If you don’t know what has been going on, Funimation licensed ‘Dance in the Vampire Bund’, a pretty good Action/Supernatural series, that features nude scenes of a Vampire, Mina Tepes (title pic), that appears to be a young girl, however, she only appears physically young and is in fact very old. After all, Vampires age very slowly.
They have stated that in their streaming releases of the show and DVD releases, these scenes will be edited.
Their official statement:
FUNimation Entertainment is known for releasing the titles we license in their original, uncut form, as their creators intended. However, after viewing the unedited as well as the Japanese broadcast edit of the series Dance in the Vampire Bund, we have determined the series contains controversial elements which, when taken out of context, could be objectionable to some audiences.
With this in mind and with approval of the licensor, we will edit select scenes from the series in streaming and home entertainment release. These are scenes which are inappropriate for U.S. viewing and are not essential to the storyline.
Dance in the Vampire Bund is a complex and dark drama cited by press and fans as one of the best anime series out of Japan this season. Its strong story is what brought the series to our attention and why we are bringing it to the U.S.
Bizarrely enough, their Stirke Witches DVD and streaming releases will remain unedited. Okaaay…
Note that they state “could be objectionable to some audiences”… and all the violence, blood and gore are a-ok? There are some audiences that find that objectionable too ya know. How about the Christians? Aren’t Vampires un-holy creatures of the night? Won’t they be offended? The double standards are mind-boggling.
There is NO SEX in ‘Dance in the Vampire Bund’, only fan-service, topless shots from time to time.
People on both sides of the fence are going bat-shit crazy (excuse the pun) over this. Boycotts, protests and cheers abound.
In my opinion, Funimation should have just not licensed the series if they deemed the content objectionable. By censoring the content, they have brought the wrath of fans and activists of freedom of expression upon themselves.
Even if the streaming releases were edited, is there a need to edit the DVD releases? Are audiences that stupid that they can’t decide if they are mature enough to select and handle their own content? But, I don’t want to comment on this too much, because this is not the root problem.
Another ongoing, related issue is the proposed ban of sales and creation of Loli Manga in Japan that I shall be addressing with regards to as well.
Now on to the main point of contention. Let’s take a look at this whole 2D Underaged Nudity issue rationally, shall we?
On Depictions of Underaged Nudity
Real life child porn is wrong, sick and cruel because it hurts actual children, and real children have rights. Drawn Child Nudity/Porn is bad because…?
– It offends people?
DON’T WATCH/READ IT THEN. Not everything is suitable for everyone. If it offends you, don’t watch it. No one is forcing you to watch/read the things you deem objectionable. Stop enforcing and preaching your ideals to others. Why spoil the fun for others?
Yes, Lolicons do jack off to 2D depictions of nude underaged characters. Does that affect you in anyway?
– It causes people to go after real children?
Er, there has been no statistical evidence to back up this claim. In fact, Japan’s sex crime rate is far lower than that of the US and many other countries…
UN Statistics for 2000: Rapes per 100,000 people:
|Canada||78.08||“Simple Possession”, Loli Manga Banned|
|Australia||77.79||“Simple Possession”, Loli Manga De Jure Banned|
|USA||32.05||“Simple Possession”, Loli Manga Banned (Constitutionally Invalid)|
|Sweden||24.47||“Simple Possession”, Loli Manga Banned|
|UK||16.23||“Simple Possession”, Loli Manga, BDSM to be Banned|
|S. Korea||12.98||“Simple Possession”|
|Japan||1.78||“Simple Possession” (Just introduced)|
“Simple Possession” laws refer to just possessing pictures being a crime .
Well? What do you have to say to that? Actually, I believe all this Ero Anime and Manga serve to prevent real-life sex crimes. After all, why go out and prey on real life children when you can satisfy all your needs and desires in the comfort of your own home? Thus, it is in my professional opinion that 2D depictions of nude underaged characters keep real-life children safe.
– Well… Because, it’s just WRONG!
What a baseless and lame excuse. That’s not a good reason at all. If there is absolutely no harm caused to anyone, there shouldn’t be any problems whatsoever.
Especially for Anime and Manga that outright state that the character is above legal age, there should be no problems. There are many different kinds of people in this world and there are those who look exceedingly young for their age. Are we discriminating against these people?
Taking a slightly far-fetched but completely plausible example, what if my girlfriend was 21, but looked 12 due to a genetic defect? Would having sex with her constitute to child exploitation/sex with a minor? Of course not. Why this double standard that people have with Anime and Manga?
Don’t forget that the body structures of Westerners are different from Asians. My ex-classmates of 18/19 year olds would be deemed 12-14 by Westerners. In contrast, Western high school students look like they are 25 plus to us. Do alter your standards when dealing with other cultures.
Check out the picture above. All the characters pictured are 17/18.
Even if the character is above legal age, the art-style could depict them as younger than they appear, after all, it’s the artist’s choice. Sure it might be exploitative to appeal to the Lolicon crowd, but this doesn’t change the fact that that the character is above legal age. I know of some who are so affected by this that they cannot appreciate the Anime/Manga for what it truly is. That’s just sad.
