NYMPHET controversy rears adorable head

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200705300306 NYMPHET controversy rears adorable head
We don’t have time today to do justice to this Nymphet controversy. Suffice to say that Seven Seas has been forced to postpone publication of NYMPHET, a popular Japanese comic about a grade schooler who has a crush on her teacher. And by crush, we mean she throws her panties at him and begs him to have sex with her. For more info, check out Journalista, Tintin and Manstream. While Seven Seas’s head Jason DeAngelis defends his right to publish NYMPHET in an apparently now-removed letter reproduced on Dirk’s blog, if you read the caption in the lower left hand corner above, you may get some idea of why publishing this book here may not be the best idea.

In Japan, young girls on the “cusp” of adolescence begging for grown up and explicit sexual acts may be fine and dandy and utterly hilarious but here in the good old US of A, it is frowned on. If Dale Earnhardt were still with us, he would frown on it, that’s for sure. Elvis too, at least in public. They would frown and then beg for good, old fashioned, squeaky clean tentacle rape.

Comments

  1. I could see the CBLDF keeping very busy on this one. Hmm, anybody have any thoughts on how Lost Girls fits in with all of this?

  2. To inject more irony into the proceedings… this is now two *female* artists who may have trouble finding any licensing offers from the US, and in Watashiya-san’s case, probably wouldn’t want any more to do with us anyway.

  3. “But you know, this is why some fans don’t read American comics…? […]”

    But this isn’t an american comic, right? It’s from Japan, isn’t it?

  4. Let’s be honest–it’s not “frowned upon,” it’s illegal in multiple ways. And the CBLDF normally tries to provide strong legal defenses of those retailers and creators who run afoul of clearly unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. However, anti-child porn laws have been found to not be restrictive on free speech (basically, the societal interest in prohibiting the behavior trumps the speech–similar to why one cannot use peyote in religious ceremonies). I really doubt they’d get involved.

  5. Ed Sizemore says:

    gorjus, I disagree with your read on the legality of Nymphet. The Supreme Court ruled that drawn images of child nudity are protected under the First Amendment. The test case is Lolita. Any law that would render the book Lolita illegal in any form is unconstitutional. This means I can make a graphic novel version of the book with full nudity without fear of prosecution.

  6. Why is okay that Americans are dumb for being repelled by the idea of a book where a young child begs her teacher for sex, but cheesecake statues of Mary Jane Watson are bad?

    What am I missing?

  7. Ed Sizemore says:

    My post isn’t about the morality of the book but the legality of it. Truth be told, next to no one has read this book. Everyone is voicing opinions based on a few selected images. I’m willing to reserve moral judgment until I’ve read the entire work.

  8. I’m not sure what the proper emoticon for WTF is, but here goes: O_o

    Your remark about differing cultural attitudes reminds be of the song, “It Depends On What You Pay” from The Fantasticks. When the show first opened, the song was darkly comedic in its absurdity, much like physical violence can still be comedic in some contexts. Over time, as the culture changed, the creepiness overwhelmed the comedy until the show replaced it with another song. When a movie was filmed in the 1990s(?), they filmed both songs, but only used the replacement in the final cut, though the original appeared on the DVD extras.

  9. “Everyone is voicing opinions based on a few selected images. I’m willing to reserve moral judgment until I’ve read the entire work.”

    I think once the concept of “eight year-old wants to have sex with her teacher” is put out there, I don’t really need much more information.

    As if, once you read the story, the horny eight year-old will somehow be justified?

    Bat. Shit. Insane.

  10. I just want to clarify my first post – dashed out in a haste before I went to lunch as it was…

    Here’s what this blog is saying, unless I’m wrong:
    Mary Jane cheesecake statue = bad
    Suggested Tentacle Sex on Heroes for Hire cover = bad
    and now…
    People who might be offended by Nymphette = dumb rednecks

    WTF? Why is one form of sexual exploitation better than another?

  11. Well, according to Tintin it was cancelled.
    So thereyah go people.

  12. The Beat says:

    Okay here is my official scorecard:

    Mary Jane cheesecake statue = bad marketing for a character they had hoped to market as YA

    Suggested Tentacle Sex on Heroes for Hire cover = bad marketing for characters that could have wider appeal and, in general, an insulting cover because the characters have generally been portrayed over their 30 YEAR HISTORY as strong.

