No, anime, manga, and games are still not banned in Japan. Dan Kanemitsu urged people to fight misconceptions and while I usually try to stay away from anything that involves politics, I thought I might as well do my part to make sure my readership isn’t part of those ineducated Sankaku-reading plebes who are now waiting for all anime and ecchi manga to disappear, and thinking it’s Japan’s fault.
Some of the best bits of Dan’s post here:
I’m sorry being so rude in making that statement, but I am pretty tired of having to repeat, over and over and over, how people need to read the text of the bill and not relay what pundits say about it. Journalists should know better.
Extreme sex manga, i.e. manga that is sexually stimulating, is already subject to restriction. Bill 156 attempts to regulate anti-social and immoral depictions portrayal of sexual relationships that the authors of the bill believe could contribute to the delinquency of youth.
As you already know, Tokyo already has the power to designate anything that is too sexually stimulating for minors OR too sadistic for minors OR too likely to cause criminal acts among minors OR cause suicide among minors as “harmful material”, and force such material to be treated as adult only material.
Bill 156, essentially stipulates all sexual acts that would be illegal in real life OR sexual depictions between close relatives who could not legally get married to be treated as adult material if they are presented in “unjustifiably glorified or exaggerated manner.”
Proponents of Bill 156 said there is too much borderline erotica and many works exist that, while may not be explicit, they still should be regulated because they could warp minor’s conception of what a “healthy sexuality” should be.
Hell, I can’t even see what’s wrong with the intention of the bill. Basically it just reclassifies cases that prance on the borderline, and I can’t even see it as such a bad thing. Also, like the quote says the authorities already possess the power to restrict stuff they perceive as harmful. The whole thing about this Bill is not introducing new banning powers to the authorities, but it’s entirely a moral issue concerning the development of minors based on already existing legislation.
Of course, the first quoted paragraph sounds funny here since I’m just relaying somebody else’s text, but there’s a lot of truth in it. By the way, the details of the bill can be found here. Now let’s see a bit of it:
Any manga, animation, or pictures (but not including real life pictures or footage) that features either sexual or pseudo sexual acts that would be illegal in real life, or sexual or pseudo sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal*, where such depictions and / or presentations unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate the activity.”
I can see why incest fans are getting their panties in a twist over this but come on, what do you think this is? Banning everything remotely sexual? Emphasis here: “that would be illegal in real life”. As far as I know, not all sex has been declared illegal in Japan or elsewhere. Secondly, this:
Any material that is excessively breaches this standard can be deemed to be “harmful material” by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government unilaterally and thereby restrict their circulation from all minors (0-17 of age). [sic]
News flash, guys: This doesn’t mean banning, it means subjecting the material to age restriction to prevent it from being acquired by minors. So no, nothing gets banned, just reclassified, and in my opinion this is entirely justified from bother legal and moral standpoint. How effective it will be at preventing minors from watching Yosuga no Sora is another question of course. As for the minderjährigen mädchen hentai matters, here’s something:
“Any sexually arousing posing on the behalf of children under the age of 13 wholly or partially naked, or wearing swimwear or only underwear, published in books or featured in film, must take into account of how the child’s mind and body may be harmed by becoming the object of sexual desire, and therefore parental guardians must exercise parental responsibilities to prevent and educate minors from becoming featured in such work or child pornography.”
This seems like a shaky ground for legal judgment, but even here I can’t see anything that would outright ban something we should be concerned with. Also, parental responsibility…must be a thing unheard of nowadays, sadly.
As for the rest of the details posted by Dan, they all deal with internet filtering on the cellphone plans of minors and the parental responsibilities regarding it. But that’s out of scope here.
Finally, about Japan repeatedly being depicted as the lawless triangle of child porn, Dan’s post quickly makes short work of that argument with some interesting reports and statistics. What we can conclude from these is that North America/USA tops the charts in both supplying and hosting child porn online, as well as in the estimated population of pedophiles. European countries roll in second and Asia is somewhere far down below. Where’s your moralfaggotry now, American media?
Bottom line: Is this the end of anime? No. Is this the end of ecchi? No. Of course it’s going to affect the industry as things previously borderline safe may have to go with 18+, but this won’t outright ban anything and that’s a god damn fact. Causing a shitstorm over the issue isn’t going to help anyone and as Dan puts it, may only subject the industry to further negative attention from foreign media and organizations unable to see the forest for the trees.
All quotes from Dan Kanemitsu’s blog, quoted without permission.