Thursday, June 3, 2021

Exploiting the Unexploitable: Multinational Anti-anime policy, in the Public and Private Sectors.

A Moral Panic from the generation that isn't supposed to have Moral Panics:

Don't fuck with her sales volume... she doesn't like it.

 Contains mild potentially NSFW images. No nudity.

In a number of seemingly sudden developments across online retailers, payment services, and content streaming platforms, anime and manga have once again become a target of socially conservative scorn, hatred, and calls for prohibition.  This time however, the calls (well, some of them) are coming from inside-the-house as well.  Fans are having reactionary meltdowns over a portrayal of something that is not explicitly defined, and believing that in lacking such explicit definitions of "acceptable" it is therefore de-facto "unacceptable."  Rarely is such reasoning sound, and rarely does the reality of things bear such arguments out as valid, yet they continue to be emphatically vocalized.  We will most assuredly be covering this entire mess. 

It is important to note (because I'm special!), that this particular outlet has regularly mentioned for over a decade, the dangers of a Galapagos Effect between anime + manga, and the international audiences which find them appealing to the point where such Intellectual Properties are monetizable licenses.  People want it, they buy it.  When socio-cultural sensibilities and overall tastes shift away from such congruence, the international market for such things constricts and shrinks, people don't want it, they don't buy it. So there can be a point where something with a popular market, ceases to be viable at all, and no longer in-demand.  Since the 2009 case of Margret Barbaree losing her shit in Florida oh many years ago, to the Canadian Crown Prosecution of both Ryan Matheson and Eli Langer (cases are unrelated to each other) -- all the way up to recent events such as the New Zealand banning of Puni Puni Poemi and High School DXD, and Australian Senator Stirling Griff managing to ban pretty much everything anime/manga/game going to the country of Fire Kuala Spider Island Colony (aka Australia), and Amazon and eBay not allowing the sale of things like Hatsune Miku or Yaoi manga, anime, games, collectables, and other works are now targeted by both public and private sector forces capable of gargantuan exertions of power over millions of people.

So What's Going On?
In March 2020, Amazon started taking down any listing of Hatsune Miku figures.  This bazillion dollar property was all of a sudden the target of allegations that the design of Hatsune Miku somehow was sexual child exploitation.  ...yeah.  This seems to have been the final crack in the dam of reason, holding back conservative anti-anime sentiments that had finally been silenced in the late 1990s, with the acceptance of many titles, and a boomer-culture that had wondered off to go fight against marriage equality.  But that dam has been targeted once again, and has now broken to release the puritanical anti sexy-time crowd to influence the environment, the market, and the industry itself.  Large retailers like eBay and Amazon have increasingly denied access on their platform to a disproportionately large amount of content and merchandise, from hentai doujinshi, to One Piece figures, in the name of "protecting children."  Yeah, where have we heard that one before, and that time too... oh lets not forget the time when "the children" was an excuse to oppose interracial marriage. 

So the reason for this new prohibition, is that these items are forms of "child exploitation" and will not be sold.  It has been covered previously that a drawing of a thing is not actually proof of that thing actually happening, and a bit more on that later, but the fact that Amazon of all places, is removing statues of fictional characters which are described to be robots, because of a maybe-standard that only applies in select jurisdictions around the world. 

Amazon has made so much money from the exploitation and harm of children, that a bald divorced man in a midlife crisis is trying to build a vacation home on Mars before an apartheid money trust-fund baby beats him to it.

