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Republican Rep. Andy Biggs Says He Knows Gosar’s Violent Anime Video Was Fine Because “I Lived in Japan”

Rep. Andy Biggs throws his arms wide while speaking from the House floor.

Of the 213 Republicans currently serving in the House of Representatives, only two decided to take a stand and say that their colleague’s decision to publicly post an anime video edited to depict himself murdering the President of the United States and a Democratic Representative is unacceptable behavior.

The rest of the party refused to censure Rep. Paul Gosar for the video, and their reasons were less than convincing. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that “The video was deleted, but Democrats won’t listen because they will do anything to distract from the failures of one-party rule in one year destroying a nation.”

If McCarthy is trying to claim that Gosar has shown anything close to contrition, someone should let him know that after the vote, Gosar retweeted (and then re-deleted) the same video.

As for Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, he’s taking a different approach to this conversation. He defended Gosar and his own refusal to vote to censure Gosar by explaining, “I lived in Japan,” apparently making him an expert on the subject at hand.

“I’ve lived in Japan. I lived in Japan! For several years! I speak Japanese! This is an anime! It is Shingeki no Kyojin!” Biggs declared, using the Japanese title of the show Attack on Titan.

He continued: “Highly popular, stylized, intended to demonstrate the alienation people feel, particularly young people, in their cultures. Does anime have violence? Yes. It’s highly stylized violence. It is not meant to induce people to violence.”

Is Biggs trying to say that 62-year-old Gosar posted the video because he felt a teenage sense of alienation? That’s a strange argument. Also, pointing out the profound emotional effect anime can have on people, especially young people, sort of undercuts the idea that it’s “just a cartoon” and therefore “not a big deal,” as other Republicans, including Gosar, have been claiming.

Biggs’ reasoning here is muddy, as I suppose you would have to expect from a man who thinks that having “lived in Japan” gives him enough expertise to mansplain anime to Congress while defending his white-nationalist-friendly colleague’s deranged video depicting himself killing their co-worker.

Biggs’ bizarre argument was not even the worst defense Gosar saw ahead of Wednesday’s vote, though. That came from Lauren Boebert, who used her time during the debate over Gosar’s censuring to accuse Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of having sex with spies and to throw racist insults at Rep. Ilhan Omar. Classy as ever.


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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.