Interview with “Legal Mindset” on NIJISANJI / ANYCOLOR Problem

Interview with "Legal Mindset" on NIJISANJI / ANYCOLOR Problem

We Conducted an Interview with Legal Mindset (Andrew Esquire), a Legal YouTube Channel Streaming a Series of Issues Related to ANYCOLOR Inc. (which operates the VTuber Group NIJISANJI / NIJISANJI EN (New), etc.). We are Pleased to Share with You the Content of the Interview.

The content is based on Legal Mindset’s personal views and we makes no representation as to its authenticity or accuracy at this time. Please understand this in advance.

Interview with "Legal Mindset" on NIJISANJI / ANYCOLOR Problem
Image Credit: YouTube

Why did you decide to touch on the issue of NIJISANJI / ANYCOLOR this time?

I decided to cover this issue because I was requested to cover it by people who were deeply involved in the vtuber community and who cared about vtuber issues. And because when I reviewd this, I saw there were real issues of international law, particularly as it relates to worker rights and to the potential exploitation of international workers, which is a serious international legal issue.

This is not a joke, this is not something that is funny HAHA, this is a big thing, this is not drama, this not a grift, this is not something that is just not important, this is ultra important and if I can use my platform to amplify, which clearly is working, to spread this message that this needs to change and that this needs to come out, the wrongs need to be exposed, that’s something that I want to do, to use my platform for good, to put out a good message and to add the perspective of an American lawyer who knows what he’s talking about, who’s worked in a corporate context.

I’m not just any lawyer. Yes, I am not a Japanese lawyer, but I am an American lawyer who has worked with massive American companies. There’s some I don’t disclose, but people know I worked for the law firm, and this is very public information, anybody can find this, that I worked with Universal Studios, for example.

Universal Studios, I wasn’t their attorney but I was working for a law firm representing them, but, for example, this would not be tolerated. If this Universal Studios and their employees this would not be okay in the United States, why should it be OK because it’s in Japan, right? No. That’s absolutely not right. Corporations cannot treat people like this in the west, and when you have a Japanese company that is hiring western employees and they are, apparently, it looks like we have all the evidence and reason to believe that they are taking advantage of and exploiting western employees, yeah, that’s not OK. Right? And by the way, it’s not OK if it’s any employee anywhere, by the way, I don’t wanna imply this is just something that is a problem for Westerners. no, it would be a problem if they’re exploiting Africans, if they’re exploiting Middle Easterners, Europeans, even Europeans. Look, Europe is a crazy place, but you can’t exploit Europeans, OK? They’re making good pasta, OK?

Uh, kiwis, right? Didgeridoos down in Australia, Southeast Asia, whatever, wherever you are, it’s not OK to exploit people. And the only reason why you’re getting away with it, the only reason why these companies are getting away with it, is because they are in Japan and the workers are not. Not cool, right? Not OK. Right? So, just gonna say, it’s not OK, and when we see this, we need to cover it, and as a person with a large platform, I would like to use my platform for something positive, because look, I use my platform for a lot of things, we talk about a lot of different issues, but this one is meritorious, and also, I cover this because I am a weeb. And when I saw there were waifus, well, y’know. Your boy got involved.

What do you frankly think about this issue?

What I frankly think, what I frankly think about the issue is that the company, NIJISANJI, at the very least, even if they didn’t violate the law, which we suspect they did, right, and especially from a Western perspective, I think they need to be called out for their misdeeds, and I think there needs to be changes to allow for correction of these circumstances and to make sure that going forward, Japanese companies cannot exploit foreign workers. And I think that the reaction to this was entirely inappropriate, and not just in the case of Dokibird, also in the case of Sayu, Sayu meaning Zaion LanZa, the Zaion Lanza case. This is a bigger issue. Also with Wactor. This is something that goes beyond just NIJISANJI and ANYCOLOR, and I think this is a big issue that needs to be corrected because there is a huge potential for corruption. Huge potential for issues with this in the future, and if it is not a legal change, if it’s not something that there’s an agreement, that the governments decide, “Yeah, we’re gonna crack down on this,” it will be a problem. And the thing is, for a Japanese audience, vtubing is huge, vtubing is massive. Do you want these people that you are supporting, that you are giving millions of dollar, around the world, do you want them to be abused? Do you want these talents to be taken advantage of? Do you want them to be subject to these unconscionable contracts, these ridiculous contracts? No, you do not. It is shameful. And you should be shamed, and it should be a shame.

Now, I wanna be very clear, and very frank, and I’m gonna say this multiple times, but I love Japan, I love the Japanese people. This is not indicative of Japan as a whole, it’s not indicative of the Japanese people as a whole, it’s not indicative even of every Japanese company, many Japanese companies are very forthright, very honorable, right, and very just in their administration of their companies. This is something that when there is a bad apple, and they take advantage of the law, needs to be called out. It is not indicative of it. But, if it is not handled, it will be shameful, it will be shameful for the entire country, to allow a country to hide behind bad laws. So there you go.

What do you think about the unfavorable actions (such as slandering other companies) by some NIJISANJI / ANYCOLOR followers?

Well, first of all, I believe that the American rules are pretty good about slander and defamation regrding truthfulness. I think the truth should come out. Now, if people are saying things that are untrue, then I believe they should be gone after for business defamation, for regular defamation, slander, libel. If you are saying untruths, then you open yourself up to it. But I always stand for the truth. Look, if somebody’s saying something bad about hololive, for example, or Phase Connect, even, if it’s true, then they’re allowed to say it. That’s free speech. That’s the rights we believe in. But if it’s false, then the companies have the right to go after them for defamation, right?