eBay, the old charmer, has gone from the anything-goes days of 1997, to suspending accounts for Hentai doujin many many years ago, then back to allowing that kind of thing, now back to prohibiting it.  Again, it comes from pressure out of certain jurisdictions regarding "adult material" and the depictions thereof.  While Gizmodo reports that this ban "does not effect Australia" such a statement is a bit misleading; in that this content was already thoroughly banned by Australian law when this new corporate policy went into effect, so ...yeah no changes in Australia.  But what goes for Australia now goes for the world because eBay doesn't want any of its employees in Sydney to get arrested for trafficking child porn as cartoons or some nonsense.  Again, back to an earlier point I was making, when these properties are treated as criminal in one English Speaking jurisdiction, it actually devalues any potential license for any English speaking region, even where such a property violates no laws.  Rather than map out that mine-field, it's cheaper to just do things the most socially conservative way knowing that there is no room for error if you follow that road.  These companies are publicly traded and so they're going to minimize costs at the expense of long term viability every single time (aka the Jack Welch method).  So we can still blame Australia for this one, and lets not forget this is the same country that tried to ban all porn featuring any women with small breasts because it apparently was too close to an undeveloped human child in appearance...?  Sorry a-cup, no nekkid time for you!  We can throw a little Canada in there too since "drawn porn" gets treated the same as real photographic porn.

Better to error on the side of the least amount of work. 
So say the Shareholders, so say we all.

It isn't only retailers. merchant account banking and financial transaction companies are deciding the if you still want to buy that stuff, you won't be using their private sector methods of transferring fiat currency to do it, even though there is often zero alternative in many cases.  PayPal, Maestro, Citi, Visa, (Patreon and even Venmo) are all considering the cost of monitoring transactions for which laws they may break in which jurisdictions and saying "fuck it" by picking the strictest standard and just adhering to that for everything because it's the cheapest option. This is a very close parallel to the Comstock Laws of a century ago, where a select few with powerful interests and a hatred of nudity (mostly instilled by a misogynist hatred of women), used the power they had at their control, to limit and destroy works that other citizens wanted to access.  From Renaissance art, to Medical Textbooks, the Committee for Vice and Virtue went around destroying anything that offended their own specific set of sensibilities, and criminally prosecuting whoever they felt like from the Office of the Postmaster General (see, DeJoy is not DeFirst time DePostmaster has caused DeTrouble for DePeople of America). 

Order something that I morally object to with your own money?
Not on MY watch!

In the USA, even things like FOSTA, are rammed through on waves of popular support before any beta testing, and the result is something like what happens to dolphins in tuna nets.  It works to stop the thing it was meant to stop, but also causes severe damage to so much else.  Reductio ad absudum; it would be like if American food companies all of a sudden started following Saudi laws about what they could and could not sell as food because they have business interests there and setting up 2 sets of logistics takes money away from profits and stock values.  Then before anyone can say anything  -poof!-  there goes bacon, beer, and penne ala vodka, giant margaritas, from every grocery store and most restaurants.  No it's not illegal in the USA so you're more than free to buy your own livestock, raise it, slaughter it, and then cure your own bacon, or make your own pepperoni, so you can't really call it a ban, they're a private company that can act as they see fit, right?  Yeah, the standard concept vs reality dodge. Actions having defacto results are still harmful even if they don't meet rigid definitions. Remember this bacon example, we'll come back to it.  

No, not like that you furry pervs.

The Texas Effect

So with some places able to literally bring criminal actions against a company and its workers/executives should what they deem is legal or not, the error to make is on the side of profitability caution.  This is similar to the Texas Effect.  Ever wonder why high school textbooks in the smart states still have that retardulatastic disclaimer about evolutionary science being "just a theory" and how the American Civil War was about "states rights" and some abstract lost-cause nonsense?  It's because Texas (ok there's way more to it than that but we're gonna skip it). The Texas board of Education is so large that any rule they set for textbooks (no matter how dumb) is adopted by almost every publisher out there, because publishers are for-profit companies that want to sell as many units as possible.  So rather than do separate runs for each U.S. State, they do what Texas wants and other school districts can like it or go fuck themselves.  Large states like California and New York can force changes by taking their business elsewhere, but if you're a small entity (hi Nebraska), you might have limited choices.  Digital copies and the ease of printing have recently lessened this exact thing, but the basic mechanism is that.

