Japan vs The UN: The Fight For Artistic Freedom

The sexualization of young characters is common in Japanese porn. Michiko Nagaoka, director of the anti-lolicon organization Juvenile Guide, reports that around half of the pornographic animated works produced in Japan feature schoolgirls; (1) many also involve relationships between an adult and a minor. Most of these works are available for viewing online, though come into ‘possession’ of them in some countries and you’ll be breaking the law. The ease with which this material is accessed, and the relentlessness of some parties’ attempts to get it criminalized worldwide, has led to a great divide in the English-speaking sphere of online anime fans.

For some people, this media is at the very least ‘gross’ and unacceptable; many believe it’s a factor in the normalization of pedophilia and a primary cause of child sexual assault, and that the defence of it under the umbrella of ‘free speech’ is a red flag that someone is a pedophile. For others, including most of the media’s academic researchers, no causal link between it and CSA can be established; many see lolicons as a separate group from pedophiles with distinct goals and interests, much like those who engage in paraphilic infantism (age play). The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has fought against the criminalization of those who possess lolicon manga, and popular figures such as Neil Gaiman have spoken up about the necessity of accepting this ‘unacceptable’ media when it comes to the laws we make.

The United Nations sits on the former side of this divide. They’re adamant, with bountiful evidence to the contrary, that pressuring governments to criminalize lines on paper will help protect the children of tomorrow. The new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to pressure governments worldwide into punishing ‘virtual child pornography’, where no real or identifiable minor is harmed, as though it were actual child pornography. The UN published a draft of these guidelines earlier this year, devised by ‘persons of high moral character’, and despite comments from Japan, the US and Austria, and organizations such as the CBLDF and the Prostasia foundation, their final draft still has them set on seeing no difference between fictional ageless lolis and real, vulnerable children. Continue reading Japan vs The UN: The Fight For Artistic Freedom

Lolicon: Where Do We Draw The Line Around Drawings?

Recently, popular Twitter user Bardock Obama┬áhas made it his mission to ‘bury’ Digibro over his tweets regarding Patreon’s new rules about what artists funded on their site are allowed to draw:

I hear has instituted new rules banning illustrated incest, bestiality, and loli porn. Um… why? What does Patreon stand to gain by shunning artists based on the fetishes they draw? If they think this is a moral line in the sand, I’ve lost a ton of respect for them. (https://twitter.com/Digibrah/status/978050277713555457)

When some people began to insinuate that he was personally insecure about losing the ability to support these kinds of pornography, Digibro went on to explain that he had been a fan of lolis – a ‘lolicon’ – for a long time:

Where do I get these new motherfuckers from? Do you even know who I am? I’m pretty sure I’ve been loudly proclaiming my love for lolis for like 15 years where the fuck have you people been? If you think I’m going to be embarrassed by being called out you know dick about me. (https://twitter.com/Digibrah/status/978345008481886209)

In response, Bardock tweeted out that people shouldn’t let ‘children and now pets near this dude’. This progressed to him getting in contact with Crunchyroll, Funimation, VIZMedia, Toei Animation and Anime Expo in order to have Digibro boycotted or blacklisted by these platforms – apparently, one has already accepted this request (UPDATE: this tweet has now been deleted, suggesting it was false information). He wants this to be the ‘end’ of Digibro’s career. The harassment Digibro then received from Bardock’s followers led to him feeling the need to go private. Continue reading Lolicon: Where Do We Draw The Line Around Drawings?

How Eromanga-sensei Made its Mark: Masochism and the Modern Otaku

There are few things the Western anime fandom can agree on, altogether. It’s hard to argue that Neon Genesis Evangelion wasn’t an monument of the medium, or that Berserk 2016 looked okay. But even when we unite on one opinion, we can still end up deeply divided.

This year, Eromanga-sensei was labeled ‘trash’ by both fans and haters, and rightly so. It goes beyond the idea of simply ‘trashy’ media (trash-like, sharing-qualities-with-the-idea-of-trash) and blatantly basks in its identity as a piece of garbage. For its devotees, it was one of the highest quality pieces of animated defecation the ‘idiot otaku gets surrounded by hot chicks of questionable ages and also his sort of his sister and fucks none of them’ genre has delivered. But among its critics, there have been some remarkably unfair judgements. In framing the show as one of his most hated of the year, Super Eyepatch Wolf did more than express his dislike of it: he didn’t believe that anyone could have been passionate about it. Continue reading How Eromanga-sensei Made its Mark: Masochism and the Modern Otaku