    People who might be offended by Nymphette = I wouldn’t say they are dumb rednecks, unless I am a dumb redneck. But Chris Staros took YEARS to lay the groundwork for Lost Girls. Child sex is wrong, and this book is a hot potato. It should not have been blithely entered into with no thought given to ramifications.

    There does that make everyone happy?

    WTF? Why is one form of sexual exploitation better than another?

  13. Ah…Okay, I didn’t get what you were saying.

    For the record, I’m right there with you on the MJ and H4H thing. That’s why I didn’t understand what you meant by the Dale/Elvis reference (being from the South, I’m sensitive to such references…probably moreso than I should be.)

    – Jim Shelley

  14. Ed Sizemore says:

    Heidi, I agree that Lost Girls should have come under harsher judgment for its content then it did. The book got a free pass because Alan Moore’s name was on it. Pedophilia with a pedigree is still pedophilia.

    Mark, again you’re making a judgment call independent of content. Are you assuming the book approves of the main character’s actions and attitude? Based on what? I might find the book as reprehensible as Lost Girls, but I won’t know until I get a chance to look at the actual content of the book and not someone’s opinion of the book based on a couple panels. I simply can’t condemn what I haven’t read based on the opinion of someone else who hasn’t read the book either.

  15. I have to say that I, for one, find this kind of manga incredibly disturbing. I don’t think it should be illegal to publish (because it IS drawn and no one is harmed in the process of pen over paper, except maybe trees and those poor pens that gave up their lives to become writing utensils), but it’s in horribly poor taste. And I mean wretchedly poor. The Mary-Jane statue fiasco didn’t make me blink an eye, and neither did the Heroes for Hire cover.

    But condoning exploitation of children and treating them as sex objects makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. There’s a big difference between an adult who can think and act for oneself through the benefit of years of experience and undoubtably has the full of their sexual maturity at hand and a child that hasn’t even reached puberty yet (or LOOKS like a seven year old). The company could at least have the decency to sell it under an imprint, seperate from their more all-ages friendly titles. But they didn’t, which basically tells me this is behavior they condone on the same level as such titles as “Amazing Agent Luna”. It’s enough to make me not want to buy any Seven Seas titles in the future.

    As an aside, at least the companies here in the US that sell Japanese loli-hentai have the pretense to put headers on all their titles saying, “All characters in these series are 18 or older” whether the characters look fourty or if they look ten. In this case, there isn’t even the pretense.

  16. >whether the characters look fourty or if they look ten.

    There are no manga characters that look older than ten.

    The Japanese are some sick fucks.

  17. “I simply can’t condemn what I haven’t read based on the opinion of someone else who hasn’t read the book either.”

    I can. Little horny 8-year old girl wants to have sex with her teacher. It’s sick.

  18. JiveTurkey says:

    This is obviously exploitation. I would never even WANT to read something like that before I judged it, it would sicken and enrage me. Working in a bookstore it is about once a week I see an oblivious parent purchasing an older teen manga for a child. Some people have no idea that these may look like childrens books but some are not. Many are suprised that they aren’t shelved in the childrens section. Wow.

  19. 8 years old? Thats sick and crazy. Theres got be rules to prevent this from happening.

  20. Ed Sizemore says:

    “Little horny 8-year old wants to have sex with her teacher.” “This is obviously exploitation.” Rich and JiveTurkey, what are you basing your description of this book on? Why can’t it be described as: little 8 year old has a crush on her teacher and expresses her affections in inappropriate ways. Her misunderstandings stem from her exposure to various forms of mass media (TV, movies and magazines) and how they inform her about romantic relationships.

    What if, the author intends for this work to be a commentary on contemporary images of romance and parenting skills? What if, the author is trying to wake up adults, especially parents, to the effects that mass media has on our children and how it can shape the way children understand themselves and the relationships they are in? What if, the author is using intentionally using a comedy with lots of shock value to illustrate how twisted modern ideas and images of romance really are?