Such are those mechanics of these new developments.  Very few of these companies are refusing to facilitate payments or sell products because some ancient boomer is sitting there staunchly enforcing conservative moral values while insisting that their own 3rd divorce was totally necessary.  These developments are happening because that same boomer is sitting there saying how can we make the most money while doing the least work. And so it is, that a vocal few, in feverish zealotry have taken to the prohibition and destruction of all things manga anime, as they associate it with a medium that is exclusively for young children (mostly because of the fraudulent research of Fredric Wertham and the hate-mongering of Estes Kefauver), so if children are the audience, therefore the assumption is that the characters are meant to be children as well...?  Which makes no sense.  The argument that because these characters have no way to explicitly define their age, so therefore the possibility exists that they are under the legal age of whatever it is in a particular jurisdiction to have a statue with their undies visible or a swimmie-suit calendar, is ridiculous, but fervently believed by those who have influence or at the very lease an obnoxious visibility.

The result is a system of content policing meant to be applied to real people in the real world, being applied to art which involves no actual people as the subject of it.  It  may qualify as pornographic, but as no character can be considered to have a legally established age, because (sad as it may be for your waifu/husbando/tree) they are not sentient beings with their own agency, or legal identity.

Is this even porn, let alone child exploitation?  You can't really see anything happening, there's mosaic pixelation, but it's implied that there is much of sex-having going on with humping and so on and so forth.

What if... Hmm, Lets add some text context which contains explicit values:

4 Dimensions: Width, Height, Depth, Time.

Ok those words have explicit definitive value.  So that makes it ok?
But then what if we do something like...

...What about now?  See how stupid those lines of absolutism are when applied with blind indifference?

Based on a true story. ...I wasn't the 22 year old. (This statement is not legal admission of me being the 16 year old either and can not be taken as such in any jurisdiction).

Simple Depiction is not Legally Actionable:
The above concept applies to the USA, whereas in other countries even a drawing is treated exactly the same of actual video of such an event by the judiciary...  which is a misapplication to say the least (looking at you Canada).   So many countries have different laws that if you tried to apply them all to a single way of conducting business.  So if bacon, pork products, or objects made from pig leather like American Footballs, are banned in Kuwait, it's up to that jurisdiction to deal with it, and Amazon isn't going to pull such products from their site.  Yet here we are with this insanity about "illegal images."

The possession of these images is considered criminal in many countries, including Canada, EU, Australia, anything that ends in -Stan, Russia, Thailand, India, Turkey, China, and many others... so congrats, you have them on a hard drive now and you're a criminal there.

Here Comes the Hard Part...
Ya take the good, ya take the bad, but you can't ignore the ugly.  So to first set some definitions, there are works of drawn comic/manga art that exist which depict explicit sexual activity between children incapable of what is generally thought of as consent, and adults, children and other children, and children and animals/aliens/magical beings/inanimate objects/and sentient masses of pure energy/deviant vending machine.  Loli-con does exist.  They are gross icky deceptions of pedophilia sex.  However, what they are not, are evidence of a crime, said crime being child exploitation, rape, or sexual abuse.  Real video or photographic imagery of such a thing, is evidence of an actual crime, possessing, trading, selling, or otherwise proliferating it makes that person guilty of being an accessory to that crime. That's why such things are treated as criminal.  But a crime can't be fictional.  So for USA 1st Amendment reasons, they are protected from criminal liability.

So the grey area manifests here.  These items are fictional depictions of child exploitation, much like Texas Chainsaw Massacre is full of fictional depictions of murder, or Clockwork Orange is a fictional portrayal of sexual assaults.  They are all equally short of the standard to be criminal in both the jurisdiction they were produced in, as well as some they may be sold in.  Does that mean loli-con isn't CP?  Well no, it totally is as far as taxonomy is concerned.  It also however, does not meet the standard for criminal prosecution in the United States, there have already been supreme court rulings about that. It's just something that is gross. But now sets in the Moral Panic social creep effect, even within the fandom, labeling everything in which a character is not explicitly listed as having a certain age (and ages of consent being different across Interstate and International jurisdictions) means that what is considered just socially inappropriate is treated as felonious.  A real 21 year old being sexually active with a real 17 year old is not illegal in the USA except for in the states of California (no exceptions for close-in-age), Florida (you wouldn't think), Oregon, Vermont, Delaware, West Virginia (cousins and livestock included), Tennessee, Arkansas, and Utah (I think Utah is actually trying to ban sex all together).  That means if our hypothetical non-gender-orientation-unspecified couple cross State Line Street in South Fulton Tennessee, they can find a place and do all the legal fucking they want in Fulton Kentucky... but cross back and at least one (sometimes both) can get arrested as total pedo rapist sex offenders. 

