A bitter fight is brewing between the Anime Content Expo on March 26-27 and the Tokyo International Anime Fair, TIF, hosted by the metropolitan government, on March 24-27. The argument is about censorship of a Tokyo government bill that regulates anime that glorify or exaggerate sexual or pseudo sexual actions for those under 18 years of age.
There is a big decrease in the number of participants for the upcoming TIF. It was down to about 91 compared to 153 from the previous year and a revenue loss of about 1.2 million dollars, according to the organizing committee headed by Tokyo’s Governor Shintaro Ishihara. Of the 153, 125 are Japanese companies and 28 are overseas companies.
Anime Contents Expo spokesperson Tomai Ishii said, “We have 18 exhibitors as of today and we are in the process of accepting more applications.” Some of the exhibitors include Geneon Universal, Kadokawa, Animate, Good Smile Company, Nitro +, Frontier Inc., Marvelous Entertainment Inc., King Records and Aniplex.
TOKYO (majirox news) – The government is finally trying to expand into international markets and this is the start of it. They have to prepare Japanese goods for entering a foreign market by defining the parameters. It isn’t necessarily about “protecting children.” It is about image. It is about marketing Japan.
In Thailand they passed a law against Prostitution in the 1960s, in order for that country to be more mainstream and pacify International markets. This is the same sort of preparedness.
In fact , most countries prohibit the sale of sexually explicit material for anyone under 18 years of age. Unfortunately, what any type of ban does is simply serve to create a whole underground black market: Cigarettes, Cuban Cigars, llicit drugs, sex, gambling, etc. The problem being that once you force something to go underground you lose tax revenue. So, it becomes a vicious circle of “follow the money.”
Artists are always going to balk at any government telling them what they can and can’t do. As an artist, I wouldn’t want people telling me how to display my work either. It’s frankly none of anyone’s business, much less the government’s.
From personal observation, it just depends on what is your goal. Do you want to make money? Or do you want to express your artistic freedom? Some artists are able to do both. It just depends on the moral climate. Elvis was scandalous to my Grandparents. Playboy was “literature.”
People who truly want to express themselves should fight for freedom, but not while they are sticking yen in their back pocket. Then it is not about art, but about money.
I’m more of a capitalist by nature, so I have a cynical attitude accepting the fact that this is about “freedom of expression” or “protection of children.”
Saying that, I would exhibit at the festival with the biggest names in animation and that’s probably my safest bet for making money. Why? People come for them, but would also notice me since there is less competition!
This is an opinion by majirox news contributing writer Heather Russell and CEO of Rinkya — www.rinkya.com