A Russian gang called Redan PMC (a reference to Gen’ei Ryodan in Hunter x Hunter and the letters for Private Military Company) has been harassing people in Russia and Ukraine. They wear outfits with the number 4 on them, another Hunter x Hunter reference, and it’s not entirely clear what they aim to do. A large percentage of them are minors.
According to CNN, they seem to have begun as a group aimed to “fight organized gangs of football fans.” They like to get into flash mobs.
Dmitry Peskov, speaking on behalf of the Kremlin, called them “a pseudo-subculture that goes with a minus sign and which does nothing good for our youth.”
Ukrainians are also complaining about this Russian gang, which has spilled into Ukraine. But they believe that Russia is behind pushing the gang into Ukraine.
Ukrainian police said that the gang was “created to conduct Russian military information campaigns, undermine the domestic situation in Ukraine and involve minors in illegal activities.” The Russian security services were accused of gathering “all these people through manipulation and deception, and they should have started a fight so the Russian TV could use it. Gas canisters, knives, brass knuckles were found in the possession of many (participants).”
According to an interview done with Newsweek, the gang’s motto is “Russia for the Russians!” Another members told Newsweek that the group is “against non-Slavic appearance due to the fact that such people bully Russian boys.”
Whatever they are, it’s doubtless that the people behind Hunter x Hunter don’t want anything to do with them. Some news outlets have referred to the gang as “anime-inspired” which would also be cringey for anime fans in general.
Russia has been known to ban anime in the country, including Death Note, Tokyo Ghoul, Inuyashiki and Elfen Lied, arguing that these shows are bad for children.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.