So as far as age differential goes, even in the real world, let alone a fictional setting of planet whatever or isekai universe B, there needs to be an acknowledgement that there is a difference between the terms "illegal" and "inappropriate."  Yet too many arguments and vitriolic assaults against artists in countries around the world, claim a legality mechanism as the foundational objection, which is unsound.  What would be sound would be to call it a social mechanism.  And then it is inexorably weakened by the fact that being societal objection, the xenophobia and jingoism is thrown into sharp relief.  You just don't like it, and think it shouldn't exist.  Sorry, that's not how it works.

Where is this coming from?
This notion of the need to keep anyone under the age of 18 as an a-sexual being picked up momentum from the Reagan Era and the boomers.  A need to continue to infantalize younger generations so that they themselves would not have to psychologically accept that they were no longer the arbiters of cool, masters of trends, or spearheads of the culture of youth.  The need to arbitrarily raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 and keep that Twisted Sister music out of record stores was so necessary for them to maintain the illusionary head-canon that the 1970s were still relevant and they could continue to oppress younger generations without becoming "the man"  because they pushed back the starting line of adulthood far enough to keep calling them "kids" (something that boomers continue to do to 39 year olds in the workplace today, let alone 29 year olds).  Is it more than that these days?  I don't see how it can be... we've got pulling Hatsune Miku figures from their vendors because of this.  We have Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, and so on refusing to complete transactions to Patreon accounts of hentai artists because those services have decided that a customer can only spend their own money where those companies shall deem acceptable.  That's literally Anti-Trust stuff there.

But activity between two (or more) people is not what this is completely about.  People are real.  They are entities that exist in 4 dimensions: height, width, depth, and time.  A legally registered person at the age of 1 year is so different from the same legally registered after 65 years, that the actual atoms that make them up are almost 100% not the original ones.  Such is not the case for any fictional creation.  Let's further narrow that down to any fictional creation that is not portrayed by a legally recognized human being with a legally recognized explicit date of birth used to determine their age.  This is about characters that do not exist as entities.  Drawings, paintings, digital art, sculpture, weirdly shaped steam... whatever.  They have no agency.  They can not respond to stimuli or initiate any action what so ever. 

Therefore, the portrayal of their; murder, drug use, consensual sex, non-consensual sex, engaging in bestiality, animal cruelty, speeding, terrorism, tax-evasion, etc; is not actual evidence of any crime having been comitted.  Therefore such depictions are not criminal and should not be the subject or cause of criminal prosecution of a person.  No, Hatsune Miku, Sailor Jupiter, Kagome, Inu Yasha, Izuku Midoriya aren't "underage" because they are not real and have no legal birth-date.  But the fact that it reminds people that there is an age of consent (varied by jurisdiction), and that child exploitation does occur and is a crime, and a good dose of racial/cultural/anti-youth bias among the Red State crowd have put anime and manga back in the cross-hairs of their "social preservation" vitriol.  Don't let Beneath the Tangles fool you, this stuff is mostly straight out of the Million Mom Christian Crowd.  But Otaku knew that already, there's always been the uptight fuckwad brigade that stands against all things anime and will latch on to any possible notion in order to hurt, prohibit, or destroy it.

But Wait, There's More:
Side Note:
I once had a girlfriend who had Kallmann syndrome (some form of it).  She was years older than me, I was in undergrad, and she was getting a degree in veterinary medicine.  I ended up friend-zoning her for over a year because I am really bad at taking hints, but one day she was just like; ok, this is gonna happen, and I was all like... uh... sure, whatever works.  Whenever we drove, shopped, went out, or anything-ed together, I'd get looks, comments, and police called, because people thought I was a pedo.  I was just the only guy she had ever met who didn't fetishize her and I treated her like my regular senpai because she was in grad school and I was in undergrad, and that's why she wanted me as a fuck-buddy.  She would get furious when police would stop us and she'd whip out 4 kinds of ID that proved she was 27 and I was 21.  Relationships aren't all about looks.  She knew what she wanted and she got it.  But some people just can't handle something like that because it reminds them that the overall concepts of pedophelia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia (aka "grooming") exist, and that bothers them.  And they don't like being bothered so they appeal to authority to make their eyes not to see something that gives them zomg triggrz, and to do so at the expense of the freedom of others.

