Why Manga Fans Compare Mélenchon and Quatennens to “One Piece” Heroes

The two politicians are the subject of many memes on social networks, which compare them to the heroes of the popular manga “One Piece” and “Bleach”. Well established communication.

The best adaptation of One piece It is not produced by Netflix, but by social networks. For several days, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Adrien Quatennens have stood as manga heroes One piece, Bleach et my hero academia inside lots of memes and fun posted on Twitter.

It all started on Sunday, April 10, after the results of the first round of the presidential elections. The “make it better” released that night by Jean-Luc Mélenchon During his speech, he immediately inspired netizens, “I just know what my duty is, and I ask you to do the same: the fight continues. Then, of course, the younger ones will tell me ‘So we’re not there yet?’ close, huh? Do better, thanks.”

If some, in social networks, compare this final speech to Goku’s sacrifice in Dragon Ballmany have seen an echo of the last words of the legendary pirate Gold Roger at the beginning of One piece. About to be executed, this tutelary character from Eiichiro Oda’s manga summons his followers to go in search of his treasure, the “One Piece”, at the same time initiating the beginning of the era of pirates.

“What makes an amusement successful is its immediate legibility, but also its ability to correspond to the emotional dimension of the appropriate event, and it is easy to understand the success of these amusements”, summarizes Philippe Maïsetti, culture and humanities streamer specialist of One piece.

Through these manga-sauce diversions, it is a self-sacrificing hero, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who introduces himself. France’s candidate Insoumise missed the second round march due to a short head. His score, around 21.95%, better than in 2017, confirms the central role of the left of La France insoumise. And it only accentuates the enthusiasm of his followers.

resistance heroes

This sacrificial role is accentuated in various parody videos of One piece produced for social networks. a clip made by content creator @DylanKujo2, published during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, already exceeds 600,000 views. Another, imagined by videographer Glupatate, has been viewed more than 31,000 times. Both mix images of One piece to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s speech. These sequences with guaranteed dramatic effect transform the politician into a hero of the resistance.

This is not the first time that the leader of La France Insoumise has inspired fans of Japanese animation. In 2012, Balak, co-author of last manhe had already had fun check the credits ken the boy who lived replacing the face of Tetsuo Hara’s hero with that of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, renamed here as Mé Len Shock.

The politician had also been the hero of Jean-Luc No Revolution, a manga by David from the Ganesh2 channel where the leader of La France Insoumise does kung-fu. “He is aware of his impact on manga culture,” reveals Balak, who details the reasons for the attachment of comic book authors to the figure of Mélenchon:

“When we do comics, we tend to be on the left of the political spectrum. And since we are often very poor, we tend to be even more to the left, and Mélenchon is the one who best represents the interests of this genre. I liked it to follow his political rise, because there was a David versus Goliath side to his career. There is a side of Luffy to Mélenchon! His notions of social justice are very close to shōnen. [ndlr: mangas pour adolescents]. That’s why it has had such resonance for ten years in the manga community.”

In the age of social media, this process is accelerated and sees the names of Mélenchon and Quatennens affectionately Japaneseized as a show of support. Adrien Quatennens thus happens to be called Ichigo, in reference to the hero of the manga. Bleach.

Pour aurelie petitdoctoral student at Concordia University in Canada, this phenomenon is “proof that the culture of Japanese animation and manga (especially shōnen) are part of a semantic universe common to French youth, which they use to rationalize, illustrate and laugh at politics.

Philippe Maïsetti believes that “the penetration of Japanese pop culture motifs into the French social imaginary is undeniable and these motifs – anime music, manga characters – accompany the new variations of language in the digital age, thus opening up multiple horizons of appropriation and diversion.”

Well established communication

These diversions are also the result of well-rehearsed communication, which relies on social media and the Twitch platform to seduce a young electorate that is not found in traditional candidates. And also to change the image of the party, while Jean-Luc Mélenchon no longer intends to run for president, Philippe Maïsetti deciphers:

“The slogan was there: ‘the FI is not a vertical party whose militants would be subordinate to the leader’. The relief, the youth, the backbone of the project, the vision of the chef plus his magnetic person… these are the elements of communication that failed to meet the avant-garde. Et force est de estater que le succès a été au cita.”

