This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Two issues tangently (or not so tangently) related to anime and manga have suddenly popped up their ugly heads and are causing quite a debate, both within and outside of the anime community this week: the conviction of a US comic book collector for having “Japanese manga books depicting illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality” and the possible ban of so-called “rape games” in Japan.  Both issues have been topics of heated discussion.

However, both of these topics largely deal with the same issues:  what to do material which a vast majority of people may and probably do find patently offensive, yet which do not physically harm anyone in their production, sale, or usage?

Those on the side for banning such things basically argue that the mere existence of these materials are harmful to society – that “rape games” create a social acceptability to abuse women, and that child sex depicted in manga create a social acceptability to abuse children or view them in an overtly sexual manner.  Those on the side of not banning these things are essentially arguing that, since no harm was done to anyone in the production of the work, that banning such works amount to “thoughtcrime” and censorship that is worse than the work that is being banned.  Personally, while I empathize with those who make the former claim, I’m pretty firmly in the camp that it’s hard to make something illegal if no harm is done to anyone while producing it.

On the issue that is more well known at least within the US – the comic collector’s case – anime and manga fans have the problem of misunderstanding exactly what the medium is as well as perhaps those who are, shall I say, highly emotional about the topic.  The first problem has to deal with the age old problem that, to many people, “anime,” “manga,” and “hentai” are all the same thing or interchangable terms when clearly they address different things, as obviously not all anime and manga (indeed, the great bulk of it I would imagine) isn’t hentai.  Yet, that’s perhaps the most well known type, so that’s just what people associate with it.

The second conflation that I’ve seen which complicates debate on these issues is the difference between arguing whether something should or shouldn’t be illegal vs. whether something is or isn’t ethically or morally OK.  I’ve found that those who argue that it should be illegal often conflate the position of “it shouldn’t be illegal” with the position of “I have no personal ethical or moral problem with it.”

All of this leads me to the title of this post which is, of course, a comment people seem to make whenever something like this comes up, which just makes people misunderstand anime and manga even more, and thus makes it more difficult for it to reach mainstream acceptance.  I suppose the easy path would be to, as a community, just say “we’re not gonna put up with this stuff,” but that ignores the more complex issues at hand in these cases.

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 03

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 3, and Sakura is suddenly faced with the second of the four elemental cards – a card for which she’ll need more than just the cards she’s collected to capture.

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Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 02

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 2, and Sakura isn’t able to keep her secret for very long from a certain someone – a fact which is doomed fated to affect her for the rest of the series…

And sorry for passing on this for so long, this was the first thing cut when I had hell month and it’s pretty much the last thing I’m catching up on. I’ll hopefully be caught up on this series by the end of the month.

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Anime DVD and Manga Releases for May 26 – June 1

Azumanga Daioh DVD Box Set
Nabari no Ou Manga Volume 1

Anime DVDs and Blu-Rays

May 26, 2009
Azumanga Daioh – Box Set
Digimon: Data Squad – Season 1 Box Set (dub)
Gad Guard – Box Set
Ikki Tousen – Box Set
Irresponsible Captain Tylor – Box Set
Naruto – Uncut Box Set 14
Sky Crawlers (DVD & Blu-Ray)
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World – Box Set

Manga

May 26, 2009
Lapis Lazuli Crown – Volume 1
Name of the Flower, The – Volume 2

May 27, 2009
Berserk – Volume 29

May 30, 2009
Times of Botchan – Volume 4

May 31, 2009
07-Ghost – Volume 3
Bamboo Blade – Volume 1
B. Ichi – Volume 3
Fairy Idol Kanon – Volume 1
Hayate Cross Blade – Volume 3
Higurashi: When They Cry – Volume 3
Ichiroh! – Volume 1
Lucky Star – Volume 1
Nabari no Ou – Volume 1
Sumomomo Momomo – Volume 1
Tetragrammaton Labyrinth – Volume 5
Ultimate Venus – Volume 5

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – Episode 08

It’s Phantom episode 8, and all hell breaks loose as Claudia’s plan to double-cross Scythe Master goes into effect.

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Candy Boy – Episode 7 [END]

It’s the final episode of Candy Boy, episode 7, and in this full-sized episode, Kana continues to struggle about her future, and her over-reliance on Yuki.

Also, sorry for the subs on some of the screenshots. The only raw was really crappy and the only sub was hard subbed so, yeah, sorry, I tried to work around them as much as I could.

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Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – Episode 07

It’s Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom episode 7, and Scythe Master and Claudia start to plot against each other using Ein and Zwei.

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