It’s a common sterotype of Japanese comics. Young schoolgirls flashing their panties being interfered with by robot tentacles. And while the word of manga is vast and covers all forms of literature and culture, there is a lot of sexually explicit or suggestive material available, and a certain amount does seem to involve children, or adults portrayed as children. It’s true, there is a certain cultural tolerance for this kind of material, which clashes brutally when it gets introduced to English-speaking cultures.
Indeed, only recently, Christopher Handley of Iowa pleaded guilty of possession of “obscene” manga as part of a plea bargain, and was sentended to six months jail for purchasing a small number of comics which are sold openly without sanction in Japan in corner stores and supermarkets.
For now, at any rate.
Because on Friday, the Tokyo city council is to meet to vote in a new law that will force manga and anime publishers not to sell works in the city’s provinces depicting sexual situations involving minors while restricting the access of minors to work that depicts “harmful materials” or “noxious publications” – rape and other violence. The law has been supported by radical mayor Shintaro Ishihara.
However, a number of prominent manga creators have publically opposed the legislation, including (breathe in)…
Fujiko Fujio A,Takao Saito, Juzo Yamasaki, Kenichi Kitami, Mitsuru Adachi, Rumiko Takahashi, Gosho Aoyama, Moto Hagio, Michiyo Akaishi, Wakuni Akisato, Hiroshi Motomiya, Makoto Ogino, Big Joe, Takeshi Ōmi, Uzuki Nakamura, Yudetamago, Takashi Sano, Tetsuya Chiba, Kenshi Hirokane, Kaiji Kawaguchi, Makoto Kobayashi, Takeshi Maekawa, Hiroki Yagami, Ken Akamatsu, Tohru Fujisawa, Kazuki Yamamoto, Kanji Sorasaki, Naoki Serizawa, Tetsuya Koshiba, Uchū Nishikawa, Waki Yamato, Jun Fukami, Mariko Nakamura, Nami Akimoto, Yasuyuki Kunitomo, Ryohei Saigan, Jun Hayase, Satosumi Takaguchi, Kaworu Watashiya, Masako Watanabe, Keisuke Itagaki, Kenji Hamaoka, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, Takayuki Yamaguchi, Yoshiaki Tabata, Yousuke Takahashi, Akihito Yoshitomi, Yūki Yogo, Yasuhiro Imagawa, Yasunari Toda, Kenetsu Satou, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Masahiro Itosugi, Kenji Yamamoto, Koban Sameda, Makoto Uezu, Shigeru Morita, Hiraku Kaneko, Munenori Nawa, Haruna Ikezawa, Takashi Yamaguchi, Yoshitoshi ABe, Yun Kouga, Yasuhiro Nightow, Go Nagai, Nanae Sasaya, Keiko Takemiya, Kohei Nishino, Makoto Sato, Syuji Takeya, Shinji Inamitsu, Miki Tori, est em, Hiroko Matsuda, Hideo Shinangawa, Hisashi Eguchi, Banana Nangoku, Masaharu Inoue, Natsuki Sugihara/Kirico Higashizato, Tōru Sugita, Yūko Umino, Maico Shioya, Hozumi, Yukio Tamai, Ryoji Hido, COSiNE, Juichi Iogi, Miyuki Noma, Hidefumi Akino, Ume, Kagekusa Kimi, Takashi Kisaki, Miou Takaya, Yoshitoh Asari, Keitaro Arima, Yuji Kaida, Aya Kaida, Hotaru Umino, Benkyo Tamaoki, Jun’ichi Inoue, Hisao Tamaki, Natsuko Mori, Rasenjin Hayami, Tsubura Hase, Takeshi Nogami, Yohane Yamamoto, Kozo Shimokata, Ezuroku, Hironori Hazuki, Tsutomu Shindo, Hiroyuki Sanazura, Kiyoshi Shimizu, Kaoru Nagayama, Taku Koide, Kosetsu Tateno and Nagito Mikoshiro as well as publishers including Akita Shoten, Shonen Gahosha, Kadokawa Shoten, Shinchosha Kodansha, Hakusensha, Shueisha, Futabasha, Shogakukan and Leed, The Manga Department of Kyoto Seika University and The Net Business Innovation Research Consortium (NBI) industry group (with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Rakuten, and DeNA on their governing board) have also expressed their opposition, on the ground that this legislation is clear example of the restriction of freedom of expression.
The Anime News Network is putting up updates as and when they arrive..