…and even if the character is indeed underaged, it’s still a DRAWING. It will hurt no one.
This is so exasperating. The lack of rationality and common sense is literally sickening. People tend to forget that Anime, Manga, Doujinshi are all just drawings. People are just paranoid, scared of things that are out of their comfort zone, they view it as wrong, sick, etc. Face the facts. Just like racism, just like discrimination against homosexuality, banning and/or censoring Loli nudity and sexual content is equally unjustifiable and unethical.
Understand that different people have different tastes, preferences and fetishes.
Let us champion freedom of expression and speech, before we all become speechless.
I’m glad to say that recently, top rated Mangakas like:
Fujiko Fujio A (Ninja Hattori-kun)
Takao Saitō (Golgo 13)
Gosho Aoyama (Case Closed)
Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma ½)
Mitsuru Adachi (Touch)
Moto Hagio (They Were Eleven)
Machiko Satonaka (Constellation of the Hunter)
Ryōhei Saigan (Kamakura Monogatari)
Tooru Fujisawa (GTO)
Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina)
Kaworu Watashiya (Kodomo no Jikan)
have all all put their names on the list, opposing all restrictions on the freedom of expression. You can read all about it here.
I have also written previous articles on Lolis and Anime Censorship. Do take a look if you are interested.
No comment Australia, no comment…
This article sums up my thoughts exactly. From the Funimation thing down to anime censorship.
@//.//@ omg…………………I H8 THAT PICTURE
@ Otaku_Girl: Which one? The top, middle or bottom one?
I think the top one
Ah this reminds me of the situation here in germany
with the “killergames” It’s still a game or in this case
a drawing. I’m also a loli and “killergame” fan
but I can differentiate reallity and fiction.
It’s because these people have never really
dealt with this kinds of topics that they say
this must be forbidden
Well said, well said.
I updated the article with Funimation’s statement and some more of my observations.
@actar: top. im not a pervert, so those pics leave me uncomfortable
They should put more efforts in banning real child porn without filtering the internet…
actually i havnt seen the othr picture cuz i dont feel comfortable around that kinda stuff…im not allowed 2 watch TMOHS either cuz of that ^//.//^;
I’l give them I break, ’cause if I bought the DVD, I’d get arrested in a split second.
Atleast in Canada.
Wait is lolicon illegal in the US?
@ In0uekun: You mean ‘(possession of) Loli Manga’. Lolicon = Lolita Complex, someone who likes little girls.
I think you’re over-simplifying the issue in some ways. Of course, drawn/fictional underage nudity should not be treated in the same way as actual underage nudity, but it’s not enough to say, “it’s not real so it’s okay,” either. Not only does that disregard all context, it somewhat devalues anime or manga as an art form in my opinion. For the record, I know that’s not your intent – you passion is clear for all to see – but that’s how I see it.
You say that there’s no statistical link between loli and actual child sex crime – and you’re most likely right – but then proceed to make a bold statement about loli reducing crime with no valid statistical link. You can’t just slap a barely-related table of stats and expect people to buy it. If those statistics pertained to child sex crimes, you’d have made a much better argument.
Don’t get me wrong, I do agree with some of what you’re saying here and overall I agree with your message… I just don’t think you’ve made a very strong argument for it. In certain cases it’s entirely arguable that underage nudity in anime and manga is harmless and that to censor it is a detriment to freedom of choice, but to make blanket statements on either side of the argument – “it’s all bad” or “it’s completely harmless” – is a fairly shallow approach.
Update your article.
Funimation is reconsidering their decision and is now open to the possibility of an unedited and uncensored DVD release when the series is completed.
@ Steve: Indeed, you brought up exceedingly valid points.
The ‘it’s not real’ argument is a very major argument for the point of Loli Nudity as porn of real children is clearly wrong. Very cut and dry. Drawn Loli Nudity is indeed a gray area when dealing with the ethics and morality of things. However, there is 1 thing that very clear cut regarding Loli Nudity:
It doesn’t harm any real children or infringe their rights, the main issue regarding real child porn.
People keep taking things too seriously and keep forgetting the fact that they are dealing with fictional children. With all this attention and resources put into protecting the rights of fictional children, they are ignoring the plight of real children as evidenced by the recent UNICEF issue.
What would the ‘context’ that you mention be about? I don’t think that this argument devalues Anime and Manga, but reminds people of the context of Anime and Manga being fictional.
Regarding the statistics, there doesn’t seem to be any information regarding the statistics of child sex crimes, but we can assume that child sex crimes are partly represented in the overall ‘rape crime’ statistics.
The ‘bold statement’ is nothing more than my opinion that I just put out there for people to consider. Not a completely serious statement. Just a hypothesis.
Finally, I understand the dangers of blanket statements and over-generalizations. However, for the sake of this article, I decided to take the completely one-sided approach to put as much emphasis into my points and to make them as possible. There are already too many articles out there that are against Loli Nudity in Anime and Manga.
