The production committee of Attack on Titan Final Season has apologized for the armband merchandise that was announced on November 14. It also said that it was halting orders and that the products in question will no longer be sold.
“This product is a reproduction of a character’s costume from the anime. However, we are aware it was an act of negligence to make a product out of something that is depicted as a symbol of racism and ethnic discrimination,” said the production committee’s statement, which comes the day after the merchandise was announced. “We are deeply sorry for this.”
In the Attack on Titan anime and manga, the armbands are worn by the Eldian residents of Marley. The armbands are part of the Marleyans’ discrimination of the Eldians following the fall of the oppressive Eldian Empire, which took place long before Attack on Titan’s story. The armbands and the Marleyans’ treatment of the Eldians draw comparisons to Nazi Germany’s prosecution of the Jewish people.
The products’ announcement drew criticism online from both Japanese and international fans. Japanese Twitter user @h_kusunoki01 wrote, “This is sad. Please don’t sell this product even if you get an order,” while @3NoName53 said, “I’m not buying this. This is the kind of product that should not be brought to life.”
@KeiKa_os wrote, “I love Attack on Titan but I can’t defend this… Why did you decide to release this? Did no one question it during product development? It is because I am a huge fan of the series that I would like to see this product withdrawn.”
On the English-speaking side, Twitter user @Namaryuu responded to the announcement by writing, “That is not a good idea[.] It really isn’t[.]” Meanwhile, @MBValentine_PJ said, “Of all the ideas you could have used for pieces of merchandise, this is probably the worst I could imagine.”
The production committee said that it will do its utmost to ensure that a similar incident will not happen again.
Source: Attack on Titan Twitter