Case in point, the trial of Carlos Alfredo Simon-Timmerman, when US Customs and Border agents found in his possession, a copy of Little Lupe the Innocent on DVD in his possession.  He was arrested, indited, and literally put on trial for being in possession of actual child pornography.  The prosecution paraded "expert" after "expert" who testified in Federal Criminal Court that there was no way that Lupe Fuentes, star of the thing, was over 18, and HAD to have have been only between 13 and 14 years old.  How did they know?  Well they could just tell by looking at the video (over and over, these guys studied it hard).  The case was clear, this total perverted guy bought a porno featuring someone under the age of 18 and so he's obviously a pedo scumbag so put him on the chomo sex offender list and all that right?   Well, that's how anti-porn crusader and Federal Prosecutor Jenifer Yois Hernandez-Vega left her case... and then a very 23 year old Lupe Fuentes walked into the court room.  She called everyone an idiot and presented her age verification required to produce pornographic material under Code 18 U.S.C. Section 2257.  The judge had to order Federal Prosecutor Jenifer Yois Hernandez-Vega to drop all charges.  I can only imaging her argument against doing that was; simply "looking like" child porn should be sufficient to make it so, no matter how old the person in it actually is.  She kept this guy in jail for an extra month just because she could.  That mentality is now being applied to manga and other drawn representations of characters who do not exist and therefore can not be subject to 18 U.S.C. Section 2257.  And the worst part is, where some of those objections are coming from is just insane...

Pictured:  Someone who is 23, and not 13 years of age.

But Wait There's STILL More!  The LGBTQ+ Issue:

This hypersensitivity to ageism in sexual orientation has been a very destructive force for a great many people from the 80s to the 90s and beyond.  Are memories so short, that it has been forgotten there was a time when an age difference of something like 7 months was a thing used to mercilessly persecute same-sex couples and relationships not because a third party was worried about an age difference, but so thirsted for the ability to persecute any LGBTQ+ person by any means they possible could.  For example, the age of sexual consent in Virginia is 15, but sex is explicitly defined as a penis in a vagina, so literally anything else is considered a felony unless both/all parties involved are over 18.  I don't have to tell you how weaponized that still is as a tool to attack LGBTQ+ youth.  Rigid definitions are powerful weapons to groups intent on hurting others.  High school students labeled for life as "sex offender" because they had a lesbian relationship on their 18th birthday with someone who was 389 days younger than they were, has been a very real fate of many people.  Using that same logic to attack artists for far less than that action is misguided and reprehensible.  The state declaring all citizens under age "X" as default a-sexual, lest they commit a felony should they chose to consent to act in any orientation what soever, has been a weapon of oppression of young people and of the LGBTQ+ community.  What the fandom is doing when they adhere to such draconian standards in everything from licensed merchandise to obscure fanart, is empowering that mechanism in general, because it doesn't split hairs.  The new fans who think they discovered the internet are using a weapon of argument that they know little about, and are negligently unaware of its potential harm.  This means that:

The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!
So now we have a social movement within fandom which is echoing the same nonsense.  Looking for any fictional indicators of the fictional age or a fictional character, to then argue that any depictions of what they consider nudity, serialization (which ranges from kissing, to judging the clothing fashion by their own internal standards, to just improper evaluations of physical features). That's not a great way to do it.  Sure there are some works that are unmistakable to any reasonable person, but others are not because age aside, the biological physical development of the person depicted has progressed far beyond that of a child.

