Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest     Published: April 25th, 2018

Rurouni Kenshin Controversy

The series’ mangaka, Nobuhiro Watsuki, was earlier sentenced for simple possession of child pornography and made to pay a 1900$ (Approximately) fine. With that said, the nature of the content he possessed was never truly disclosed and all we know is that it was not animated. Making it difficult to know how grievous the offence actually was considering that certain material of this nature was actually legally available in Japan only a few years ago (Before they changed the law). And of course, helping his case as much as he could, Watsuki demonstrated to everyone why you should never talk without your lawyer present when he made this deposition “I like the nudity of children, I bought it.” and doubled down with the statement that he “liked girls aged from late elementary school to the second year of junior high school.”.

Since then he had been suspended by Shueisha and his manga put on hold (Suspended since November of last year to be precise). Shueisha made the announcement earlier that Watsuki would be returning to the Hokkaido arc on June 4 of this year. Full statement:

We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and readers caused to our readers and people involved with this work, as it’s been on hiatus for a long time.

Though the writer is still in a time of reflection and repentance right now, we feel that it’s also the responsibility of the writer and publisher to respond to the various voices we’ve received through his work. We have decided to restart the series in this magazine’s July issue (in stores June 4).

Thank you for understanding.

Shueisha Jump Square Editorial Department April 23, 2018

Of course, the usual suspects in the West couldn’t wait to pounce on this with Anime Herald writing:

They couldn’t even wait a freakin’ year…

The article already betrays its bias by failing to report on the story impartially with simple facts by attempting to direct the reader’s opinion instead. It also seems to reinforce the ongoing Western belief that when someone has been convicted of a crime, even after serving their sentence, they should no longer be allowed a second chance and should be unable to find employment (Which actually encourages black market activities when you think about it).

Not to mention the article’s title is “Convicted Pedophile Nobuhiro Watsuki’s Rurouni Kenshin Returns to Jump SQ In June” Convicted pedophile! There’s no such thing.

Originally posted by Wikipedia:

Pedophilia is not a legal term,[9] and having a sexual attraction to children is not illegal.

The sexual attraction itself is not a crime. Acting on it is. Therefore the article already started with a bias and factually inaccurate statement.

Sora News was among the news outlets that decided to take a similar stance in reporting on the affair and went a step further when they stated:

Given the slap on the wrist Watsuki was given by the Japanese criminal justice system, there’s a chance that his domestic fans might consider his arrest to now be water under the bridge. However, the Rurouni Kenshin manga and anime also have large followings overseas, including in societies that are far less lenient than Japan regarding the sexualization of minors, and it remains to be seen whether consumers and publishers in those countries will be so forgiving.

Essentially indirectly asking Westerners (Fans and corporations) to boycott the manga (Or maybe even Shueisha?) in an attempt to interfere with the legal process of Japan (They have already sentenced him and he served said sentence and complied with his legal requirements) by attempting to prevent the author from having a career at all and also to interfere with fans of the manga; not desiring to see if fans will decide to continue reading his work of their own volition by attempting to take this choice away from them (Likely knowing that they cannot accomplish their actions through popular will and forcing them instead). Not to mention that demanding legal avenues by which the manga is distributed to be closed is essentially encouraging piracy, which they supposedly oppose.

Fortunately for the manga’s fans and Watsuki himself, Shueisha does not share the sentiments of Western media and actually decided to make their decision based on a legal and business perspective instead.

As for whether or not you should continue reading Watsuki’s works, that is a decision for you alone to make based on your opinion of his actions and your personal values.

Source: Article Image: Kenshin Wikia


Update on Universal Fancon

The convention that started with the false and misleading assumption that geeks who are women, minority, disabled and so on… are somehow not welcomed at all conventions ended unsurprisingly with a shady cancellation. The project was spearheaded by Jamie Broadnax (Of Black Girl Nerds) and Robert Butler (Of The Black Geeks). After making a great deal of lofty promises and having a great many people set nonrefundable travel plans, they cancelled the event. Worse yet, they stated no one would get their ticket prices refunded, either. In spite of this con (Pun unintended), the usual outlets are still out to defend the organisers of this shady event with Comics Beat claiming that this was a simple case of “Not enough funds” and “Unfortunate circumstances”; this is in spite of their own admission that, lets just say “shady”, characters were involved; such as Thai Pham (Who previously threw two cons later cancelled under suspicious circumstances).

Quotes from the article:

I don’t think the original UFC people were there to abscond with a lot of money. I think they probably wanted the props that comes from doing something that helps a lot of people. I’m guessing that the ones that were part of the community believed in what they were doing.

It seems that some shady characters came on board as things went on…

Not everyone is having it though, many writers have left Black Girl Nerds over Broadnax’s behavior and Broadnax herself has actually resigned from Black Girl Nerds as result of this fiasco. Again, Comics Beat attempts to defend her by using the patriarchy card:

It’s also been pointed out that she shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame when there were clearly others (men) who didn’t slam on the brakes when it was obvious what was happening.

Then preemptively tries to make this about race:

Also: plenty of white run cons fail. Plenty of minority-run and themed shows succeed. This story is a unique and specific one.

I’m at a loss to figure out who exactly is saying that minority-run cons can’t be successful but whatever, I guess that statement needed to be made.


Meanwhile, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society invited registered Universal Fancon attendees to multiple events from April 27 – 29 (The date Fancon was supposed to occur). They will be offering many activities, such as a social on April 27, an Anime Social, Book Discussion and general Social Meeting on April 28 and a tabletop Role-Playing Game Event on April 29. They are also offering a 30% discount on memberships for its Baltimore convention (May 25 – 28) to Fancon registrants (Dealers of Fancon also get a 30% reduction to Baltimore’s dealers table and artists get the same treatment as well). The Great Philadelphia Comic Con is offering free passes for Friday to Fancon attendees (April 27) and 50% off for Sunday passes (April 29).

Source: Comics Beat, Great Philadephia Comic Con and BSFS


Further Reading:

The implication of anime’s mainstream status

Political and social campaigns


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