I don't know about you, but Twitter is more exciting now than it's ever been. About a week ago, blue checkmarks meant you were about to read a usually awful take from some brand or celebrity. Now (or at least, until very recently) it means shitposters are putting the new CEO's "free speech" measures to the test and crashing stocks with no survivors. And he isn't happy about it one bit, judging by the temper tantrums and backtracking. I'm not here to rag on the Muskrat today (plenty on Twitter are doing just that); although I did find this exchange interesting.
I've talked a bit before about how Elon (or his PR team) are at least somewhat aware of anime. Or at least enough to post memes that were popular on Reddit a few months ago. Nobody was expecting one of his memes to seemingly arouse the ire of mangaka Kentaro Sato, author of Magical Girl Apocalypse and Magical Girl Site.
This is a meme Elon posted back in March. It probably doesn't give the best message coming from a guy who sells stupidly expensive cars with their own GPS system using satellites launched by SpaceX, but that's not the issue here. The issue is the crying girl on the left, which you may have seen in countless memes before, is actually Aya Asagiri from the manga Magical Girl Site. That's where Kentaro Sato comes in.
Sato retweeted this nine month old meme a few days ago, saying in Japanese: "Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, has reprinted my picture on Twitter without permission, so please give me 1 billion for the usage fee. In dollars."
While Elon's known to take credit for things he hasn't done and has defended posting art without credit in the past. This time, things are slightly more complicated when the work in question is classed as a meme. Most people posting or seeing memes like this probably haven't heard of Magical Girl Site. Similarly, Sato probably wasn't counting on his manga panel depicting his main character having an emotional breakdown to be used in funny internet images across the world, but that's the risk of being a creator these days. It is likely he's joking, but it'd be a scary precedent if mangakas were demanding usage fees for using their work as memes. But that's what NFTs are for, right?
What do you guys think of this exchange? How are you finding Elon's Twitter? Let us know in the comments!