In memory of 2010 finale: the Anime/Game/Manga industry vs. the Tokyo Government

Although Bill 156 was only passed in December, the battle has actually been going on for the better part of a year, if not longer. Respected long-time translator Dan Kanemitsu even opened a wordpress blog in order to share his research, views and reactions to the developments in Tokyo.

Really people, it’s not the end of the world.

To be honest, I think that most people opposed to this Bill are taking it a bit too far. Yes, including Mr. Kanemitsu, to say nothing of the editor who cautioned a manga author against depicting a school-aged character in uniform. The problem is that one major argument seems to be centered around how vague some of the language is, language that seems to point to discrimination against certain minority groups, and which can be exploited to restrict works that should not be restricted. I haven’t done that much research on it yet, but as previous posts show, there are political precedents for the language used in the Ordinance. One might argue that lawmakers should use more definite language, but let’s be realistic: how much of the law do you understand anyway?

The other arm of the opposition is far more credible: there is no excusing the Tokyo Government for forcing through Bill 156, which has clauses specifically against anime/manga/games, without any input from the industry that it actually impacts. If the industry is to get anywhere with its opposition, this is really what it should concentrate on.

Bill 156 will come into effect in July, so I am sure it will be in the consciousness of those involved in the industry and a number of senior bloggers and commentators. However, based on what I’ve read over the last few weeks, I really don’t think it will be revoked. Whilst the government has been too overbearing and condescending, what they’ve voted in actually makes sense if we consider previous legislation. What’s likely to happen is that the industry and the regulating body will begin defining the boundaries of the law. It really should have been ironed out before it was voted in, but frankly, neither side is putting much effort into clarifying it at present.

p.s. Dark Mirage’s post and comments here amounts to the most sensible analysis of the situation I’ve found so far. For the three titles he mentioned though – I really wouldn’t care if KissxSis disappeared off the face of the earth, or if Gantz became a bit tamer…not so sure about Berserk since I haven’t read it, although I’ve heard that it’s a very good series.

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And that’s the end of 2010! Not sure if I’ll keep this format for next year, as I expect to be cutting down on the number of series I watch, but the timing is definitely better than the lead-up to Christmas. Back with ‘normal’ posts again soon, but a little break for now!

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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