, focusing on the tragedy-plagued Hoshino family. Akane Kurokawa, an aspiring actress, has now encountered the hazards of fame, and it nearly wrecked her.
Akane debuted in Oshi no Ko’s sixth episode as Aqua’s co-star on a reality dating show, only for online trolls to band together against her after slapping co-star Yuki Sumi. Although Yuki recognizes Akane’s actions are motivated by a desire for screen time and forgives her almost quickly, Akane faces a massive backlash, resulting in a stark warning about the very real repercussions of online harassment and the hazards of being a public figure in the digital age.
Oshi No Ko’s Message About Social Media and Cyberbullying
“Egosurfing” is the phrase used to describe performing online searches on oneself to see what others are saying. Several Oshi no Ko characters observe that most performers indulge in the technique, but in Akane’s case, it backfired spectacularly, exposing her to unending criticism and harsh comments from her many online adversaries.
While some may argue that Akane achieved exactly what she wanted via egosurfing, the show makes it plain that it is the internet trolls who are to blame. Even the episode description for HIDIVE emphasizes this theme, reading, “Remember what you screamed in righteous outrage online? There were repercussions. You never saw them, but it didn’t make them any less real, nor did it absolve you of responsibility.”
When most artists and performers, from musical idols to novelists to actors, join the public glare, they put their egos and reputations on the line. Indeed, their entire existence is based on their public image. The barrier between one’s true self and one’s public persona is especially blurred for performers like reality TV show stars and online influencers who “play” an exaggerated version of themselves.
Because of social media and the human tendency to succumb to mob mentality, today’s superstars are unusually subject to the whims of public opinion, and when the reaction is bad, as it was with Akane, the damage can be disastrous. By the end of Episode 6, Akane had become so traumatized by the constant harassment that she attempted suicide (luckily, a concerned Aqua Hoshino discovered and prevented her).
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Akane’s Story Is Based on True Events
Tragically, the events depicted in Oshi no Ko are not limited to fiction; they also occur in real life. The episode clearly refers to Hana Kimura, a Japanese professional wrestler who competed on the reality television show Terrace House. Kimura was exposed to months of targeted criticism and retaliation online after a (supposedly manufactured) argument with a flatmate and eventually committed himself in May 2020. The case received international attention, and Japan’s government established a new law broadening the punishment for internet harassment.
Fans of Oshi no Ko have noticed parallels between the two scenarios, with the primary distinction being that Akane survived her ordeal and now has the opportunity to move on and finally recover. Otherwise, both fictitious and real-life incidents remind viewers that, no matter how famous or popular a person is, cruel words uttered online or in person can have serious effects. The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” rings truer than ever in today’s digital age. Bullying has long been a lethal weapon, and cruel words can break more than just bones for victims like Hana Kimura and Akane Kurokawa.