Over the past few years, some of the most violent objections to certain artworks that may or may not depict sexually exploitative images or themes that never actually occurred in reality, have come from within fandom itself.  From vitriolic attacks and accusations of "pedophile" on artists for portraying suggestive sexual relationships between high school students aged 16-17 (because if Inu Yasha bangs Kagome she's totally under 18 dude!), to calls for criminal prosecution of anyone with Sailor Moon hentai because the sailor scouts are old?  You gonna bust me for that hentai doujinshi I bought when I was 16 that has Sailor Jupiter doing some very energetic sex stuff? 

Case in point, this complete nonsense:

The account on the right actually reported that image and the game itself to the FBI... because, sure, they're gonna spring into action over that.  Yes these are obviously troll accounts who call literally everything "pedophile" no matter what, even characters with canonically established ages far exceeding what would be needed for actual porn, let alone just the appearance of a character.  But what is disturbing is the kinds of comments spoken in support of their blanket notions, and the blind following of fans that simply parade behind such notions of some sort of child abuse and pedophilia in situations which are clearly not pedophilic.  The acceptance of these arguments and the calls for action taken are straight out of the Q-anon playbook.  Just blind forceful rage at non-principles, ending up being directed at art and artists from other countries.  This is one of the hands swinging the hammer into the ever-growing wedge between Japanese artists and American fans.  The hypersensitivity to a bullshit conclusion and insistence on the following of a set standard in which they are the arbiters, is driving individual creators away. 

By supporting this kind of thinking, these fans are enabling some of the most violent, racist, xenophobic, and anti-LGBTQ+ organizations that exist.  They lend acceptance to the message of these groups, many of which have explicitly stated an intention to use violence and deadly force to further their goals to ban all pr0nz and will not think twice about KILLING those involved, including consenting performers of all genders.

Seriously, that's like applauding Aleph for their highway efforts in encouraging vegetarianism because you're that much of an animal rights advocate... never mind that whole Tokyo subway gas attack thingy.  Anti-porn movements stem from religious fundamentalism and anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups.

The initial waves of this kind of thing are only forming now, and it will be years before they hit shore here, then bounce off hit somewhere else, and come back to this side.  But they will have implications for business.  From license valuations, to accusations of censorship-in-anime, this is going to seriously impact anime and manga as a business.  And since it is a business, we'll see what stays; in business.

Reminds me of a song...

Yep, that one.

American Anime fandom might go full Q-Anon Pizza Gate insane...

Reverse 9th Amendment Triple Play:
The 9th Amendment basically says "if it isn't prohibited, it's allowed" and that's applicable to the government and what it can and can't stop people from doing.  We now have an end-run around that in the form of private enterprise deciding to disallow everything it does not explicitly approve of; which a company can do.  But like with private telecom taking and then selling user data, call logs, stored photos, travel activity, text messages, etc and simply selling them to government agencies in order to circumvent the 4th Amendment requiring a warrant to obtain such things, so have these behemoth companies become de-facto agents of what is deemed socially appropriate, regardless of legality.  It would be as if a car rental agency refused you certain types of cars based on your outfit, or if a restaurant refused your order after seating you because you "look like you could lose a few pounds and should just stick to the salad."  That's not a big deal because there are more than adequate competing entities that won't do that... but what if there weren't?  What if giant corporations like merchant banks, Amazon, Apple, Google/Alphabet, and ISPs were the only option because they had managed to put impenetrable barriers to entry in place for competing companies.

There is an immanent shift to crypto currency like dogecoin or someone's gonna make "H-Coin" "Ero-Doras" or "Hentai-Chedder" or "a$$Bucks" to be used to purchase items that the over zealous international Neo-Comstock trend will make both retailers and merchant accounts reluctant or refuse to deal with.  If anyone is doing that, I want in.


The future is tax exempt!

