What do ritual sacrifices, pentagrams and Japanese cartoons have in common? According to Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh, Satanism.
On Monday, a fan asked the conservative commentator and self-described “theocratic fascist” about his thoughts on anime during a livestream, to which he replied that he believed that the popular visual medium is “all satanic to me,” describing it as “weird” and “creepy.” He added that, with “rare exceptions,” cartoons should not be viewed and enjoyed by adults.
While Walsh conceded in the clip that he had “no argument” for such a bold stance, he attempted to substantiate his point on a Twitter post later that day after “catching some heat.”
Walsh claimed there are studies which allegedly show that anime will “literally lead to demonic possession” in 87 percent of cases. Walsh has yet to cite any specific peer-reviewed studies indicating such a strong correlation between the consumption of visual animation mediums originating in Japan and corporeal possession of the demonic variety.
Among the critical responses on social media was one from the Church of Satan, who responded to Walsh’s assessment the same day on Twitter: “Fairly safe to assume this guy has no idea what Satanism even is.”
The intersection between anime and conservative politics has been on the rise in recent years. In 2020, Eric Trump pointed to anime as a symptom of the systematic manipulation of Americans by big tech companies in a Twitter post depicting different results from an image search for the term “Mob” across search engines. While Bing, Duckduckgo and Yahoo presented images of pugnacious and rowdy crowds, Google’s image search resulted in images of Mob, the lovable psychic protagonist of “Mob Psycho 100.”
More recently, anime has been used as an inspiration for political advertisements. In 2021, Paul Gosar shared an edited version of the first opening for the smash-hit “Attack on Titan” in a since-deleted Twitter post. The clip shows Gosar and his Republican allies’ faces superimposed over the scrappy heroes of the show and depicts them eviscerating their Democratic peers, who are edited onto the show’s vicious and cannibalistic Titans.