La France Insoumise is not the only party that has relied on manga in its communication for the presidential elections. immanuel macron has already tried to seduce the young electorate with One piece last year. A copy of the 100th volume appeared in a tweet announcing the opening of the Culture Pass for 15-17 year olds. And in June 2021, the president had published a poll in an Instagram story in which he asked his subscribers to decide. One piece from L’Atta des Titans.

But supporters of La France Insoumise are more knowledgeable about the works in question than members of LREM. They experienced this campaign as a shōnen and see Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s speech as a key scene in these initiatory stories, that of the transfer between the mentor and his apprentice. “When Mélenchon said ‘do better,’ he was speaking directly to Adrien Quatennens, as All Might passed the torch to Deku,” the tweets noted. @GWDVLin reference to the characters my hero academia.

Several memes occupy a key scene in this anime, one of the most popular at the moment. “Adrien, I hope that Méluche’s message has reached you well”, wrote the tweets @ cicibi13ichek when publishing an image where All Might points to his successor. Because Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s successor is already in this presidential shōnen: deputy Adrien Quatennens, current coordinator of La France Insoumise.

Ichigo Quatennens Revenge

His red, brushed hair evokes that of various warrior figures in contemporary popular culture. Some go as far as to compare it to Duke Nuke, the famous video game testosterone hero. For the vast majority, it is Shanks le Roux, the mysterious pirate who sets Luffy on the path of piracy, or Ichigo Kurosaki, the main hero of Bleach who fights against evil spirits.

According to the montages spread massively on social networks, Adrien Quatennens would be like two peas in a pod for Shanks and Ichigo. “Worthy heir to Mélenchon, the future of this country is a redhead. I have never seen such charisma since Ichigo Kurosaki!” He exclaimed in particular. Twitter @Karamelos4. “Only Shanks can save this lost country, let the propaganda begin,” he added of his side @Baronerie.

Philippe Maïsetti wonders about the absence of these amusements of the hero of One piece Luffy” and more generally [de l’absence] of the revolutionary pirate utopia”: “There are two reasons for this absence. On the one hand, young people have understood it, the FI is a social democratic political force that has never called for a social third round in the streets. And on the other hand, above all, its activists have cleverly diverted the thread of the kidnappings in the direction best suited to a communication need for them.

savior tropism

On Twitter, messages that link One piece, Bleach and Adrien Quatennens multiply to give him the appearance of a providential man. “Ichigo you have until 2027 to learn how to awaken your Bankai and master your Hollow”, wrote in tweets @okidacorin reference to Ichigo’s character powers in Bleach. “In 2027 you say that fachos may face Ichigo Kurosaki’s Bankai?” She added. user @Squarr3L.

A myth well anchored in French society, the providential man is a concept defined by the historian Jean Garrigues. This figure, embodied in the past by personalities such as Vercingétorix, Joan of Arc or General Charles de Gaulle, is especially acute in the era of social networks, Jean Garrigues pointed out in a recent interview with the Figaro:

“It is not surprising to find this tropism of El Salvador in the current presidential campaign. The over-personalization inherent in the institutions of the Fifth Republic and the over-mediatization of the campaigns favor the resurgence of providential mythology”.

La France Insoumise is in tune and consciously plays with this iconography to reinforce the providence of Adrien Quatennens. David Guiraud, leader of the 8th district of the North (Roubaix, Wattrelos), noticeably changed its Twitter banner earlier in the week putting an extract of One piece.

A not inconsiderable passage, from chapter 434 (in volume 45), where Shanks le Roux hopes to make “a bet on the future”, embodied here by Luffy. In this scene, one of the most famous of One piece, Shanks shows great wisdom by showing that he knows when to usher in the next generation. A gesture that is obviously reminiscent of Mélenchon’s already famous “doing better”.

Leave a Comment