Taiwanese otaku recently greeted Tsai Ing-wen with shouts of “Kirishima!”, which is causing problems for some dojinshi artists.

“It’s the economy, stupid,” is an oft-repeated maxim of what politicians need to take care of to maintain popular support. So while Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-wen may be riding high in the aftermath of her recent victory at the polls, she’ll want to keep a close eye on the financial well-being of her constituents, and one group is already seeing a negative impact on their incomes.

Part of Tsai’s successful campaign was an advertisement in which the 59-year-old politician was turned into a cute anime-style catgirl. She followed up on this by currying even more favor with the otaku set by showing up at an event for creators and fans of dojinshi, or self-published comics which frequently borrow characters from existing anime and manga series.

But while the president-elect was on stage, it wasn’t “Tsai” that the crowd was chanting. No, instead the rallying cry being shouted was “Kirishima!”

It might seem odd for a group of Taiwanese citizens to be joyously calling out the name of an Imperial Japanese Navy battlecruiser that was in service from 1913 to 1942, considering that’s not a period of time in which the Japanese military had the friendliest relations with its maritime neighbors. But Kirishima is also the name of a character in the phenomenally popular video game and anime series Kantai Collection, also known as KanColle, which reimagines historical Japanese warships as cute girls.

▼ A Kirishiima dojinshi (left) and Tsai’s face photoshopped onto a Kirishima cosplayer’s body (right)

Given that all of the girls of KanColle have naval military hardware strapped to their bodies, two of Kirishima’s most distinctive visual cues are her round-lensed glasses and short, neatly kept hairstyle with swept bangs. However, Tsai has similar tastes in corrective eyewear and hairdos, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by KanColle fans, and even TV news reports, in Taiwan.

With all the fun Taiwanese KanColle fans seem to be having with the coincidental resemblance, you might expect it to cause them to go out and snap up all the Kirishima merch they can find. The thing is, though, a lot of dojinshi have a prurient slant to them, and even though their willingness to show existing characters in situations far more sexualized than their official releases ever would can sometimes generate strong demand, that’s not what’s happening right now with Kirishima in Taiwan.

Japanese Twitter user @jofuu_k recently went to a dojinshi sales event in Taiwan where he reports artists of Kirishima comics were having a hard time finding buyers, and theorizes the reason why is that Taiwanese otaku aren’t enticed by the idea of seeing the KanColle doppelganger of their nation’s soon-to-be leader engaging in 2-D sexy times.

Currently, no statement has been made by the Tsai camp regarding what countermeasures, if any, are planned to help prop up the Kirishima subsector of the dojinshi economy in this turbulent transitional phase. In the meantime, this serves as a cautionary tale for dojinshi artists about the importance of checking to make sure best girl and best political candidate don’t overlap before putting pencil to paper.

Source: Jin