So, back to the Galapagos Effect many times before.  Where international sensibilities will move so far away from what is popular in anime, that international licensing of anime will become a losing gambit.  What it surprising, is how much the fandom has embraced these notions and is further driving a wedge in between Japanese anime, manga, pop-art, etc, and its very self with a fervent self-righteousness that has been seen in things like the D&D Moral Panic or the "video games cause school shootings" of Hillary Clinton in the 1990s.  Younger American audiences in particular seemed to have missed the memo that "ANIME IS NOT MADE FOR YOU!"  No, I'm not even saying that the artists and writers don't take international audiences into account sometimes (they do)... and perhaps I should say something more along the lines of "Anime is not financed for you."  Meaning that when someone in an office somewhere is figuring the net cost of capital and a possible return on a project (even an intangible one), international markets rarely are brought into those calculations, ratios, projections, regression analysessesses, whatever they're running on the spreadsheets.  It really doesn't happen much.  I know it causes cognitive dissonance and no one wants to think the energy they produce and show as fans has a null effect, but in said cases, it just does.  That's not to say you can't thoroughly enjoy it, but anime is made for its domestic audience, and you aren't in it unless you live in Japan.  When it comes to anime production taking North America into account, the subject almost never comes up in meetings unless the property is Pokemon or is a Video Game that is expected to be released internationally.  I know because I've been in these meetings.  The only other region that gets a seat at the table without having to ask for one is China, because the market there is simply too large to ignore and the threat of piracy for that region is tremendous. 

So the very idea of a different cultural set of emergent norms needing to be taken into account for a product that is not part of such things is enormously egotistical.  A fiction which has a character that has no demarcated age, being in a sexual situation (as many a high-school student has found themselves to be in) is not some sort of pedophilia-fest. It doesn't even meet the APA classification of pedophilia let alone the legal criteria for anything actionable in criminal prosecution.

Artists are going to have to add visual disclaimers to all their art, just to avoid these "true believers"and their harassment, regardless of if the art features nudity or does not.  In order to protect themselves from the hoard of reactionary internet morality-police which go around calling any image of a girl in a bikini with no established "sexualized child pron" it's going to take explicit levels of disclaimer.  Notice how the crowd that sees a Nagatoro in a bikini goes bezerk about it being "child prornography" but they don't say one fucking word about any drawings of Hanamichi Sakuragi chilling out in a tiny Speedo with exposed rock hard abs a serious bulge (Hanamichi Sakuragi happens to be the 16 year old main character of Slam Dunk, in case you didn't know).

Badges and watermarks like this one are going to unfortunately become commonplace in the face of the vitriolic slobbering harassment by the neo-Comstock pro-censorship fan movement, that artists will undoubtedly face more of in the future.  This is not the first time something like this has been used in general, but it is the first time such a need to do so has fallen on the actual artists and not a publisher /licensor.  Like when Central Park Media had to run an opening narration that said all the characters in La Blue Girl were totally College Sophmores, nevermind those uniforms...

Obligatory Boomer-Blaming:
Yep, gonna blame this one on boomers too.  They absolutely have to keep infantalizing and creating ageist separations with them at the top and everyone else at the bottom.  That's why for a boomer, the work "millennial" just means "anyone younger than me" and they don't care about the actual defining qualities or the fact that zoomers exist and someone who remembers using Geocities has a significantly different experience from someone who is all over Twitch.  Yet they've made age demarcation so indelible, extreme, and profound, that it continues in younger generations who have grown up knowing nothing but that.  Almost no one in anime fandom remembers when the boomers raised the alcohol age from 18 to 21 mostly "just because" and how arbitrary those lines were.  The boomers worked hard through ensuring harsh and draconian punishments were met out on anyone straddling that line and daring to cross to the wrong side.  They continued this intensity into other forms of social activity, from music, to manga, to ESRB and GTA... the demarcation lines were pushed to peak intensity.  Boomers NEED to be the forever "adults" while always telling the forever-child generation that it's not their turn yet.  And it is this intensity that the current generations well, because they have lived with nothing else.  This extreme age labeling and knee-jerk reactionary to every piece of art as not-ok is happening because it is literally clashing with the reality so many fans have lived with for so long.  This reaction is seen as normal and not extreme.

You had ONE JOB Corona-chan!  One fucking job...