    Your assuming that this book is produced only for prurient reasons. How did you arrive at this conclusion? As far as I can tell only about 1% of the contents of this book have been seen by the public. My main point is that no one has read this book, but everyone is absolutely sure of its content. If you know of a magazine or a website where someone has read the entire book and has written a well-illustrated, well-reason critique of this book, please forward me the information. Once it has been reasonably demonstrated, I am more than willing to denounce this as work of pedophilia.

    But I can see I’m losing this argument so I will go back to banging my head against the wall.

  21. Torsten Adair says:

    So… What do the Japanese say about this? Can someone translate a few reviews? And how good are the fan translations?
    And just to play Devil’s Advocate, many European countries allow teenagers to drink (strong) beer at the age of sixteen, not 21 like here in the States. Are they to be condemned because they are not as Puritan as we are?
    Yes, a horny 8 year old girl is creepy. But then so is a guy who marries a woman and then kills her so he can seduce her daughter.

  22. JiveTurkey says:

    Most of the time when a child is aware of ejaculation, especially at eight years old, and you can ask any therapist or counseller, they have been a victim of sexual abuse. So, in that respect, if it is a social commentary, it should be marketed as such. But so far it looks like it is for entertainment and not awareness.

  23. “Yes, a horny 8 year old girl is creepy. But then so is a guy who marries a woman and then kills her so he can seduce her daughter.”

    I guess this was meant to be a shocking, “right on!” kinda comment. You’ll have to explain who killed whom … to marry whom’s daughter. And how it pertains to a sick manga book.

  24. If an 8-year old girl had a crush on her teacher, she would like spending time hanging around him, wanna have a tea party, or may even talk about marrying him. Little children have amusing concepts of adulthood. But saying she wants him to ejaculate inside her?? Good God … she wouldn’t know about something like that unless she had been molested, as JiveTurkey said. Or unless the writer of the story is one sick fuck.

  25. I thought the most interesting thing here was holding up Elvis Presley as a model of morality. Considering his wife lived with him while still underaged, I wonder if mentioning him was intentionally ironic?

  26. Wow, nice to see some sweeping generalizations and condemnations of those Japanese in the comments.
    First, a couple notes. Will someone point out where it states she is 8? She’s in elementary school, which in Japan means ages 6-15.
    Second, it’s made abundantly clear that the teacher never reciprocates the desires.
    I should note this isn’t quite my cup of tea. I’m happy with my American entertainment with sexualized, filthy 8 and 9 year olds doing innapropriate things. It’s called South Park.

  27. Thomas Gerhardt says:

    Actually, JiveTurkey, your last argument is based on a very limited, for generalised projection of the US societal knowledge onto other countries. In Germany, sexual education starts as early as the 1st grade to counter the sexualised images that children are constantly bombarded by through the media and our teen pregancy rate is rather low as opposed to a growing rate of 9-year and 10-year olds in the UK and the US getting pregnant, because they become so sexualised at such an early age but without the knowledge to understand what consequences those urges might have.

    If you are talking to most German children at the age of 8 today (please note I say today, I am an old fart who grew up being interested in Lego at that age, but then I didn’t have to suffer through BRATZ and SLUTZ and ads that tell 6-year old girls that they should wear make-up too!), they will be able to give you a rather detailed, if technical description of what sex is.

    And I’m not sure how many here have been to an elementary school lately, or how much it differs from country to country, but when my nephew was introduced to his elementary school (and that was 9 years ago), I was rather surprised how many mothers had brought their little girls there in, well, outfits that in my day and age teenage girls wouldn’t have worn: make-up, belly-free shirts and skirts that my girlfriend wouldn’t have worn and she was 29 at the time.

    In a way, our Western culture first invented childhood in the 19th century, cemented it during the 1950s as something pure and divine… and has been ripping it apart for the past 10-15 years, with much of the blame, as misogynistic as this may sound, to be put at the feet of the EICs of fashion magazines and fashion designers, who not only objectify both women and girls (they put models on there who are sometimes just 12, but with the right make-up and photoshopping will pass as 19), but then cry out when those sexual images titillate men. Misogynistic, for most of those EICs and designers are either women or gay and push both boyish and child-like images into the market over and over.