First of all, thanks for a thoughtful response – a lot of people would’ve just gotten defensive rather than engaging in more meaningful dialogue as you have. ^^
The contexts I was referring to are a) cultural and b) the context of the nudity within its given media. It’s important to remember that different cultures view nudity in different ways, and it’s not necessarily right to judge one way or the other. If one country is a more uptight about nudity, child nudity is going to pose a particular issue, whereas it may be much more commonplace in more liberal cultures. In this case, I would say that there’s a large ideological difference between Japan and the US in terms of nudity.
Of course, there’s also the context of anime or manga itself and for what purpose the nudity is shown. If it is clearly intended in a sexual or suggestive manner, I think it’s understandable for that to cause some concern and it’s difficult to say that it doesn’t harm anyone as it encourages lolicons. Does it encourage them all to go right out and molest a child? Of course not, but it feeds the complex and that’s still an issue.
If it’s purely incidental, it’s harder to argue that it’s “dangerous”. For this particular discussion, I think you’re mostly sticking up for that incidental nudity from the sound of things, so this point of context is of little impact. That cultural difference, however, is really key here – I don’t think it’s right to make value judgements in this case.
My reasoning behind the comment that some of your argument unintentionally devalues anime and manga as an art form is this: yes, they are fictional, but to say “it’s not real” and leave it at that undermines the impact of the medium. I’m sure there are anime that have affected you deeply – now think of how other people might be affected or influenced by different things. Of course, only very few people will be impacted in the “wrong” way, but it’s still a possibility. That’s all I meant, it’s just my point of view and again I realise that wasn’t your intention.
One thing that makes this issue REALLY ridiculous is that I’m more than halfway through the Vampire Bund series AND THERE’S HARDLY ANY NUDITY IN IT AT ALL, and certainly no explicit sex so far. I read the description of the series and thought it sounded like a really killer vampire story, (which it is), and now everybody’s up in arms about this young-looking centuries-old vampire showing a little skin in the credits and a couple of episodes… It’s freaking RIDICULOUS…
Maybe I should reserve judgment until I’ve seen the rest (I’m watching 7.5 right now), but so far the word that comes to mind about the controversy regarding this particular show is OVERBLOWN… When I get finished with the series, I’ll blog a spoiler-free review with my thoughts on the controversy, but I’ll be surprised if there’s any major renovations to the theme or style of the series…
THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Loli manga keeps pedophiles away from real children! Real children should not have sex until they are an older age, and if they do have sex at a young age, atleast with someone they’er own age, but best that it be when they are abit older, like, 17 or older. Also, is this just for loli hentai, or most loli manga too? Because I am a huge Kodomo no Jikan fan, and I would not like to see that become somehow illegal D:
Oh, and when I say that if children have sex at a young age it should be with people they’er own age, that should only be something like “The world would end if they didn’t” or “They’ll die because the world is magical and there’s a dragon that eats virgins” way.
Amu is twelve, just saying. I agree with this, there’s too much bashing towards lolicons. But there’s a lot towards shotacons too, too bad you didn’t adress thay too.
[…] UPDATE: Followup article written two years later here. […]
I know this is a very old article, but I don’t think you can make a correlation between loli laws and rapes per capita. In democratic western countries like Canada and Australia more rapes are reported. That’s not the same as more rapes happening. Also, most rapes don’t involve ages that Pedobear would approve of.
difference affect effect…
[…]Er, Hello? It’s Just a DRAWING. « Actar’s Reviews – The Blog[…]…
” These are scenes which are inappropriate for U.S. viewing and are not essential to the storyline.”
Boycott them, Nobody buy the DVDs. That’s utter BS. Don’t tell us what’s appropriate. Perhaps no story element is utterly ‘essential’, but it’s important as it demonstrates Mina’s character.
They did censor the streams but the DVDs are uncensored. Unfortunately an MMO has undergone the same hit too called Tera Online in which the game was severely censored because of…get ready for this;
Legs and Navels. Ironic part is that they released bathing-suit costumes of the same portion of navel and leg which they censored the game for and it’s fans. Pissed a lot of fans off but the company doesn’t care and wants to force censorship on their whole game and please people who hate asian elements in an asian game.
Which is probably one of the reasons why they dropped from 11 servers down to 3 in a 4-month span worth of time. It was lame they told people what they can or can’t play but they did such an awful job ontop of it too and ask for subscriptions.
Unfortunately it’s a very slippery slope. What really doesn’t help is that in Japan, nudity actually symbolizes purity, so scenes which are meant to be completely non sexual come across as weird and perverted.
For example, in Squid Girl, one of my favourite animes, there is a very, very brief frame of Squid Girl relaxing in the tub. You see nothing below her shoulders and the scene is completely innocent (although it would give Sanae a nosebleed), but because Squiddie look around 13, it potentially could get accused of being weird, even though it quite obviously isn’t.
That being said, I can’t stand works that portray little girls (and occasionally little boys) as “sexy” like in Kodomo no Jikan, which is…well…sick. Whilst I do understand the “it’s only a freakin’ drawing!” argument, it’s still just obscene and rather distasteful, in the same way a manga suggesting Hitler was completely in the right would be distasteful.