What Do Ya Do With A Drunken Sailor?
...what are the drunken sailors of anime fandom but those who are so beholden to the idea that demarcated age is necessary to portray not only explicit sexual activity, but even hint at existing relationships, or have some character in a swimmie suit?  Is someone gonna tell them that every main character in High School of the Dead is definitely not over 18? What happens when they watch Fushigi Yuugi?  Are they gonna freak out?  Well, they're teaming up with anti-LGBTQ+ and Abstinence-Only right wing Q-Anon MAGA philosophy to chain all characters to the pillar of a-sexuality until... until what exactly?  They're never gonna age naturally...  so what do they want?  They want to erase characters and destroy art is what they want.  Before you know it, it's going to be "Sailor Uranus is totally grooming Neptune!  What a horrible thing to show!" and demand it go away, and be banned through the application of law.  This is not healthy.  It's going to really fuck things up, and governments are empowering it.  Returning anime to the early 1990's when it could get anyone under 18 kicked out of school, or abducted to a "therapy center" because it's "oh so violent and look what it shows!" is going to force it into channels that make it harder to obtain, and less profitable to license. 

Seriously, like I said, stock up on Dogecoin because soon that's going to be the only form of payment you can make to Patreon art accounts you follow, OnlyFans cosplayers, hentai retailers, hell- probably even some vtubers are gonna get cut off because the characters they use are deemed "child exploitation" and then barred from the use of services.

 She said she's horny for sex!
Because ...reasons!

What Does it all Mean?
Well, as mentioned, anime and manga could be in for some serious depreciation in terms of future licenses.  A property that now can't be introduced in some countries, as well as now requiring social damage-control in the countries where it's still legal (thanks to fandom toxicity) just isn't worth paying for in terms of acquisition, let alone localization, promotion, distribution, all that.  The problem is that people are going to counter this argument with a big "nuh-uhhhh. I personally buy lots of this and sales around the world are up and all this stuff so you're dumb and stupid!"  ...this omits the fact that the cause of effects I am talking about hasn't even been close to fully entrenched yet and the results of it will most likely only start to happen to a noticeable degree between one and two years from now.  Remember in 2017 when I wrote about global shipping issues having an effect on other industries and the movement of capital which is going to effect A) Japan and B) ipso-facto anime, manga, and gaming content.  ...yeah that was 2017.  Notice anything happening this year?  Oh yeah, that kind of thing.  This is gonna take time.

Here's Where I Try To See Why The Other Side Is...
Is it because young fans have been skeeved on by older people?  I've been in that situation. 14 in NYC in the 90s at 2am after sneaking into The Limelight?  Oh yeah lots of that happened in clubs, on the street, Back Stage at The Bank, PYramid, at Odessa, on the Train ...yeah, it was pretty gross.  Dudes, chicks, ...whatever would crawl out of Tompkins Square Park late at night, all that.  I must have looked hella pedo-bait.  But hey, that's why you carried knives.  (Not that I didn't get flirty at St. Marks Comics's Brooklyn location to get a discount... totally worked).  But is this negative experience what the fans see happening to the characters they follow and identify with?  Are they trying to "save" them?  Does it make some people think that this is empowering or encouraging those with criminal sexual motivations to engage in skeeving more often (or do worse)?  Is it just projection?  No matter where it's coming from, a draconian rubric of anime and manga content is not going to help stop what they are worried about, and it will not help anime as an international business.  I've watched it try to be relevant to the actual sources and companies in Japan and for 12 years I watched them treat North America as something not worth taking input from (unless it was Pokemon or some game properties).  The Iron Chef license got more attention in how new programs were made in Japan than just about any anime ever did.  I didn't do the Iron Chef license but I know the people who did and yadah yadah.  If North America all of a sudden comes off as hostile, that's going to push things way back.  An entirely new generation of more diverse leadership is going to have to be in place at many Japanese companies not just the anime companies, but the Keiretsu level shit, so Sumitomo, Matsushita, Sony, JR, JT, 711 Holdings (no I'm not kidding) hellz Toyota is probably in there somewhere.  It's a big machine and one sprocket can decide not to budge and that's that.  But such reactions are hurting anime, hurting artists, and not accomplishing anything. 

Once again, I didn't tighten this up.  Maybe I should just start making these into videos or something.

But hey, in honor of what month it is:

It's always Fuck The Police month!

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