    This has often struck me as somewhat strange, to be perfectly honest, because most of my male friends actually dislike any and each of the child-boy-skeletor creatures that the fashion/media industry thrusts upon them and wishes for, well, women who look like women. In one sentence: Give us Kate Winslet any time of the day, before Hollywood turned her into yet another stick figure.

    None of which has anything to do with the actual book, I must say, and I too can only reserve judgement, for I have read numerous synopses now out of curiosity and it appears that the book could truly just be what Mr. Sizemore was commenting on: a child who tries to take down her teacher in the worst possible ways? Inconceivable? I don’t know.

    Some of the comments by people who apparently have read the book in Japanse (a language I am not able to understand, but I can read Shakespeare in its original Klingon) on http://www.blog.newsarama.com state that the page in question is taken out of context and the translation, well, apparently not too accurate and much more innocent in Japanese.

    But the Drudge-like summary that was found on the Internets, combined with a rather unfortunate title choice, evoked all the wrong allusions and made it very to judge quickly, to judge without a deeper knowledge of the material and to judge harshly… it triggered emotional argumenative reasons, it seems, in many people.

    8! YEAR! OLD! GIRL! TRYING! TO! SCREW! TEACHER!

    MORE AT 11!

    ALSO: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE! INNOCENT CHILD OR STRIPPER? WE REPORT! YOU DECIDE!

    And any kind of debate goes straight out of the window.

    Before somebody points their finger. I am not defending the book. I cannot. I don’t know it. But I do find it rather… interesting… to have a call to arms without having read any of it, based on a headline that apparently came out of nowhere.

  28. Gee, Heidi, it seems like you’ve tapped into, and given voice to, a deep desire in people to point out, strongly, and for no evident reason, that they find sex with eight year olds wrong. People are practically forming a line to this post to comment that they to, indeed, disapprove of sex with kids. Well, I’m not one to buck a good trend, so here I go: I, Matthew S. Bernier, declare that I do not have sex with little kids anymore, and I think it’s icky and wrong.

    Seriously though, the rediculously knee-jerk tone of these commentors makes me want to get five copies of the book and send the creator a paypal donation. And I have no idea whether the book would be offensive to me yet. But reflexive, ignorant denounciation sure does.

  29. My apologies, that last line should have read “But reflexive, ignorant denounciation sure is.”

  30. Thomas Gerhardt says:

    By the by… this appears to me to be a very good example of exactly the type of thing President-in-Exile Gore talks about in his book “Assault on Reason”… why even bother gathering enough knowledge or indeed evidence if everything can be so neatly packaged into this one sentence that – based on the socialisation of the majority of people reading it – will get an immediate, strong emotional gut reaction?

    Why even bother to go through due process, gather the information needed to make a reasoned, logical and then final judgment? If that process comes up with the evidence that allows us to say 8! YEAR! OLD! GIRL! TRYING! TO! SCREW! TEACHER! or PEDOPHILE COMIC FROM JAPAN!, then one has gotten the knowledge, gotten the evidence, analysed it and come to a proper value judgement.

    But then, it would kind of prevent short, assumingly meaningful catchphrases that do indeed rule most of today’s debates, it appears, in the United States.

  31. “Seriously though, the rediculously knee-jerk tone of these commentors makes me want to get five copies of the book and send the creator a paypal donation. And I have no idea whether the book would be offensive to me yet. But reflexive, ignorant denounciation sure does.”

    I felt the same way when I read the criticisms of that recent HEROES FOR HIRE cover. Tentacle porn? That’s a new one. Why do people hate the H4H cover — with no knowledge of the contents — but find this adorable little panel to perfectly ok?

  32. The Beat says:

    Okay I’m turning the comments off because I just don’t have time to deal with them today…and also, I think we are far far far afield from anything resembling meaningful discourse right now.

    Or else I’m just crabby.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] be unleashed” « I’ve Had Lost On the Brain (Various Season Spoilers) Wow…Some Other Publisher beat Marvel in Creepiness! May 30th, 2007 You know…the tentacle cover for H4H is bad and inappropriate…but thisis even…well…creepier.  But you know, this is why some fans don’t read American comics…? [...]