It’s all about issue by issue. Is what they are saying true or false? So people say, in the chat, also I’m looking at chat, Nijisisters are slandering hololive, well, guess what? If they’re slandering hololive, hololive should look into going after them, particularly if the NIJISANJI folks are directing them to do so. That would be a very very very very interesting thing if the NIJISANJI folks are directing their followers in any way, including with their mods doing it, or people that are under their control, are directing them to slander hololive, right, if NIJI is directing them to do that, then that’s a potential case, there. And then hololive might have a case against NIJI. That would be massive. That would be massive.

Now, once again, I don’t know. Pure speculation. But I think it’s wrong, and I think that if holo decided to go after people slandering them, they would be in their right if they were saying false things.

What do you think about Dokibird and Sayu?

VTuber セレン龍月の演者/ボイスモデルとされる Dokibird“復帰配信” 約12万7300人が視聴
Image Credit: YouTube

I love em. They’re great. So, but Doki and Sayu, look, they are both very talented streamers. They’re both very talented people. Doki is a very good gamer, she’s incredibly funny, her laugh is addictive, watching her gameplay is addictive, I just watched her for a little bit, and I can just put that on the background. She is really really, just seems like a really fun streamer to just have around. I’ve got a funny clip, maybe a funny clip of her later, but Doki is a great streamer.

And Sayu is also amazing. She’s smart, she’s very intelligent. I’ve had the honor of speaking to Sayu, and knowing, getting to speak to her a little bit behind the scenes. Really cool, really great, and she is just somebody that I think has a bright future ahead of her. I think both streamers do.

I think it is important, though, to speak about them separately. So i think that while many people are talking about them together in one breath, they’re both people that should be assessed individually and I think Sayu said this, and I’m sure Doki would agree that each case deserves to be examined case by case. Doki is Doki, Sayu is Sayu. Yes, they both were wronged by NIJISANJI. Yes, they are not, it appears they’re not like BFFs, but that being said, it doesn’t matter in terms of the fact that both of them were wronged, both of them deserve to have some sort of catharsis, some sort of positive result.

VTuber Sayu 正式デビュー配信を実施 “ザイオン文書”公開の人物として注目浴びる
Image Credit: Twitch

For Sayu, she’s gotten that, she’s told her story, she’s done. Sayu is done. And I think she does have a bright future ahead of her. I’ve seen her streaming. She’s really a good person. I think there’s gonna be much ahead for her. Her model is amazing, her model is beautiful, in that the details of her model are stunning, like the tens of thousands of dollar model, it’s absolutely perfect.

And Doki also has a bright future, but individually, they are individuals, they’re not one unit. Just so people know. And they should be treated as such, so that’s what I think about em. Wonderful people, I support them. But I don’t support them just because everybody told me to support them. I support because under my independent analysis of each and every one of them, they are correct. Independently looking at Dokibird, her situation was correct. Independently looking at Zaion, Zaion was in the right. Independently. So I reach my conclusion though independent analysis, not lumping them together and saying, “Oh, well, just because Doki is right that means that Zai-,” no, that’s not how it works. Independent analysis.

And by the way, I will always do that when it comes to issues, looking at em case by case by case, is this actually true. Just because we’ve got a narrative of kurosanji, of the black company, doesn’t mean I’m gonna automatically NIJI is in the wrong. Now, that said, NIJI is pretty consistent with what they’re doing and as we review their information, it tends to line up in terms of their bad moves. But, just saying. Just saying, it’s always case by case.

Please tell us what you would like to tell the people of Japan

This is the most important thing. And I just wanna say, I hope the people of Japan understand that what I say comes from my love of Japan, right, it comes from loving to go to Japan. I go to Japan often, I have many friends in Japan, I’ll be in Japan, probably in April or May, I’m not sure when, but the next two months, I will be in Japan, for sure, 100%, visiting good friends there, probably maybe going around doing some bike tours, y’know. It should be really interesting, going around and enjoying Japan. It is a lovely country, a lovely people, a lovely culture. Obviously, I enjoy a lot of things that come out of Japan, from JRPGs to games and anime. It’s a place I have a strong affinity with, a love for, and a respect for.

But when you love something, when you appreciate something, that doesn’t mean it should be beyond criticism. If somebody is your friend, if somebody is your brother or sister, and you care about them, you should feel that you can correct them and help them to be better. You are very terrible friend, if you are somebody who cannot take and deliver criticism. If your-I like when my friends tell me I’m doing something wrong, and when I in turn give them the same feedback. And from a position of love for Japan, from a position of loving Japan, I will say to Japan: This is something you need to change.

Your defamation laws are being abused. Your contractual laws are being abused. Your harassment laws obviously need to be updated. You need to update this for the vtuber era. Your laws need to be updated. It’s not your fault. The United States has laws they need to update, too. So does Canada, so does Mexico, so does every other country, Europe, no country is perfect, no laws are perfect. We all strive to be better. But this should be a point of reflection, a point of introspection for Japan to look at their laws, dig deep, and push towards change. Positive public change.

And I believe it is for the benefit of the public. I believe it is a public good to talk about this. I believe it’s an intrinsic public good for the people of Japan to talk about improving their laws in a way that helps the people of Japan and can still remain respectful of its culture. That’s what I would like to say.