A recent article from the Japanese tabloid magazine Weekly Bunshun has sparked controversy after targeting voice actor Yuichi Nakamura over inappropriate comments made while live-streaming a video game.
Nakamura, known for voicing the character Satoru Gojo in the popular anime series Jujutsu Kaisen, was participating in an acting-focused livestream of Grand Theft Auto V called Street Graffiti Role Play.
— 週刊文春 (@shukan_bunshun) February 8, 2024
In this live stream, actors take on fictional personas, unlike their real personalities. As reported in the Bunshun article, Nakamura made sexually explicit remarks while in character that included inappropriate language directed at a female player.
Specific quotes reference looking under her skirt and aggressive sexual comments.
The article sharing these inflammatory clips has been widely viewed online, but the public response has been predominantly critical of Weekly Bunshun’s tactics.
Many are accusing the publication of unfairly trying to spark an exposé scandal over comments made in the context of acting out a fictional persona.
With over 20,000 negative quote tweets alone, most agree this attempt to stir up controversy has clearly backfired.
The core issues being debated are the ethics of tabloid journalism targeting celebrities over acting roles rather than real-world conduct, and whether sufficient context was provided on Nakamura’s comments originating from a scripted livestream rather than his personal views.
Controversy Surrounding Jujutsu Kaisen’s Voice Actor
For people familiar with Yuichi Nakamura and his work, the type of sexual humor and crass jokes at the center of this controversy seems to be part of his comedic persona that fans find endearing.
However, those less familiar with Nakamura’s full body of work, especially international audiences, may primarily recognize him for voicing the popular Jujutsu Kaisen character Satoru Gojo.
Some of these global fans have interpreted previous comments made by Nakamura back in 2020 as showing a personal disdain or animosity towards Gojo as a character.
Specifically, Nakamura revealed that he sometimes finds it difficult to grasp and properly portray Gojo’s complex personality during voice acting sessions. He described feeling Gojo can be “annoying” in this professional context.
Some fans took these candid remarks about the challenges involved with getting into character as implying that Nakamura dislikes Gojo on a personal level.
They also connected it to similar comments made by Jujutsu Kaisen creator Gege Akutami about finding Gojo annoying and difficult to write at times.
However, Nakamura was speaking about Gojo solely through the lens of the intricate acting work required to bring an enigmatic character to life as a voice performer.
He was not making judgments about his personal preferences or commenting on broader themes or developments in the series itself.
So for many familiar with Nakamura, his latest edgy remarks fit within expectations of his comedic style.
But more casual fans may have misconstrued his previous professional candor about a complex acting job as personal animosity toward aspects of the acclaimed series.
This context likely informs some of the polarized reactions.
More About Jujutsu Kaisen
The series follows Yuji Itadori, an extraordinarily athletic high school student living in Sendai, Japan. On his grandfather’s deathbed in June 2018, Yuji is given two pieces of advice – “always help people” and “die surrounded by loved ones.”
Soon after, Yuji’s friends at school unseal a cursed talisman while dabbling in occult rituals, attracting dangerous spirits called Curses.
To protect exorcist Megumi Fushiguro, Yuji swallows the talisman – a rotten finger – becoming host to the incredibly powerful Curse Ryomen Sukuna.
All exorcists, known as Jujutsu Sorcerers, are then required to kill Yuji due to Sukuna’s evil nature. However, Megumi’s mentor Satoru Gojo sees potential in Yuji’s continued control over his body and convinces his superiors to keep Yuji alive.
Gojo takes Yuji under his wing at Tokyo Jujutsu High School to help destroy the 20 Sukuna fingers to eliminate the Curse for good.
Meanwhile, a group of Cursed Spirits led by the sadistic Mahito and the resurrected dark sorcerer Suguru Geto orchestrate attacks on Jujutsu society. Geto was previously executed by Gojo a year prior.
Gojo partners Yuji with Megumi and fellow first-year Nobara Kugisaki, training them in Jujutsu sorcery while tracking down their fingers.
But during a mission, Sukuna temporarily takes control of Yuji’s body, killing them both until the Curse resurrects Yuji out of interest in Megumi’s potential.
Gojo continues training Yuji in secret, aware the Jujutsu higher-ups intend to execute him if discovered.