This has been a hot topic in Japan as of late. Earlier this month, a bill was proposed in Tokyo to oppose virtual child porn, and in the past few days, the list of manga artists opposing said ban has only grown. The bill itself–which can go before the Japanese assembly on March 30th and could be law by October–would alter Tokyo’s youth welfare law.
To say it bluntly, virtual characters under the age of 18 could be placed under the umbrella of this “youth welfare” law. And characters in that age bracket can’t be in sexually provocative situations. So basically, your fanservice series are at risk here, as well as series where characters ARE under the age of 18 or appear to be so. I don’t think I need to make the connection between this and yaoi, since the connection can already be made.
The list of creators opposing this is staggering, and includes (but isn’t limited to):
Rumiko Takahashi (“Inuyasha,” “RIN-NE”)
Tetsuya Chiba (“Ashita no Joe”)
Ken Akamatsu (“Love Hina,” “Negima”)
est em (“Age Called Blue,” “Seduce Me After the Show,” “Red Blinds the Foolish”)
There are those who have voiced their opposition to this bill, such as Yun Kouga (“Loveless,” “Earthian”) and Yoshitoshi ABe (“Serial Experiments Lain,” “Haibane Renmei”). A (still-growing) list of others can be found here.
Now, I understand the need to protect children, but as others have said, this is crossing into “thought crime.” Comic readers in the states have just dealt with the verdict in the Christopher Handley case, and now we have this to deal with? We can only hope that the bill does not pass in October.
As of this time, there are 62,958 signatures. 100,000 are needed by May 08, 2010.
EDIT (5:07 pm EST): The updated count is now 63,679. That’s 63.7% of signatures needed.